DPLAfest 2019 Wrap Up

By DPLA, April 30, 2019.
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That’s a wrap on DPLAfest 2019!

We are so grateful to each participant, presenter, speaker, sponsor, and volunteer who helped make DPLAfest 2019 a great success. Whether you joined us in Chicago earlier this month or followed from home, we look forward to continuing to work together to advance the important and inspiring conversations we started at the fest. Re-cap what we heard or review what you missed with this one-stop guide to the news, notes, and other materials shared during DPLAfest.

News and Announcements

  • New ebooks partnership announced. We were thrilled to announce a new collaborative effort to develop a national digital ebooks platform and marketplace for libraries together with partners New York Public Library and LYRASIS. Together, we are working to provide all public libraries with a free, open, library-owned platform for managing their ebook and audiobook services. Read more.
  • DPLA Members Meeting. The DPLA member network gathered for its second annual meeting on April 16, 2019 prior to DPLAfest. DPLA Members, led by the Advisory and Network Councils, discussed priorities for DPLA and its cultural heritage network. View the meeting agenda and learn more about the Membership Program.
  • Ran Walker wins Indie Author of the Year. Biblioboard CEO Mitchell Davis awarded author Ran Walker with the Indie Author of the Year award for his book, Daykeeper, at a reception following the DPLA Members Meeting on April 16. Read more.


DPLAfest’s three plenary sessions featured an incredible lineup of featured speakers, whose conversations about topics such as memory and reconciliation, the rise of agnotology, strengthening the commons, games as storytelling, and libraries as social and community infrastructure left us energized and inspired. View the recordings.

DPLAfest Opening Plenary

  • John Bracken, Executive Director of DPLA
  • Brian Bannon, Commissioner and CEO, Chicago Public Library
  • Elaine Westbrooks, University Librarian and Vice Provost, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • danah boyd, Founder and President, Data & Society
  • Tracie D. Hall, Director of the Culture Program, Joyce Foundation
  • New collaboration announcement by Michele Kimpton, DPLA Director of Business Development, Tony Ageh, Chief Digital Officer at NYPL, and Robert Miller, Executive Director of LYRASIS
  • Surprise guest Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

You can also read the transcript of danah boyd’s talk, Agnotology and Epistemological Fragmentation.

Day 1 Closing Plenary

  • Ashlyn Sparrow, Assistant Director of the Weston Game Lab, University of Chicago
  • Ryan Merkley, CEO of Creative Commons
  • Katherine Maher, Executive Director of Wikimedia Foundation
  • Doron Weber, Vice President, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Final Plenary, Day 2

  • Louise Bernard, founding director of the Museum of the Obama Presidential Center
  • Eric Klinenberg, author of Palaces for the People
  • Brian Bannon, Commissioner and CEO, Chicago Public Library
  • Closing remarks by Robert Miller, Executive Director of LYRASIS

Media Mentions

Slides and Presentation Materials

If you missed a session of interest, check the session listings on the online program for slides and other presentation materials. Presenters, if you have not already shared your slides, you can do so by logging in to Sched. Learn how.


View selected photographs from DPLAfest and the Members Meeting.

DPLAfest photography by Timmy Samuel, Starbelly Studios

Special thanks

We would like to acknowledge and sincerely thank the sponsors who helped make DPLAfest 2019 possible:

We would also like to offer our sincere and special thanks to Chicago Public Library and its staff for hosting DPLAfest, outreach partner Chicago Collections, and Dollop Coffee Co.

Finally, thank you to Hoopla Communications and Members Meeting Planning Committee members Adrian Turner, Ann Hanlon, Sheila McAlister, Tara Carlisle, Jolie Graybill, Deirdre Brennan, and Jen Johnson.

Need more info? For all things DPLAfest 2019, visit dplafest2019.dp.la.