First impressions of the new DPLA portal have been almost uniformly positive, though many have suggested avenues for further enhancements and refinements.
Check out what LJ Technology Editor Matt Enis was able to dig up about DPLA’s recent launch!
There are two key points about what the DPLA “is,” at least as of April 2013. First, the DPLA will be what we, the people, decide to make of it, as a shared, public-spirited resource. Second, the DPLA is the community of people who have devoted themselves (ourselves, in fact) to pursuing an ambitious, public-spirited vision of what the future might hold. On day one, we will present a radically open platform that will make a lot of exciting material available more broadly, as well as a lot of code and services with which technologists can do interesting things. On day one, the DPLA will have an extraordinary founding executive director in place, Dan Cohen [see also a recent Q&A with Cohen just after his appointment—Ed.], and a diverse, dedicated group of volunteers who have contributed their time, energy, and attention to the topic of creating a digital public library for the United States. Over time, the DPLA will grow into an essential partner to libraries, archives, and museums, as well as those who rely upon them. The form that the DPLA will take in five, ten, 20 years? That’s up to all of us. And the best is yet to come.
The idea behind the Digital Public Library of America is fairly simple actually — it is the attempt, really a large-scale attempt, to knit together America’s archives, libraries, and museums, which have a tremendous amount of content — all forms of human expression, from images and photographs, to artwork, to published material and unpublished material, like archival and special collections. We want to bring that all together in one place.
What’s your first impression of the DPLA?
Although the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) launched event in Boston was cancelled, the debut of its online portal today at noon ET went ahead as planned.
We’re looking to hear from librarians and users out there about their first impressions—how does the DPLA portal unveiled today strike you?
We’d love to get your take to incorporate into our coverage of the portal launch.
Either let us know in the comments what you think of the DPLA portal, or feel free to email LJ’s Technology Editor, Matt Enis, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright laws could exclude everything published after 1964, most works published after 1923, and some that go back as far as 1873. Court cases during the last few months have opened up the possibility that the fair use provision of the copyright act of 1976 could be extended to make more recent books available for certain purposes, such as service to the visually impaired and some forms of teaching. And if, as expected, the DPLA excludes books that are still selling on the market (most exhaust their commercial viability within a few years), authors and publishers might grant the exercise of their rights to the DPLA.
Robert Darnton, director of the Harvard University Library, in his hot-off-the-presses essay “The Digital Public Library of America Is Launched!,” in The New York Review of Books.
I’ve excerpted the above paragraph because it’s Darnton’s way of addressing the initial exclusion of any commercially produced content, that is, novels, for one. This has been a criticism of the DPLA since its inception a few years ago. How can any library be “public” in name without the kinds of books that drive circulation? to put it another way.
What is your take on the DPLA, public librarians?
We’re listening! What do you think?
The DPLA will provide a single place to discover and explore our country’s libraries, archives, and museums, a portal, and so will bring entirely new audiences to formerly scattered collections. Moreover, we will provide the means for others to use information about those holdings in creative and transformative ways, a platform, with an API, for others to build upon. Third, we will endeavor to work with public and academic libraries to try to solve some of the thorny issues that plague our current research and reading environment.
The DPLA will provide a single place to discover and explore our country’s libraries, archives, and museums, a portal, and so will bring entirely new audiences to formerly scattered collections.
Moreover, we will provide the means for others to use information about those holdings in creative and transformative ways, a platform, with an API, for others to build upon.
Third, we will endeavor to work with public and academic libraries to try to solve some of the thorny issues that plague our current research and reading environment.
I am most curious about the first aim. That’s what you call a logistical nightmare.