Beyond Access: Using ETAS to Improve 15K Catalog Records
May 12, 2021
May 13, 2021
With the onset of the pandemic, many member librarians found themselves working remotely for the first time. While some work easily translated to a new virtual reality, other work did not, and those teams and individuals found themselves turning to creative solutions to continue the important work of their library. Leigh Billings, Metadata Management Librarian at the University of Michigan Library (HathiTrust member since 2008), discovered a way to continue a project that had previously relied on interaction with physical volumes. She and others at the UM Library used digital access to in-copyright works provided by ETAS to review and correct cataloging errors and omissions.
Leigh says, “A similar project in 2019 took over 9 months to fix about 1,200 records in one unit, while in the past year staff working remotely have been able to fix over 15,000 records . . . We simply would not be able to do this work without the ETAS access and scans.”
Using the scans available through the Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS), the project focused on cleaning up bibliographic records with missing or erroneous metadata that originated from the initial transference of information from the printed catalog cards into online MARC records.
Leigh says, “Many of these materials are stored offsite, and before HathiTrust ETAS access was provided, we had to request that materials be physically transferred, creating issues with the availability of staff to pull materials and space to store them — a similar project in 2019 took over 9 months to fix about 1,200 records in one unit, while in the past year staff working remotely have been able to fix over 15,000 records.”
In addition to enabling member patrons to continue teaching, learning, and researching despite library closures due to the pandemic, the temporary access service also provided a means to improve discoverability of the U-M library collection overall, a benefit that will extend beyond these turbulent times.
“We simply would not be able to do this work without the ETAS access and scans. It was a matter of perfect timing: Folks needing remote work and having the ability to view materials online came together to allow this project to happen.”