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As most PLA blog readers are probably aware, the folks at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society have assembled “a large and diverse group of stakeholders to define the scope, architecture, costs, and administration for a proposed Digital Public Library of America”.  There’s been a lot of listserv discussion, and the Library City blog and the Library Renewal group have responded to this initiative, all helping to steer it in a way that should truly benefit our incredibly diverse public libraries and their patrons.  I thought I’d take a stab here at defining what I believe would be a useful DPLA for real public libraries and real public library patrons across the USA.  No, I’m not the *most* experienced public librarian out there by a long shot, but I’ve worked in libraries on both sides of this country, and I’ve traveled around the U.S. visiting libraries large and small.  I think I have a pretty good understanding of the differentiating and uniting factors you’ll find in a large, multi-branch urban library system and a tiny, one-room village library.

A few weeks ago, a web developer asked me “If you took all of the (physical) books out of a library, what would you be left with other than a community center?” After begging him not to take all of the books out of the library, I explained to him that libraries are about 1) collections of knowledge, 2) conversations about knowledge, and 3) creating context for knowledge.  I hope readers agree, because I’m going to operate under that assertion for the entirety of this post.  I’d suggest that because books have been the primary medium for knowledge storage and transfer for a such a long time it has become really easy to focus on and market to our users only the first of those three pieces.  Merely offering library collections has become our default mission, and we sort of think “oh, yeah, whatever, we do that too” about conversation and context.  Really, whether we are speaking of the ancient library at Alexandria or the early libraries in the USA those other two components have always been there.  In my opinion, we need to regain some focus on the other components of our mission.

Increasingly, we are applying physical library paradigms to our digital library spaces.  The website that I manage at the San Jose Public Library is considered our ‘digital branch’.  We offer collections of knowledge in our digital branch via Overdrive, MyLibrary, and NetLibrary.  We support conversations about knowledge with open commenting forums on all librarian-generated content, and by providing easy tools to push conversation out to Twitter, Facebook, or other social media channels.  Finally, we create context for knowledge by creating original blog and multimedia content and publishing research guides: our library staff make the collections relevant to our community.  The SJPL digital branch is anything but perfect, just like our library buildings need to be refreshed, the site does as well (and arguably much more frequently).  Regardless, it is a digital space that addresses all three aspects of the public library mission.

I propose that we should work backward from this three-point perspective to imagine a suitable architecture for a Digital Public Library of America.  The website at SJPL is reflective of a user-centered design process; the site is targeted specifically toward our users (both the content producers and the content consumers), here in San Jose.  Creating a DPLA platform through a user-centered design process that is truly reflective of the service populations of both mammoth urban library systems and beloved, smaller rural libraries is an enormous challenge.  In my opinion, this can only be accomplished by building a dashboard that public library staff can use to curate, display, and filter both DPLA ‘objects’ and ‘commentary’ for public consumption on their own web properties, within their own brand identity.  To be clear, when I say ‘objects’ I mean eBooks, documents, images, video or any other media item in the DPLA ‘collection’.  When I say ‘commentary’ I mean any user-created text comment, uploaded image, video, or remix of an ‘object’.

For contrast, let me give you an example of an excellent digital library project that would not make a useful DPLA.  The Oregon Digital Library Project is an excellent solution to the problem they state on their ‘about’ page: “As libraries and archives within Oregon have created digital collections rich with content, the ability for the general library user not associated with a specific campus/organization community to find and access digital content has become more difficult.”  When a user performs a search on the Oregon Digital Library site, they are returned results from collections across the state.  They are then able to click through to the catalog entry for the object and see it in the context of the institution that owns the object.

This is a really nice discovery layer.  Serious, engaged researchers must be very pleased with this.  The problem is that providing a discovery layer for a collection is only one facet of what public libraries do for their patrons, and within the current web ecosystem it has become a far less important facet.  If you don’t believe that statement, look to the figures about how many people choose to start their searching for *anything* on a library catalog or website vs. Google.   It would be tempting for the Digital Public Library of America to take the same approach as the Oregon project; why not leverage open metadata standards and build a DPLA interface that pulls in objects and hosts commentary from library, museum, and historical society databases across the country?  This isn’t a valid solution though: a DPLA can’t just aim to address library collections, it needs to address conversation and context as well.  Libraries and librarians are uniquely positioned to confront the latter two of these mission components, and a well-realized DPLA would help them do a better job.

To best illustrate what I’d like to do for my users with a DPLA as a public librarian, I’ll present you with a ficticious case study.


I’m a public librarian who lives and works in a mountainous, coastal region of California with redwood forests and a rich local history.  In fact, it is such a rich local history that my library has countless patrons with varying degrees of expertise who simply can’t get enough of it.  I’m regularly building research guides and helping intriguing quirky historians with their book projects.  I wish I could find a way to get them all working with each other and step out of the mix from time to time.  Fortunately, I know that through the DPLA I have access to a lot of other collections from around the country and I should be able to put that into a package that helps everyone out.

So I log into the DPLA site as an admin from my library, and start searching for content.  I find 3 eBooks, 6 photographs, and a video on the subject.  I add all of these to my cart as items that I’m going to want to add to my own library website.  When I do this, I receive a prompt that one of these books has 6 commentary objects associated with it, two of the photos also have commentary objects, and so does the video.  The DPLA admin interface then asks me “how large of an area do you want comment objects to display from?” and I select 50 square miles.

Of course these existing comment objects are already associated with the content I selected because a museum in Michigan was doing an exhibit on logging and they had used some of the very same items from the DPLA collection I plan to.  I’m pretty sure that my local users here in California don’t care what was going on in the conversation in Michigan, so I set up my 50 mile radius geofence on the comment display.  Now, despite the fact that on a national scale there may be comments associated with the things I want to display on my local site, I’m only showing users the local conversation.

When I go to check out from the DPLA admin interface, after tweaking various settings on my book, image, and movie objects, I am presented with bits of embed code for each item that I simply need to cut and paste into my own site.  All of the heavy lifting coding work has been done for me.  If a user from my library chooses to comment on one of the items, not only does that comment display on my site, it is automatically ported back to the DPLA site and made accessible from there as well.

The next day, when one of my regular patrons comes in and asks about an obscure logging equipment catalog from a local company that existed in 1867, before I pull my hair out trying to find it, I show him the new DPLA-powered addition to our digital branch collection.  I suggest that he should really log in to this easy-to-use site himself, and start a forum with the other two regular patrons who come in looking for this type of material.  By chance, this particular guy is such an expert on local lore and legend around the subject matter in this micro-collection I curated, and when I show him an image he recognizes the attribution and caption to be incorrect.  I show him how to make a comment and submit a request for correction.


The potential for a Digital Public Library of America to change public library services is really pretty amazing.  The scenario I’m describing above pulls content from collections around the country made available via the DPLA, and it allows local patrons to have conversations around the collection in a localized context.  As the conversation about a realistic, achievable DPLA architecture continues, I think this kind of scenario prototyping is absolutely essential if we hope to make something that will be the game-changer that libraries and the American people deserve.  I’m inviting readers (at least those who made it to the end of this lengthy blog post) to create and post their own scenarios in the comments here, in hopes that your story might inform an ideal user-centric DPLA.  It would also be great to get some feedback- does the approach I’m suggesting make sense to you, at your library?  I’d ask that you *don’t* post issues lamenting the current lousy state of eBook access or rant about antiquated copyright law, or actually complain about anything.  Let’s reserve this space for folks in public libraries to make positive suggestions.

Comment Pages

There are 28 Comments to "A suggested approach for the Digital Public Library of America"

  • Carson Block says:


    Nice thoughts – I especially like your starting point of “collections – conversations – context..” I think we’re typically heavy on collections, but only some of us make efforts in the area conversations and context — definitely some growth potential there!

    In my public radio news days I worked with a lot of reporters — with the short format of radio news, my mantra in teaching was “context is king.’ Radio stories are short (sometimes less than 20 seconds of airtime) so giving listeners a sense of instant context is essential to helping them understand the story.

    I like your ideas — and they remind me of the way our friends in museums create exhibits. There’s a huge experiential (and dare I say learning) difference between an old, dusty box of obscure artifacts (their “collection”), and an exhibit that has an entire environment devoted to putting the artifact in some powerful “context.” Of course, this often sparks “conversations” in real space. Your ideas are one path to re-creating that in the virtual world — and with the power of library collections. Yowsa!

  • Deb Czarnik says:

    Collections, Conversations, Context for COMMUNITIES

    Nate, you address the important aspect of community as part of an ideal DPLA throughout your post. I think this is a key element that should be added to the starting points — “1) collections of knowledge, 2) conversations about knowledge, 3) creating context for knowledge for communities.” With the size and aspects of community varying from library to library or user to user. Your idea of a public library dashboard that can be integrated into each library’s web presence is great way of connecting with communities in an appropriate way. For that matter, the DPLA dashboard could be used by other organizations such as genealogy societies, museums, etc. The DPLA should also be usable through it’s own portal as well, for researchers who want to do their own work, communities with bare bones websites or minimal staffing, 24/7 access and so on.

    In any case, I am enthusiastic about your ideas for the DPLA.

  • Nate Hill says:

    I’m glad you brought up our friends in museums. Futurists, media ecologists, and more recently librarians via blogs like Libraries and Transliteracy have recognized the way the internet bridges and merges previous media formats. Now, with one device, we can read books, watch movies, browse photographs, make phone calls, and write letters. Given that, what exactly would you say is the difference between a ‘Digital Public Library of America’ and a ‘Digital Public Museum of America’? Is there any?

    Yes on all counts. Cheers to ‘community’, I’m with you. I do imagine this curatorial dashboard being useful to all different kinds of organizations, I just took the library angle in my case study to try to rile up some public librarians. You also hit on another really important piece here when you speak to ‘communities with bare bones websites or minimal staffing’. I sort of skirted this issue because the governance and staffing is a track all of its own that serves a lot of attention… but the bare bones websites bit you touch on is a real issue too. I’d like to think that whatever the DPLA turns out to be it will be a real boost for these under-webified libraries rather than a new hassle to figure out and use. This is a good topic for further thought.

    Thanks to both of you for chiming in!

  • […] of a national digital library system to serve their own patrons—figured prominently in a smart post by Nate Hill, a San Jose librarian who writes for the blog of the Public Library […]

  • Eric Hellman says:

    I’d add another “C”. You might include this under “Context”, but I think “Community” deserves its own facet. One thing that you can do much better than Google is to present information specifically relevant to your community and provide your community an environment in which to interact. The difference between community and context is that community is people, while context can also be a place or a time.

  • Nate Hill says:

    I’d like to clarify my stance on some of the issues in question around the DPLA. I thought that the curatorial dashboard approach explained that we do not need separate academic and public DPLA projects, but now as I look back I can see it may be a little unclear.

    The advantage to building the DPLA as a platform and dashboard is that we can enable an intermediate user group (the librarians) to make decisions about how to customize their localized DPLA displays. This way it doesn’t matter if the setting is an academic library, a public library, a museum education department, or an undersea lair for Dr. Evil. The DPLA can have objects and commentary objects on subjects as obscure or as mundane as you like, it is the professionals at the local level who are experts in knowing their community needs that tailor and tweak the final display to make sense.

    So… no, I do not think we need separate academic and public national digital libraries if the DPLA takes the form I am suggesting.

    For example, I find that serious, driven researchers who are focused on specific subject matter greatly prefer to sort through data in some kind of list format. They’d want an interface that leaves book covers out of an information display. They might like a fast-loading bunch of low-res thumbnail images of historic photos accompanied by captions to thumb through, but nothing more. If I were an academic librarian leveraging the DPLA collection to make a local window on some subject, I’d take those considerations into account and theme the display appropriately.

    On the other hand, spontaneity, serendipity, and browsing are highly valued in public libraries because we are committed to self-initiated individual learning. The public library user group is so diverse that I generally think it is a good idea to design interfaces that appeal to all of the different types of learners. I might display the same information as an image, as text, and even offer some kind of navigational guidance with color as I expose ‘recently added fiction from the DPLA’.

    The point is that the display decisions are made by local experts who know their communities.

    Now, I also suspect that the conversation around objects might vary based on the venue in which they are displayed. The freely available text Huckleberry Finn will have a really different discussion going on around it if a school librarian has added it to a DPLA micro-collection at a middle school library vs. Harvard. Previously I was suggesting we could filter comment objects by their geographic location in order to keep conversation local. We could expand upon that, and filter comments by a user type or even lexile level.

  • Oleg K. says:

    Nate, I really dig the idea of a “dashboard” as a common space between DPLA objects, the librarian, and the public. I could see myself using just the type of model you described on an everyday basis.

    Just read this post now, so I don’t have a case study off-hand, but I’ll definitely be back here with a few in the near future.

  • Nate Hill says:

    I agree 100% with you and Deb. Consider Community added to the Cs.

    Thanks! If you get to it I’d really love to hear some other real world scenarios where you could imagine using this resource. Either way, the nod of support is much appreciated-

  • bob says:

    The thing about a National Digital Library is that you only need one. One source available anywhere over the internet will not foster local communities. You might as well try to build a local community in your town around people using Google.

  • Nate Hill says:

    Bob, I’m not sure you get it. But that’s OK.

  • […] A suggested approach for the Digital Public Library of America This blog post focuses on the three C’s of what libraries are all about: collections of knowledge, conversations about knowledge, and context for knowledge. […]

  • Oleg K. says:

    Howdy, as promised, I’m back with a few scenarios showing how I might use DPLA in my everyday interactions.

    Currently, I am an adult reference librarian at a mid-sized urban library — we’re short-staffed so I get a lot overflow from the children’s section when there isn’t a librarian on-hand and we don’t have a teen librarian, so the adult librarians handle practically all high school/college project questions. I’m also a patron of several public library systems and an academic library (at UCLA, where I’m an alum and can get a card for free though not database-access :O\ ), so I approach the DPLA not just from the needs of my patrons but also as a person with varied information needs of my own. That out of the way, here are a few use studies:

    A high school student approaches me and tells me he needs information about the lives of slaves on southern plantations. His paper is due in two weeks, but he needs to turn in his sources on notecards tomorrow. The teacher requires 5 book sources and has placed a limit of 3 on the amount of open internet sites the student could use. I find one book for him on our shelves (he’s not the only student doing this project, after all, but I’ll order another book or two from another branch), and head back to my desk with him behind me looking worried. Not to worry, I tell him, you’ll get more today, and fire up the DPLA website’s search interface — after a few searches I have moved two whole contemporary eBooks, a chapter from an older public domain eBook on southern history (w/ a link to the rest of the book), some images w/ informative metadata, and seven minutes of a video lecture on slavery (w/ a link to the rest of the lecture in case he’s interested) into my cart. A few moments later a shortlink to the landing page I created just for him on the library webspace is in his email.

    At the bottom of that landing page, are a list of footnotes telling our high schooler the origin of the materials contained there. He may learn, for example, that the images came from an exhibit that took place at the University of Virgina Library — it so happens that there is more than just those images there, there are also plenty of slave narratives that make for excellent primary sources.


    In conversation with a middle school teacher, I learn that she is having some trouble presenting materials to her class on advertising in the 1950s. She has plenty of resources but is just not sure how to make it available to her students. Her school is discouraging teachers from using too much paper to make copies. She wants to put up a website with some ads, a few links, and her commentary, but she doesn’t have the skills.

    I point her to the DPLA, and we look through some of the objects from the LOC’s American Memory project – she selects a few from there and a few other areas in the DPLA. As she points out an object she likes, I add it to a private Collection I’ve created for her. We decide not to copy the commentary objects created by others into her collection because she intends to create her own commentary just for her students. Since the page is displayed dynamically by simply pulling the objects (including her private commentary objects) we selected as an aggregator would, no static page ever needs to exist. The permalink she receives for her Collection is instruction enough for the DPLA servers to display the (password-protected?) page with her Collection for her and her students.

    I also give her a choice, of either sending me her commentary and I put up a page for her on the library website, or she does it herself using Google Pages or some other free WYSIWYG service, but she declines. There is simply no need.


    Could be a case for public libraries, but this one’s also for me, an amateur scholar, it’s fictitious, but I could see it happening…like tomorrow… 3)

    So I’m doing some research on themes in my local history collection, particularly ideas about the whys of local urban planning. Apparently our master plan from twenty years ago was highly influenced by the theories of Dr. X who teaches at so-and-so Academy. Searching DPLA leads me to a few objects concerning Dr. X and his contributions to urban planning in the United States which I diligently cart over to the website for the exhibit I’m developing. This gives some context to my community, allowing locals to connect our history to other places in the country.

    But that’s not all, after following a link to one of the Archives that has some objects stored on the DPLA site, I find a citation for an interview with the good professor. That would be cool to have for my exhibit, I exclaim, and tab over to the DPLA website where I click on “Request an item.” A form opens up allowing me to select the Archive in question (since they already have a relationship with DPLA, it pops right up), fill in my name, contact info, object I would like, and the reason for my request (optional). A few days later, I receive an automated email with a link saying that the object I requested has been uploaded to DPLA. I go, and there, in all its glory is a .ogg (or an .mp3) of the interview. Conversely, I could get an email saying that the object could not be uploaded due to copyright issues (but here’s a temporary streaming link), or asking me to contribute a few bucks to pay for its digitization, etc. Whether it just gets uploaded without any hassle, or I contribute a few dollars and it gets put up, the DPLA can expand organically based on user’s interests.


    A few themes from my cases that, I think, deepen your three (collection, conversations, and context).

    – As several instances in case 1demonstrated, objects with appropriate copyRights should be easily chunked, magnified, and mixed. Only one chapter from a book and a few minutes of a longer video lecture were put on the high schooler’s landing page. Likewise, portions of pictures, and selections of audio should be easily pulled, carted, and posted. If we’re already messing with digital objects, let’s make it easy to provide them in a focused manner. We can, after all, easily have a link to the full object in case the user wants to have it. (The way Wikipedians link to sources in Google Books is an okay example of this theme)

    – Cases 1 and 2 both focus on users whose needs relate to traditional education. On the level of scope, I believe that DPLA should note Dept of Ed as well as State standards in prioritizing digitization and curation. Every 4th grader in California, for example, does a project on Missions. The Gold Rush, To Kill a Mockingbird, and aspects of slavery are likewise fairly standardized project topics. There are plenty of museums and archives focused on these subjects but they are not exactly within the first page of Google results and therefore rarely used by students, especially those in primary school. Thus, approaching these institutions first makes sense from a public library (and public education) perspective because it directly addresses research needs of a core user group.

    – The idea of allowing users to build there own individual Collections (Exhibits may actually a better word for the function I’m trying to convey). As opposed to the Hathi Trust’s collections, with the DPLA the actual objects should be displayed on the page, not just their records.

    – All three of my cases mentioned the DPLA as a link to other institutions. It’s unlikely that the DPLA will, or should, contain every object from every museum and archive in the United States. However, where collections from individual institutions do not go as deep, there should be a few important objects that could lead to that institutions site and possibilities.

    – The last case highlights the concept of a crowd-sourced collection development for a large digital library. Individual requests leading to common benefit is nice in itself, but it also allows for research to be done on what people want as well as where to further push digitization funds. I threw the idea of self-funding small-scale digitization because regular folks should be able to contribute to the common good. It lets people put their money where their information needs are, particularly, if digitizing the object they want is not a huge priority for the institution. I know if I was really interested in something, I’d chip in ten bucks for it.


    Well, that was long. But fun. Beta Sprint, anyone?

  • […] My previous post described a scenario in which a librarian was able to manipulate and redisplay objects and commentary objects from a vast DPLA database based on the needs of their local users.  One of the goals I had in mind was making this curatorial process as easy as possible so that the barrier-of-entry would be low for a librarian who might not be technically inclined.  The “Don’t Make Me Think” approach is key in making this DPLA dashboard something that will be used.  What I’m describing here is a means of offering a default display format for a particular end user group based on a series of criteria that would be identified in the DPLA design process.  These defaults could be overridden, but the convenience of automating some parts of the UI based on rules would be desirable.  The dashboard should be powerful under the hood, and highly configurable for an advanced user, but ideally it would default to a sensible display if the librarian chose not to tweak a lot of things. […]

  • sherry says:

    Nate, your 3 C’s are brilliant, and Oleg, I appreciate your helpful example scenarios. I’m in a suburban public library and I’ve been following the DPLA discussion with interest.

    My concern, however, is that the very segment of the population that the DPLA would target – those with the digital literacy skills to appreciate and navigate such a resource – has already left the public library behind. (We will have to work to win them back, which is a whole other discussion.)

    I think that the DPLA needs to be positioned in such a way so that it is not over the heads of the majority of public library patrons, but still appealing to those with advanced technology skills. That’s the sweet spot…

  • What I like about your approach is that it’s built on remixable objects. I don’t know that there’s much value in speculating on use scenarios at this stage. The important thing is to build flexibility into the system and then make it easy for users (whether librarians, curators, or end users) to take advantage of that flexibility. I’d also want an API on top of that, so developer types could do more sophisticated things with the content. Basically, it’s the Twitter model: build the architecture, integrate new features that stem from actual use, and let developers extend your system into new areas.

  • Nate Hill says:


    you said:
    ‘Basically, it’s the Twitter model: build the architecture, integrate new features that stem from actual use, and let developers extend your system into new areas.’

    I totally agree, but projecting some use case scenarios gives us a place to start from, and as this DPLA is so loosely defined right now I think it can help guide the process. What you are getting at with ‘integrate new features that stem from actual use’ is very exciting, and totally right on. Making an architecture that can evolve and change with time sounds like it is a high priority for everyone.

  • Oleg K. says:

    Mike, I took that article to lunch with me, read it, and really enjoyed it. I was particularly struck by this part:

    “…I think there’s a mental picture that many of us have that digitization is something you do and you finish, in the sense that when you digitize a photograph this is a finite, one-time process and as a result you have an image file, or you convert a book into marked-up text. But when we consider objects with mark-up, I’m starting to think that we’re going to need to revisit this mark-up periodically as our understand of mark-up evolves, and our capabilities to apply mark-up economically also evolve. There are going to be layers of mark-up. In fact, we may need to be thinking about representations for things like contingent or speculative mark-up, mark-up with confidence levels and provenance.”

    The assumption that I think your earlier comment made was that we need to build a flexible architecture and once we have that, features can be added on top of it. I agree with flexibility, it’s necessary — but I’m going to come right out and say that I doubt that the DPLA will see a whole lot of use by the general public at launch time. So unlike Twitter which has a ton users and can easily study the way they use the system (and incorporate the organic re-tweet into the system, and put up a list of trending topics using the organic hashtags, based on this research), we won’t necessarily have that active user base from which to draw.

    Thus, we have to come up with realistic use studies AND think deeply about how the objects will be “marked-up” and displayed so they will be useful for our users from the outset. Most public library users never go beyond Google for their search meaning few will go straight to the DPLA site — and here we come back to what Dr. Lynch said — we can set up a collection using a simple extensible architecture and put in native digital, already digitized, and newly digitized (not so hard) objects, but few public library users will find them unless these objects shout across the network. This means that a lot of time – possibly more time than is spent programming the thing and sticking objects in – will have to be spent developing links to our objects from around the web and populating the metadata schemes we’ve maybe yet to develop.

  • […] Hill makes the point in his posting on the PLA blog that the Digital Public Library of America needs to be a big tent.  It is the libraries that will […]

  • Oleg: I think you’re right but also wrong. First of all, in the sense of how I used the term, I think that public libraries that make use of the DPLA can be considered “users” themselves. Second, I hate the acceptance across our profession that because most people use google they’ll never encounter library resources that way. Why shouldn’t we instead make every effort to making DPLA pages appear high in the results for relevant searches?

    I think maybe you and I are coming to the same conclusions, anyway, from different perspectives. Making the objects findable, which means linking to them and adding robust (and evolving) metadata, is the most important factor. I think the other half of the equation is making the objects/pages easy for an average user, be they a librarian or an end-user, to both use and annotate, while also providing the infrastructure to give developer types the power to build new layers of use and extract new information.

  • […] continuing to get up to speed on this project.  One thing keeps rattling around my head as I read Nate Hill’s post and a later post at readingreality.net. I read an interesting article while researching digital […]

  • Oleg K. says:

    Mike, you wrote “Second, I hate the acceptance across our profession that because most people use google they’ll never encounter library resources that way.”

    I wouldn’t say I exactly accept that patrons will never encounter library resources through Google, just that in my experience, the objects on museum, archive, and digital library (like the Hathi Trust) websites rarely hit the top.

    But yes, we essentially agree — I was just emphasizing that findability and metadata development should be a high – if not top – priority.

  • […] said it better than I could.  Ovet at Inkdroid, Ed Summers nicely states what I was getting at in my comments at The PLA Blog: Keeping an open mind in situations like this takes quite a bit of effort. […]

  • Lisa C. says:

    Nate, well said – libraries are about collections, conversations, context, and community (as mentioned in an earlier comment). The use of case studies, scenarios and user personas is an important part of the design process for any library service (physical or digital). I hope the DPLA uses your suggested approach as they work on defining and designing this initiative.

  • […] Trust. They are the public library’s most treasured patrons and best advocates. Nate Hill’s wonderful scenarios for the DPLA take that “where is it” question out of the equation and also tap into one of the […]

  • […] conversation, I basically re-described the curatorial dashboard idea from my earlier post ‘A Suggested Approach for a Digital Public Library of America”.  The plan was to flip the focus of the conversation over from a discussion of theoretical […]

  • […] The PLA Blog | Official Blog of the Public Library Association This entry was posted in Uncategorized by admin. Bookmark the permalink. […]