On the eve of the DPLA meeting

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Tomorrow, March 1st, is the big day of the DPLA meeting in Cambridge, MA.  Although I will be paying attention from afar, I hope there are great conversations throughout the day, and that many positive action steps emerge.  In particular, may the delegates discuss DPLA services, in addition to collections; possible complementary relationships between the proposed DPLA and the existing counterpane of public libraries; strategies for ensuring that all DPLA users have access to some sort of portable information appliance; and strategies for providing timely access to frontlist ebooks, especially in light of the announcement from HarperCollins last week about restrictions on library lending of their ebooks.

The DPLA core planning group has done a great job of opening up the process and expanding the membership on the steering committee since the “secret” meeting last October.  In particular, it’s good to see that Peggy Rudd, the director and librarian of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and Susan Hildreth, the newly sworn in director of IMLS, have been added as members of the DPLA steering committee.  It’s been my pleasure to work briefly with Peggy in the areas of portable eReading and library services for individuals who are blind or experience vision problems.  She is very interested in and deeply committed to these and other topics that will be essential for a robust DPLA for all Americans.  Susan Hildreth is highly respected by the library community.  Someone from IMLS told me today that there may be a potential problem with having Hildreth officially serve on this steering committee, but at least she will be able to remain a friend of the project.

One final reflection on the eve of this meeting:  I hope the reporting out is expansive, both in terms of who does the reporting and regarding channels (the project wiki, Twitter, blogs, podcasts, etc.).

[Update: I’ve just shared some additional thoughts on the DPLA, following my return from the workshop. Also see DPLA steering committee Chair John Palrey‘s blog–discussion sessions I, II, III and IV. – David Rothman, March 15, 2011.]

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