DPLA, LibraryBox and SXSWi

By Kenny Whitebloom, March 9, 2013.

A LibraryBox is an open source, portable digital file distribution tool based on inexpensive hardware that enables delivery of educational, healthcare, and other vital information to individuals off the grid. Folks have been using them to distribute digital content (books, movies, audio and more) and provide access to digital resources to communities of users that do not have access to the internet or where internet access is limited or censored.

At SXSWi  the SXSWLAM group, working in conjunction with the UT iSchool are planning to load and distribute 10 LibraryBoxen throughout the SXSWi venue. A portion will be mounted on pedicabs, others will be carried around by volunteers, and others will be placed at the IdeaDrop house (http://erl2013.sched.org), at the Culture Hack panel, and other places where we want to inspire the SXSW participants to check out the “library” and interact with the resources we are making available.

The  purpose of LibraryBox@SXSWi is to get the message out to the SXSWi community about the role of libraries and librarians in a networked, social media driven world.

We are more than buildings for books. The LibraryBox@SXSWi project demonstrates how libraries provide an amazing combination of resources, and the content on each box can inspire learning and making.

So what is going on with LibraryBox@SXSW? A number of open access electronic books (from Unglue.it (http://unglue.it), MIT Press and other vendors), audio files (like Walt Whitman reading the poem America), and mashable data sets from the DPLA.

The ideas of mashup and open data demonstrated by the LibraryBox@SXSWi ties into This the “Culture Hack” panel (http://schedule.sxsw.com/2013/events/event_IAP4580 ) being given at SXSWi that includes representatives from DPLA, Europeana, and Open Knowledge Foundation.

Resulting mashups, tools, ideas and comments can be submitted to http://SXlibraryboxen.tumblr.com

Additional support for the LibraryBox@SXSWi is provided by Everylibrary and through individual donations via http://everylibrary.org/help-us-get-out-the-word-about-libraries-at-sxswi-2013/.

About LibraryBox
LibraryBox (http://librarybox.us) is an open source project created by Jason Griffey (http://jasongriffey.net). LibraryBox (“libraryboxen” when herded together) is designed to provide access to digital information in areas where Internet access is limited, censored, or non-existent. It can act as a hyper-local distribution point for digital files in classrooms, remote rural towns and villages, or after a natural disaster removes traditional network access.

About sxswLAM
A core group of passionate librarians, archivists and museum staff have attend, present and actively recruited their colleagues to join them at Austin’s annual SXSWi Conference, sxswLAM works to  connect people with the tools that help them fuel their passions. They see SXSWi as an opportunity to talk with other creatives and to evangelise about libraries and how they are being reinvented in the 21st century.

Follow sxswLAM on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/sxswLAM and Twitter @sxswLAM.

About DPLA
The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is taking the first concrete steps toward the realization of a large-scale digital public library that will make the cultural and scientific record available to all. This impact-oriented research effort unites leaders from all types of libraries, museums, and archives with educators, industry, and government to define the vision for a digital library in service of the American public.

About EveryLibrary
EveryLibrary helps public, school, and college libraries win bonding, tax, and advisory referendum, ensuring stable funding and access to libraries for generations to come.  The first and only national organization, EveryLibrary is dedicated exclusively to political action at a local level to create, renew, and protect public funding for libraries of all types. It is a nonpartisan organization with an alignment toward sustaining libraries as they evolve and grow in the 21st century.  EveryLibrary is a coalition partner with other associations and non-profits that seek to support libraries through public awareness and advocacy.

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