Audience and Participation Meeting Notes: October 20, 2011
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The Audience and Participation workstream began their morning at the Plenary Session by talking about communication with public libraries. Several identified a fear among many librarians that the Digital Public Library of America may, in name and perceived function, give local government officials an excuse to cut funding. However, the group agreed that public libraries would benefit from and contribute to the DPLA, and that the two institutions are not mutually exclusive. Everyone agreed that communication with public librarians to facilitate understanding as well as to garner input is necessary, and that one work product for the Audience & Participation group could be talking points for librarians and funders.
Discussion then shifted to what sort of content and services the DPLA would provide, and what would attract people to the library as a first, almost reflexive stop—much of this conversation focused on whether the DPLA would be a platform joining multiple existing collections together, or whether it would house its own collection. Throughout the discussion of user experience, issues of privacy and means of striking an elegant balance between preserving users’ privacy as libraries always have and providing the sort of social experience intrinsic to the web were raised several times. Transparency of various privacy measures was widely agreed upon.
Communication and marketing efforts directed not only towards public libraries, but also towards the public at large were also key goals. Morning discussion concluded with the agreement that the DPLA needs to find its “killer app”—the service or feature that will make it culturally relevant—a unique, first, and trusted stop for anyone seeking the information it provides.
Participants also explored how to make the library universally accessible and understandable. Discussion centered on the discovery layer as a way to make the library more accessible, using BiblioCommons as an example. Questions of to what degree and how the library should interface with physical collections were also discussed.
Ultimately, the workstream agreed on the following central questions:
- What is our audience?
- How can they participate?
- How can the Audience and Participation workstream help build the prototype? Suggestions:
- Provide guidelines for Sprint and tech work to ensure they accomplish needs for audience & participation.
- Review the Sprint submission and ongoing work, applying a filter for guideline compatibility.
- Prioritize options for the workstream.
One idea for how the Audience and Participation workstream could function was as a filter for the other workstreams, considering how each development affects potential and real audiences.
Create a Digital Public Library of America that is a trusted first platform for knowledge online and is universally accessible, participatory, and compelling for all.
Carla Hayden, Enoch Pratt Free Library
Peggy Rudd, Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Rachael Bower, Internet Scout
Dan Cohen, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University
Michael Colford, Boston Public Library
Soleio Cuervo, Facebook
Nate Hill, San Jose Public Library; Public Library Association
Sam Klein, One Laptop Per Child/Wikimedia Foundation
Ira Rubinstein, NYU School of Law