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2020 Member Meeting Plenary Panel: Interdependence and Crisis

HathiTrust was founded by academic libraries recognizing that their greatest strength was in collaboration to promote interdependence.  This year’s HathiTrust’s 2020 Member Meeting and Community Week explores how HathiTrust members can take advantage of and build interdependent support through the organization.  This membership is much larger with a broader range of institution types than when we began in 2008.  

2020 will not end as it began. The preceding several months have demonstrated that our collective health and community infrastructures are reliant upon a shared understanding of the common good.  Because the global public health crisis has disrupted education at all levels and will likely instigate an economic fall, libraries must ask familiar questions with new urgency.  What collective investments are necessary to support access to knowledge?   Who will be able to make these investments and build collective collections?  Who may benefit from these investments, and how can we disrupt a history of inequities in access to knowledge and quality of education?   What can we collectively do about it?  How can we foster interdependence and not simply dependence? 

This panel discussion will touch on these and related questions from three leaders from related, but distinct fields:  Libraries and Archives, Higher Education, and Philanthropy.   Each will be asked to speculate on how the access to and preservation of knowledge will be challenged in coming years and how we can collectively work to address those challenges.   

Recording of this session: Plenary Panel: Interdependence and Crisis


  • Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Digital Humanities and Professor of English, Michigan State University

  • Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, Professor/Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction and Affiliate Professor in the School of Information Sciences, University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Patricia Hswe, Program Officer for Public Knowledge, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

ModeratorElaine Westbrooks, University Librarian & Vice Provost, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill