Towards access for all: Introducing The Palace Project

By DPLA, June 29, 2021.
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Yesterday we shared the news that we and our partners at LYRASIS have created The Palace Project to develop and scale a robust suite of content, services, and tools for the delivery of ebooks, audiobooks, and other digital media to benefit public libraries and patrons. The Palace Project is made possible by a generous $5 million award by Knight Foundation. 

The Palace Project builds on the collaborative work of DPLA, LYRASIS, and a set of national partners over the better part of the last decade, starting with the launch of the Readers First coalition and extending with the creation of Library Simplified by The New York Public Library. It will be led by Michele Kimpton, who was recently named Global Senior Director of The Palace Project at LYRASIS (formerly DPLA’s director of business development) and guided by an oversight committee made up of DPLA, Knight Foundation, and LYRASIS. 

The Palace Project and Knight Foundation’s support will enable DPLA to double down on our efforts to ensure that everyone, through their libraries, can be informed community members and access the digital knowledge they need to obtain healthcare, refute false news, and participate fully in their classrooms. Led by our director of ebook services Micah May, we will continue to advocate with publishers for what our library partners tell us they need: more flexible licensing options, diverse content beyond the bestsellers, the ability to customize and curate the patron experience, and the protection of patron privacy. The Palace Project also creates opportunities for DPLA to increase our impact in other areas: the expansion of our national Curation Corps, open access ebooks, ebook creation for libraries, and policy discussions about the public domain and copyright, as with our participation in Library of Congress’s new Copyright Public Modernization Committee

We thank Knight Foundation for enabling this growth, and are grateful to Sloan Foundation for its ongoing support, and to IMLS, which initiated the vision of a national digital ebook platform for libraries. In all of this, we will continue to be guided by the belief that in the digital age all Americans should have more access to knowledge, not less. 

We’ll be sharing more about The Palace Project at an open Coffee Chat on July 7th at 1 pm ET, please join us. For more, please see our ebooks FAQ.

DPLA’s ebook work is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation