Frequently Asked Questions
The Palace Project
The Palace Project is a transformational, library-centered platform for digital content and services that will allow libraries to purchase, organize, and deliver ebooks and other digital content to their patrons quickly and easily while protecting patron privacy. The Palace Project will give libraries greater control over the acquisition and delivery of ebooks and audiobooks and make more diverse ebooks and audiobooks easily available to libraries and their patrons while advocating for the needs of libraries in the marketplace. DPLA is a strategic collaborator on The Palace Project, which is a division of LYRASIS. The Palace Project builds on a collaboration between DPLA and LYRASIS over the last several years and uses the Library Simplified platform, an open-source code base originally designed and developed by The New York Public Library. Visit The Palace Project website for more information.
In his book Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life, author Eric Klinenberg writes, “The library really is a palace. It bestows nobility on people who otherwise couldn’t afford a shred of it.” We agree, and this embodies how we feel about our work and the importance of The Palace Project.
The Palace Project will be guided by an Oversight Committee made up of DPLA, Knight Foundation, and LYRASIS. The Palace Project is a division of LYRASIS led by Michele Kimpton, formerly director of business development at DPLA. DPLA will continue to convene libraries on topics related to ebooks and open access and work directly with publishers to negotiate and deploy a variety of library-friendly licensing models to increase access to ebooks. DPLA director of ebooks services Micah May will continue to manage the DPLA Exchange under the umbrella of The Palace Project. DPLA will also continue to expand the Open Bookshelf collection of open access books, which libraries and patrons will be able to access through The Palace Project.
Yes. DPLA is a strategic partner with LYRASIS in The Palace Project, and will continue to onboard publishers to the DPLA Exchange and negotiate on behalf of libraries for the most flexible lending models. DPLA will also continue to grow and manage the Open Bookshelf. In addition, DPLA will continue to create and publish open access ebooks and offer creation and reformatting services to libraries.
DPLA’s ebook program will continue to be led by Micah May, DPLA’s Director of Ebook Services, who will also be part of The Palace Project team led by Michele Kimpton in her new role as Global Senior Director of The Palace Project at LYRASIS.
Yes! The DPLA Exchange will still offer access to approximately 1 million ebook and audiobook titles from more than 1,000 publishers, including titles from publishers like Hachette, Harper Collins, Macmillan, and Simon and Schuster as well as Amazon Publishing (more about our recently signed agreement here) and hundreds of mid-sized and independent publishers. DPLA advocates for libraries with publishers for flexible licensing models that better fit the needs of libraries and offers unique licensing models on much of the content available in the DPLA Exchange.
No. Libraries who have purchased or are purchasing ebook and audiobook titles through the DPLA Exchange will be able to continue building and serving collections without interruption. Ebooks from the DPLA Exchange can still be served to patrons through SimplyE, as well as, beginning in fall 2021, the new Palace app.
The New York Public Library will continue to manage SimplyE, which will be separate from The Palace Project’s Palace app. You can find out more about The New York Public Library’s plans here.
Yes, libraries using SimplyE can continue to buy ebooks and audiobooks through the DPLA Exchange.
Patrons will be able to access content purchased through the DPLA Exchange through both the Palace app, which will launch in fall 2021, and SimplyE.
The DPLA Exchange (exchange.dp.la) is a marketplace in which libraries can acquire ebooks offered by the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Libraries can purchase popular ebooks and other e-content to serve to their patrons. Libraries can also select and acquire thousands of openly-licensed works for free.
Yes. The DPLA Exchange is a program run by Digital Public Library of America, a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the state of Delaware. Find out more about DPLA’s mission and strategy here.
The DPLA Exchange is one piece of an emerging national digital platform for library e-content service based on open architecture and connected by the Open Publication Distribution System (OPDS). With the other two components, the Library Simplified content management system and the SimplyE apps – both open source and developed by the New York Public Library – libraries can now serve their ebooks more seamlessly using technology they own.
DPLA advocates for libraries with publishers for licensing models that better fit the needs of libraries and offers unique licensing models on much of the content available in the DPLA Exchange.
Over the past year, DPLA has worked with publishers including Workman, Abrams, and Independent Publishers Group to develop a variety of flexible licensing models that serve the interests of libraries, authors, and publishers. These include 40 x 10 concurrent, unlimited one-at-a-time, and 5 concurrent loans at 1/4 the price. Currently, titles from 25 publishers are available with multiple licensing models, giving libraries the flexibility to keep one copy perpetually on the virtual shelf while lending out multiple copies of in-demand titles simultaneously. (See an example here.) In addition, more than 30 publishers are offering unlimited simultaneous use licensing through BiblioLabs, including Capstone, Orca Book Publishers, Independent Authors Project collection, Triumph Books, Chicago Review Press, Dark Horse Comics, and many more. For more information about our licensing models, click here.
DPLA, like other book distributors, retains a portion of each ebook and audiobook sale made through the DPLA Exchange. A majority of the revenue from each sale is paid to the publisher, who in turn pays the author.
No. DPLA does not receive any subsidies or payments from publishers for offering their content in the DPLA Exchange. DPLA receives payments from libraries for ebook licenses, retains a portion, and passes the rest on to publishers.
No. The DPLA Exchange is a marketplace for libraries only. The e-content licenses offered are not relevant or appropriate for an individual. The license includes digital lending rights (the right to lend the title to more than one person) and as a result are generally more expensive than retail ebooks meant for individual purchase and consumption.
Yes. In order to purchase content from the DPLA Exchange, libraries must become a DPLA Cultural Services member. There are no membership fees required. Once set up, libraries can shop and buy e-content, which will be delivered through an Open Publication Distribution System (OPDS) feed. Contact us to get started.
Yes, DPLA Exchange offers audiobooks (MP3). To browse audiobook titles currently available in the DPLA Exchange, click here.
Each title includes three pieces of information: price per license, format, and license type. The license type describes the library lending terms available for that book. For example, some publishers allow libraries to purchase “1 at a time” titles that never expire but can be lent to only one user at a time. Other publishers offer different license types, for example: licenses that allow the library to lend the item 26 times before it expires; licenses that allow the lesser of 52 lends or two years; or time-bound licenses good for 6,12 or 24 months.
Libraries can not buy ebooks in the same way and at the same price that individual consumers can. Unlike with print books, which are governed by copyright and for which the first sale doctrine allows libraries to buy books at the same price as everyone else and lend them, ebooks are really licenses and libraries have to buy different, often much more expensive licenses in order to lend ebooks to patrons.
The DPLA Exchange is one of three parts of an open, interoperable, library-centric national digital platform DPLA is helping to create. DPLA has launched a service with our new strategic partners LYRASIS to host instances of the open source Library Simplified middleware solution for libraries. This will allow libraries to merge ebooks from the DPLA Exchange and other sources into a seamless discovery experience for patrons. This solution also provides library staff an administrative interface to manage and curate the collection, which users will find and read primarily in the SimplyE iOS and Android apps. Together the DPLA Exchange, Library Simplified middleware and SimplyE Apps provide a complete the digital platform to enable wholly library-based delivery of e-content for the first time.
OPDS is a simple, elegant syndication format based on Atom and HTTP. It allows libraries to use a standard protocol for the aggregation, distribution, discovery, and acquisition of electronic publications. We believe helping US libraries move to OPDS-based distribution could greatly expand access by enabling libraries to select and integrate various interoperable parts of their technology systems to meet their users needs.
ODL is an enhanced version of OPDS that allows the library more visibility into and control over the e-content they purchase. ODL provides the librarian information about the exact type of licenses held. For example, one title may have a license for 26 lends, with 22 remaining, while another title may have a license for one year with two months left. Information about the licenses a library owns is available and actionable through ODL. ODL also offers information about and control over the holds queue. We hope that as this work moves forward the Library Simplified system will be enhanced to support ODL so that US libraries can optimize their purchasing and holds (as European libraries using ODL already can) to maximize access to their e-content collections.
DPLA is a proud partner on Open eBooks, an app containing thousands of popular and award-winning titles that are free for children from in-need households. We join a coalition of literacy, library, technology and publishing partners in helping build a love of reading. Both Open eBooks and the DPLA Exchange are two of a growing number of ebook projects DPLA is proud to help lead.