Strategic Visioning Process

The text below describes the process that HathiTrust and its constituents followed — along with our partner, Athenaeum 21 —  to arrive at our final Strategic Vision, published in March 2024. See our Strategic Vision.

The world has changed dramatically in the 15 years since HathiTrust’s creation and even more so in the 5 years since we adopted our 2019-2023 Strategic Directions. Despite the global disruption and changes of recent years — as well as 47% membership growth — we have followed the course laid out in that plan. We are now poised to draw on the strength of our accomplishments and prepare to serve the future needs of our membership. To do so, we are launching an in-depth process of exploration, discovery, and strategic visioning, to begin our next 15 years.

Your participation is vital to creating a vision for our future services and programs that will benefit your library and communities, so we encourage you to participate wherever you can.

What We’re Doing

We’ve partnered with Athenaeum 21, a long-standing digital strategy and technology planning consultancy and collaborator in the library and cultural heritage community. They will guide the 3-part collaborative visioning process that will take place through the end of 2023. During this process, we will connect with people throughout our member libraries — subject librarians, deans, collection managers, directors — as well as with HathiTrust staff and industry peers.

2023 Strategic Visioning Timeline phases

Discovery & Listening: Data Gathering 

Through interviews, surveys, and workshops with a variety of stakeholders, in this phase we will gather the data needed to understand the current state of HathiTrust and its future possibilities. Member library affiliates, staff, and others will be asked to think creatively about unfulfilled areas of need and opportunity.

Visioning: Future-Casting

Based on what we learn in the Discovery and Listening phase, in this phase we will identify and model future opportunities to shift our focus towards thinking expansively about HathiTrust’s future. The primary modes of engagement will include a series of workshops to be held with a range of members, governance group, and staff.

Sharing: Communicating the Plan

A21 will facilitate the information gathering, synthesizing, and creative conceptualization that will culminate in a complete vision later this year that will then be presented to the Board of Governors for approval and final confirmation. We will begin evaluating implementation paths as the process winds down and finalize our roadmap in early 2024.

Who is Involved

Librarians and staff at our member institutions will participate throughout the process, providing a variety of perspectives in every phase. HathiTrust staff will share additional insight, as well as logistical support to the entire process. A group of strategic leaders representing the breadth and depth of the membership will provide consistency and continuity throughout the project as the Strategic Visioning Task Force.

Mike Furlough, HathiTrust Executive Director, Co-Chair
Claire Stewart, Chair of HathiTrust Board of Governors, UIUC, Co-Chair

Megan Hurst, Athenaeum21 (A21)
Christine Madsen, Athenaeum21 (A21)

HathiTrust Strategic Visioning Task Force

Theresa Byrd, Dean, University Library, University of San Diego
Daniel Dollar, Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources, Yale University
Kristina Hall, Copyright Review Program Manager, HathiTrust
Dracine Hodges, Associate University Librarian for Collections Services, Duke University
Anne Houston, Director of Libraries and College Librarian, Swarthmore College
Beth Namachchivaya, University Librarian, University of Waterloo
Lorrie McAllister, Associate University Librarian for Collection Services and Analysis, Arizona State University
Nathan Mealey, ​​Associate University Librarian for Discovery & Access, Wesleyan University
Catherine Mitchell, Director of Publishing, Archives, and Digitization, California Digital Library
Bethany Nowviskie, Dean of Libraries and Professor of English, James Madison University
Trevor Owens, Director of Digital Services, Library of Congress
Denise Pan, Senior Associate Dean of University Libraries for Collections and Strategic Partnerships, University of Washington
Claire Stewart, Dean of Libraries, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

For more information or to share your thoughts on HathiTrust’s future, please contact the project team at