DPLA Listserv Recaps: December 2011

DPLA Listserv Recaps: December 2011

Conversations held over workstream listservs now to be compiled in monthly recaps

The DPLA will now be posting recaps of the discussions taking place on the workstream listservs at least once a month. Since it’s not easy to keep track of the exciting and often extensive workstream listserv conversations, we’ve decided to get together with the workstream coordinators and begin a monthly recap of the listserv’s key points and ideas. The first of these, a recap for December 2011 located below or in PDF, reflects a lively start to the planning process.

Beyond keeping tabs on the monthly recaps, however, we heartily encourage you to contribute to the DPLA by joining a listserv that interests you, editing the wiki, or attending an upcoming event. The success of the DPLA initiative relies on the participation and input from a wide-range of stakeholders and community members, so don’t hesitate to get involved.  To join a workstream or simply contribute to conversation, visit the appropriate page below and sign up for the workstream listserv or wiki.

You can also share general ideas, resources, and questions with the DPLA effort by joining our discussion listserv, or staying abreast of recent DPLA developments via the announcement listserv.


Workstream Listserv Discussion Recaps 

December 2011 [pdf]


Audience & Participation

There was discussion about the upcoming workshop, to be held in Dallas on January 24, 2012.  There were comments that the agenda at the workshop should not be designed with too many speakers, that there should be plenty of time for discussion and work toward the deliverables.  It was clarified that the number at the workshop would be 20-25 and that efforts should be made to make it accessible for those not able to be there.  There were multiple comments about looking forward to this meeting as a “working meeting,” an opportunity to get to work – to “do” something.

Identifying groups and recognizing opportunities and challenges of the various groups was noted as a responsibility of the group.  There was commentary that early literacy and family literacy should not be forgotten as planning moves forward.  Also, older users and Generation Y users have different needs and different perspectives.  “Segmenting” was a word offered for the different types of audiences.  Variously handicapped including blind users were also mentioned.  Having a high school librarian point of view was commended.  University libraries could be another segment.

Other topics at the workshop should be getting the word out to public libraries about DPLA, possibly reaching out to the organizers of the recent NDPL conference at the Los Angeles Public Library.


Content & Scope

Discussion on the listserv has been mainly focused on what type of materials should be included (public domain, in-copyright materials, user created content), how to move that discussion forward, and strategies for how to obtain said materials. We are also working to define the parameters of each kind of materials—particularly user generated content—and to understand what would entice a publisher to deposit in-copyright materials in DPLA. Another discussion thread just began on metadata standards and whether we should play a role in shaping/suggesting standards to contributing entities. Conveners have also begun discussing the contributor digitization workflow and how we can improve the experience through templates.

Additionally, in order to organize our conversations moving forward, we have divided into two threads to be identified in their Subject line: In-Copyright and Cultural Heritage Content (CHC). It has been noted that we will need to confer with the Legal Workstream in order to determine which materials we are able to include, especially for in-copyright materials and other potentially complicated content, such as orphan works. There has also been some talk about reaching out to the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) to identify the status of digital rights for various types of works. As of now there are quite a few different ideas of how the DPLA could function to provide this content, with no definitive consensus. This is an area where we could work together with the Finance, Governance, and Technical (or perhaps even all) Workstreams to determine the best model.


Financial/Business Models

Conversation always returns to finding out what the Content, Audience, and Technology workstreams believe the DPLA should be, since it’s hard to solicit funds for something when you don’t know what “it” is.

What do we mean by “public goods?” We should not make an argument for free in-copyright works, although we would like some in-copyright works to be part of the package. We’re talking about public domain content, and DPLA administration. Both the scanning of public domain works and the administration of their use will cost something, so resources will have to be found to cover those costs.

We need a “mixed” financial model, in which capital costs are distinguished from recurring costs, and we need to allow a target margin (revenue over costs) for recurring expenses to allow for unplanned financial outlays.



Nathaniel Levy and Kenny Whitebloom (Berkman Research Team) submitted a proposal memo regarding requested research into open meeting laws, related formats, and norms for participation in order to inform the development of a DPLA standard for conducting open meetings.  Intention of the research is to draw from relevant laws, non-governmental organizational policies, and insights from those experienced in conducting open meetings to generate a working set of best practices.

Research Proposal Discussion

  • Investigation of organizational governance models: suggestion to scan for models of open meeting strategies and practices including those in museums, archives and other knowledge/heritage stewardship institutions, both public and private.
  • Approach to the governance research has been to start with what can help DPLA operate in the near-term (open meetings), and then to move quickly into research that will support the governance workstream’s deliberations and decisions about DPLA as a future entity.
  • Are there comparable research proposals in development, or research already underway, for other questions such as: What organizations might serve as models for the governance of a DPLA?  What other approaches to governance should be considered? What shall DPLA’s initial (first five years) governance structure be?
  • Possibility to glean ideas about governance: The purpose behind the proposed research is to provide a guide for open meetings practices that all DPLA workstreams can implement. These meetings constitute one part of DPLA’s emergent model of governance, but certainly do not gesture to a complete or comprehensive model, which the workstream would like to come up with. The open meetings research, and the meetings themselves, can be carried out while we continue to share ideas about governance more generally. The governance workstream should be focusing on aspects of our work that can be used by our entire enterprise.
  • Possibility to extend research beyond meetings per se to cover documents, too. Suggestion to put the document angle on the agenda on a certain date for later consideration.
  • Since so much is contracted out nowadays, another appropriate issue would be the ways we should expect openness of DPLA contractors.
  • Idea to list ways in which the DPLA theoretically would not be open and debate the pros and cons. This could apply both to open meetings and document access. Here’s hoping that secrecy will be kept to a minimum.
  • Might there be ways to broadcast the forthcoming governance workstream meeting from the National Archives and invite structured participation from the public, not just in person but online? Here’s a great chance to set an example for the rest of the DPLA and get some first-hand experience.  Openness is key.
  • Timeline for research project? Preliminary information will be ready by Feb. 15th workshop


Legal Issues

No discussion.


Technical Aspects

After a small flurry of introductions, the Technical Aspects workstream listserv has been used mostly to share reports and articles of note. Martin Kalfatovic circulated a report on copyright and mass digitization issued by the US Copyright Office, available at http://www.copyright.gov/docs/massdigiti….

Maura Marx circulated the recently released Europeana Data Model (EDM) Mapping Guidelines and Primer (both available at http://version1.europeana.eu/web/europea…).

Notes from the December 9, 2011 technical working meeting were circulated on December 19.

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