DPLA (The Digital Public Library of America) has just released its Strategic Plan for 2015-2017.  This is significant to us because the Digital Commonwealth in partnership with BPL is a service hub for DPLA.

The DPLA plan is organized into four major initiatives:

  • Complete the hub network so all collections and item types have an on ramp to DPLA
  • Build out the technology platform to be flexible and extensible providing for further growth and diversification
  • Pursue a global outreach program
  • Achieve sustainability through diversification of revenue sources by the end of 2017

These initiatives support DPLA’s mission to provide a discovery portal, a stable platform, and free access to all for the digitized cultural heritage of America. Click here for a more detailed breakdown of goals and objectives.

Content concerns:

  • Emphasize quality over quantity
  • Collect unique, vetted materials while maintaining browsability
  • Grant particular institutions the ability to curate the collections they provide to DPLA, contributing a representative rather than all-inclusive selection
  • Work toward greater heterogeneity without duplication: looking at chronological, geographical, and topical considerations as well as item types and types of organizations included
  • Decide whether to include massive collections (e.g., digitized newspapers) that already exist in an easy-to-access form in a host institution.
  • Regarding ebooks, examine the strengths of the statewide ebook platforms that Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Colorado are exploring in order to develop the most cost-effective solution to ingesting


Technology areas needing attention:

  • The service hub network is incomplete, creating obstacles to the ingestion of smaller collections. Bottlenecks arise where there are no local service hubs. DPLA will work to convince large content hubs to also serve as service hubs.
  • Metadata need refinement and consistency for indexing, sorting, and connecting items in the collection.
  • Currently 26,000 rights statements govern usage. These should be reviewed and consolidated into 15-20 statements.

Outreach mechanisms:

  • communicate DPLA’s value through targeted outreach to audiences and communities who can benefit from the collection
  • optimize search engine discovery and increase presence in mass media and on social media
  • make a special, expansive effort to reach educators and students in the classroom


Financial stability steps:

  • continue to seek both public and private grant funding
  • establish cost recovery services
  • pursue consortial or membership support
  • expand staff and core services as funding becomes available


The Digital Commonwealth is approaching the midway point in its current Strategic Plan (2013-2018). The remarkable similarities between the DC strategic plan and that of the DPLA suggest that we are on the right track.

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