MDL/DPLA Public Library Partnership Project

The Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) is one of five Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Service Hubs to be sub-awarded a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, through the DPLA, for the Public Library Partnership Project (PLPP). The purpose of the PLPP is to train public library staff on basic digitization concepts and skills, to encourage and facilitate their participation in their local digital libraries and the DPLA, and to create collaborative online exhibitions based on materials digitized through this project. The grant activity will be complete by the end of September 2015.

Online Exhibitions

Two new online exhibitions premiered as part of the final phase of the grant. These collections were built as a collaborative project with DPLA using material digitized through the PLPP, as well as other Minnesota Reflections and DPLA content. Please visit the links below to view.

Digital Skills Training

During summer 2014, MDL and DPLA staff collaborated to offer four day-long Digital Skills Training sessions to 31 individuals from 22 different public libraries and collaborating historical societies around Minnesota.

Feedback via DPLA's evaluation process disclosed that 54% of our attendees self-identified as "total novice" related to digital skills, and that 100% of them found the training level to be "just right."

The training was so well received that we hope to incorporate similar basic group training sessions into MDL's ongoing recruitment and preparation of potential participants.

Digitization and Metadata

One goal of the grant is to digitize 5,000 images of historic interest from across Minnesota. We are working with organizations as they identify projects, select appropriate materials from their collections, and send them to us for digitization and metadata preparation.

The following projects have been completed:

  • Fosston Public Library – a 1930 plat book of Polk County
  • Stillwater Public Library – The 1918 General Plan of Stillwater, a study "for the civic betterment of Stillwater," including a letter on "the Bridge Situation," which is once again a topic of great interest in the area
  • East Polk Heritage Center – a collection of photos and documents of local buildings, celebrations, and community members
  • Great River Regional Library – slides of the St. Cloud Public Library's Carnegie building, built in 1902 and torn down in 1981
  • Washington County Parks Division – master plans for county parks and two videos highlighting features of these community assets

Additional projects are underway.