January 25, 2022

HathiTrust Executive Director Shares “Reflections on the First HathiTrust Member Meeting”

Note: What follows are a few of a number things that caught my attention while reading the complete 2800 blog post.

From a “Perspectives from HathiTrust” Blog Post by Mike Furlough, Executive Director, HathiTrust:

The standout event of my first six months was the 2014 HathiTrust Members Meeting, held in Washington, DC on October 11. This was the first meeting of our membership since the 2011 Constitutional Convention, after which we developed our new governance structure, and adopted our current financial model. This was a unique chance to bring our partners together to update them on our current initiatives and engage them to begin planning for the future. Evident throughout the day were the membership’s strong sense of shared responsibility for the success of HathiTrust and the excitement for what we have done and will do together.


…the [HT] partnership is strong and continues to grow. After the 2011 Convention our membership increased from 64 to 101 member libraries and now includes four in Canada, one in Spain, and one in Australia.


During its inaugural year the Program Steering Committee (PSC) launched working groups to plan programs passed as ballot initiatives at our 2011 Constitutional Convention. One of these, a proposal to develop a shared and distributed print monographs archive, will promote collective and coherent decisions about the retention and long-term management of print collections.


During an open discussion period in Washington I asked “How important are non-text formats for HathiTrust?” and the responses varied.  No one disputed their importance, but some cautioned on the timing. For certain members they are critical. These members believe that we must better support visual and graphical materials, including those found in the books in our existing collection, as well as materials at-risk or otherwise less accessible in our archives and special collections. Some observed that as a body of materials, the government publications–on which we are so heavily focused–are and have always been multi-format. However, others cautioned that we still have much yet to do with the textual materials we’ve collected, and that there are other types of text collections we haven’t touched, such as newspapers. We should, in this view, not lose sight of what we do well and be mindful of the resources required to expand into new formats.


As our friends at OCLC research have observed, “evolving scholarly record” has become more heterogeneous and parts are at risk due to fragmentation in our mechanisms of management and preservation.  We will have to address this format question squarely in the coming year, but we will do so the context of our overall mission, the services we can build together, and related strategic issues. Earlier this year the Program Steering Committee began outlining some issues related to collecting non-text formats. This is only a start of the discussion, and this issue is also in the charge of the newly re-charged Collections Committee.

Read the Complete Post (2407 Words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.