A few more thoughts on discussion questions

Scope: I feel that the DPLA aims to be of use far beyond academia and that the content will be collated from a diverse array of collections. The seven digital libraries, or Service Hubs, selected by the DPLA for its pilot project consist of a wide range of organizations and collections. For example, the Mountain West Digital Library provides access to “over 700,000 resources from universities, colleges, public libraries, museums, historical societies, and government agencies, counties, and municipalities in Utah, Nevada, and other parts of the U.S. West” (http://mwdl.org/index.php).

 In a YouTube video on the DPLA site (http://dp.la/about/digital-hubs-pilot-project/) DPLA Director for Content Emily Gore related that 40 states currently have “collaborative” digital libraries and one of the goals of the DPLA is to “aggregate the content…massage the metadata” and have it all “work together.” A project like the DPLA would not even be possible without the collaboration of the nation’s libraries, museums, etc., and their willingness to share access to their collections.

Branding: Prior to library school I was in marketing and public relations, and I do not feel the name serves the best purpose. I believe the word “public” can potentially negate the existence of the nation’s public libraries, which are already suffering from years-long budget cuts. Further, libraries have been severely impacted by the Internet and commercial search engines such as Google. More and more people expect to get information and do research in a digital environment. The name, Digital Public Library of America, advances the perception that our public libraries will be contained in, and accessed from, a place on the Web.  

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2 responses to “A few more thoughts on discussion questions

  1. From your marketing and PR insight, I am more convinced the potential negative impact of the branding of “public.” Thanks.

  2. I’m feeling like the devil’s advocate about the “public” debate. The word does tie the project to public libraries which, as was suggested in a post, could serve as critical access points for those without private internet access. Also, for those that suggest strong government/tax-payer support for the project, keeping “public” in the title would seem appropriate.

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