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May 19 2011

March 07 2011

02mydafsoup-01

Berkman Center: Wiki - Digital Library of America Project

Contents

Introduction

The Berkman Center will convene a large and diverse group of stakeholders to define the scope, architecture, costs, and administration for a proposed Digital Public Library of America. This initiative was launched in December 2010 with generous support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Planning activities will be guided by a Steering Committee of library and foundation leaders, which promises to announce a full slate of activities in early 2011. The Committee plans to bring together representatives from the educational community, public and research libraries, cultural organizations, state and local government, publishers, authors, and private industry in a series of meetings and workshops to examine strategies for improving public access to comprehensive online resources.

The initiative stems from an October 2010 meeting held at the Radcliffe Institute to discuss the possibility of creating a Digital Public Library of America. That meeting, attended by leaders from research libraries, foundations, and a variety of cultural institutions, resulted in a statement that will serve as a jumping-off point for the initiative.

Contributing to the Wiki

The evolution and success of this initiative rely on inputs from a diverse range of stakeholders and community members; we very much hope that this wiki will be the embodiment of a consensus-based and peer-produced approach.

This is just a starting point, which we hope will grow with your input and suggestions. Please help us to develop these resources and conversations by creating an account and contributing links and resources directly to the wiki, or by e-mailing Rebekah Heacock at the Berkman Center with your contributions.

Not sure where to start? Check out the most active pages or the pages with the fewest contributions so far.

Research Tracks in Support of Workstreams

The DPLA Steering Committee has formally established 5 workstreams: Content and Scope; Financial/Business Models; Governance; Legal Issues; and Technical Aspects for our initial planning phase. Community members have added two further research tracks: Audience and Interactivity. Please feel free to contribute to any of these research tracks and propose new ones. The Steering Committee will consider adding new workstreams for the next planning phases based on suggestions here on the wiki. (A note on what follows: on behalf of the Steering Committee, I've added "Big Issues" under each track based on conversations, in person on 3/1/11 in Cambridge, MA. As ever, consider them editable all the same. - John Palfrey)

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02mydafsoup-01

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I came out of it invigorated and depressed at the same time. Invigorated: An amazing set of people, very significant national institutions ready to pitch in, an alignment on the value of access to the works of knowledge and culture. Depressed: The !@#$%-ing copyright laws are so draconian and, well, stupid, that it is hard to see how to take advantage of the new ways of connecting to ideas and to one another. As one well-known Internet archivist said, we know how to make works of the 19th and 21st centuries accessible, but the 20th century is pretty much lost: Anything created after 1923 will be in copyright about as long as there’s a Sun to read by, and the gigantic mass of works that are out of print, but the authors are dead or otherwise unreachable, is locked away as firmly as an employee restroom at a Disney theme park.

So, here are some of the issues we discussed yesterday that I found came home with me. Fortunately, most are not intractable, but all are difficult to resolve and, some, to implement:

Should the DPLA aggregate content or be a directory? Much of the discussion yesterday focused on the DPLA as an aggregation of e-works. Maybe. But maybe it should be more of a directory. That’s the approach taken by the European online library, Europeana. But being a directory is not as glamorous or useful. And it doesn’t use the combined heft of the participating institutions to drive more favorable licensing terms or legislative changes since it itself is not doing any licensing.

[...]

Joho the Blog » Questions from and for the Digital Public Library of America workshop - 20110302 - David Weinberger

March 01 2011

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