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A Hub of Activity: Clemson University’s Involvement in the Digital Public Library of America and the Open Parks Network

Clemson University Libraries has emerged as a recognized leader in the development of exceptional digital libraries and services, evidenced in its involvement with two national initiatives: the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and the Open Parks Network. In collaboration with its partners in the South Carolina Digital Library, Clemson supports the South Carolina Service Hub of the DPLA—one of the founding Service Hubs—and works to bring new digital content from South Carolina organizations online and more widely available to a national audience. In that same spirit of collaboration and shared resources, Clemson University established a unique relationship with the U.S. National Park Service on a large-scale project known as the Open Parks Network, which IMLS sponsored in 2010 with a National Leadership Grant.

The collections digitized for the Open Parks Network now comprise over 350,000 unique items and 1.5 million pages of gray literature, representing national parks, historic sites, battlefields, and other protected areas from all areas of the country. Christopher Vinson, Head of Library Technology at Clemson University Libraries, will discuss both of these exciting initiatives from his perspective as Manager of the South Carolina DPLA Service Hub and Project Director for the Open Parks Network.


Christopher Vinson
Christopher Vinson joined Clemson University Libraries in 2011 as the Digital Projects Librarian. In 2012, he was appointed the Head of Library Technology—his current position that he finds to be both challenging and rewarding. Christopher develops and implements policies and service models to provide support to the Libraries and University in the areas of digital scholarship, web and application programming, technology management, and enterprise systems administration. Christopher also served as the principal investigator on a number of national grants in support of programs such as the Digital Public Library of America Service Hub in South Carolina and the Open Parks Network. Christopher graduated from Winthrop University with a BA in English in 2006, and earned his MLIS from the University of South Carolina in 2008. Christopher loves his work and tries to translate his passion for libraries and technology into effective, positive change for himself and his colleagues.