May 25, 2022

New Report: “America’s Digital Future: Advancing a Shared Strategy For Digital Public Libraries”

This new report and plan for moving forward (60 pages; PDF) is an output of the “Creating a Blueprint for a National Digital Public Library” event held at the Los Angeles Public Library in November 2011. It was compiled an edited by Cathy De Rosa, Chrystie Hill, Andy Havens, Kendra Morgan and Ricky Erway at OCLC.

Erway shares a few comments about the document in a Hanging Together blog post from OCLC Research.

She writes:

There can be no true Digital Public Library of America without the participation of public libraries. Public libraries are eager to digitize their unique materials and make them locally available as well as contribute them to DPLA. Perhaps a more burning issue is to ensure that public libraries can provide current commercial publications, including e-books, to their users. They cannot rely on the marketplace to represent public interests; this will require a national, concerted voice to negotiate with publishers and to minimize the digital divide.

This part of the public library action plan is being further pursued in an IMLS-funded project to develop an e-book strategy that will ensure that Americans continue to have access to commercially produced content through their local public libraries, even as formats change.

Martín J. Gómez, (Former) General Manager and City Librarian Los Angeles Public Library and host of the event writes in the report:

To public librarians across the U.S., I challenge you to join me and our colleagues in visioning and creating our digital future, together. Public libraries in every community must develop a digital strategy and link that strategy to local, state, regional and national initiatives. We must participate in ongoing policy discussions. We must invest in new technologies and formats, and push our vending partners to work with us. Please lend the unique contributions of your library and your community to the emerging effort to create our national digital library. The communities that we serve are counting on us to make sure that unique, local digital content is widely accessible and that books, films, audio recordings and other forms of recorded knowledge remain accessible—even as they move to digital formats—to all.

Direct to Full Text Report: “America’s Digital Future: Advancing a Shared Strategy For Digital Public Libraries” (60 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.