Parents' Guide to

Digital Public Library of America

By Polly Conway, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Vast online library is a wealth of searchable info.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this website.

Community Reviews

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Sometimes you really have to know what you're looking for; a search for "illuminated manuscript" brought up over 1500 results, but "illuminated manuscript Gothic" narrowed it down to three. This isn't the place to find a cursory summary of a subject, but you can find some wonderfully specific and fascinating pieces of archival info. The design is a bit austere and serious for younger users, but libraries have never been known for their flashiness. The forums are pretty sparse, but the site just launched in April of 2013, so expect the community to develop and grow over time.

Overall, the Digital Public Library of America is a bit like walking into the Library of Congress: amazing, but a little intimidating. As physical libraries seem to be woefully underfunded, the breadth and quality of DPLA is a wonderful surprise.

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