The Berkman Center Cyberlaw Clinic and the DPLA Research Team are pleased to announce the publication of “Analogous Governance Models for the DPLA,” a memo prepared for the Governance Workstream in advance of its August 2012 workshop.
As it moves toward establishment as an independent non-profit organization by the end of 2012, the DPLA faces a number of important questions related to governance. Central considerations include, but are not limited to, the DPLA’s core values; its mission; where it will lie on the spectrum between a unified, tightly governed organization and a highly distributed participatory system; where its decision-making power will reside; how decisions will be made; and what mechanisms and categories might exist to foster and sustain participation.
In September 2011, participants in the Governance Workstream recommended a targeted exploration of potential governance models as a means of understanding and cataloging how analogous organizations have confronted such issues. Building on this initial guidance, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society Cyberlaw Clinic and the DPLA Research Team developed a set of guiding questions that could be applied generally to a wide range of examples. In concert with the Governance Workstream, this group chose six organizations to serve as subjects for a memo describing each organization’s governance structures and processes; these include the American Library Association (ALA), Europeana, HathiTrust, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and Wikipedia. The first three institutions were chosen because of their clear substantive connection to libraries in both focus and content; the following three institutions are from the digital/online space and were selected for their ability to provide governance insights based on their approaches to vision, community, function, and form.
The DPLA Research Team and the Governance Workstream welcome your feedback on this document, as the key questions and considerations facing the DPLA will surely evolve over the coming months.