HathiTrust & Overlap

The first question posed by our leader librariems is one which occurred to me as well.  As pointed out there are now a number of large-scale digital collections available and being built, HathiTrust being a main one.  I believe the main advantage to HathiTrust is one they advocate as well: non-profit/non-corporate.  Google being the main example here, there is no guarantee they will be around forever.  And even if they are here to stay companies change their focus.  Google is not a library, if they one day decide to stop supporting GoogleBooks no one can fault them for taking it offline.  HathiTrust as a  non-profit has a huge advantage over profit driven digital libraries.

HathiTrust also has the advantage of being a group of of many different libraries with records stored at multiple locations.  This provides a level of safety for the whole system and a means for continuance.  Schools can join and leave the system but HathiTrust still remains because is it not solely dependent on one entity.

When it comes to the DPLA and HathiTrust I might be too positive, but I do not see a need for much infighting or overlap.  I view DPLA as an extension of our national public libraries.  The most difficult aspect of HathiTrust is the large number of items under copyright while I think DPLA could focus on items within the public sector.

As part of this discussion on overlap I found the article by York to be most interesting.  It was more focused on overlap of materials between libraries and how HathiTrust could affect collection development.  Over the next ten years or so as more schools join HathiTrust and more items are placed in the system it could truly begin to change how libraries develop collections and make budget decisions.


5 responses to “HathiTrust & Overlap

  1. a.d.m.n., kudos to you for bringing up the issue of private/for-profit (as in, not in the public sphere; Google is, of course, a “publicly-traded” company) vs. non-profit/non-corporate. This is not an issue we have gotten to grips with much at this point (we will touch on this in a later week), but it is a critical theme that runs through not only issues being raised in this class, but in so many others: Electronic Resource Management, Policy and Ethics, Collection Development – you name it! The issue you bring up about Google is critical. Not only may they not be around forever, as you say it, but we must also consider issues of ownership of and access to the information that they possess – much of which started out in a much more liberated environment, that of the library!

    More on that soon.

  2. Rationally, it seems like Google wouldn’t just drop support for Google Books. But every time I sign on to iGoogle, i get the friendly reminder, iGoogle will be discontinued on Nov 1 2013. They do have a tendancy to move people from projects that are no longer in their core services. And they have a history of dropping good ideas when they don’t want to support them anymore. So, … yeah.

  3. I wonder to what extent HathiTrust actually affect the collection management decisions of non-research public libraries? I don’t see public libraries weeding their copy of Moby Dick of Leaves of Grass just because a version is available at Hathi, To end users Hathi’s major strength is providing access to obscure public domain workers. And that type of informational need doesn’t seem to synch up with the needs of the average public library patron

  4. Stephentheblog – do you see public librarians taking those steps with available resources if they’re also available through DPLA?

    a.d.m.n – what do you think would happen if a university dropped out of hathitrust. The documents and the metadata are stored in central repositories with backup repositories. Do you think they would request that information back?

  5. librariems, interesting question you posed to stephentheblogs comment. I could definitely see public libraries not replacing damaged titles or weeding titles that have low circulation rates if available through the DPLA It would put a little less strain on shrinking materials budgets and still allow access to the title.

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