Last week, the Outreach and Assessment and Metadata Working Groups presented “Introduction to OpenRefine,” a well-attended webinar led by Helen Baer, Digital Projects Librarian at Colorado State University. We are grateful to Helen for giving tips on how to get started with OpenRefine, a powerful metadata cleaning tool that can transform your DPLA metadata workflows, and for demonstrating many of the software’s most useful and relevant functions in an accessible manner.
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Library lovers and self-published authors have a lot in common—they share a passion for books and reading and a desire to democratize access. For many years we at DPLA have heard interest from librarians in acquiring self-published titles. But because the corpus of self-published titles is so vast, deciding what to include in a library collection can feel like an overwhelming task to busy library selectors. When DPLA added our Indie Catalog, with nearly 500,000 self-published titles, to Palace Marketplace last year, we set out to alleviate this burden on libraries by creating Indie Selections, our own selections of self-published titles, carefully curated by our Curation Corps of librarians.
As 2023 draws to a close, I want to thank each of you in DPLA’s ebook community for your continued support of and enthusiasm for our efforts to expand access. 2023 was a year of great growth in our ebooks work, and I wanted to reflect on some of those highlights with you:
When the conversations that resulted in the birth of the Digital Public Library of America in 2010 began, it was with the belief that everyone should have access to knowledge and that the transition to digital should expand, not limit, that access. More than 10 years later, these principles are still guiding our work, despite the big shifts we’ve witnessed in our field and across our nation.
Since 2017, DPLA has been helping libraries meet the growing demand from readers for ebooks and audiobooks by working with publishers to provide licensing terms that help libraries maximize access and get the most out of their dollar. While the variety of options and licensing terms we have developed have been well received by our partners, they still do not allow libraries to own digital content outright, the way they do physical books.
Are you curious about DPLA’s work to increase the discovery and use of collections by connecting our partner institutions to Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia? Find out more and contact us to get involved.
As I approach my eighth week in this role, I write with an update on what I’ve been up to and where some of our projects stand as we wrap up 2023.
As some of you are aware, the DPLA Analytics Dashboard is not functioning properly. We believe this issue is related to a problem that occurred during changes implemented by Google to deprecate Universal Analytics in favor of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), a migration that DPLA had planned for and shared about to the network in June. We have spent significant time investigating the issue and wanted to send you an update on what we know.
Palace Bookshelf provides free access to more than 19,000 ebooks. To access Palace Bookshelf, just download the free Palace e-reader app for iOS or Android and choose Palace Bookshelf as your library. You can also browse Palace Bookshelf here. All Palace Bookshelf e-books are free to download and yours to keep.
Did you know that DPLA provides free access to more than 49 million cultural heritage artifacts from 6,000 organizations across the country? Check out how our free resources can benefit students, teachers, researchers, history buffs, genealogists, and more. Reach out to us at email@example.com to share this infographic with your school or library.
It has been a busy fall at DPLA, with a variety of informative events organized by our working groups. And it is not over yet: On November 16, at 1p ET, the Metadata Working Group will host a Network Coffee Chat to talk about their work to create the Metadata Best Practices Report, based on conversations and information from organizations across the DPLA Network. You can register for that conversation here.
Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is pleased to announce a new partnership with the University of Chicago Library to expand The Banned Book Club. We launched The Banned Book Club in July 2023 to ensure that every reader in communities where books have been banned can access ebook versions of banned titles for free via the Palace app. This new collaboration between DPLA and the University of Chicago Library will expand access to The Banned Book Club to all readers in Chicago and the state of Illinois and underscores our shared commitment to ensuring intellectual freedom for all.
DPLA’s mission is to maximize access to knowledge, and one of the ways we do that is by working to make the best possible ebook and audiobook licensing options available to libraries through Palace Marketplace, the only not-for-profit distributor of ebooks and audiobooks for libraries. (Palace Marketplace is run by DPLA in partnership with The Palace Project team at Lyrasis.) We chose to begin working on ebook distribution in 2017 because we believed that libraries would benefit from having an advocate in the marketplace who could interface with publishers and negotiate deals that would benefit libraries and patrons.
Culture Heritage and Structured Data: How DPLA became the biggest institution to contribute to Structured Data on Commons
Last week, I partnered with Giovanna Fontenelle, Program Officer, Culture and Heritage, at Wikipedia for this article, posted originally on the Wikimedia News site Diff, about our Wikimedia work. Over the last several years, DPLA has become the biggest institutional contributor to Wikimedia Commons, thanks to the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Wikimedia Foundation and the contributions of the Wikimedia Working Group.
This summer I’ve given updates on our work at the ALA Annual Conference in June and at last month’s DPLA Open Board + Community Meeting. I shared a summary of where we’ve been, talked about what we are working on now, and previewed where we are headed. For the latter, we shared that DPLA would soon begin a strategic visioning process. As the summer comes to a close, I’m excited to share with you our plans for this process.
The past week has been especially exciting and meaningful for all of us at DPLA. Last Thursday, we announced the launch of The Banned Book Club, an effort to ensure that all readers have access to the books they want to read, and soon after, the project was promoted by Barack Obama as part of a series of social media pushes calling attention to the critical importance of intellectual freedom.
Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has launched The Banned Book Club to ensure that all readers have access to the books they want to read. The Banned Book Club makes e-book versions of banned books available to readers in locations across the United States where titles have been banned. The e-books will be available to readers for free via the Palace e-reader app.
DPLA releases free End of Affirmative Action: Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College ebook
Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is pleased to announce the release of End of Affirmative Action: Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, a free, easy-to-read ebook version of the Supreme Court’s recent affirmative action decision. At DPLA, we believe that open and convenient access to information is an essential service core to the role libraries have played in democratic societies for generations. Part of our commitment to maintaining access to information for all is the publication of free, easy-to-read ebook versions of important government documents.
DPLA is pleased to share that our next Book Talk will be with Jennifer Pahlka, author of Recoding America: Why Government is Failing and How We Can Do Better, on Monday, July 24, at 1p ET.
Join us for upcoming events: Network Coffee Chats and an Open Board+ Community Meeting at ALA Annual
We hope you will join us at our upcoming events, including two network coffee chats with Digital Equity Project partners, and our Open Board + Community Meeting at ALA Annual in Chicago.