Available Indexes

HathiTrust Statement of Values

On May 5, 2021, the Board of Governors approved a revised version of the statement posted below. In a vote that concluded June 1, 2021, Member Representatives with voting rights in HathiTrust voted to ratify the Statement of Values for the organization with 124 of 190 of voting members participating and all weighted votes cast in support..

HathiTrust Statement of Values 
Summary Survey Results
Communication Archive & Webcasts
History & Timeline


HathiTrust Statement of Values

HathiTrust, a member-based organization preserving cultural and scholarly heritage in the interest of libraries and their patrons, bases its work on the following values.  Our staff, leadership, and members of our governance bodies rely upon these principles to carry out HathiTrust’s work.  Libraries who choose to support HathiTrust should do so with full awareness of our mission, vision, and values.  

Trust is paramount, the basis of the preservation and stewardship mission we undertake on behalf of our community.  We build trust through transparency, accountability, and consistent high-level execution of HathiTrust's mission.

Access to knowledge and open inquiry are necessary for just societies and for the creation of new scholarship and research.  We use our position to promote the broadest possible access to the scholarly and cultural record today and into the future.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion promote justice, create communities that thrive, and advance collective knowledge and understanding. HathiTrust takes action to comprehend and address these inequities in our collections, services, programs, and organization.

Resilience, created through interdependent work, provides HathiTrust and the library community as a whole with flexibility and strength to address challenging opportunities in a changing system.  HathiTrust develops this collective strength through our programs and services.

Constructive, meaningful engagement allows HathiTrust to benefit from the collective expertise of our colleagues, member staff, and users of HathiTrust.  We foster inclusive environments that value diverse perspectives, create learning opportunities, and promote meaningful conversations.

Leadership that embodies both conviction and humility allows us to learn from the communities that constitute HathiTrust. Our actions have a broad impact and we use our position to promote necessary changes in the broader disciplinary, scholarly, and social communities in which we live and work.

 Approved by Members in and the Board of Governors in June 2021


Summary Survey Results

Representing both quantitative and qualitative results, the data summarized below represents broad themes and data that informed revisions to the statement. A full copy of the survey results is available by request. Contact us at support@hathitrust.org.

Survey Period: February 11 through March 19.
Distribution: 1,571 individuals; all member contacts in the HathiTrust database. 
Response Rate: 7.8% 

  • Of those who completed the survey, 39 reported they are the official Member Representative for their institution.
  • 79% of those who responded to the survey selected the option “I am in agreement with the HathiTrust Statement of Values presented here. I do not want to give feedback.”
  • Of those 21% wishing to provide feedback, 61% had comments on one or more specific values vs. the Statement as a whole.

Responses and Revisions

The response was largely positive and feedback in webcasts and the survey focused more on how HathiTrust would act in accordance with the Values.

There were a number of specific comments on the statements, however, and revisions focused on rewording the original statements to respond to the problems or confusion people raised.  The most substantially changed value is the one focused on resilience; the leadership value is not changed. 

Sample Comments from Respondents 

“The values and the need to articulate them as a statement seems fine to me. The question really is about how to visibly practice them *and* make that practice something accessible to members, so that we end up with a reciprocal relationship.”

“I see Trust being built not just through transparency and accountability but primarily through performance - consistent high-level execution of HathiTrust's mission. Trust in an organization or service is earned as much or more through what you actually do as in how you do it.”

“Will you advocate for inclusive and non-derogatory language in the metadata from member institutions?”

Communications Archive

Statement of Values Webcasts
Mike Furlough & Karla Strieb, The Ohio State University February 17, 2021
Mike Furlough & Mimi Calter, Stanford University, February 23, 2021
Mike Furlough & Robert McDonald, University of Colorado, Boulder, March 17, 2021

Mike Furlough’s presentation at 2020 Member Meeting(Discussion of the Statement of Values starts @ 40:00)

Message to Member Representatives, December 2020 


History & Timeline

HathiTrust began developing the Statement of Values for the organization in 2020. The process began in the spring with the appointment of the Statement of Values and Code of Conduct task force.  Following their review, HathiTrust leadership began drafting a version that was reviewed by the Board of Governors in October, and introduced during the 2020 Membership Meeting. Our expectation is that, once finalized, these values will guide the work of HathiTrust, its staff and leadership, as well as its member-led governance bodies and advisory committees.  In the coming months, we will engage our membership for feedback on the current draft of the Statement of Values. 

Feedback and Revision Timeline

  • Week of February 8 through March 19: Survey and Open Comment Period

  • February 17 and 23, March 17: Statement of Values: Purpose and Discussion Webinars

  • March 20 through April 20: Review and Revision Period

  • April 15 through May 1: Share Findings with Members 

  • May 6: Board of Governors Review

  • May 11 through June 1: Vote on Statement of Values by Member Representatives