DPLA Update Q&A

By DPLA, November 14, 2018.
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Q: Why did DPLA eliminate six positions?
A: We had to think critically about structuring the staff to ensure that we can sustain the organization in the long term and had to make the difficult decision to eliminate certain staff roles, effective November 15. As DPLA looks to 2019 priorities and project grants that sunset in 2018 and early 2019, this decision was necessary for the short and long-term viability of DPLA.

Q: What positions were eliminated?
A: The departing staff members include a developer, web designer, ebook team member, administrator, metadata librarian, and curation and education specialist. The remaining staff include senior leadership, communications, two developers, two staff members on the ebooks team, and a controller.

Q: What are you doing for the people who are losing their jobs?
A: We are doing everything we can to ensure their ongoing career success.

Q: Does DPLA have the capacity to deliver its current work and with the remaining staff?
A: In the short term, we are focusing on adjusting the roles of the remaining staff to ensure that we can continue to deliver on our core work, including regularly scheduled ingestion of content.


Q: Will content ingestion continue and will the process or timing be impacted by the staff changes?
A: DPLA will ingest content at the same rate and as per the ingestion schedule posted online for all existing hubs. Member hubs have preference on the ingest schedule. New hubs will continue to be on-boarded based on a mutually defined schedule between DPLA and the hub. We may require more time to resolve issues for existing hubs that are making significant changes to their metadata and need consultation or closer oversight.

Q: Will the reduction in workforce change the Hub relationships to DPLA?
A: No, it will not change our relationship. DPLA will continue to actively participate in the hubs network governance, including the leadership team’s role on the advisory and network councils and staff members’ participation in the working groups. We are also committed to continuing to grow the network. We have multiple states that will be coming on board as new hubs and members in 2019, and we will continue to work collaboratively with these new hubs to onboard their staff as members of our network and bring their content into DPLA.

Q: We have staff that are participating in DPLA working groups, what does this mean for them? Are the working groups continuing?
A: DPLA currently has 5 working groups: Assessment, Metadata, Outreach, Rights Statements and Technical Capacity. DPLA will continue to participate in all working groups. The agendas and priorities of each group are set by the community; DPLA’s seeks to facilitate and enable their work. Each group is, and will continue to be, chaired by community members.


Q: Is DPLA still committed to the cultural heritage work and will the staffing reduction impact any of the current or planned cultural heritage projects?
A: DPLA will continue to “complete the map,” by onboarding organizations and supporting the hub network nationwide. DPLA will continue to develop services to members which are of highest interest, such as DPLA Local and enhanced analytics. For other programs, such as creation of exhibits and primary source sets, DPLA will look for ways to enable the network to play a larger role in designing and doing this work.

Q: Is DPLA abandoning cultural heritage aggregation?
A: Not at all. The national cultural heritage network, members, and increasing the visibility of making cultural heritage materials continue to be among DPLA’s top priorities. The remaining staff members’ roles will shift to ensure that we continue to communicate with, and meet the needs of, our partners.

Q: Why are you working in ebooks?
From DPLA’s inception, it has believed that libraries need to have a voice in the design and implementation of new digital platforms. DPLA Exchange was introduced this year to provide libraries and their users with ebook options that prioritize patron needs and maximize access to digital content.

Q: Is DPLA still committed to Library Simplified/SimplyE? Will the workforce reduction impact any key deliverables or timing of this project?
A: DPLA will continue to grow the DPLA Exchange marketplace and, with our partners, rollout Library Simplified/SimplyE to offer a set of library-driven tools, services, and open platforms for ebook distribution. The workforce reduction will not impact our work on Simplified/SimplyE.

Q: Is DPLAfest still on for 2019?
A: Yes, DPLAfest 2019 will take place as scheduled. Registration is open and more details will be announced soon. Visit https://dplafest2019.dp.la to learn more.


Q: If I have questions or needs related to metadata or ingestion systems or processes, who should I contact?
A: Please contact Michael Della Bitta, Director of Technology, at michael@dp.la.

Q: If I have questions about DPLA aggregation, who do I contact?
A: Please contact Michael Della Bitta, at michael@dp.la.

Q: If I have questions or needs related to DPLA network or ebooks, who should I contact?
A: Please contact Michele Kimpton, Director of Business Development and Senior Strategist, at michele.kimpton@dp.la.

Q: If I have questions about DPLAfest 2019, who should I contact?
A: Please contact Samantha Gibson, at samantha@dp.la.

Q: If I have any additional questions, who do I contact?
A: Please contact John Bracken at bracken@dp.la.

Q: What are avenues to provide feedback and learn more?
A: We are working to plan opportunities for virtual community meetings with the community in the coming weeks. This will be an opportunity for members of DPLA’s network and the public to ask questions. The details for this session will be announced via our network email lists and blog.