Library Association Recognizes NRL Chief Librarian with Innovations in Technology Award


7/3/2006 - 18-06r
Contact: Public Affairs Office, (202) 767-2541


R. James King, Chief Librarian for the Naval Research Laboratory's Ruth H. Hooker Library, is the recipient of the 2006 Lexis/Nexis Special Libraries Association (SLA) Innovations in Technology Award. The SLA awards program honors those who have distinguished themselves in their careers while making an impact on the profession. The award will be presented in June in Baltimore, Maryland. King's recognition marks the only Federal or DoD library award bestowed by SLA this year.

SLA selected King for this award for having overseen the evolution of the Library's information management strategy through an innovative mix of technologies, including:

  • Creation of a fully searchable online system for the Laboratory's researchers (nearly 3,000 titles, including current journals and conference proceedings and over 60% of the entire 60,000 bound historical print journal volumes in the NRL library).
  • Focusing resources on the NRL digital archive (http://torpedo.nrl.navy.mil), a single point of access for scholarly information that offers full text search of journals, books, conference proceedings and technical reports from 15 publishers and over 6.5 million items.
  • Creation of an innovative NRL Online Bibliography web-based service to capture the metadata and full content of all NRL-authored scholarly publications. To date, the system has captured nearly 40,000 NRL-authored publications (1970-present).
  • Implementation of an XML-based web service application programming interface to create a reliable and automated search routine to download new records and update citation counts.

These advances have facilitated increased researcher productivity and have made the NRL Digital Library a sought-after resource around the world. Usage has increased with an overall doubling of digital library usage since 2002, both through journal article downloads (100k to 200k) and through self-service online searches (200k to 400k). At the same time, internal efficiencies have allowed the library to reduce staffing by 25% and maintain 2002 budgetary levels in 2006.

King joined NRL in 1990 in the Library's Microcomputer Software Center, later serving as a network administrator. He led IT development and support efforts in the library, guiding the development and expansion of Torpedo Ultra. He was appointed Chief Librarian in 2002. King holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Salem International University in Salem, West Virginia, and a Masters in Library and Information Science from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.



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The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is the Navy's full-spectrum corporate laboratory, conducting a broadly based multidisciplinary program of scientific research and advanced technological development. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to meet the complex technological challenges of today's world. For more information, visit the NRL homepage or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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