For Jamie Hollier, every day in her new position as a board member of the DPLA brings about surprises—sometimes, it’s forging newfound connections between the DPLA and local organizations. Other times, it’s the call of the Greater Prairie Chicken.
Hollier, who has a background working in rural and state libraries, had seen information about the DPLA from the American Library Association (ALA). She kept hearing people at the conferences she was attending talking about it. But it wasn’t until she was voted on to the board this past April that she got to see the unique scope of projects the DPLA is involved with.
Her process as a new member of the DPLA team has been “getting the lay of the land,” as one of the Board of Directors, as well as a member of the technology and finance committees. Though her involvement is just beginning, Hollier is already looking to make connections between her job in project and program management and her emerging work at the DPLA.
“[It’s] a lot of connecting dots. That’s something I tend to do anyway, that’s who I am, so I’m leveraging that for the DPLA,” she said. She works with a diverse number of groups and organizations on web-based technology projects. Most recently, she consulted with the Colorado’s Secretary of State for a civic hackathon project. Working with a variety of fields day-to-day allows her “to see the trends and opportunities and relate it back to her work at the DPLA.
It also gives her a chance to make new organizations aware of all the resources available through the DPLA. At the DPLAfest, coming up October 24-25, Hollier will be leading a session called “DPLA Local Unconference” focused on how the DPLA can be used on a community level.
“I feel that there are a lot of local and rural libraries that want a voice heard about how the DPLA can benefit them,” she said. “We want to make sure we capture them and make sure those organizations are heard, and we’re tying their perspectives into the DPLA’s future.”
Her own perspective about the local-level comes from her experience as a rural library manager. After spending time at a variety of public libraries, she said that across the board, these institutions are asking for access to reliable research sources to point their users to.
“I think the DPLA does that in an amazing way—access to so many resources and collections would be a lot harder for libraries, to sit down and bring that into one place themselves. Just that ‘one-stop-shop’ is important.”
The DPLA having such a user-friendly interface, with the ability to create collections specific to a community’s interest, is an area Hollier sees as a real asset for local users. She has first hand experience with this, too, and it became the way she discovered her newfound appreciation for the Greater Prairie Chicken.
In putting together a presentation for the Nebraska state library’s online webinar, she wanted to show how people could get a sense of the collection and find things related to their own community. Perusing the collection, she found a set of Nebraska bird calls and stumbled upon her favorite item in the DPLA—the Greater Prarie Chicken bird call. It’s these types of local-level “gems” that she wants to bring more visibly into the DPLA’s collections.
“We might have a lot of natural treasures, but [the DPLA] is a place for your community treasures, as well,” she said.
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