The HathiTrust* partnership with Summon is about finding materials in new ways by taking advantage of technology. HathiTrust is a group formed by the 25 libraries participating in the Google Book Search and book digitization project. The HathiTrust/Summon partnership asks: How can we get more information to more people to enable conversations and solve information problems? The short answer is through digitization and full text searching. Getting more information to more people is rooted in two aspects of the the new norm: If it isn’t online it isn’t accessible and library content access expectations have changed from days to hours to right now. With Summon, currently used at Duke, library patrons will be able to easily search the HathiTrust collection.
“Preservation with access” is their tag line and with the Trust, they wish to create a collective space to meet a collective need. Its goal is to be, in essence, a comprehensive repository of published literature, plus access and preservation, primarily thru digitization. HathiTrust emphasizes long term preservation but not without access and sustainability. The scope of their holdings include 12 million digitized volumes in 2011 alone. Of all of the digitized volumes in the HathiTrust, only 26% are in copyright and the rest is in the public domain. Almost 50% of the copyrighted content is material published since 1960. According to the Trust, most major research libraries will be able to find 45% of their content in HathiTrust’s collection by December 2011.
In partnership with HathiTrust, Summon increases user access to works in the public domain. Summon is what is called a “discovery layer” that is in front of many different kinds of databases. Summon indexes the contents of databases and other resources so it can quickly return results from multiple collections at once. Though you may not realize it, Summon is the Articles search tab found on the Duke Library front page. Summon is currently ingesting (yes, this is the technical term) HathiTrust’s index. Through Summon, a user’s query will be searched in databases, a local library’s catalog and HathiTrust content, all at the same time.
The partnership hopes to launch this summer coinciding with the American Library Association’s annual meeting in New Orleans, June 2011. However, not every library that has a Summon-powered discovery layer will necessarily search HathiTrust content. A library can choose the following options with regard to HathiTrust’s content: Opt to include all of the information HathiTrust offers, or opt to include just the public domain content on not include HathiTrust content in the results. When searching using the Articles tab, patrons will be able to click a “Search beyond your library” link to access HathiTrust and other content.
Duke libraries would like to know what you think of the increased access to HathiTrust’s content that will be offered this summer. Specifically, how much of Hathi’s content should appear in the Articles tab search results – all of it, just the public domain documents or just the ability to click through to the HathiTrust content?
*Hathi is pronounced either “hottie” or “hah-tee”. Also, Hathi or Haathi means Elephant in Hindi.