Through its contact emails and public interfaces, HathiTrust routinely receives end-user questions and feedback related to its content and services. These include inquiries relating to
- Collection development
- Content Quality
- Deposit of new content
- Re-use of content and linking
- Inter-library loan
- Print on Demand
- Bibliographic and full-text search
- Access to Datasets
- Feature requests and problem reports
As HathiTrust has grown, the scope of the issues users raise, the diversity of institutions and working groups the issues involve, and the need for a broader group of partners to be aware of the types of questions, problems, and feedback that are received, have all increased. In order to efficiently and effectively serve the needs of users, and ensure the highest level of function of HathiTrust services, HathiTrust has charged a multi-institution User Support Working Group.
The User Support Working Group:
- Responds to and ensures ultimate resolution of user inquiries that are received through HathiTrust web interfaces and the HathiTrust contact address. This work is accomplished through the use of a common issue-tracking system.
- Responds to users directly and mediates resolution of problems and issues with contacts at partner institutions where necessary. Initial responses to inquiries are sent within one business day of receipt and resolved as soon as possible thereafter.
- Works closely with other working groups and committees to direct feedback on particular HathiTrust activities, interfaces, and work products (e.g., PageTurner and search interfaces, webinars, press releases, etc.) to the appropriate channels.
At the end of 2011, the group will make recommendations about a future structure and processes for responding to user requests.
Composed of up to 12 members, including a chair and staff from a variety of partner institutions with expertise in reference, technical services, copyright, collections, and other primary areas of user feedback. Most of work of the group will be conducted by email with conference calls scheduled as needed. Members must be professional, representing HathiTrust appropriately to users. Members must be willing and able to respond quickly, and at times immediately, to user inquiries and messages from other working group members. Members must also be diligent about pursuing issues to a conclusion, realizing that some issues may take several weeks or even months to resolve.
Current members include:
- Judy Ahronheim (University of Michigan)
- Gary Charbonneau (Indiana University)
- Cassandra Fox (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
- Charlie Heinz (University of Minnesota)
- Kathryn Stine (California Digital Library)
- Jeremy York (HathiTrust - chair)
- Angelina Zaytsev (HathiTrust)
Reports to the Executive Director, who in turn coordinates with the HathiTrust Executive Committee
Members of the group are charged for an initial term through the end of 2012, with a review to occur at the end of 2011.