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Audience and Participation

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This workstream will collaborate with each of the other workstreams to ensure that decisions are being made that will best support the current and future needs of the broadest possible user group. Specifically, it will examine models to establish and serve communities of users and stakeholders and to define the privileges and benefits the DPLA will offer to them. This track is focused on examining models to establish and serve communities of users and stakeholders, and to define the privileges and benefits the Library will offer to them. How interactive should the library system be, what forms of interactivity should it offer, what policies should cover them, and how much freedom should individual topic communities within the system have in setting policies and practices, such as procedures for selecting moderators? Would the Disqus service be worthy of study?

Meetings and notes


Big issues: We need to define clearly who is being served by the DPLA. We need a series of use-cases across a range of members of the public. If "public" is included in the title, we need to make good on the implied promise associated with using that term. We need to aim for broad and continuing involvement, both in planning and in implementation. The workstreams may be the right mechanism for tapping into energy, skill, and enthusiasm.

Co-Chairs and Coordinator

  • Carla Hayden, Enoch Pratt Free Library
  • Nate Hill, Chattanooga Public Library
  • Peggy Rudd, Texas State Library and Archives Commission
  • Diana Geis, Enoch Pratt Free Library (Coordinator)


Workstream conveners are responsible for the recruitment of a broad range of workstream members and the identification of expert participants for DPLA activities over the next two years.

  • Brian Bannon, San Francisco Public Library
  • Rachael Bower, Internet Scout
  • Dan Cohen, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University
  • Michael Colford, Boston Public Library
  • Chris Freeland, Biodiversity Heritage Library
  • Toby Greenwalt, Skokie Public Library (IL)
  • Ira Rubinstein, NYU School of Law
  • Aaron Schmidt, Influx

Questions for Discussion

Please feel free to add new questions to this list, either by creating an account or by emailing with your additions.

Special thanks to Steve Chapman for developing an initial list of discussion questions.

  • What constitutes membership to the DPLA? Are all Americans implicitly included in the DPLA audience, or will an American explicitly need to join? What definition of 'American' applies here?
  • What metrics should DPLA use to track users' satisfaction/dissatisfaction or levels of engagement?
  • What incentives should DPLA offer to enlist users to build or augment digital resources (objects and metadata)?
  • What methods of outreach should DPLA utilize to ensure it reaches the broadest potential audience of users? What users might implicitly be left out due to the digital nature of DPLA and is there a way to address this issue?
  • How closely should the DPLA's audience targeting, mission and activities be aligned with major national needs, such as improved pre-school learning and K-12 learning in general. Could the DPLA at least be an ENABLER for actions in these areas at the local level. An example of the possibilities is at .

Answers for Discussion

  • All humans are implicitly included in the DPLA audience, as well as keyboard cat
  • All conceivable metrics should used to track DPLA users
  • Incentives for contribution is interesting, we can assume that users will contribute heavily in all aspects of the DPLA, for virtually no incentives. The best thing to do is turn the creation of the DPLA into a game for the users to play.

Suggested Resources

  • Jie Jenny Zou, Civil War Project Shows Pros and Cons of Crowdsourcing, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 14, 2011.
    • from Sandy Thatcher: "This might have some lessons for the DPLA if it gets involved in facilitating collaborations among citizens, local historical societies, public libraries, and academic institutions."

Membership Sign-up

All workstream members should join the DPLA Audience & Participation Workstream listserv at

Please also add your name to the list below. If you would like to edit this wiki, please create an account.

  • Kathryn Hammond Baker,
  • Brett Bonfield,
  • Jenny Bossaller,
  • Sarah K. Burke (Dumbarton Oaks Research Library),
  • Jason Buydos (Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County),
  • Anastasia Diamond-Ortiz, Cleveland Public Library,
  • Chrystie Hill,
  • Rebekah Irwin (Middlebury College),
  • Oleg Kagan,
  • Janel Kinlaw,
  • Ryne Leuzinger,
  • Melissa Mannon,
  • Meaghan O'Connor,
  • David Rothman, /
  • Donna Brice,