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Workshop Brings Together Staff from All Sites

by Sandra McIntyre

Thirty-eight HathiTrust staff members met February 2-3 in Chicago for the first-ever HathiTrust all-sites staff workshop. The attendees included managers, librarians, developers, systems administrators, and graduate students who work at HathiTrust’s distributed sites, including the sites at the University of Michigan, University of California, Indiana University, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 

Before the workshop, the teams provided three “deep dive” web-conferences to share information with each other about the infrastructure and architecture for each part of the HathiTrust enterprise – HathiTrust repository and digital library, Zephir metadata management system, and HathiTrust Research Center. At the workshop, many staff members met others face to face for the first time, and the two days of intensive work together provided an opportunity to build new relationships as well as to address specific opportunities for collaboration.

The primary goal of the event was to coordinate planning, prioritization, and strategic development/deployment across the enterprise in line with the HathiTrust mission and member priorities. Team members analyzed use cases across all sites, conducted troubleshooting on a few issues, and generated a wealth of ideas about leveraging infrastructure, sharing common software services, and translating research results into production services. 

Sessions included both plenary discussions and breakout working sessions, on such topics as tracking metadata flows in the HathiTrust ecosystem, the potential for sharing APIs and specific tools, promoting common development practices and communications, using “item-level” metadata, and detecting duplicates. Of special interest to many participants was a renewed exploration into providing a common user experience across all interfaces and services, based on the development of use cases.

HathiTrust managers are analyzing the recommendations from the workshop and prioritizing for collaboration going forward with input from various staff and governance groups. We anticipate enhanced communications and work across the HathiTrust teams in the months to come. Many thanks to the event’s Program Committee and all the participants!

 
HathiTrust staff from four sites collaborate at the all-sites staff workshop, Chicago, February 2-3, 2017.