The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced a $750,000 investment in the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) to create a national cohort of public library leaders and technologists. The group will work together to help advance libraries’ use of digital technologies.
With Knight support, DPLA will work with libraries to identify uses of technology that meet and anticipate the evolving digital needs of American library patrons. DPLA will build and convene a group of libraries that will serve as a collaborative platform for library leaders, allowing them to discuss and develop scalable solutions to common challenges.
“This support from Knight Foundation will enable DPLA to continue to help advance the work of the nation’s public libraries at a time when they are more important than ever before,” DPLA Executive Director John S. Bracken said. “We are thankful to Knight Foundation for enabling the expansion of our efforts to ensure access to information for all. Because of this support, libraries will be better able to leverage technology to serve their patrons.”
Since its 2013 launch, DPLA has made millions of photographs, maps, news footage, oral histories and artwork from 4,000 libraries, archives and museums across the country. More recently, DPLA has built DPLA Exchange, a library-controlled marketplace and platform for libraries to purchase, organize, and deliver e-books and other e-content to their patrons, including free, downloadable versions of public domain titles such as the “Mueller Report” and the “Impeachment Papers: A Compendium of Documents Related to the Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.”
“This timely grant enables us to build on the beliefs articulated in our new strategic plan,” said Denise Stephens, DPLA board chair and vice provost and university librarian at Washington University in St. Louis. “We believe in the power of digital technology to advance human knowledge, the importance of spotlighting historically marginalized narratives and in working in close collaboration with our partners.”
In advance of the 2020 Knight Media Forum, Knight and DPLA will convene a group of 60 public library leaders, philanthropists, journalists and technologists to explore the opportunities and challenges confronting libraries in the transition to a digital age. DPLA plans to continue the conversation in June at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference.
Knight Foundation is one of DPLA’s founding funders; since 2012, Knight has invested more than $3.25 million in DPLA and its programs.
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