A Visit to the Library

Monday, April 22, 2013 -- Andrea Gronberg

At Edmentum, we're reinventing the 21st century classroom. Through a combination of technology and rigorous and research-based curriculum, together with our education partners we are creating an effective and engaging classroom that creates effective and productive learners.

And just as technology has changed – and continues to change – the classroom, it's also had a revolutionizing effect on the library. Along with rows of books there now stand rows of iMacs, and along with card catalog access there is also high speed Internet access. Today's library has almost no limitations.

Which brings us to a great new resource for you and your students – the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). You may have already heard of it, but we wanted to make sure. What is the DPLA? Here is a little from their About page.

The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science. The DPLA aims to expand this crucial realm of openly available materials, and make those riches more easily discovered and more widely usable and used, through its three main elements:

1.  A portal that delivers students, teachers, scholars, and the public to incredible resources, wherever they may be in America. Far more than a search engine, the portal provides innovative ways to search and scan through the united collection of millions of items, including by timeline, map, format, and topic.

2.  A platform that enables new and transformative uses of our digitized cultural heritage. With an application programming interface (API) and maximally open data, the DPLA can be used by developers, researchers, and others to create novel environments for learning, tools for discovery, and engaging apps.

3.  An advocate for a strong public option in the twenty-first century. For most of American history, the ability to access materials for free through public libraries has been a central part of our culture.

Read the announcement of the April 18 launch of the library from Executive Director Dan Cohen, and if you have more questions go here.