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Drexel University's IPL/ipl2 Closes

July 6, 2015

After 20 years of service to the library and information science community, the Internet Public Library (IPL/ipl2) has ceased operations and is no longer supported as of June 30, 2015. The IPL was founded in 1995 by Joe Janes, PhD at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, and expanded to include a growing series of collections, developed mainly by students, and the early online reference service, “Ask a Question.” In 2006-2007, the IPL servers and some of the staff were transferred to Drexel University, where the IPL was merged with the Librarian’s Internet Index (LII). When the IPL and LII metadata were crosswalked to Dublin Core, a new website was relaunched as ipl2 in 2010.
The IPL/ipl2 received almost 8 million visitors a year at its height of usage and a total of more than 166,000 questions from users around the globe. Those questions have been answered by thousands of dedicated reference students, volunteers, and staff. Since 2008 alone, the ipl2 has trained over 7,000 graduate students in library and information science programs across the U.S. and Canada in digital reference practices and research skills. The IPL/ipl2 has also been used to generate data for a number of research projects and publications.
"Thanks to the IPL, our students have gained valuable digital library experience by either working as volunteers for the IPL or by working on their class assignments with the IPL,” said Xia Lin, PhD, professor at Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics (CCI). “As the IPL comes to a close, we look forward to providing new systems and services that will bring students up to date with semantic technologies and data services."
The College of Computing & Informatics gratefully acknowledges Joe Janes, PhD, Maurita Holland, PhD and Eileen Abels, PhD who have all stewarded the IPL/ipl2; the iSchool Consortium, various staff, and the numerous faculty and students who have contributed to the success of the IPL/ipl2 over the years; and funders such as the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and OCLC who have generously supported the work of the IPL/ipl2.
Any questions about the closure of the IPL/ipl2 may be directed to Professor Xia Lin at or at 215.895.2482.