Western Libraries Implements HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service

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Posted on: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 8:03am

Western Libraries Implements HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service

Thanks to a generous donation from the Hacherl family, Western Libraries is pleased to announce that it is now a HathiTrust member. Included with its HathiTrust membership, Western joins more than 200 other libraries that have implemented the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS). Temporary online access is available only during an emergency, such as a pandemic, when a library is suddenly forced to close to patrons. ETAS provides Western students, faculty, and staff with online reading access to approximately 230,000 copyright-restricted titles from the library’s collection that otherwise would be available only through on-site pickup services or mail delivery. Western Libraries made the decision to implement ETAS in light of reduced access to physical collections during the pandemic, which has resulted in a severe decline in collections use and the resulting negative impacts on Western students, faculty, and staff.

By providing temporary online access to approximately one-third of Western Libraries’ physical collections, HathiTrust is helping us continue to support teaching and research while the library buildings are closed to patrons. In compliance with current copyright law, access to Western’s physical copy of a title offered online as part of ETAS will be suspended; however, patrons may request a physical copy of the item via Summit or Interlibrary Loan services. Once the library buildings are safely reopened to the public, we will restore full access to the Libraries' physical collections, and the online access to copyright-restricted titles provided by HathiTrust ETAS will end.

More About HathiTrust Membership

Founded in 2008, HathiTrust is a not-for-profit collaborative of academic and research libraries preserving 17+ million digitized items. HathiTrust offers reading access to the fullest extent allowable by U.S. copyright law, computational analysis of the entire collection for scholarly research, an accessible text request service for users who are blind or print disabled, and other emerging services. HathiTrust members steward the collection — the largest set of digitized books managed by academic and research libraries — under the aims of scholarly, not corporate, interests.

While anyone with an internet connection can access most HathiTrust content in the public domain (currently just under 7,000,000 volumes published prior to 1926) as HathiTrust members, Western Washington University researchers can also download these materials. Additionally, WWU students, faculty, and staff have access to additional public domain titles not otherwise accessible to the general public. Users can keyword search the entire HathiTrust Digital Library, both public domain and in-copyright titles, to facilitate information discovery. Metadata are far richer and more consistently applied than in Google Books. HathiTrust can therefore be used to facilitate textual analyses and other digital humanities projects (for more information about computational analysis, see the HathiTrust Research Center). As members, the Western community can also use the My Collections tool, which makes it possible for users to aggregate works into permanent collections either for private use or to share publicly with others.

For more information about Western Libraries membership in HathiTrust, please see  Western Libraries HathiTrust guide, or contact Jeff Purdue at purduej@wwu.edu.

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