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DLF Mission Statement

The Digital Library Federation is an international association of libraries and allied institutions. Its mission is to enable new research and scholarship of its members, students, scholars, lifelong learners, and the general public by developing an international network of digital libraries. DLF relies on collaboration, the expertise of its members, and a nimble, flexible, organizational structure to fulfill its mission.

To achieve this mission, DLF:

  • Develops and adopts technical standards
  • Promotes best practices
  • Leverages shared actions, resources, and infrastructures
  • Encourages the creation of digital collections that can be brought together and made accessible across the globe
  • Works with the public sector, educational, and private partners
  • Secures and preserves the scholarly and cultural record

Membership Criteria

1) Significant research and development capacity devoted to digital library development.

    Evidence of this could include the following activities: library staff or library departments dedicated to digital library activities (perhaps reflected in their titles); evidence of software and tools building; regional or national partnerships. The committee is looking in particular for evidence of significant and ongoing digital library capacity.

2) Ability to contribute to DLF initiatives through staff time, expertise, and creative leadership.

    An institution contributes both through its DLF Board member - usually the library director - and the staff members who take part in DLF initiatives and Forums, so the nature and number of the digital library staff is important for this criteria; evidence of current engagement with DLF initiatives is a useful indicator, as is evidence that they are a place with a culture of collaboration. Innovative partnerships beyond those with other cultural heritage institutions, including with publishers and commercial companies, are also of considerable interest.

3) Evidence of substantial digital accomplishment, ongoing institutional support, and digital library initiatives that are advanced well beyond start up or project-based phases.

    In addition to information already provided in Criteria #1 above, this criterion could be satisfied by evidence of receipt of significant grants; proof of long-term commitments to digital library endeavors as a programmatic focus; and the extent to which the library has developed or implemented standards and promoted best practices.

4) Commitment to the DLF mission.

    The DLF's mission is in part to build collections and metadata that can be brought together in rich, integrated libraries to drive better scholarship and teaching. In addition to evidence provided elsewhere in these criteria, the committee will be looking for evidence of significant, long-term, standards-based digital collection building, and the provision of metadata that promotes the discovery and use of these collections across a networked environment.

5) Evidence that the institution is an acknowledged regional, national, or international leader in some part of the digital library arena.

    Indicators of this include people serving on national committees; engagement with other significant organizations; grants; membership in major leadership initiatives (e.g. NDIIPP) or other similar benchmark activities.

The DLF Membership Committee is:

  • Wendy Pradt Lougee, Uiversity of Minnesota, Chair
  • Sarah Thomas, Oxford University
  • John Ober, California Digital Library
  • Nancy Eaton, Pennsylvania State University

[Revised: November 16, 2004]

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