Reflections on this week’s board meeting, and upcoming events

By DPLA, April 16, 2020.
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The entire DPLA team would like to extend our gratitude to the 100+ members of our community who joined us on Tuesday for our open board meeting. We send special thanks to Katie McCormick of Florida State University and the Sunshine State Digital Network; Mark Smith, Director and Librarian at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission; and Kelvin Watson, Director of the Broward County Library, for taking the time to share with all of us how their organizations are adapting to the difficult circumstances our community is facing. 

We left this call feeling encouraged and newly inspired to meet the challenge of the moment, and, as Mark Smith said, to take on this “once in a century chance to inform the narrative about the power of libraries.” Katie shared how she is working with colleagues to imagine and create new collaborations across institutions and with non-traditional partners, as well as utilizing new technologies and platforms to help people engage with cultural heritage materials in new ways. Both Mark and Kelvin discussed the steps libraries are taking to actualize the role of the library as an essential community resource while ensuring the safety of staff. Kelvin also highlighted the importance of increasing access, discovery and delivery of resources and introducing new audiences to digital resources like ebooks and audiobooks.

Our question and answer period included a discussion of new publication models; the challenges facing university press publishing; the need for more library-friendly ebook pricing and terms and the current response from publishers; the essential need to provide for equitable broadband access; and ideas for working with physical collections remotely.  

If you weren’t able to make the call, we invite you to listen here.

We look forward to continuing this conversation at our next open board meeting on Friday, June 26, at 1:30 pm ET. In the meantime, as we mentioned on Tuesday, we will be hosting more opportunities for our community to connect virtually in the coming weeks:

Intro to Wikimedia: Increased Discoverability + Use: On Tuesday, April 21st, at 1:30 pm ET, we’ll be hosting a free webinar for DPLA’s contributing institutions. The webinar will be an introduction to our Wikimedia project and will provide guidance on how partners can begin contributing data to Wikimedia Commons through the DPLA network and discuss next steps for interested organizations. Speakers will include our DPLA data fellow Dominic Byrd-McDevitt and Sandra Fauconnier, GLAM-Wiki Specialist from the Wikimedia Foundation. Please register here.

SimplyE Webinar: On Wednesday, April 29th, at 1:30 pm ET, in collaboration with Brian Bannon, Merryl and James Tisch Director of the New York Public Library; Lyrasis; and the Community Advisory Council, we will be offering libraries a free one-hour webinar providing an overview of the SimplyE platform and exploring why libraries across the country are introducing SimplyE to their patrons. Please register here.

Finally, as we head into the weekend, we invite you to take a minute to browse our new catalog of free ebooks and download something new to read. These books are all absolutely free to everyone, no login required. 

Thank you, and stay safe.