Digital Public Library of America
Have you ever wished that there was one place where you could find all the information you need? Wouldn’t it be nice if that place was online and accessible by everyone free of charge? Well, that wish will begin to come true in a few short months.
Scheduled to launch in April, the Digital Public Library of America(DPLA) aims to “make the cultural and scientific heritage of humanity available, free of charge, to all.” This ambitious goal will be approached in phases. They will begin by acquiring items in the public domain that are already available from other sources. Once this foundation has been laid, they will move on to orphan works and those that are still under copyright protection but are out of print. Then they will focus on ways in which copyrighted items can be made available. The collection will include resources in all formats, including books, pamphlets, periodicals, manuscripts, digital texts, audio, video, and image files.
To make the most of the collections of the many existing digital libraries that have sprung up across the country, the DPLA’s the Digital Hubs Project is working to establish a national network connecting state, institutional and other repositories to create a single access point for users. It will also set up regional service hubs to provide local institutions with a full menu of standardized digital services, including digitization, metadata, data aggregation and storage services. Service Hubs will also provide a range of services to local end users.
Development of the project is being managed in six different workstreams, each addressing the critical questions regarding the nature of the project: audience and participation, content and scope, financial/business models, governance, legal issues and technical aspects. Each workstream is led by a core team of co-chairs with a larger group of convening members tasked with gathering public input. Membership in all of the workstreams is open to the public and members can attend meetings online or in person. Each workstream has an associated wiki with information on its membership and the issues under consideration.
The DPAL, is which is being run out of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, has received funding from several organizations, including the Sloan Foundation, the Arcadia Fund, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Want to get involved? In addition to joining one of the workstreams, the DPLA has a variety of announcement and discussion LISTSERVS that you can join. They also offer paid internships in their Boston office.
If you are interested in research relating to digital libraries and repositories, or any other topic related to libraries and information studies, contact Deborah Bernnard, our subject specialist for that topic (email: email@example.com; phone: 442-3699.
Blog post created by Cary Gouldin