ASFPM often gets feedback saying that while members appreciate all of the information available on the ASFPM website, finding information can be a challenge. The ASFPM Board of Directors suggested providing the ability to search for documents, publications, etc. to better serve both members and Chapters.
It became clear that the basic organizational element for a website such as ours is a functional library in which a wide variety of documents and publications can be stored. From there, documents can be displayed on the website as well as be found by keyword searching.
ASFPM began its investment in its library in 2010 with an open source platform (Koha), and it has grown significantly since then. In addition to curating a physical collection, ASFPM has also invested in research and development for creating an online library using cutting edge library science.
ASFPM has developed a unique cataloging schema for the library. We have also developed the necessary processes and procedures to round out an online library that provides detailed references to a wide array of flood publications (historical and otherwise) as well as PDFs of the publications (when available, in the absence of copyright issues). Thus, ASFPM has the basic elements of a robust library, and is in the process of creating a web portal that can be used to access the library easily and efficiently.
Additionally, we have gotten requests from longtime ASFPM members and leaders to integrate their donated collections into the ASFPM library. ASFPM developed a procedure for accepting these donations and integrating them into the ASPFM library. These collections are important literary contributions to the field of floodplain management that must be preserved. For example, a recently donated item is one of the only known bound editions of Gilbert White’s original dissertation. Thanks to a generous grant from the ASFPM Foundation, we can provide access to the special collections donated to ASFPM by members and friends.
Finally, in FY2016, the ASFPM Executive Office began a total overhaul of the ASFPM website. This was made possible by bringing together funds from several ongoing projects that included resources for website development. It makes sense to have an operational library interface in conjunction with the new website. We anticipate that the library function will be one of the most used features of the overhauled website.