Creating a New Nostalgia – #CILDC

8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

FerrieroDavid Ferriero, Archivist of the United States




John Palfrey, Head of School, Phillips Academy Author of john-palfreyBiblioTech; President of the Board, Digital Public Library of America





Digital life is transforming the public’s expectations of libraries and archives. Is the internet making these institutions irrelevant? The “perfect storm” of reduced budgets, unprecedented increases in the amount and cost of information available, and the multiplicity of platforms at play call for new strategies for the future of libraries and archives. A lively glimpse into the crystal ball!



Video at 

David interviewing John

John – We need libraries more than ever.  As a citizen cares about libraries. Not a librarian. Some of his best friends are librarians. New book targeted at non-librarians.

David – want to buy multiple copies of John’s book, BiblioTech.

John – We have forgotten how important libraries are as citizens. In many communities libraries are being neglected and ignored.  Also expectation that libraries and archives need to do more in all formats.

David – Congress supportive of National Archives.

John – Internet does not make libraries irrelevant.  Traditional plus new functions for libraries.  Create a new nostalgia

David – Libraries need to ask hard questions?

John – Need to ask hard questions about services for patrons. Focus should be on the patron not the collection to a greater degree. Patron centric not collection centric.

David – Two kinds of archivists those that work with people and the other kind.

David – Digital Divide?

John – No longer a big divide because of mobile phones. Digital divide now in broadband at hope and in skill levels (digital literacy).  Need safe space in libraries.

David – 50% of NYPL population served did not have broadband access. 

David – Importance of physical space?

John – Not necessarily new roles for libraries.  Safe and contemplative space. Use for job creation and start-ups support.  Co-creation space. 

David – college students use the library for serious studies.

John – library needs to be more than a community center.  Needs to be knowledge focused. Has a virtual aspect that community centers would never have.

John – need to get information architects into physical libraries to integrate the virtual with the physical.

John –  DPLA is a platform.  10 million objects . 1600 contributing institutions. States have on ramps into the DPLA.

My thought – Why isn’t LoC part of DPLA?

John – DPLA will lead to the “new nostalgia.”

Dave – difficult to sell love and delight of the library.

My thought – How to create “fun and delight” in my special library?

John – need to look at economic gap causing new issues. Libraries can help with this problem.

Dave – FDR was a closet archivist.  He created National Archives and presidential library system.

Dave – school libraries?

John – Teachers not skilled in teaching digital literacy.  Librarians are ready to do that.  School libraries underappreciated. Correlation between quality school libraries and student performance.

Dave – need collaboration between public and school libraries teaching digital literacy.

John – How do we get an app for the librarian to replace Siri?

John – Copyright law is backwards not supportive of libraries.  Needs to be changed. Ownership of physical book is clear.  Ownership of digital ebooks is not clear.  Limits on ownership.  Leased by the library. Not on same terms as physical book. Need orphan works legislation to allow digitization.

Dave – workforce?

John – People in this room.

My take aways:   Need to advocate for sensible copyright and contract law for libraries and digital materials.  First ownership rights need to be extended to digital products. Need librarian/archivist avatar to replace Siri. Is DPLA of any use to my special library? Buy copy of Biblio Tech book for the library.