This guest blog post is written by Tara Murphy, Assistant Director of Digitization and Instructional Services @ Free Library of Philadelphia, and PA Digital Metadata Team Rights Subgroup member

This was my second time attending the DPLAfest representing the Free Library of Philadelphia.  Last year DPLAfest was held in DC and most of the time I was just geeking out over being in the staff areas of the Library of Congress for all of the sessions and viewing the Capitol Building from my lunch terrace in the Library of Congress (We ate meals inside the Library of Congress!).

This year DPLAfest was hosted at Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center.  Upon arrival in Chicago’s “Loop,” it seemed like a Clean NYC and very tall DC got together and had a baby: Chicago.  This time, I met with fellow PA Digital Rights group members, Brandy Karl and Rachel Appel, as well as Delphine Khanna From Temple University.

The opening session really focused on DPLA values: collaboration, inclusion, serving the public and really being stewards of our resources.  I found these values repeated throughout the conference in sessions on how we are using digital communication with civic engagement, where we provide the infrastructure and how we really need to blend the digital and the analog in our programming.  Outreach and transparency are more important than ever; making our staff more accessible and visible is the key to success in the 21st century world.  For example – should we be concerned with disappearance or lowered visibility of archives and open data online?

Dan X. O’Neil, Harper Reed, Angel Ysaguirre, presenting on the Impact of Digital Communication on Civic Engagement
Dan X. O’Neil, Harper Reed, Angel Ysaguirre, presenting on the Impact of Digital Communication on Civic Engagement

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