Digital Public Library of America Steering Committee Announces 'Beta Sprint'
Information Today Inc., May 26, 2011
The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Steering Committee announced a Beta Sprintthat aims to surface innovations that could play a part in the building of a digital public library. The Beta Sprint seeks ideas, models, prototypes, technical tools, user interfaces, etc.—put forth as a written statement, a visual display, code, or a combination of forms—that demonstrate how the DPLA might index and provide access to a wide range of broadly distributed content. The Beta Sprint also encourages development of submissions that suggest alternative designs or that focus on particular parts of the system, rather than on the DPLA as a whole.
The DPLA Steering Committee is leading the first concrete steps toward the realization of a large-scale digital public library that will make the cultural and scientific record available to all. The DPLA planning initiative grew out of an October 2010 meeting at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, which brought together more than 40 representatives from foundations, research institutions, cultural organizations, government, and libraries to discuss best approaches to building a national digital library. Subsequent workshops in March and May have addressed the content, scope, and technical aspects of a DPLA.
For inspiration, Beta Sprint participants might consider the general approach taken by initiatives whose leaders are on the DPLA Steering Committee, such as the Internet Archive, Public.Resource.Org, the HathiTrust, American Memory, and others, as well as the Europeana project and the national digital libraries in the Netherlands, Norway, and South Korea.
Submission instructions and more information are available at http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/dpla, where you can also watch a short video about the Beta Sprint. Statements of interest must be received by June 15, 2011. Final submissions will be due by Sept. 1, 2011.
A review panel appointed by the Steering Committee and composed of experts in the fields of library science, information management, and computer science will review Beta Sprint submissions in early September. Creators of the most promising betas will be invited to present their ideas to interested stakeholders and community members during a public meeting in Washington, DC.