Friday, May 27, 2011

Digital Public Library of America

I joined the Digital Public Library of America discussion list for their beta sprint. (Press release) The goal: "To define the vision for a digital library in service of the American public." The more talk, the less clear the picture for me. Is this going to be a Library of Congress for all? Or... If you pay, you play? If the library in your area, doesn't contribute funds, are you cut off from using material? No national library card? Gosia Stergios (and others) have looked a some other national models. (She also contributed a neat vision of how a digital library could be used: A Note on the Letters of Vincent van Gogh.) Should a digital public library of America separate the "public" from "scholars"? Sorry to report it sounds like "scholars" do not have much respect for "the public." The definition of "public" in the minds of some seems to be "patrons of public libraries who like to read current best sellers." I get the feeling from some posts that "public library" are them and "academic libraries" r us. Others are sticking up for the idea of a public that includes learners of all age. It's even possible that some scholars may read contemporary bestsellers. So should there be two DPLAs or one for all? If there's a public library DPLA and a scholarly DPLA are there more funding opportunities? Can work go forward on all fronts? On-going conversation.

On another note: A colleague and I attended (via Elluminate - now Blackboard Collaborate) Oakland University's e-Cornucopia. A stand-out presentation for me: Emily Puckett Rodgers on open.michigan. Her slides are available The Elluminate session should be up at some point. They've got the vision and the people power to make open access at University of Michigan work. (Other presentations listed here.)

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