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Strategic Advisory Board Meeting Minutes - February 16, 2012

Members present: John Butler, Todd Grappone, Sarah Pritchard, Paul Soderdahl, Ed Van Gemert (note taker), John Wilkin, Bob Wolven.

Members absent: Tricia Cruse, Julia Kochi

1. Continued discussion of a new charge for an advisory group to be recommended to the new HathiTrust Board of Governors.

The current Strategic Advisory Board recognizes the continuing need for an independent group that will develop strategy and provide advice with reporting lines to the HathiTrust Board of Governors.

Advisory Group strategic responsibilities include:

  • Set a prioritized development agenda (within an annual budget allocation process) and recommend policy for that development (not to manage development).
  • Establish a framework for developing policy and advancing strategic initiatives.
  • Establish a transparent process to populate that strategic framework; inviting, evaluating, ranking and launching development initiatives from HathiTrust partner institutions.
  • Provide coordination, evaluation and assessment of programs and initiatives.

Clarification/discussion with the Board of Governors is required in areas including:

By-laws should specify:

  • Clearly specify the relationship between the Board of Governors and an advisory group. Specify the charge, scope and authority for each group.
  • Clarify roles as the group’s advisory function is separate from the duties of the Board of Governors, the Executive Committee, and the HathiTrust operations staff.
  • Articulate the role of the Executive Committee? Legal, financial, operational decisions that require quick turnaround?
  • Indicate a process for how new committees and working groups are to be established, who they report to, how charges are developed and approved, and how new ideas are to be vetted with governance groups and the membership.

3. SAB review of the Collections Committee’s Recommendations for Handling Duplicates in HathiTrust

The Executive Committee (and the SAB) accepted and approved the report and also approved publishing the report for the membership.

The Collections Committee recommends that large-scale de-duplication is not something that should be attempted now, but rather the situation should be reassessed at least annually given all of the complexities that emerge in the report. The committee acknowledged that duplication is a potential source of confusion for the user and encourages continued efforts to improve the user interface without removing duplicates at this time. It is also pointed out that there are legitimate, practical reasons for when duplicates are removed from the digital repository. The committee also recommends that if an institution’s contributed copy is removed, that institution retains the same usage rights to digital copies as those libraries whose digital copies were favored for retention.

Several questions emerged from subsequent SAB discussions that are being referred back to the Collections Committee for clarification including:

  • The committee recommends an annual reassessment of the situation.
    • What are the criteria that would be a part of that reassessment?
      • Growth curve for duplication?
      • Storage costs?
      • Quality?
  • The report cites user confusion with the presence of duplicates but what evidence is there to demonstrate that confusion?
  • What is the cost of inaction?
  • What is the risk of inaction?

3. The need for a user services group.

The SAB also discussed the need for a user services group in an effort to insure that operational work is being done in the right place, including the ongoing assessment of user-facing services. More discussion to follow.