January 27, 2022

Public Libraries: With $5 Million in Funding From The Knight Foundation, LYRASIS and DPLA are Partnering to Launch The Palace Project, a “Transformational, Library-Centered Platform for Digital Content and Services”

From a Joint Announcement:

The Palace Project, with a $5 million investment by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for LYRASIS, and in strategic partnership with Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), will develop and scale a robust suite of content, services, and tools for the delivery of ebooks, audiobooks, and other digital media to benefit public libraries and patrons.

The Palace Project will support the mission of public libraries by providing equitable access to digital knowledge, bolstering the direct relationship between libraries and patrons, and protecting patron privacy by enabling libraries to serve content to patrons from all the major e-content providers.

“LYRASIS sees Palace as an unprecedented opportunity for libraries to be digital leaders within their communities and make all content accessible to all people,” said Robert Miller, LYRASIS chief executive officer. “LYRASIS deeply appreciates Knight Foundation’s vote of confidence in our collective vision. LYRASIS has had a long-term relationship with public libraries and the Knight funding will accelerate efforts and impact for the communities we serve.”

“Libraries are essential because they provide individuals with knowledge and the tools to build more informed, engaged and inclusive communities,” said George Martinez, chief technology officer for Knight Foundation. “The Palace Project will meet people where they are and significantly boost equitable access to knowledge in communities across the country at a time when it is needed most.”

Source: The Palace Project

The Palace Project will be led by Michele Kimpton, a globally recognized leader in building communities and products in libraries. Formerly Director of Business Development and Senior Strategist at DPLA, Kimpton has moved to LYRASIS as Global Director of The Palace Project Division.

The Palace Project builds on a collaboration between DPLA and LYRASIS over the last several years and uses the Library Simplified platform, an opensource code base originally designed and developed by the New York Public Library.

“DPLA is excited to take our work providing libraries greater control over digital assets to the next level,” said John Bracken, DPLA’s Executive Director. “In partnership with Knight Foundation and LYRASIS, and through Michele Kimpton’s leadership, we are eager to advance our common goal of ensuring equitable access to knowledge for all.”

The Palace Project will enable libraries to deliver content to patrons from all major e-content providers, including DPLA Exchange. Knight Foundation’s funding allows for a one-click, turnkey patron experience accessing content ranging from Amazon Publishing, to major publishers and independents, to local authors and open, accessible content. The Palace Project’s app is slated to launch in early fall.

Today’s announcement was made at Knight Foundation’s 2021 Convening on Libraries, which brings together library, civic and philanthropic leaders.

Note: The core software developed by The Palace Project will be open source. See the project’s repository on GitHub.

Update June 29, 2021 More from DPLA:

The Palace Project and Knight Foundation’s support will enable DPLA to double down on our efforts to ensure that everyone, through their libraries, can be informed community members and access the digital knowledge they need to obtain healthcare, refute false news, and participate fully in their classrooms. Led by our director of ebook services Micah May, we will continue to advocate with publishers for what our library partners tell us they need: more flexible licensing options, diverse content beyond the bestsellers, the ability to customize and curate the patron experience, and the protection of patron privacy. The Palace Project also creates opportunities for DPLA to increase our impact in other areas: the expansion of our national Curation Corps, open access ebooks, ebook creation for libraries, and policy discussions about the public domain and copyright, as with our participation in Library of Congress’s new Copyright Public Modernization Committee.

Related Posts/Background

Meet The Palace Project Team

LYRASIS is Acquiring BiblioLabs (June 17, 2021)

New York Public Library (NYPL) and LYRASIS Announce Next Steps in National E-Book Collaboration (June 11, 2021)

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Announces Agreement to Make Amazon Publishing Ebooks and Audiobooks Available to Libraries (May 18, 2021)

John Bracken Named Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) (November 1, 2017)
Of Note: Before becoming DPLA’s Executive Director, Bracken was Vice President, Technology Innovation at the Knight Foundation.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.