July 2013


Through a designated Proxy, Eligible Patrons at HathiTrust Supporting Institutions can receive special access to in-copyright materials in HathiTrust. The materials must be held currently, or have been held previously, by the Supporting Institution’s library, as indicated through print holdings information submitted to HathiTrust.


Eligible Patron: an affiliated user at a Supporting Institution who has a print disability for which access to digital copies of library books is a reasonable and appropriate accommodation.

Print disability: a disability – such as a visual impairment, learning disability physical disability, or other disability – that impedes a person’s ability to access print in the standard way.

Proxy: a representative designated by a HathiTrust Supporting Institution who accesses in-copyright content on behalf of an Eligible Patron. At the University of Iowa, Amy Paulus is the designated proxy and can be contacted at amy-fuls@uiowa.edu or 319-335-5916.

Supporting Institution:  the University who is a member of HathiTrust, in this circumstance, the University of Iowa.

Procedure for Eligible Patrons

  • Register with the Interlibrary Loan department at the Main Library by filling out the new user registration form.  https://uiowa.illiad.oclc.org/illiad/illiad.dll.  Choose Main Library as your Home Library and Delivery for Print Disability as the Pick-up Library.
  • The first step is to login. To do this, go to the HathiTrust web page at http://purl.lib.uiowa.edu/hathi.  Login using your HawkID and password.
  • Once you are logged in, when you navigate to the advanced full-text search, there is an option to limit the search to items held at your institution (the option is only available in the advanced full-text search at this time; it is not available for catalog searches). Any item you find with this option checked, though it may be labeled as “Limited (search-only)”, will be available to you through your institutional Proxy.
  • Once you identify a volume or volumes, you may send a request to access the volumes to your Proxy via Interlibrary Loan.  In the catalog record, choose “Find in a library”.  Next, select “Request via ILL”.  You will need to be logged into the ILL system ahead of time, which will pre-populate the request form and all you will need to do is hit submit.
  • The Proxy will retrieve the accessible PDF from HathiTrust, post it on a personal ICON site set up for the Eligible Patron, and email you when it is available.


Frequently asked questions

Q: How to I log into HathiTrust?

A: Go to http://purl.lib.uiowa.edu/hathi or click the login button at the top of a HathiTrust page.

Q: I have a HawkID, but I can’t log in. Why not?

A: Access is restricted to current students, faculty, and staff. Your HawkID may still be valid, even if you are not a current student, faculty, or staff member (e.g., guests, alumni, and former employees). If you think this is an error, please contact Main Library Circulation at www.lib.uiowa.edu/circ.

Q: What is a “print disability”?

A: A “print disability” is a disability that makes it difficult or impossible to read a printed book.

Q: Who gets to decide if my disability is a “qualifying print disability”?

A: To be eligible for this service, students must be registered with Student Disability Services (SDS). The Director of SDS will review your application for accommodations and determine eligibility. Contact SDS at www.uiowa.edu/~sds. Faculty and staff should work with their human resources representative in consultation with Faculty and Staff Disability Services (FSDS). Contact FSDS at  hr.uiowa.edu/fsds.

Q: What happens to my personal information? What will HathiTrust know about me?

A: HathiTrust’s privacy policy, available at www.hathitrust.org/privacy, is consistent with the University’s own library privacy policy. When you login, the University releases your name and email address to HathiTrust so that you can take advantage of custom services such as creating a personal collection. HathiTrust’s information about Shibboleth Login includes Terms and Conditions and is available at https://www.hathitrust.org/shibboleth.

Q: Isn’t my disability information confidential?

A: Yes. It is your decision whether or not to use the service. Using this service is akin to informing a professor that you are eligible for a classroom accommodation. You are not required to share this information unless you elect to take advantage of the service.

Q: Why are there so many restrictions?

A: The restrictions that are in place are required in order to ensure full compliance with copyright law.

Q: What if I need a library book that isn’t in HathiTrust?

A: You may request digital delivery through the library catalog. Select “Request Delivery” and choose “Delivery Print Disability” as the pickup location.

Q: What if I need a book that’s already in HathiTrust but not held by our library?

A: You may request digital delivery through interlibrary loan. When you create your user account for interlibrary loan and article delivery, select “Delivery for Print Disability” as your pickup location.

Q: If someone else needs to access this on my behalf, can I just share my username and password?

A: No. If someone in a support role needs to act on your behalf, they must be authorized as a proxy/delegate. For copyright reasons, anyone in a support role acting on your behalf must fully understand that materials accessed through this means can only be used by persons with a qualifying print disability.