ATG Article of Week: Digital Public Library Raises Questions of Ownership, Permanence, Access

 Digital Public Library Raises Questions of Ownership, Permanence, Access is an article posted at PBS’s MediaShift website by Lucy Bernholz a visiting scholar at the Stanford University Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, a Fellow with the Hybrid Reality Institute and former Fellow of the New America Foundation.  In short, she is not a librarian or publisher with our inherent biases and offers a refreshing and unique perspective.

Ms. Bernholtz  discusses the Digital Public Library of America as an “encouraging example of our emerging digital civil society.”  She notes that the DPLA  springs from the same “democratic ideals of inclusion, pluralism, participation, and progress” embodied in the traditional library. However, she  goes on to say that the DPLA faces some very real and non traditional challenges.  It “must work within a digital economic frame that … raises deep questions about ownership, permanence, and access. In its approach to each of these questions, the DPLA is on the frontier of what building a digital civil society will require.”

Using the DPLA as an example Ms. Bernholtz  continues by making the case why non-profits built around “people and data” matter in this emerging digital civil society.  She then delves into three specific ways they matter: ownership, permanence, and access, offering a discussion of each.  

Obviously to get the full impact of her observations you’ll need to read the full article.  But believe us, it’s worth the effort.

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