Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Digital Public Library of America

Micah Vandegrift has written a piece on the Digital Public Library of America - what it is - and what it isn't - and what it might become. See http://www.inthelibrarywiththedpipe.org/2013/dpla/ Micah discusses joining one of the early discussion lists concerning the DPLA. I was on the list for a while as well (dpla-discussion@eon.law.harvard.edu) and my impression was that a lot of brilliant people had very interesting ideas about presenting digital collections - and terrific capabilities. They seemed mainly interested in presenting digital library content to scholars - other people just like them. Some of the participants in the early discussions didn't seem all that interested in including public library collections. Some of the discussants didn't seem all that interested in any user not affiliated with a research-intensive university. Public librarians were working hard to be heard. I was put off. I was hoping for the emergence of a digital public library of the world with no silly political or geographic boundaries. While I continued to read about the DPLA sporadically, I stopped following the day-to-day discussions. Now the first iteration of the DPLA has launched. Robert Darnton and John Palfry - both leaders in the DPLA were guests for a recent Special Event for Terry Fisher's CopyrightX course. Both talked about the a grand vision of what the DPLA could become and how it could become the digital library for all of us. I'm looking forward to DPLA developments!

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