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Executive Committee Meeting Minutes - January 21, 2011

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

1. Minutes: December, 2010 minutes were approved.

2. Finances

  • The HathiTrust budget ended the year with a small deficit ($131,392, 5.23% of revenue), an amount offset by end-of-year reserves of $1,213,392 designated for future storage replacements.
  • The new financial model FAQ has been posted online. Initial traffic was reported at 114 visits.
  • As of 1 Jan 2011, 50% of two University of Michigan staff members has been moved to the HathiTrust budget for in light of their ongoing work on code management/integration. They will also assume responsibility for exploring other community-based code management strategies

3. Organizational issues

  • Strategic Advisory Board report: Van Gemert reported on SAB interviews with possible external consultants who would undertake all or significant portions of the 3-year review. Executive Committee discussion and feedback followed, focusing particularly on the value of the review to the membership. Elements likely to be included in the formal review are the value of HathiTrust to the members, matters of sustainability and governance, and a review of the technical strategy. All agreed that the most important piece of the review is an assessment of the value of HathiTrust to the members. Van Gemert also reported on the release of the collaboratively developed OCLC/HathiTrust WorldCat-based catalog.
  • Constitutional Convention: The HathiTrust Constitutional Convention is scheduled for October 8-10 in Washington, D.C., with a venue to be determined. Representation for partner delegations was finalized. Each institutional delegation will consist of three members. Each consortial delegation will consist of three members, as well as one person per participating institution. The repository administrators (Indiana and Michigan) will each have five representatives. Voting weights are determined separately (see HathiTrust weighted voting model) and will be distributed prior to the Constitutional Convention. The agenda will be developed in the coming months by Bruce Miller (SAB), Paula Kaufman and John Wilkin, and will include a panel discussion of the 3-year review.
  • Communications: In collaboration with the Communications Working Group, we will begin scheduling periodic teleconference and webcast sessions. The first will be designed for new members and will be scheduled for March. A subsequent session may focus on the new cost model.
  • HathiTrust Research Center: Work progresses on a Memorandum of Understanding for the HathiTrust Research Center.
  • Working groups: Reports were provided from the operational working groups (see below). The Executive Committee discussed the need for a working group devoted to handling user requests and feedback related to content, metadata and general support. A request for nominations for members of a User Support Working Group will be made to institutional representatives.
  • Miscellaneous: Michigan completed its IMLS copyright grant proposal, focusing on copyright determination for non-US works. Fifteen partner institutions made cost-share commitments and will be participating as expert reviewers in the proposed system.
4. Repository
  • Infrastructure: There were no outages in the previous reporting period. HathiTrust has begun the process of replacing storage acquired in the first year of operation. This replacement of storage nodes (three in Ann Arbor prior the discussion) is taking place without interruption to services. We ended 2010 at nearly 8 million volumes overall and 2 million public domain volumes.
  • CRL TRAC audit: We continue to await word from CRL on the TRAC certification process.
  • HathiTrust and print storage: After encouraging feedback from many of the university librarians/library deans at partner institutions, the Executive Committee concluded that we should move forward to formulate a more detailed proposal and cost model for coordinating print storage as part of HathiTrust. The finalized proposal will be discussed at the Constitutional Convention. Wilkin will work to identify a liaison from the Executive Committee to the Collections Committee. Kaufman, Schottlaender and Wilkin will serve as a subset of the Executive Committee in working with the liaison and the Communications Committee to develop the proposal. We will begin by identifying funding for a planning effort, including travel and meeting arrangements.

5. Other items

  • Work continues with SerialsSolutions on establishing an agreement that will permit the incorporation of HathiTrust Solr indexes in Summon services.
  • Representatives of GPO approached Wilkin regarding the possibility of incorporating FDSys content in HathiTrust. In light of the GPO LOCKSS effort, in which many HathiTrust partners participate, the value of FDSys content is uncertain. Moreover, the significant overlap of FDSys content with digitized US federal government publications currently in HathiTrust raises questions of development and cost. Wilkin will ask the Collections Committee to include consideration of this opportunity and its value to HathiTrust in its discussions.
  • Wilkin is discussing possible collaboration between Ithaka and HathiTrust on the question of the impact of online availability of HathiTrust resources on use of print. The proposed analysis will be performed by correlating large amounts circulation data with information on the timing of availability on digitized resources. The Executive Committee expressed its support for exploring this work.

Working Group summaries

Communications Working Group (Heather Christenson)

The Communications Working group's recent activities have primarily reflected our "operational" role. We coordinated with the Discovery Interface Working Group on this week's OCLC announcement, got out a quite popular "Year in Review 2010" summary in time for the ALA Midwinter conference, and have been active in monitoring external statements about HathiTrust and commenting on and offering input when appropriate.  We will soon complete our most important strategic piece, our Communications and Marketing plan for 2011.

At this point, the overall priorities for 2011 listed in the draft plan are:
  1. Create communication mechanisms and tools for partner institutions to propagate information about HathiTrust to their constituents
  2. Establish externally recognized (i.e., official) communications channels emerging from HathiTrust
  3. Promote understanding of the HathiTrust as “we” and establish greater unity and shared values across HathiTrust partner institutions
  4. Ensure effective communication amongst and across the HathiTrust partner institutions, and HathiTrust groups
  5. Greatly increase scholars’ awareness and perception of HathiTrust as a useful resource
  6. Raise the profile of HT in general and make sure info out there is accurate
  7. Create a HathiTrust blog
Other immediately upcoming (operational) activities:
  • Work with the SAB to ensure awareness of activities leading up to the Constitutional Convention
  • Create a Facebook Group for HathiTrust
  • Creating a listerv with a "pointperson" from each HathiTrust partner institution who would be responsible for spreading the word to that institution (library and perhaps beyond) on whatever we send
  • Create and host a webinar for new HathiTrust partners, ideally in February
We lost a member of our group, Kim Milford of Indiana University, at the end of the year. Our workload is large and we have a particular need for a member with strong skills in social networking tools.

Usability Working Group (Suzanne Chapman)

The Usability Group has a number of projects in progress. As the Usability Group liaison to the Discovery Interface Working Group, Suzanne Chapman (UM) is working with OCLC to design and implement a second round of usability testing of the HathiTrust-OCLC prototype catalog. The Usability Group has also begun participating in various user interface design projects by providing feedback on proposed changes to the home page and PageTurner. This is working well and will continue as needed. The group is also starting to compile a wish list of new user interface features and improvements. The group's intention is to compile the list, prioritize, and then make recommendations to inform development. Beginning next week, Felicia Poe (CDL) and Michael Lascarides (NYPL) will begin participating as liaisons to the Full-Text Search Sub Group.