Books are among the richest artifacts of human culture. In the last half-millenium, we have written over a hundred million of them globally, and within their pages lie incredibly diverse forms of literature, history, and science, poetry and prose, the sacred and the profane. Thanks to our many partners, the Digital Public Library of America already contains over two million ebooks, fully open and free to read.
But we have felt since DPLA’s inception that even with the extent of our ebook collection, we could be doing much more to connect the public, in more frictionless ways, with the books they wish to read.
At the DPLA, we are particularly enthusiastic about the role that our large and expanding national network of hubs can play. Many of our service hubs have already scanned books from their regions, and are generously sharing them through DPLA. Public domain works are being aggregated by content hubs such as HathiTrust, with more coming online every month. It is clear that we can bring these threads together to create a richer, broader tapestry of ebooks for readers of all ages and interests.
That’s why we’re delighted to announce today that we have received generous funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to start an in-depth discussion about ebooks and their future, and what DPLA and our partners can do to help push things forward. Along with the New York Public Library, we plan to intensify the discussions we have already been having with publishers, authors, libraries, and the public about how to connect the maximal number of ebooks with the maximal number of readers.
Read the Complete DPLA Announcement
Brief Comment From Gary Price, infoDOCKET Founder and Editor:
We hope that DPLA includes an ongoing discussion about ebook subscription services (Scribd, Oyster, etc.) and potential short and long term implications on libraries (particularly public libraries).