Save the date: DPLAfest 2017 to take place in Chicago on April 20-21

By DPLA, September 8, 2016.
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Mark your calendars! We’re thrilled to announce that DPLAfest 2017—the fourth major gathering of the Digital Public Library of America’s broad community—will take place on April 20-21, 2017 in Chicago at Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center. The hosts for DPLAfest 2017 include Chicago Public Library, the  Black Metropolis Research Consortium, Chicago Collections, and the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS).

“The great city of Chicago will be a wonderful place for the next DPLAfest, and we’re particularly excited to be hosted by Chicago Public Library and other public-spirited organizations from across the city and the state of Illinois. We look forward to highlighting the terrific work they are doing, as well as the continued growth and collaboration of the national DPLA community,” said Dan Cohen, DPLA’s Executive Director.

Taking place in downtown Chicago, DPLAfest 2017 will bring together hundreds of people from DPLA’s large and growing community over two days for interactive workshops, hackathons and other collaborative activities, engaging discussions with community leaders and practitioners, fun events, and more. DPLAfest 2017 will appeal to anyone interested in libraries, technology, ebooks, education, creative reuse of cultural materials, law, open access, and family research.

“I am thrilled to welcome DPLAfest to Chicago Public Library in 2017,” said CPL Commissioner Brian Bannon. “Along with our partners we look forward to coming together with the DPLA community to forge new connections, engage with new ideas, and work to ensure access to our cultural riches for all citizens.”  

“Chicago is a great library city, and Illinois as a state has led the country in library services for decades. We are delighted to co-host DPLAfest 2017 and excited at the opportunity DPLA presents to explode access to important digital collections and library resources” said Dee Brennan, RAILS Executive Director.

Jaclyn Grahl, Executive Director of Chicago Collections, said, “We are so happy to co-host this event along with our esteemed colleagues at BMRC, Chicago Public Library, and RAILS. Together, we look forward to sharing our experience and resources, and to making DPLAfest 2017 a truly productive and exciting event.”

Members of the public are invited to attend two days of programming and community-building on April 20-21; members of the DPLA Hub Network are encouraged to join DPLA staff on April 19 for a focused day of network-oriented conversations, presentations, and hands-on work. Additional information about the agenda will be made available in the coming months.

DPLAfest is an annual series of workshops, presentations, and discussions bringing together librarians, archivists, and museum professionals, developers and technologists, publishers and authors, teachers and students, and many others to celebrate DPLA and its community of creative professionals. The fest takes place in different locations each year and is open to the public. Last year’s DPLAfest took place in Washington, DC and was co-hosted by the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, and the Smithsonian Institution. DPLAfest 2016 brought together more than 450 people for two-days of exciting conversations and networking.

Further information about DPLAfest 2017 — including ways to pitch session topics, check out an early agenda, and learn more about the venues — will be made available in the coming months. Registration will open in November. You can keep up to date about DPLAfest 2017 by subscribing to our news list, bookmarking the DPLAfest 2017 homepage, keeping tabs on our news and blog feed, or following us on Twitter and Facebook.

See you in Chicago in April 2017!


About The Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science. Since launching in April 2013, it has aggregated more than 14 million items from over 2,000 institutions. DPLA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit.

About The Black Metropolis Research Consortium

The Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) is a Chicago-based membership association of libraries, universities, and other archival institutions. Its mission is to make broadly accessible its members’ holdings of materials that document African American and African diasporic culture, history, and politics, with a specific focus on materials relating to Chicago.

About Chicago Collections

Chicago Collections is a consortium of libraries, museums, and other institutions with archives that collaborate to preserve and share the history and culture of the Chicago region. Chicago Collections aspires to increase public and scholarly interest in the study of the Chicago region’s rich history and culture and is committed to uniting the resources of our member institutions to offer open access, learning experiences, and research opportunities to the general public, educators, and scholars.

About Chicago Public Library

Since 1873, Chicago Public Library (CPL) has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through innovative services and programs, as well as cutting-edge technology. Through its 80 locations, the Library provides free access to a rich collection of materials, both physical and digital, and presents the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults. CPL received the Social Innovator Award from Chicago Innovation Awards; won a National Medal for Library Services from the Institute for Museum and Library Services; was named the first ever winner of the National Summer Learning Association’s Founder’s Award in recognition of its Summer Learning Challenge; and was ranked number one in the U.S., and third in the world by an international study of major urban libraries conducted by the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf in Germany. For more information, please call (312) 747-4050 or visit

About The Reaching Across Illinois Library System

The Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) is a multi-type library consortium serving over 1,300 libraries in northern and western Illinois. RAILS provides continuing education and consulting, e-book services, delivery, shared online catalogs talking book services and more. Information about RAILS is available at