Executive Committee Meeting Minutes - April 13, 2011

Present: Farley, Johnson, Kaufman, King, Schottlaender, Van Gemert (ex officio), Wilkin

1. Minutes: The February 25, 2011 minutes were reviewed and approved.

2. Finances: reported on the HathiTrust budget, which continues to be robust. He projects positive balances for operations and programmatic activities, and an adequate sum for next year’s replacement costs. Additional storage needed for this year’s growth can be easily accommodated by the current balance of funds.

3. Organizational issues:

  1. Strategic Advisory Board:  Van Gemert reported on the progress being made by Ithaka S+R in preparing a survey of members. This survey work will help Ithaka on the work being performed in conjunction with the SAB on the 3-year review. Van Gemert continues to work on finalizing the Memorandum of Understanding with Ithaka S+R.
  2. HathiTrust Research Center: Laine Farley, the Executive Committee liaison to the HTRC, reported on a grant proposal being submitted by the HTRC to a major foundation. The Executive Committee also reviewed a draft announcement regarding the launch of the HTRC. There was a brief discussion about collaboration between the HTRC and Project Bamboo. Work continues on a Memorandum of Understanding between HathiTrust and the HTRC.
  3. Constitutional Convention: Wilkin reviewed a proposed agenda for the Constitutional Convention, along with a letter to partners regarding details of the event. The Executive Committee re-confirmed the October 31, 2010 deadline for voting participation in the Constitutional Convention but reaffirmed its willingness to have new partners attend (though not vote).

5. Repository:

  1. There continue to be no outages for HathiTrust infrastructure, despite active work on replacement of storage (now complete for the first year of storage).  
  2. Ingest continues to be relatively strong (over 500,000 volumes this year), including ingest of content from a number of sources (e.g., locally-digitized content and Internet Archive content).
  3. The CRL TRAC audit was completed and HathiTrust was certified by CRL. An announcement of the certification was made in early April.

6. Miscellaneous:

  1. As noted in the previous minutes, HathiTrust has funded preliminary work to identify “orphan works.”  These orphan works will be part of the US 1923-1963 materials previous identified by the CRMS process as in-copyright.  Michigan’s Copyright Office has begun hiring to conduct the necessary research into locating rights holders.

Working Group Updates

Communications Working Group

The Communications Working Group was heavily engaged in activities surrounding many recent news items.  HathiTrust's statement on the Google settlement ruling was posted and disseminated promptly, and this statement figured prominently in news and online discussion.  The group also posted the Summon announcement. News of the positive outcome of the TRAC certification was also disseminated, and the group plans to explore whether we can do more we can do to promote the value of this certification.

The first presentation of the new partners webinar was well received. The second unfortunately suffered from technical difficulties with audio, but still generated rich a Q&A session.  A third presentation is planned for Friday, April 15th.

The group also began setting up a HathiTrust Facebook presence, and the HathiTrust partner communication listserv is set up and ready to be launched within the next few days.

Usability Working Group

Usability Working Group members continued their work as liaisons in other HathiTrust committees in March. The group also began to develop a set of personas and use cases to inform development and policy-making surrounding HathiTrust applications and interfaces; these will shared more widely for input in the coming weeks.  Speaking of sharing more widely, the Usability Group is still looking for people to join the new User Experience Special Interest Group (UX-SIG), reported in last month’s update. Please contact Suzanne Chapman ( if you are interested in joining this group or have any questions about participation.

User Support Working Group

During March, the chair of the User Support group worked with University of Michigan staff who have been handling user inquiries and requests for HathiTrust to configure a partner-wide tracking system using JIRA. The group is still working on scheduling a preliminary meeting, but group members were added to the JIRA account in mid-April and began observing the preliminary flows that staff at Michigan are using to handle requests. The group is expected to take over the core role of handling feedback and disseminating to partners as appropriate by the end of April, and at that time begin defining policies and processes going forward.