What is dp.la? There's an official mission statement - written 3 years ago by 40 people and still going strong today. Here's some of what I'm thinking as I wait to go home:
- It's a portal, a platform and principle -
- It's a set of community tools for making library and curated community content (Americana) from across the country findable and visible, for free, everywhere, by anyone.
- It's civil society designed from the data up. And it's all about the people.
- It's a way for people to build tools that matter to them
- It's metadata used for good
- It's a constantly evolving experiment (I learned that some schools can't access dp.la because its weird URL is blocked by IT filters. Even techies make mistakes!)
- It's a policy advocate - see the dp.la proposal to the FCC about e-rates
- It could feed an app that could help me find the scholars doing work that interests me
- It could feed an app that would help all of us improve our searching capacities by learning to "think like a reference librarian" - or search laterally, as I heard today
- It's a force for democracy and justice
- It's a force for open access and fair use - and librarians have a great sense of humor. One proposal I heard was to create "fair use zones" - #FUZones - on the #internet to complement "Aaron Swartz Reading Rooms" in physical spaces.
- It needs to be multilingual
- It's can be a force for training local librarians (and other community members) in digital technologies
- Can it be a force for combining civic tech communities with librarians?
- It's the data source powering the serendipomatic
- It's looking for community representatives
- It's a model of an open and transparent networked and distributed nonprofit
The events in Boston this week had originally been scheduled to take place in April and were postponed in response to the bombings at the Boston Marathon. At that time Dan Cohen, the Executive Director of DPLA, wrote these words:
"I see the building of a new library as one of the greatest examples of what humans can do together to extend the light against the darkness. In due time, we will let that light shine through."The dpla - its communities of activists, scholars, supporters, coders - truly shone this week.