Open Knowledge Commons, Inc.

To support the Open Knowledge Commons in uniting the library community and the public behind the implementation of a universal digital library

  • Amount $330,000
  • City Boston, MA
  • Investigator Maura Marx
  • Year 2009
  • Program Technology
  • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge

This is a request for Maura Marx, executive director of the Open Knowledge Commons (OKC), to build the organization's base and public profile, and to develop a national digital strategy that will appeal to policymakers as well as libraries. We created the Open Knowledge Commons out of a previous grant to the Internet Archive due to the need for strengthening existing partnerships and forging new alliances with libraries, archives, funders, legislators and the public behind a universal digital library. Maura Marx, recruited after a national search, spent her first year trying to work out a rapprochement with the Internet Archive and when that became unfeasible, recruiting a new Board of Directors and setting up a new not-for-profit organization, incorporated in Massachusetts. Marx now requests one year of support to help consolidate and expand the role of OKC in developing a blueprint for a national strategy for book digitization that will be useful to policy makers as well as the library community and to create demonstration projects that showcase the benefits of such a blueprint. OKC is the only organization devoted exclusively to this vision and it fills a very important gap. Marx proposes to move OKC to the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard and to work to develop the intellectual, social and legal framework to foster the strengths of this new digital environment. We view the Open Knowledge Commons as a key vehicle to develop and implement our own program in digital information technology as we seek to create a realistic digital library with universal appeal.

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