About the Digital Library Federation

Mission and Community

The Digital Library Federation is a robust and diverse community of practitioners who advance research, learning, and the public good through the creative design and wise application of digital library technologies. DLF serves as a resource and catalyst for collaboration among its institutional members, and all who are invested in the success of libraries, museums, and archives in the digital age.

What We Do

DLF promotes work on the following:

  • Open digital library standards, software, interfaces, and best practices
  • Digital stewardship and curation, including research data management and aggregation and preservation services for digital collections
  • Digital humanities and other services that expand access to resources and open new opportunities for research, teaching, and learning
  • Education, professional development, lifelong learning, and growth of the field
  • Strengthened connections among digital library practitioners and allied or related professions and areas of research
  • Community-driven frameworks for policy advocacy, professional standards, issues of representation and diversity, and other matters of concern to digital library practitioners

Our in-person meetings and year-round working groups provide opportunities for DLF members to collaborate and get stuff done. Meanwhile, DLF staff and their colleagues at CLIR design and administer supportive programs that meet community needs.

In addition, DLF frequently partners with and offers assistance to groups and projects that matter to the digital library community. This support can take the form of sponsorships and dedicated travel grants, project incubation and collaboration, space and logistical assistance for events, fiscal management, and other public or behind-the-scenes partnerships and services. Recent examples include work with CURATEcamp, the Taiga Forum, Open Repositories, DPLA, DHSI, OpenCon, ARCS, code4lib, ER&L, VRA, Openlab, DPN, AMIA and the AMIA-DLF Hack Day, ARL, ACRL interest groups, the ACCESS conference, HILT, the TEI Libraries SIG, DataONE, the LODLAM Summit, the LGT Summit, and more. Beginning in January of 2016, after a nationwide search, DLF will also serve as the institutional host of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance.


DLF serves its parent organization, the Council on Library and Information Resources, as the place where CLIR’s broader information-community strategies are informed and enriched by digital library practice. DLF connects CLIR’s vision and research agenda to our active practitioner network. In addition, we partner closely on key CLIR initiatives related to DLF’s mission, in order to provide advice and expertise to CLIR from the digital library community, as well as connections and opportunities for our members. Chief among these are:

The Digital Library Federation is led by Dr. Bethany Nowviskie, with guidance provided by CLIR’s president and Board of Directors and the DLF Advisory Committee, in response and support of the work and contributions of DLF community members. Programmatic directions and initiatives are driven by year-round community engagement and discussions at the annual DLF Forum. Funding for DLF initiatives comes from membership dues and grants.

The DLF Forum

DLF programs stretch year-round, but we are perhaps best known for our signature event, the DLF Forum. Our annual Forum includes digital library practitioners from member institutions and the broader community, for whom it serves as a meeting place, marketplace, and congress. As a meeting place, the DLF Forum provides an opportunity for our Advisory Committee, working groups, and community members to conduct their business and present their work. As a marketplace, the Forum provides an opportunity for community members to share experiences and practices with one another and support a broader level of information sharing among professional staff. As a congress, the Forum provides an opportunity for the DLF to continually review and assess its programs and its progress with input from the community at large.