Charge: User Engagement Task Force

A. Background and Governance

HathiTrust’s vision statement notes that “HathiTrust will be a vital catalyst for emerging forms of research, teaching, and learning that engage the scholarly and cultural record.” The 2019-2023 Strategic Directions suggest a more intentional focus on and investment in User Engagement. The 2019-2023 Strategic Directions include the objective “Strengthen and support our member libraries’ efforts to engage users of HathiTrust” within its strategic theme of Empower. The Strategic Directions also include an objective to “Invest in understanding the needs of users and members of HathiTrust” within the Enhance theme. In response, the Program Steering Committee (PSC) is seeking insight into how HathiTrust can most effectively pursue these objectives.

B. Charge

The User Engagement Task Force has been formed to consider ways that HathiTrust can better understand user needs; and support member libraries in engaging users. The task force will:

  • Advise PSC and the HathiTrust staff on issues related to users’ engagement with HathiTrust collections and services; and make recommendations to improve HathiTrust support for member libraries in engaging users.
    • Liaise with HathiTrust staff to understand how usage data and feedback is currently collected and what can be learned from currently available information.
    • Engage HathiTrust member libraries to understand how well informed librarians are about HathiTrust services, collections, and programs and how they could be better supported in communicating with and supporting HathiTrust end users.
    • Identify potential changes to current practices and procedures to understand and support user engagement; and to support the capturing of user data and stories.
  • Communicate with PSC about the task force’s work and progress.
  • Recommend whether a user-oriented PSC working group is needed and areas of focus, considering the scope of other working groups and any possible overlap.

C. Outcomes

Iterative engagement of PSC in the group’s progress on this focus should occur through the first year of the Task Force’s work. The work should be complete within 18 months resulting in a report and/or other reporting appropriate for sharing with members.

D. Reporting

Reports to the Program Steering Committee. The chair should prepare quarterly reports for PSC and contribute to PSC’s progress reports to the Board of Directors.

E. Membership/Composition

Membership: Recommended by Chair and approved by PSC. PSC will assist with recruitment of membership from HathiTrust member institutions.

Membership composition:

  • Chair: From HathiTrust Member Institution – appointed by PSC
  • At least five members from HathiTrust Member Institutions, particularly those with expertise relating to user experience, user testing, reference, instruction, digital scholarship and user liaison work.
  • Liaison from PSC
  • One or more HathiTrust Staff members – Angelina Zaytsev, User Services Librarian, with consultation as appropriate with Jessica Rohr, Member Engagement and Communications Specialist