DPLA Name/Forking Debate
Listserv members continued to debate whether to split the DPLA into separate public and academic/scholarly projects. Sandy Thatcher suggested that different types of libraries are confronted by different sets of legal issues, necessitating different approaches to each. David Rothman, an initial proponent of forking the project, continued to advocate for the split, arguing that continuing with a single DPLA would threaten the franchise and branding of public libraries. Other participants expressed support for maintaining a single DPLA effort and called for an end to the debate. Wayne Martin proposed increased focus on the hardware underlying the project, whether it consists of two libraries or one. Multiple users debated the value of a library’s community function, and the effect the DPLA would have on public library services like literacy programs.
Karen Coyle raised the issue of user services, cautioning against spending too much time focused on data. She emphasized the need to consider use cases and service design as part of the development process. Multiple listserv members agreed; Eric Lease Morgan described a shift in focus from helping people find information to helping people use that information once they’ve found it. Genny Engel and Brewster Kahle discussed the possibility of DPLA lending.