As I approach my eighth week in this role, I write with an update on what I’ve been up to and where some of our projects stand as we wrap up 2023.
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As some of you are aware, the DPLA Analytics Dashboard is not functioning properly. We believe this issue is related to a problem that occurred during changes implemented by Google to deprecate Universal Analytics in favor of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), a migration that DPLA had planned for and shared about to the network in June. We have spent significant time investigating the issue and wanted to send you an update on what we know.
Palace Bookshelf provides free access to more than 19,000 ebooks. To access Palace Bookshelf, just download the free Palace e-reader app for iOS or Android and choose Palace Bookshelf as your library. You can also browse Palace Bookshelf here. All Palace Bookshelf e-books are free to download and yours to keep.
Did you know that DPLA provides free access to more than 49 million cultural heritage artifacts from 6,000 organizations across the country? Check out how our free resources can benefit students, teachers, researchers, history buffs, genealogists, and more. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share this infographic with your school or library.
It has been a busy fall at DPLA, with a variety of informative events organized by our working groups. And it is not over yet: On November 16, at 1p ET, the Metadata Working Group will host a Network Coffee Chat to talk about their work to create the Metadata Best Practices Report, based on conversations and information from organizations across the DPLA Network. You can register for that conversation here.
Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is pleased to announce a new partnership with the University of Chicago Library to expand The Banned Book Club. We launched The Banned Book Club in July 2023 to ensure that every reader in communities where books have been banned can access ebook versions of banned titles for free via the Palace app. This new collaboration between DPLA and the University of Chicago Library will expand access to The Banned Book Club to all readers in Chicago and the state of Illinois and underscores our shared commitment to ensuring intellectual freedom for all.
DPLA’s mission is to maximize access to knowledge, and one of the ways we do that is by working to make the best possible ebook and audiobook licensing options available to libraries through Palace Marketplace, the only not-for-profit distributor of ebooks and audiobooks for libraries. (Palace Marketplace is run by DPLA in partnership with The Palace Project team at Lyrasis.) We chose to begin working on ebook distribution in 2017 because we believed that libraries would benefit from having an advocate in the marketplace who could interface with publishers and negotiate deals that would benefit libraries and patrons.
Culture Heritage and Structured Data: How DPLA became the biggest institution to contribute to Structured Data on Commons
Last week, I partnered with Giovanna Fontenelle, Program Officer, Culture and Heritage, at Wikipedia for this article, posted originally on the Wikimedia News site Diff, about our Wikimedia work. Over the last several years, DPLA has become the biggest institutional contributor to Wikimedia Commons, thanks to the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Wikimedia Foundation and the contributions of the Wikimedia Working Group.
This summer I’ve given updates on our work at the ALA Annual Conference in June and at last month’s DPLA Open Board + Community Meeting. I shared a summary of where we’ve been, talked about what we are working on now, and previewed where we are headed. For the latter, we shared that DPLA would soon begin a strategic visioning process. As the summer comes to a close, I’m excited to share with you our plans for this process.
The past week has been especially exciting and meaningful for all of us at DPLA. Last Thursday, we announced the launch of The Banned Book Club, an effort to ensure that all readers have access to the books they want to read, and soon after, the project was promoted by Barack Obama as part of a series of social media pushes calling attention to the critical importance of intellectual freedom.
Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has launched The Banned Book Club to ensure that all readers have access to the books they want to read. The Banned Book Club makes e-book versions of banned books available to readers in locations across the United States where titles have been banned. The e-books will be available to readers for free via the Palace e-reader app.
DPLA releases free End of Affirmative Action: Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College ebook
Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is pleased to announce the release of End of Affirmative Action: Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, a free, easy-to-read ebook version of the Supreme Court’s recent affirmative action decision. At DPLA, we believe that open and convenient access to information is an essential service core to the role libraries have played in democratic societies for generations. Part of our commitment to maintaining access to information for all is the publication of free, easy-to-read ebook versions of important government documents.
DPLA is pleased to share that our next Book Talk will be with Jennifer Pahlka, author of Recoding America: Why Government is Failing and How We Can Do Better, on Monday, July 24, at 1p ET.
Join us for upcoming events: Network Coffee Chats and an Open Board+ Community Meeting at ALA Annual
We hope you will join us at our upcoming events, including two network coffee chats with Digital Equity Project partners, and our Open Board + Community Meeting at ALA Annual in Chicago.
DPLA hosts conversation about Burning the Books: A History of the Deliberate Destruction of Knowledge
Yesterday, we were pleased to host author Richard Ovenden, director of the Bodleian Libraries, for a timely conversation with former DPLA board member, author, and Plympton co-founder Jennifer 8. Lee about Burning the Books: A History of the Deliberate Destruction of Knowledge
Late last month, we had the pleasure of working with Knight Foundation to bring together 50 library leaders from across the country. Our conversations focused on how libraries are meeting the needs of this moment in our history and the evolving and essential role libraries play in our communities and our nation at large. We will extend this conversation at our Open Board + Community Meeting on April 10, 2023, at 2p ET; this meeting is open to all and we invite you to join us. In the meantime, we asked several of our colleagues to share their reflections on and takeaways from last month’s gathering with us:
A single point of access to the riches of America’s cultural heritage stewarded by libraries, archives, and museums across the nation. Ten years ago, that was the audacious founding vision of DPLA. To more fully realize that vision, DPLA has pioneered a program that connects our nation’s cultural heritage to Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia. Late last month, DPLA presented more about this work at ALA’s inaugural LibLearn X in New Orleans.
Digital Public Library of America is pleased to announce the launch of a new independent author catalog in Palace Marketplace. Palace Marketplace now offers more than 1.2 million ebooks and audiobooks from all of the “Big 5” publishers, Amazon Publishing, Audible, hundreds of mid-sized and independent publishers, and independent authors. The addition of these new titles will help libraries expand access to diverse content at reasonable licensing terms while supporting independent authors.
Our mission at DPLA is to maximize access to our shared history, culture, and knowledge. One of the ways we do this is through our ebooks program, which is an important and growing area of our work. Our ebooks work includes our management of Palace Marketplace, the only non-profit digital content marketplace for libraries; Palace Bookshelf, our ever-expanding collection of more than 15,000 open-access ebooks; and DPLA Publications, our collection of free, easy-to-read ebook versions of public documents.
A $750,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to the Digital Public Library of America will fuel a multi-year effort to connect America’s cultural heritage institutions with Wikipedia, the world’s free online encyclopedia. This grant will offer an opportunity to make millions of cultural treasures from hundreds of American libraries, archives, and museums freely available online, including Renaissance manuscripts from Philadelphia’s Science History Institute; historic photos of the Pacific Northwest from Seattle Public Library; and portraits of 18th-century actors from the University of Illinois.