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For the past six years the State Library’s DX Lab has developed new and exciting ways for people to experiment with, access, explore and become part of our collections.
Led by Paula Bray, the DX Lab has collaborated with Library staff, fellows, digital drop-ins and partners to produce some of the most exciting, creative and memorable projects within the Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAM) community and beyond.
The Lab’s multi award-winning project #NewSelfWales invited people to share a selfie on Instagram to become part of the biggest public display in the Library’s history. There was Loom, the Lab’s first collection visualisation breakthrough which uses data from some 3,200 images of downtown Sydney. The Library’s inaugural DX Lab Fellowship resulted in Unstacked, offering a virtual window into what Library users are searching for and requesting physically and digitally ‘from the stacks’. This project has been implemented in several libraries, most recently the University of NSW Library.
More recently, the Lab’s Covid-19 collecting initiative The Diary Files provided an important online community space for people to share their stories, poems, lyrics, thoughts and reflections during the pandemic. And the Lab’s experiment Meridan, an interactive 3D globe of Miranda’s World Globe, 1706, can now be used in the Library’s new Map Rooms.
According to Robin Phua, the Library’s Director, Digital Experience & CIO: “The innovative work of the DX Lab has been so successful that some of their practices are now integral to the Library’s digital operations, having informed how we make our collections accessible and how we engage with our readers.”
The DX Lab, established in 2015, has been primarily supported by capital funding for the Library's Digital Excellence Program. This funding program is coming to a close, and unfortunately the DX Lab is unable to continue after September 2021.
“With learnings from some 25 experiments, data visualisations and projects created by the DX Lab, the Library will continue to develop and implement innovative projects that provide diverse access points to the Library’s collection and data, including through projects like Amplify and the new catalogue which is currently in development,” said Mr Phua.
The DX Lab website will remain accessible to all. Over the next few weeks and months, we will complete the remaining project commitments and assess how best to sustainably preserve the authentic interactivity of the more complex projects for long-term access.