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This workstream will make recommendations for a system of decision making and management for the DPLA. The DPLA must be as broad, open, and non-partisan as possible. Suggestions that have already been raised include a federated model similar to the Internet Engineering Task Force, a lightweight coalition, a government commission, a new 501(c)(3), or a new project at any one of a number of pre-existing organizations.
- Meetings and notes
Big issues: The governance of the DPLA should be broad and inclusive, and must also have a means of moving forward.
David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States
John Palfrey, Head of School, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA
Ginnie Cooper, District of Columbia Public Library
Robert Darnton, Harvard University
Susan Hildreth, Institute for Museum and Library Services
Deanna Marcum, Ithaka S+R
Andrew McLaughlin, Civic Commons & Stanford Law School
Maureen Sullivan, American Library Association
Important insights from Commons Research
As is put forth in the Nobel Prize 2009 winning study by Elinor Ostrom, 1990 (Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge University Press), Hess and Ostrom summarize in the introductory chapter to Understanding Knowledge as a Commons. From Theory to Practice. Eds. Charlotte Hess and Elinor Ostrom, MIT Press, December 2006, pbk edition 2011 that eight "principles were discovered after conducting a large set of empirical studies on common-pool resource governance. One of the central findings was that an extremely rich variety of specific rules were used in systems sustainable over a long time period. No single set of specific rules, on the other hand, had a clear association with success. Only after grappling with this wide diversity of robust systems was it possible to identify general principles that tended to underlie the robust institutions. The eight factors identified were those found to exist in most robust institutions—but they were absent in failed systems." (p. 7 in http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/chapters/0262083574intro1.pdf)
Ostrom's eight design principles for robust, long-enduring, common-pool resource institutions (Ostrom 1990, 90-102)
- Clearly defined boundaries should be in place.
- Rules in use are well matched to local needs and conditions.
- Individuals affected by these rules can usually participate in modifying the rules.
- The right of community members to devise their own rules is respected by external authorities.
- A system for self-monitoring members’ behavior has been established.
- A graduated system of sanctions is available.
- Community members have access to low-cost conflict-resolution mechanisms.
- Nested enterprises—that is, appropriation, provision, monitoring and sanctioning, conflict resolution, and other governance activities—are organized in a nested structure with multiple layers of activities.
(also on p. 7 in http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/chapters/0262083574intro1.pdf)
Questions for Discussion
- The approaches listed above are a starting point. What other approaches to governance should be considered?
- In line with the above, should the Digital Public Library of America initiative drop "Public" from its name--to reduce the risks of its preempting the establishment of a universal national digital library system with public governance and with funding, content and services from both the public and and private sectors? More details here.
- What organizations might serve as models for the governance of a DPLA? For example, is the Europeana model something we should consider?
- Should the Digital Public Library of America be governed at all?
- Should this WIKI be the Digital Public Library of America?
- What should the relationship be between funding and governance?
All workstream members should join the DPLA Governance Workstream listserv at https://cyber.law.harvard.edu/lists/subscribe/dpla-governance.
Please also add your name to the list below. If you would like to edit this wiki, please create an account.
- [Name], [email address]
- David Rothman (LibraryCity.org), firstname.lastname@example.org