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HathiTrust Response to Covid-19

Information below pertains to HathiTrust's response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), including service updates, status, and enhanced access. This page is updated regularly as status or service offerings change.

Service Announcement Messages

Emergency Temporary Access Service for Members by Request
March 31, 2020

Today HathiTrust makes available to our members the Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS), which will allow students, faculty, and staff from eligible member libraries  to have online reading access to materials that are currently unavailable to them in their library collections. All users continue to have access to more than 6.7 million public domain and Creative Commons-licensed works. By offering this service, we intend to help continue to support teaching and research at institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ETAS is available by request to all HathiTrust member libraries located in the U.S. that have experienced an unexpected or involuntary, temporary disruption to normal operations, requiring the library to be closed to the public, or otherwise to have restricted print collection access services. HathiTrust uses a request process to verify that the library meets these qualifications and to record information about the expected duration of need. 

We have developed a careful and measured approach to this service, conforming to fair use under U.S. copyright law, in order to help students, teachers, and researchers continue to do their vital work.  

Message from Executive Director, Mike Furlough 
March 24, 2020

HathiTrust staff members are working hard to explore a new emergency service for member libraries that will provide expanded access for their students, faculty, and staff to digitized versions of items in member library collections. We intend to expand fair use access to our corpus to ensure that the academic communities of our members can continue teaching and learning with HathiTrust resources if physical access to print collections is compromised during the COVID-19 pandemic. Member libraries must meet specific emergency conditions and implement the service to the specifications that permit fair use access.

Our current plan is to configure and test this service within the next week. Based on the outcome of that testing we will make a final decision about availability. 

We will not be able to extend this service to all members immediately.  Below are conditions under which HathiTrust could provide Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) and the broad strokes of the service itself.

Many will have questions about the service and how to enable it, but it will be very difficult to provide direct responses to everyone at this time and still make progress on the launch of this service.  We ask you to please hold your questions for the moment.  We will communicate as soon as possible with more complete information. 

If you have questions or concerns in the meantime, please submit them to feedback@issues.hathitrust.org.

Academic Libraries Eligible for Emergency Access

HathiTrust member libraries located in the U.S. that have suffered an unexpected or involuntarydisruption to normal operations, such as closure for a public health emergency like COVID-19 pandemic, requiring it to be closed to the public, or otherwise restrict print collection access services. 

Emergency Temporary Access Service: Summary

Students, faculty, and staff ONLY at the affected institution will, upon logging in to HathiTrust, have access to copyrighted titles that the library owns and for which we have been able to identify a match through our ongoing holdings analysis. Users will be able to read the book online, in the web browser, but will not be able to download the work in full.  



Message from Executive Director, Mike Furlough
March 13, 2020

Along with our member library campuses, we are closely monitoring developments related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  

I want all of you to take care of yourselves as you work through these challenging days.  At HathiTrust we are taking steps to protect the health and safety of our staff and communities while continuing to provide core HathiTrust services and support our members as their situation changes. 

Here are steps that HathiTrust is taking in light of the current situation: 

  • We are reviewing our policies, systems, and service guidelines to plan for potential emergency service offerings.

  • We have cancelled non-essential travel for HathiTrust staff to attend our quarterly  staff retreat, scheduled for March in Ann Arbor. Our employees have the option of working from home. 

  • We are discontinuing plans for other non-essential travel to conferences or other events through at least May 31, and will re-evaluate this policy in May. 

  • This means that, unfortunately, we have postponed HathiTrust Research Center workshops planned for April and May at Southern Methodist University, University of Colorado, Boulder, and Princeton University. We will discuss plans to reschedule with each of these hosts. 

We will communicate as soon as possible with our representatives regarding changes to our services, or any new service offerings we may be able to provide.  

It's one of the more challenging moments we've faced together in many years, and we're in awe of the library community's resilience.  Thanks for your continued support of HathiTrust.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at feedback@issues.hathitrust.org.