The Digital Public Library of America: Why Library and Information Students Should Care 2012-08-20


“Too often, I hear stories of older generation librarians giving up.  These naysayers believe that an encroaching digital world and Google will be the death of the institutional library.  Instead of seeing the internet and digital consumption of knowledge as a death sentence, I believe it presents exciting opportunities to improve the traditions of librarianship. The internet connects information and people in fast and exciting ways, and provides the incoming generation of librarians the opportunity to dream big in terms of universal access to knowledge.  I recently came across a dream big project with this goal: the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).  LIS students should keep an eye on this potential game changer for several reasons... The DPLA campaign’s goals are to support the digitization of inventories of cultural and scientific records, set up and build the infrastructure necessary to connect existing and future digitized content, and make such knowledge universally accessible.  Robert Darnton sees the DPLA as an opportunity to de-commodify knowledge and use the  power of the internet to “disseminate and preserve the world’s information for all, and for the ages.” He predicts the first prototype of the DPLA will be released in April 2013.  Supporters of the DPLA includes big hitters such as Berkman Center for Internet & Society, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Carl H. Pforzheimer, Harold T. Shapiro, Charles J. Henry, Carla Hayden, Amy E. Ryan and many other influential figures.  ... Why Should LIS Students Care? ... It is an ambitious undertaking that goes outside a traditional (or grossly outdated) model of what libraries should do with their collections and is redefining our role in society... The world is online... Current and future generations will seek digital materials, and have higher expectations when it comes to accessibility of information because of Google and Wikipedia.  Libraries can adapt to this change in information consumption.  Google, while it tries, cannot guarantee the caliber of high quality information that a library can. I agree with Martin Gomez when he argued that the DPLA can achieve what Google cannot through connecting the digital assets of libraries online... LIS students should care because this project is framing the conversation about libraries in terms of thinking big...  By following through and creating conversations to think big, the DPLA is helping to create ambition and high standards for librarians to impact the world right now... We should support and be critical of these dream big projects like the DPLA because they will radically revision how Americans use the library to access information and the role of librarianship...”



08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) »

Tags: oa.comment oa.libraries oa.preservation oa.students oa.librarians oa.digitization oa.infrastructure oa.harvard.u oa.dpla oa.syracuse.u oa.impactfactor



Date tagged:

08/20/2012, 18:29

Date published:

04/06/2012, 11:56