Here’s a closer look at the recently launched Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), its features, and “how it works, both good and bad,” according to Linda W. Braun. A library consultant and educator, Braun created a screencast tour (below) of the highly anticipated project.
Founded in 2010 at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, the nonprofit DPLA officially launched April 18, 2013. With funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and other sources, DPLA is intended to serve as a national portal, providing access to millions of items—photographs, books, manuscripts, and sound and moving images—from dozens of US cultural institutions.
“It’s a great aggregation tool, with just a couple of things that might prove difficult for your users,” says Braun, implying that the site might require some guidance especially with students.
But presumably the interface, like DPLA’s content, may still be evolving. Highlights of the portal, according to Braun, include the timeline feature—though students will most definitely need some help here—and the capacity to save searches (you need to create a DPLA account to do this.)
The sharing functions are a great way to push resources out to your community, suggests Braun.