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The Theory and Practice of Digital
Public Spaces
Alex Carruthers
2/10/2015
Info-Nexus
February 6, 2015
Outline
• Digital public spaces in the context of
Edmonton Public Library (EPL)
• Digital public spaces for other cultural...
EPL Context
3
Internship
Digital Public Spaces Intern
4
• Engage in research and community consultation
to define Digital Public Spaces
• Determine...
Business Plan Goals
5
Digital Public Spaces
Research
6
Goals of the Report:
• To meaningfully define the term “digital public space”
for EPL
• To identify trends in the developm...
Who else is talking about digital
public spaces?
• BBC Archives
• The Creative Exchange
• Future Everything 2013
• Legal a...
What is a digital public space?
9
10
Digital public spaces
• Are open and interoperable in as many
ways as possible
“Open means anyone can freely access, use, ...
Who’s working on it?
12
Digital Public Library of America
13
http://dp.la/info/developers/
Rijksmuseum
14
https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/rijksstudio
NYPL Labs – What’s on the
Menu
15
~ 1,327,975 dishes
transcribed from
17,541 menus since 2012
Menus are reviewed and
mappe...
“Far from being an instrument which
enables us to ultimately better deliver
content to end users, crowdsourcing is
the bes...
Digital public spaces
• Can be created in collaboration with the
public from the very beginning
• Can fulfill the goal of ...
Building EPL’s First Digital
Public Space
Celebrating Local Music
18
How do we build one?
19
1. Successful projects have tended to be adaptations of
experiments with existing collections of d...
Building a digital collection
20
21
• Unconference March 22, 2014
• Invited members of the local music
community
• 50 participants
• Participant-
driven me...
What is an unconference?
22
SOMETHING
NEW!
SOMETHING
NEW!
The day itself:
23
24
Regularly
changing
content!
Interactive site
that reaches
out to the
community
Curated by the
community
Multimedia cont...
25
Contemporary Local Music
Collection
26
• Edmonton music from the last
5 years in any genre
• Selected by small jury of
int...
Local Music History Archive
• Crowdsourced
audio, video, images
and stories related to
local music history
• For streaming...
Legal Context
28
29
Technical Development
30
Hackathon Architecture
31
Rabble and MUSICat
32
musicat.co
Accessibility
• Web Content Accessibly Standards
Archiving
• Support from the University of Alberta
Digital Initiatives De...
Timeline
• Call for submissions – Feb 2 – 23
• Jury review – Feb 23 – Mar 16
• Transcription tool development – March
• Us...
Digital Publics
• Digital public is limited; digital divide
exists along lines of race, class and
gender
• Digital literac...
Questions?
Thank you!
Contact
@acecarruthers
36
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Theory and Practice of Building Digital Public Spaces

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This presentation introduces the concept of digital public spaces and how it has been taken up at Edmonton Public Library, with examples from EPL's first digital public space project, Capital City Records: Edmonton Local Music

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Theory and Practice of Building Digital Public Spaces

  1. 1. The Theory and Practice of Digital Public Spaces Alex Carruthers 2/10/2015 Info-Nexus February 6, 2015
  2. 2. Outline • Digital public spaces in the context of Edmonton Public Library (EPL) • Digital public spaces for other cultural organizations • Building EPL’s first digital public space 2
  3. 3. EPL Context 3 Internship
  4. 4. Digital Public Spaces Intern 4 • Engage in research and community consultation to define Digital Public Spaces • Determine potential roles for EPL • Investigate, recommend, and help plan EPL’s next steps in developing digital projects that meet community-defined needs • Investigate the role of EPL in supporting Open Data initiatives
  5. 5. Business Plan Goals 5
  6. 6. Digital Public Spaces Research 6
  7. 7. Goals of the Report: • To meaningfully define the term “digital public space” for EPL • To identify trends in the development or improvement of digital public spaces in libraries or other cultural institutions • To investigate specific digital public space projects in more detail, learning about their successes, challenges and technical and administrative infrastructure • To recommend service directions for EPL 7
  8. 8. Who else is talking about digital public spaces? • BBC Archives • The Creative Exchange • Future Everything 2013 • Legal and technological implications • Why and how do libraries, museums, archives collect, store and make accessible cultural history? 8
  9. 9. What is a digital public space? 9
  10. 10. 10
  11. 11. Digital public spaces • Are open and interoperable in as many ways as possible “Open means anyone can freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose (subject, at most, to requirements that preserve provenance and openness).” – Open Definition 11
  12. 12. Who’s working on it? 12
  13. 13. Digital Public Library of America 13 http://dp.la/info/developers/
  14. 14. Rijksmuseum 14 https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/rijksstudio
  15. 15. NYPL Labs – What’s on the Menu 15 ~ 1,327,975 dishes transcribed from 17,541 menus since 2012 Menus are reviewed and mapped http://menus.nypl.org/
  16. 16. “Far from being an instrument which enables us to ultimately better deliver content to end users, crowdsourcing is the best way to actually engage our users in the fundamental reason that these digital collections exist in the first place.” -Trevor Owens, Digital Archivist, Library of Congress 16
  17. 17. Digital public spaces • Can be created in collaboration with the public from the very beginning • Can fulfill the goal of facilitating meaningful engagement with collections 17
  18. 18. Building EPL’s First Digital Public Space Celebrating Local Music 18
  19. 19. How do we build one? 19 1. Successful projects have tended to be adaptations of experiments with existing collections of digital content 2. Successful projects have tended to appeal to an identifiable community or enthusiast group 3. Trained and dedicated staff are required to maintain the project
  20. 20. Building a digital collection 20
  21. 21. 21 • Unconference March 22, 2014 • Invited members of the local music community • 50 participants • Participant- driven meeting
  22. 22. What is an unconference? 22 SOMETHING NEW! SOMETHING NEW!
  23. 23. The day itself: 23
  24. 24. 24 Regularly changing content! Interactive site that reaches out to the community Curated by the community Multimedia content: audio, video, stories, images… Celebrate history AND support the current scene
  25. 25. 25
  26. 26. Contemporary Local Music Collection 26 • Edmonton music from the last 5 years in any genre • Selected by small jury of interested local music fans • 100 new contributions a year • One time honorarium for musicians • Music available for download and streaming • Direct traffic to options to purchase content
  27. 27. Local Music History Archive • Crowdsourced audio, video, images and stories related to local music history • For streaming and download when relevant • Audio content included in playlist tool • History preserved and made accessible 27 gdao.org
  28. 28. Legal Context 28
  29. 29. 29
  30. 30. Technical Development 30
  31. 31. Hackathon Architecture 31
  32. 32. Rabble and MUSICat 32 musicat.co
  33. 33. Accessibility • Web Content Accessibly Standards Archiving • Support from the University of Alberta Digital Initiatives Department Partnerships • Dead Venues Project • Documentaries and Maps 33
  34. 34. Timeline • Call for submissions – Feb 2 – 23 • Jury review – Feb 23 – Mar 16 • Transcription tool development – March • Usability/beta testing – March/April • Launch Spring 2015 • Concerts in Summer and Fall 2015 • Summer Digitization Events 34
  35. 35. Digital Publics • Digital public is limited; digital divide exists along lines of race, class and gender • Digital literacy support is key • EPL offers courses for beginners all the way up to game design and robotics • Opportunity to integrate resources like Treehouse and Lynda.com • New publics are emerging and are open to collaboration • Sharing, community engagement and supporting lifelong learning 35
  36. 36. Questions? Thank you! Contact @acecarruthers 36

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