ASECS at 50: Interview with Robert Darnton

“Of the potential solutions, open research practices are among the most promising. The argument is that transparency acts as an implicit quality control process. If others are able to scrutinise our work—not just the final published output, but the underlying data, code, and so on—researchers will be incentivised to ensure these are high quality.

So, if we think that research could benefit from improved quality control, and if we think that open research might have a role to play in this, why aren’t we all doing it? In a word: incentives….”

Internet Archive’s Enhanced Mueller Report Wins Best Book of 2019 from Digital Book World | Internet Archive Blogs

“This week, the Internet Archive and Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) were honored for the Best Book of 2019 at the annual Digital Book World Awards for their work to create an enhanced version of the Mueller Report. The Digital Book World (DBW) Award recognizes outstanding achievement in digital publishing. The Internet Archive and DPLA were awarded Best Book in the nonfiction category for their work in creating a more accessible and contextualized version of the Mueller Report. “This is an important document for American history,” said Brewster Kahle, founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. “It deserved to be enhanced with features to make it more usable for more people—so they could not only read it but dive in and click to go further.”… ”

Internet Archive’s Enhanced Mueller Report Wins Best Book of 2019 from Digital Book World | Internet Archive Blogs

“This week, the Internet Archive and Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) were honored for the Best Book of 2019 at the annual Digital Book World Awards for their work to create an enhanced version of the Mueller Report. The Digital Book World (DBW) Award recognizes outstanding achievement in digital publishing. The Internet Archive and DPLA were awarded Best Book in the nonfiction category for their work in creating a more accessible and contextualized version of the Mueller Report. “This is an important document for American history,” said Brewster Kahle, founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. “It deserved to be enhanced with features to make it more usable for more people—so they could not only read it but dive in and click to go further.”… ”

Collaborating for Equitable Access to Knowledge for All: A Renewed Strategy for DPLA | DPLA

A single point of access. A gateway to America’s cultural riches. Available to everyone. This was the founding vision of the Digital Public Library of America: an open, distributed national digital library to educate, inform and empower everyone. Today, we are doubling down on that vision with a new strategic plan to guide our work in the coming years. 

Our mission remains constant: to provide equitable access to knowledge for all. We will advance this mission by expanding the cultural heritage aggregation network that has been our hallmark achievement, growing our collaborative ebooks solutions for libraries, and heightening our role as a library convener and innovator. 

DPLA’s strategy is guided by three beliefs: that we are stronger when we work collaboratively; that everyone—particularly those historically marginalized from projects like ours—is included; and that digital technology can be a positive force for unleashing knowledge and enabling creativity. …”

Digital Public Library of America receives $622,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to Expand Access to Nation’s Digital Collections | DPLA

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is pleased to announce a new $622,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to strengthen and expand its national cultural heritage network and platform. DPLA’s cultural heritage aggregation program has been its signature achievement since launching in 2013, making over 34 million items—photographs, maps, news footage, oral histories, manuscript documents, artwork, and more—from 4,000 libraries, museums, and archives across the country freely discoverable to all. 

The new two-year grant from the Mellon Foundation will enable DPLA to support the current and future activities and priorities of its national network and continue to make their materials available to everyone. DPLA will work with its partners to develop new services and tools to support the needs of the diverse institutions in our cultural heritage network; build new partnerships to ensure that every institution in the country has a pathway to contribute materials to DPLA; promote the use of DPLA’s rich collections by learners of all stripes; and continue to work with our members to advance our shared goals of increasing access to our nation’s digital collections. …”

New collaborative effort to develop a national digital ebooks platform for libraries announced | DPLA

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), The New York Public Library (NYPL), and LYRASIS are pleased to announce a new collaboration to help provide all public libraries with a free, open, library-controlled platform for managing their ebook and audiobook services….

The DPLA Exchange (https://exchange.dp.la), launched in 2017 and now providing access to over 300,000 titles including thousands of openly-licensed works, offers a new model for a library-centered marketplace for ebooks and audiobooks. …”

DPLA receives $1.5 million grant from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation | DPLA

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is pleased to announce that the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has awarded DPLA a $1.5 million grant. The grant will enable DPLA to expand its efforts to provide an improved ebook experience for patrons through their libraries, building on its cultural heritage aggregation program.

Over the course of this three-year grant, DPLA will expand the DPLA Exchange, an open platform and marketplace, from pilot phase to production. DPLA will continue to work with its core partners The New York Public Library and LYRASIS to further the adoption of SimplyE, with the goal of offering libraries a full-service pathway to acquire and deliver e-content through a library-driven marketplace and platforms….”

Learning Lessons from DPLA – The Scholarly Kitchen

DPLA — the Digital Public Library of America — last week laid off six members of its small staff. Over the weekend, DPLA executive director John Bracken, in a talk at the LITA Forum, provided an overview of DPLA’s vision, which appears to include a change in strategic direction. DPLA is a not-for-profit organization with a strong board including library leaders Brian Bannon of Chicago Public, Chris Bourg of MIT, and Denise Stephens of Washington University St. Louis, Oxford University Press’s Niko Pfund, and Wikimedia CEO Katherine Maher, among others. DPLA launched five years ago, with a strategy focused on aggregating and curating special collections and a technical approach that made sense for the web that was celebrated here in the Kitchen. It now appears to be pivoting more towards ebook distribution systems. It is also clearly facing some difficulties right now….”

Open Access Tools & Resources – Tinkering Librarians

“When following a conference on Twitter last week, one attendee tweeted about Unpaywall. It was the first time they had heard of it, which surprised me at first. I was equally surprised that the Open Access Button had not been mentioned at the same time.  I realize now that I have had the benefit of attending OpenCon and following many people active in Open for a while now. Below I will list some of the open tools and resources, which hopefully, someone will find useful.”

Old Lions Department: Cultural Historian Robert Darnton at 78 | History News Network

“Darnton’s main ambition [as Harvard University Librarian] was to open up the library to the rest of the world and share its intellectual wealth….Several projects started being developed: the digitization of all of Harvard’s collections that concerned North America in the seventeenth and eighteenth century (an enormous amount, 500,000 documents). “It’s gigantic!” Darnton exclaimed.

 

A digital repository was also created – it was called DASH – which contains the scholarship of Harvard professors and is completely free and available to the public. “It’s a way of democratizing access to knowledge and you can do it from a place that has critical leverage like Harvard.”

 

The next step was the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), which began when Darnton invited a group of foundation heads, the heads of libraries, and computer scientists to come to a meeting at Harvard in October 2010 in order to discuss an idea. “Namely, shouldn’t we try to link up all the research libraries in the United States in a digital system that would make their resources available to all the citizens of the United States and the rest of the world?”

In April 2013, the DPLA opened its digital doors, and since then, its exponential growth has produced 18 million objects (books and other things) available free of charge to everyone….”

Work | A Vision for an Integrated System for Open-Access Regional Publishing | Work ID: 9w0892941r | ScholarSphere

Abstract:  This essay explores the potential for building a system for open-access regional publishing from the ground level of local historical societies and public libraries working with citizens in their area, up through a state university library and press collaborating on publication of scholarly research in books and journals, onto the national level of the Digital Public Library of America, and eventually worldwide. The idea is based on experience in running the Office of Digital Scholarly Publishing at Penn State University.