I found a blog called the School Library Journal that had some very interesting information about teacher librarians, instruction, and information literacy. The most recent post, by Joyce Valenza, was about the Digital Public Library of America (librarians’ dream project). Digital archives have been available, but they have not been aggregated into one portal, or a collection of collections. We have not been able to view all items easy to find and free online. The DPLA’s main goal is “to create a resource that goes well beyond providing simple access to digitized or born digital content”. It will officially launch, with approximately 2.4 million records, on April 18th at the Boston Public Library. It will enable any reader to consult works that were previously locked up or stored on shelves that are hard to access. “The DPLA initiative sees itself as an advocate for open access and enrichment of the public spheres, encouraging Americans to hack the humanities”.
We all know the world is turning into a digital one. I was definitely born into a digital world. I know I have not even used a book as a reference on a paper in a couple of years. If a book was used, it was assigned by a professor or it was an eBook. The DPLA is moving in the right direction by attempting to move as many texts as possible online. There are several texts that already exist online, but not all in the same place. The DPLA is planning on including all types of media and formats such as books, pamphlets, periodicals, manuscripts, and digital texts. The incorporation of all of this will make researching a lot easier for students.
Also, offering them for free online could encourage reading. There would be no reason not to read something if it is readily available for free. The more people that get involved and want their collections to be discovered, the larger the expansion of the portal and the more diversity that exists within it, so I hope libraries and museums and universities everywhere contribute. This is something I would have loved to have throughout college as well as high school. Not just for school related assignments, but for pure reading pleasure. This could do great things for learning and literacy in general.