DPLAFest 2019 Recap

Guest post by Emily Jaycox, Missouri Historical Society

In April 2019, MissouriHub members Emily Jaycox (Missouri Historical Society) and Matt Butler (Missouri State Library) attended DPLAFest in Chicago; Steering Committee Chair Katrina Stierholz (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis) attended just the “Hubs Day” preconference.

At Hubs Day, DPLA staff solicited input on DPLA’s mission statement; gave updates on staffing and funding; and explained their plan to build out an advisory / working group structure to support their ebooks and tech innovations, modeling it on the Hubs organizational structure (which they refer to as the Cultural Heritage Aggregation portion of their work). Many Hubs voiced concern about the small number of DPLA staff dedicated to cultural heritage aggregation in comparison with ebooks. Seemingly, this decision does not reflect DPLA’s priorities per se but is the result of specific grant projects for which DPLA has current funding. 

Some of the most useful presentations included: 

PA Digital logo PA Digital‘s metadata checker, which allows the Hub’s central metadata wranglers to identify problem metadata (such as blank fields) and provide feedback to the contributing partners to improve their metadata before submitting again. 

Zooniverse logo Using the open-source Zooniverse Project Builder to manage e-volunteers on a crowdsourcing transcription project 

Recollection Wisconsin logo A great IMLS project at Recollection Wisconsin pairs library school students with specific libraries in need of digital preservation guidance, with a weekend of intensive training followed by a stipended internship under the mentorship of an experienced digitization librarian in the state. We are hoping to be able to adapt this program in Missouri. View the presentation slides here: https://static.sched.com/hosted_files/dplafest2019/9a/CCDC_DPLAFest_2019.pdf 

In addition to specific presentations, major takeaways from DPLAFest included: 

  • There are numerous models in use for statewide digitization collaboration. It seems every state shares the responsibilities of running a DPLA hub (including paying the membership fee, working with contributing partners, sending metadata to DPLA for ingest, and promoting the partner libraries’ digital collections) in a different way.
  • As a national organization, DPLA gets to sit directly at the table with some major industry innovators.  
  • Some of the nation’s best talent in the digitization field are active in DPLA hubs and governance and will share their knowledge – with us!  

Want to learn more? Check out this article on DPLAFest 2019 from American Libraries magazing.