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The Digital Public Library of America: Collaboration, Content, and Technology at Scale

July 14, 2014- Educase: “DPLA accomplishes its mission by aggregating metadata and thumbnails pointing to digital objects for millions of photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more from a national network of partners. This network comprises individual nodes, or hubs, which work with DPLA to map and ingest their records into the DPLA repository. There are two types of hubs: service and content. Service hubs are state or regional digital libraries that collect items from organizations across their respective state or region, in addition to providing a trove of essential services including digitization, metadata consultation and enrichment, community organization, and technology support. Content hubs hold hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of digitized items on their own. Unlike service hubs, which interact with DPLA on behalf of myriad smaller regional organizations, content hubs represent themselves only and commit to providing DPLA with at least 200,000 items. This approach to infrastructure management allows DPLA to maintain a sustainable number of partnerships while maximizing existing data practices and local expertise in hub locations. The hubs are a key part of a national community of people who actively support the very principles on which DPLA operates, especially a strong belief in libraries’ “public option” for reading and research. This long-standing attention to public engagement is manifested as well in DPLA’s community reps program, an outreach initiative that has put in place an all-volunteer corps of DPLA advocates, spanning many professional domains and user communities including state libraries, public libraries, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and technology, library, publishing, media, and genealogical organizations. DPLA reps now hail from all 50 states and 5 countries outside the United States.”

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