Shared Print Retention Library FAQs

Shared Print Agreement

Can you make modifications to the HathiTrust Shared Print Agreement?

To maintain consistency across the Agreements with all the Retention Libraries, we accept no additions, modifications, or addenda to the agreement. HathiTrust intentionally designed the agreement to avoid commonly-disputed issues, e.g. state of jurisdiction.

Why are the Operating Policies and Guidelines not in the HathiTrust Shared Print Agreement?

We chose not to incorporate the Shared Print Policies directly into the agreement as an attachment because of the likelihood that the policies will need to evolve in the future (as they already have a few times in recent years) and include details that are not suitable for inclusion in a long-term legal agreement. We have established a process for policy changes that includes input from member libraries and approval by the HathiTrust Board of Governors in some cases.  Policies and procedures that may change over time are not appropriate to enshrine in the long term agreement.

Retention Commitments

How were retention commitments identified?

In Phase 1, Retention Libraries volunteered commitments for print monographs that correspond to HathiTrust digital holdings. HathiTrust provided a file of matching holdings to each prospective Retention Library, and asked the library to return a file identifying those holdings that the library is willing to retain through December 2042 as part of the HathiTrust Shared Print Program. In order to make the process easy and to encourage participation, HathiTrust made no specific requirements about which holdings to retain except that they should be lendable monographs. We encouraged libraries to offer holdings that are held in a library shelving facility and/or holdings that are unique or rare among HathiTrust library collections.

For Phase 2, HathiTrust worked with OCLC’s Sustainable Collection Services to identify items that did not receive retention commitments in Phase 1. It was decided that the program would aim to retain up to 5 copies of each candidate title and distribute proposed retentions across U.S. Census regions where possible (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West). Canadian libraries participating in the Shared Print Program were assigned to the census region geographically located nearest to them.

Is there a minimum number of volumes HathiTrust will accept from a retention library? Or an average number of commitments?

There has been no required minimum number of commitments defined. HathiTrust does not require participating libraries to retain any minimum number or percentage of their matching holdings. We encouraged Retention Partners to commit to retain as many matching holdings as possible, but we recognize that libraries will have different local requirements and constraints.

Are we able to make commitments on items HathiTrust did not contact us about?

The initial goal of the HathiTrust Shared Print Program was to secure retention commitments for items overlap HathiTrust’s Digital Library, but expansion of the program is of great interest. Please contact Heather Weltin to discuss additional commitments.

Can Retention Libraries designate certain holdings (e.g. unique items) to serve as a non-circulating “dark archive”?

The HathiTrust Shared Print Program has been envisioned as a lendable collection and the assumption was that libraries would offer retention commitments for volumes they were willing to lend. During Phase 2 we will discuss extending the policy to accommodate non-circulating retentions for certain items.

What problems should we report to you regarding our commitments and how?

We are testing functions to allow libraries to correct metadata errors that affect the status of commitments in the HathiTrust Shared Print Registry. For example, libraries can report these kinds of status problems:

    • committed in error (i.e. out of scope for the HathiTrust program, such as a multivolume monograph instead of single-part)
    • duplicate (duplicate copy of the same title/OCN where the library only wants to retain one copy)
    • lost
    • Badly-damaged

Until we have launched this system, we ask libraries to keep track of things you find that belong in any of these categories so you can submit them to us. We only need a spreadsheet with the OCNs and local IDs, not a full MARC record. You may choose to keep more data points for your records though, which is fine.

How will Retention Libraries identify HathiTrust commitments in the library’s local system and in OCLC WorldCat?

Retention Libraries should record information about their commitments in the records for those holdings in the library’s local system, to attempt to prevent deselection of these volumes that the library committed to retain. The Disclosure policy and associated Disclosure Guidelines provide details of the metadata that the library should record (see Operating Policies and Guidelines).

OCLC has developed a service called OCLC’s Shared Print Registration that is intended to support simple recording of shared print commitments. HathiTrust worked closely with them to facilitate a way for us to act as an agent on your behalf and register your HathiTrust Shared Print Commitments for you in this new system. We have posted directions on our resources folder under “Directions for having HathiTrust Register HathiTrust Shared Print Commitments in the OCLC Shared Print Registry on your behalf.”

Although at this time, discovery of shared print commitments will not appear in OCLC Worldcat, we continue to work with OCLC on that develop and are asking all members to have us register their commitments.

Access and Resource Sharing

Why do items need to be shared via resource sharing when we have them digitized?

The HathiTrust Shared Print Program promotes use of the HathiTrust digital copy for access but recognizes that copyright law and contractual agreements may limit availability of the digital content for some holdings and for some users. Therefore HathiTrust aims to ensure availability of a print copy for each volume in the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Retention Libraries agree to make the retained materials available to other HathiTrust members according to the guidelines established in the Guidelines section. Retention Libraries agree to adopt reasonable and necessary discovery and delivery policies and systems to provide and gain access to shared print materials across the membership, to collect statistics and to perform usage reviews.

HathiTrust’s Shared Print Registry

What does HathiTrust Shared Print Registry use for data points?

While we ask Retention libraries to enter in 583 data in their catalog records, HathiTrust also maintains a Shared Print Registry that records the commitments made by all of the Retention Libraries. We ask the libraries to provide item-level information (if possible) for the copies they agree to retain, so we can capture shelving location which can vary across duplicate copies of the same title. We keep very limited metadata for the shared print records: OCN and local bib ID, and, if the library provides, local item ID, shelving location, shelving location type (e.g. offsite storage).

Will we know anything about a volume’s condition at other libraries?

The only condition information we have at present is the optional BRT code (Brittle/Damaged) that is provided only very rarely in a library’s print holdings records. We are providing that data back to its library in the Print Holdings Review File, and once the shared print commitments are loaded we will be able to provide some analysis of the quantity and location of these BRT items. But we do know that this information is available only for a very small number of records.

At this time, our Shared Print Program does not require validation of shared print volumes either for inventory confirmation or for item condition.