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Executive Committee Meeting Minutes - February 25, 2011

Present: Courant, Farley, Johnson, Kaufman, King, Schottlaender, Van Gemert (ex officio), Wilkin

1. 3-year review Q&A: The Executive Committee was joined by Laura Brown and Matt Loy of Ithaka S+R to discuss the strategy and focus for the upcoming 3-year review. The review will be undertaken by the Strategic Advisory Board with support from Ithaka S+R. During the meeting, discussion focused on the value that the 3-year review can give to future work, both in refining a sense of the current goals and work of HathiTrust, and in pointing new directions. All agreed on the need for a future discussion between Ithaka and the Executive Committee.

2. Minutes: The January, 2011 minutes were approved.

3. Finances: In previous discussions, the Executive Committee established a goal of restructuring the budget to separate operations and programmatic activities. A first iteration of a new budget structure was presented and discussed. It was agreed that the new structure is very clear and logically separates the various components of budget activity. The distinctive characteristics of storage and storage replacement for the enterprise are significant enough to warrant the current treatment of storage replacement as a separate budget category (though clearly a part of “operations”); it may also be valuable to treat regular storage purchases in this way. All areas of the budget show small surpluses, even when taking into account likely future expenses. We will continue to review the new budget format.

4. Organizational issues:

  1. Constitutional Convention: The Convention will take place at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, from October 8-10, preceding the ARL Membership Meeting. Primary contacts at partner institutions have been contacted to identify partner representatives, which will total approximately 120. More information will be sent to partner institutions in the coming months. An agenda is being shaped. The Convention will feature the 3-year review prominently and will also have a number of ballot initiatives. Preliminary voting weights for partners have been calculated based on the previously approved “Weighted Voting Models for the HathiTrust Constitutional Convention.” Some of the key variables for calculating weights (e.g., financial contributions and volumes deposited) are still in flux; consequently, a final calculation will be performed in late summer, 2011. A full accounting of votes and the calculation will be provided to partners at that time.
  2. HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC): Laine Farley, the Executive Committee liaison to the HTRC, reported on conversations with Beth Plale and Scott Poole, with topics including the possibility of HathiTrust-funded research, the relationship of the HTRC to Google’s incipient research activities, and the HTRC advisory board. Work continues on a Memorandum of Understanding between HathiTrust and the HTRC.
  3. Working group activities
    1. Communications Working Group (Heather Christenson)
      1. The Communications Working group finished a Communications and Marketing plan for 2011. The plan has been shared with the Executive Committee for final comments and approval, and was presented to the Strategic Advisory Board last week. A number of priorities have emerged for the coming month, including creation, announcement and hosting of a webinar for new partners, assisting the SAB with an announcement regarding Ithaka's consulting role, and assisting this group with communications surrounding the TRAC audit report as needed. We will also work through items in the Communications and Marketing plan marked for Q1. The group has decided to meet every two weeks rather than once a month.
    2. Usability Working Group (Suzanne Chapman)
      1. Poe & Lascarides are actively participating in the DIWG's Full-text subgroup. Chapman is participating in the DIWG and working with OCLC to develop a 2nd round of usability testing. The UWG is working through lists of proposed UI enhancements to prioritize and is providing periodic feedback to Chapman regarding UI development currently underway (e.g., the forthcoming Pageturner redesign). Upcoming work includes providing input about mobile development. The UWG recently received a request (from John Butler on behalf of SAB) to develop a set of personas/use cases. Finally, a new need has arisen to manage who has access to the Google Analytics account and have a way to easily communicate with them (for both vital information and to discuss use of the use stats). We will have a designated contact at each institution that will have administrative access to GA so that the contact person can add and remove users for her library as needed. This person would also join a listserv so she can be easily notified when there are changes to how things are tracked and general discussion about GA.
    3. Nominations for Communications Working Group and the establishment of a User Support Working Group: The Executive Committee approved the appointment of Robin Bedenbaugh (Texas A&M) and Oya Rieger (Cornell University) to the Communications Working Group. Nominations have been received for a User Support Working Group and members will be appointed in the coming weeks.

5. Repository

  1. HathiTrust continues to await a final report from CRL on the TRAC audit.
  2. HathiTrust has experienced only rare and limited outages of service, even during the period where we replaced some of the first storage acquired for HathiTrust. Ingest was paused during the replacement of nodes in Ann Arbor and Indianapolis, and both sites remained in service during that replacement process. As a result of the paused ingest, the number of volumes added for January and February will be somewhat lower.

6. Miscellaneous

  1. Orphan works: Approval was given to fund preliminary work to identify orphan works, particularly 1923-1963 US works in order to complement ongoing work with copyright determination. The first phase of work will be led by the University of Michigan Copyright Office and will be used to help shape a general process (cf., the CRMS effort) in the future.
  2. The Communications Working Group’s Communications and Marketing Plan for 2011 was reviewed by the Executive Committee and several areas for priority action were recommended.