Charting HathiTrust’s Strategic Directions: Update

By Mike Furlough, Executive Director

Last summer we began work to define HathiTrust’s next strategic directions for 2019-2023.  We published a draft plan in late summer, then held several webcasts to discuss these proposals with members.   At our 2017 Member Meeting we devoted nearly the entire day to these issues and left tremendously energized by the membership’s clear commitment to HathiTrust and our mission.  

We also left with a substantial amount of commentary from the attendees about our draft plan, which helped to clearly identify key areas of strategic value.  It also reinforced the importance of continuing many efforts currently underway, such as our existing programs, development of a collection policy, a focus on metadata enhancement for improved access, publication of a membership development strategy, and modifications to the budgeting process.  Among the themes we heard:

  • Clarify what HathiTrust is uniquely situated to accomplish and build our plans around those issues.

  • Clarify what the collection should support, re-state/reaffirm our focus on books and textual materials.  

  • Incorporate more service assessment--internal and external--into the ongoing work.

  • Develop connections with users both through libraries and directly.  There seemed to be more interest in educational uses, in addition to research uses, of HathiTrust.  

  • In general, be more specific about desired outcomes wherever possible.

We’ve spent the last several months taking those comments into account and working on a final version of our plans.  Thanks to the candid advice the membership offered, our final strategic directions will be a much stronger, more actionable set of plans. The Board of Governors meets in March to review the progress and finalize our plans.  We anticipate sharing HathiTrust’s 2019-2023 Strategic Directions with our members in early spring.