In the abstract, the Hathi Trust (HT) digitized book collection should be Atkins Library’s top collections priority. It consists of millions of digitized scholarly monographs dating back decades and more. With HT offering “Sustaining Partner” access to libraries beginning in January, 2013, shouldn’t a young research institution like UNC Charlotte be first in line?
In every way imaginable, HT is much less than advertised. The vast majority of its e-books are search-only, even if our library owned the print version. They offer reading (but not download) access only to public domain (pre-1923) publications. Its non-negotiable license restrictions make it impossible for any public NC institution to contract with them, and text mining is prohibited. HT is a great, but frustratingly limited scholarly resource.