Daily Archives: June 21, 2011

Digital Natives Want It Now? – Never Gonna’ Happen!

At least NOT through efforts of the library community, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

On May 31, I Posted Digital Natives Want It Now!, in which I linked to a YouTube video of a cute little digital native describing what she wanted in her library – NOW! I stated;
Unfortunately, there won’t be a Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) in these Digital Natives’ youth. According to Ed Summers’ Blog (he’s a computer code writer at the Library of Congress) INKDROID, the agenda of the recent meeting of DPLA in Amsterdam (not as incongruous as it sounds) was for “The purpose of the May 16 and 17 expert working group meeting, …, is to begin to identify the characteristics of a technical infrastructure for the proposed DPLA.”

I also stated: Let me reiterate – “begin to identify the characteristics of a technical infrastructure”. Begin to identify by a committee is the same as “We have no clue as to when this might eventually become reality, if ever!”

And, “Summers goes on to write in his May 25 Post, ‘The thing I learned at the meeting in Amsterdam is that this nebulousness is by design–not by accident. The DPLA steering committee aren’t really pushing a particular solution that they have in mind. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be a clear consensus about what problem they are trying to solve. Instead the steering committee seem to be making a concerted effort to keep an open, beginners-mind about what a Digital Public Library of America might be.’”

As if that scenario Summers described wasn’t disheartening enough to a near future of a DPLA, now we understand that “public” and “academic” librarians are fighting over the name, among other issues. Fighting over the name! How is this going to help make a National Digital Library a reality?

Posted June 18 in LibraryCity, David Rothman believes that “Even if public libraries set up their own national digital library system, as I dearly hope, I believe it should not use the P word in its name. Better that local public libraries keep the brand name to themselves. … This is no small reason why I believe that tightly intertwined but separate library systems should exist for public and academic libraries, especially as “digital” counts more and more. I’d rather that elitist academics not tell public librarians what to do; status and institutional pecking orders mustn’t prevail over the public’s library needs. The current DPLA won’t even assure an academic-public split in the future…”

Is there any question why evolution happens so slowly within the library community? or, Why on the whole libraries are still operating with 20th Century mindsets? The mainstream library community stands upon the generally accepted principals of librarianship established by SLIS, ALA, and other such “professional” organizations that now can’t even agree upon a name to call an American national digital library. SAD!! Other nations have already developed their own national digital libraries. WHAT IS OUR PROBLEM?

But, leave it to the private sector to forge ahead with solutions! MediaBistro.com’s eBOOKNEWSER blog posted yesterday that 3M has a solution to digital libraries, and will partner with cutting edge local libraries to explore and move forward the digital library effort.

The new digital library will go into beta testing this summer, and 3M has revealed the names of some of the libraries, including Saint Paul Public Library (MN), Bergen County Cooperative Library System (NJ), Maricopa County Library District (AZ), Douglas County Libraries (CO), Darien Library (CT), Richland County Public Library (SC), and the State Library of Kansas on behalf of the Kansas Digital Library Consortium.

Where would we be without entrepreneurs – private and public! A heartfelt Thank You to all who move ahead for the common good!


Filed under Uncategorized