May 20, 2022

New Funding Model for Mountain West Digital Library (MWDL) Approved!

Highlights From a Mountain West Digital Library (MWDL) E-Mail Update Written by Sandra McIntyre, UALC Digitization Committee, Director, Mountain West Digital Library & Kristen Jensen, Co-Chair, UALC Digitization Committee, IT Projects Portfolio Manager, Utah Department of Heritage and Arts:

As many of you know, the Utah Academic Library Consortium Council authorized the formation of anMWDL Advisory Committee last summer to guide the Mountain West Digital Library through a transition to a sustainable business model. We are pleased to announce that the Advisory Committee has recommended, and the UALC Council has approved, a new funding model for the Mountain West Digital Library, to begin July 1, 2015. This message explains the outlines of the new plan.

Continued Services

The new funding model makes it possible for the MWDL network to continue to serve the needs of digital collections partners in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Montana, and Hawaii. The collaborative will continue to provide these important services:

  • Digitization, hosting, and other digital services to collection partners, provided by hosting hubs around the region, usually on a fee basis
  • Aggregation and enhancement of metadata from digital collections repositories in the Mountain West region; increased access to those collections via the MWDL regional portal
  • Regional service hub for the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA); increased access to digital collections via DPLA’s national portal
  • Facilitating the collaborative development of regional standards and best practices for metadata assignment and other aspects of digital collections management, in accordance with evolving national practice

Sustaining Organizations

The Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC) will continue to provide core sponsorship of $87,000 each year, as part of its legislative appropriation from the State of Utah, for the foreseeable future.  UALC started and has sustained the MWDL program since 2001 and continues its commitment to serve the needs of the public for free access to digitized resources.

The J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah will continue to host the MWDL program.  Over the next few years, we will phase in annual reimbursement for the information technology services, office overhead, and financial management services that UU-Marriott provides, until all costs are fully reimbursed. We appreciate the generosity of UU-Marriott administration and staff in hosting the program and look forward to continuing this close relationship.

The Digital Public Library of America has contributed over $400,000 in four separate grant sub-awards to MWDL over the past two years. These grant projects are winding down, and the last one will be completed by the end of September 2015. This support from DPLA has made possible the growth of MWDL and the expansion of many services around the region. We will continue to serve as this region’s “service hub” to the DPLA and to link MWDL partners to this important national platform.

Membership program

The new funding model calls for the creation of an MWDL Membership Program, for harvested repositories only.  Annual membership dues from member repositories will support the aggregation and data enhancement services provided by MWDL staff. Please note that the membership dues apply only to repositories, i.e., organizations that are responsible for a server-based digital assets management system or other records-based software system that provides access to digital collections and serves up digital collection metadata records for harvest.

In the first year, starting , annual dues will be $5000 per repository (dues for additional repositories at the same hosting hub will be $2500).  The annual dues will increase to $7500 by (additional repositories $3750). A harvest set-up fee of $2000 will be assessed for repositories that are harvested after ; repositories that are already harvested into MWDLas of will not pay a set-up fee.

In the first year, starting July 1, 2015, annual dues will be $5000 per repository (dues for additional repositories at the same hosting hub will be $2500).  The annual dues will increase to $7500 byJanuary 1, 2016 (additional repositories $3750). A harvest set-up fee of $2000 will be assessed for repositories that are harvested after June 30, 2015; repositories that are already harvested into MWDLas of June 30 will not pay a set-up fee.

Most MWDL hosting hubs charge for these services according to the MWDL Digital Services Price List.

Expanded Governance

As a program of the UALC, MWDL has been governed since its founding by UALC Council and the UALC Digitization Committee. Along with the new funding model will come an expansion ingovernance. UALC Council has appointed a task force to develop guidelines for modifying MWDL’s governance structure by June 1.  We are excited to work with long-time partners and new members alike to create an effective and inclusive governance model that allows our collaborative to flourish.

Direct to Mountain West Digital Library

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.