Here’s my rough live-blog (while moderating; please excuse briefness) of the key points and problems from session 1 of the Digital Public Library of America working meeting on “Scope and Content” of a possible DPLA, today at the Harvard Faculty Club in Cambridge, MA:
1) We began with a voice from public libraries and one from research libraries. The dichotomy broke down quickly, even as both focus areas seem important at the outset. The group appeared to be in “violent agreement” as to seeing a spectrum of users rather than two completely disconnected categories (public/research). The stronger form of this argument: perhaps we should even focus on activities/uses/functions rather than a sense of user identities if possible.
2) There is a key problem potentially in the way: we as libraries don’t have the ability to provide access to users to all materials that we previously could. The digital age cuts against broad access in some ways. Do we take on this problem, which is one of technology, contract, markets, culture?
3) There are three ways in which to see our current posture (at least):
a) We have what we need to build a DPLA. Some say that we have what we need, and we just need get on with it. The approach should be: “Buy what we can, scan what we can’t.”
b) Others disagreed with this view. Law reform, they argue, is an important, necessary part of what we want to do.
c) Others still view that not only do we not have everything we need, it’s getting worse (see, in a way, the concerns that JZ builds out in the Future of the Internet — and How to Stop It).
We’ll round up these types of issues and discussion points and include on the DPLA wiki after the session. Please join on in. In the meantime, check Twitter #dpla for updates on the fly of the meeting discussion itself.
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