In the final weeks of March 2020, when physical libraries across the country (and around the world) were shutting down due to the Covid19 pandemic, HathiTrust developed and launched its Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS). ETAS was created to provide eligible member library users with lawful access to in-copyright digital content, predicated on emergency conditions and informed by fair use analysis. That April, all ten UC campuses activated ETAS. Until ETAS, the in-copyright portion of the HathiTrust Digital Library had not been available for reading access.
ETAS was unprecedented and temporary. All ten campuses participated to gain access to in-copyright volumes from the HathiTrust digital library that overlapped with the UC system’s collective physical print collection. When the campuses reopened and returned to physical collection access (ranging from July to September 2021), the UC Libraries accordingly deactivated ETAS.
During the UC Libraries’ closure, specific digital volumes in HathiTrust that corresponded to physical books held by any UC Library were made available to UC faculty, students, and staff, with the number of concurrent uses of any of those titles limited to the number of physical print copies that were collectively held across all UC Library shelves. While HathiTrust does not describe ETAS as an implementation of Controlled Digital Lending per se, it is worth noting that it relies on similar principles, namely the concept of “own one; loan one” that informed the conditions for digital access.
Just before ETAS was activated at UC, a group of liaisons (at least one representative from each UC campus and CDL) formed to manage the use of ETAS on their respective campuses and across UC. In addition to supporting and promoting the the service, the UC ETAS Liaisons group worked from January to August 2021 to carry out an assessment project to better understand how ETAS was used at UC and shared their summative report on ETAS assessment with UC’s Council of University Librarians (CoUL) in September 2021. The report reflected the group’s interest in considering how UC users’ ETAS experience might inform ongoing evaluation of new ways to provide lawful access to in-copyright digitized print content. It is available on eScholarship
and provides more detail on trends and findings as well as implications for future library services.
For More about ETAS
- UC HathiTrust ETAS Assessment - Summative Report to CoUL (eScholarship, September, 2021)
- HathiTrust: A Digital Library Revolution Takes Flight (UCNet, May 2020)
- COVID 19 & the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) (IFLA GIOPS Newsletter, November 2021)