April 28, 2017
Last week I went to Digital Public Library of America’s “DPLAfest“, a two day conference focused on digital librarianship in general, as well as the specifics of DPLA’s inner workings. For a change I simply attended — no rush to create a slide deck, no timed rehearsals, no public speaking anxiety. A rare treat! Although I did have butterflies in my stomach as I stood in line to get my name tag. I am a digital librarian after all, and DPLA is a mondo digital library.
DPLA’s collection is made up of millions of items from dozens of cultural institutions around the U.S. The DPLA site is a destination where people can discover and access cultural objects while learning about the many institutions behind the content. And DPLA works with developers who want to do interesting things with the content, pushing it out even further. Now, that’s what I call a win-win-win.
So, you know how attending a conference can let you unhook from your to-do list and take in another way of to-do-ing? You let yourself dream a little, let possibilities come into view. I love that moment of potentiality, though it tends to get chased out pretty quickly by that “uh – we aren’t doing that” moment that happens as you watch presenters talk about their work. We do a lot at IssueLab, and we get a lot right. But, as we all know, there’s always something more to be done
IssueLab’s vision and approach mirror DPLA’s vision in important ways. We, too, value and rely on the work and work products of other institutions. We, too, have as our core mission the production and maintenance of a sharing platform that aims to mainstream the content we collect. We, too, seek opportunities to work with others to bolster both our collection and sharing efforts. What we, uh, aren’t doing, or aren’t doing nearly as well as DPLA, is detailing the value of participating in our growing and one-of-a-kind collection of social sector knowledge.
For example, did you know that when you add your knowledge to IssueLab it also gets added to Worldcat, the world’s largest library catalog? It is also added to CORE, a service that aggregates the world’s open access research papers. And, if we’ve issued a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for you (yes, we issue DOIs and no, we haven’t done a good job of detailing the value of that either!), your knowledge is also shared through CrossRef, a service working to make content easy to find, cite, link, and assess.
In other words, you take one action – add to IssueLab – and you get a whole lot of activity focused on sharing your knowledge.
Now that you know the value of IssueLab and its powerful sharing network, be sure to add your work today. Also, be sure to explore social sector knowledge for necessary learning in 40 issue areas that impact us every day.
* Lisa Brooks is Foundation Center’s Director of Knowledge Management Systems and co-directs IssueLab.