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August 23 and 24, 2010
Constitution Room, 2nd Floor
Constitution Square, 350 Albert Street
Action Plan items from the 2010 DSP-LAC Meeting were reviewed as follows:
Christine Leduc presented her annual report on the DSP to attendees. Her presentation deck would be made available to DSP-LAC committee members electronically.
Some points of discussion arising from the presentation of the annual report were as follows:
Frank Winter and Caron Rollins presented their joint report on behalf of the Canadian Library Association. An electronic copy of the report was submitted to Isabelle Campeau (PDS). There was some discussion about collaborative digitization and preservation among institutions, and about a wiki that was going to be set up to facilitate discussions about these topics.
Cynthia Hubbertz said that the House of Commons guaranteed maintaining on the Parliament of Canada Web site all publications currently hosted, that a policy was being developed for digital archiving, and that the House of Commons relied on the Library of Parliament for preservation of print copies. Caron asked which House of Commons publications would no longer be distributed through the DSP. This question was not answered.
Gay Lepkey asked for clarification regarding a comment originating from a smaller public library (page 6 of Caron and Frank's report). Caron explained that the library wanted guidance on how to select publications from the Weekly Checklist. Gay responded that, in his experience, the circumstances of individual public libraries were so variable that there could be no service standard that we could impose. He said that the question of a core collection of federal government publications was one that the library community would be better equipped to address than the DSP, as DSP staff have neither the experience nor the expertise of working with government publications for reference and research. If a professional group such as AGIIG (the Access to Government Information Interest Group of the CLA) were to create training documentation that could help librarians in the selection of government publications for their collections, the DSP would be happy to host it on the Publications web site. The group decided that further ideas for the development of training opportunities for librarians working with government publications should be explored.
Carolyn Shandler reported on Surrey Public Library (SPL). She described plans for a new library to be built in the city centre. Carolyn reported on behalf of her colleagues at SPL that print format was still desirable. She mentioned the publication Services for People with Disabilities in particular. Christine Leduc promised to follow up on this request with Service Canada.
Cynthia Hubbertz presented news from the Library of Parliament, as per the following:
Cynthia agreed to post advance notice of the launch of the Web site on INFODEP.
David Jones, in his capacity as map librarian at the University of Alberta, reported on matters relevant to map librarians. He underlined the need to finalize an appendix to the Depository Library Agreement that would specifically address issues related to map depositories.
The recent increase in map production by NRCan and the correspondingly increasing demands on the DSP were identified as a concern, as was NRCan's plans to revise its map production programs. These issues had been discussed in a conference call involving a number of map librarians and Christine Leduc. David noted that although records for maps were showing up in the Weekly Checklist, no maps had been received by map libraries for quite some time.
Gay Lepkey agreed that there had been a surge of map production from NRCan over the summer and that this, coupled with the fact that PDF versions were also now receiving ISBNs, the DSP was seeing a substantial increase in operational processing activities.
Antonio Lechasseur, in his capacity as director of Resource Description, reported on news from the Published Heritage Branch of Library and Archives Canada. He talked about some of the major changes at LAC since the appointment of Daniel Caron as Librarian and Archivist of Canada, such as an aggressive agenda of modernization and the creation of three new institutional sectors: Acquisitions, Resource Discovery and Collections Management.
Joint discussions between LAC and the DSP were being planned for the fall. Plans to acquire an integrated library system (ILS) for LAC were delayed and the current focus was therefore on making investments to maintain or improve AMICUS.
The future of the Répertoire de vedettes-matière (RVM) was to be examined in collaboration with some Quebec libraries. Finally, Antonio reported that the preparation of the new Collection Storage Facility was in its second year of the three-year project.
Margo Jeske reported on news from the Brian Dickson Law Library at the University of Ottawa, as well as on the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL). She spoke about the recent relocation of an expanded Library Annex at the University of Ottawa, an off-site storage facility offering a 24-hour turnaround for requests.
Margo spoke about the launch of a discovery layer using Endeca. Included was programming which matches subject headings, allowing for bibliographic access in both official languages. Margo mentioned an upcoming webinar series to be organized by CALL and she said that she would post information to INFODEP about specific webinars of potential interest to the depository library community.
She also reported that members of CALL were relieved that the decision to discontinue the print version of the Table of Public Statutes had been reversed and that Part III of the Canada Gazette would also continue to be produced in print format.
[Note: At 3:30 p.m., Lyne Tassé, the director of Canada Gazette, came to speak at the meeting. She said that a decision to terminate the paper version of Part III of the Canada Gazette was in fact in the process of being made and that notice of this decision would appear in the next issue, scheduled for the middle of September. Louise Carpentier requested that the library community be informed through INFODEP when the notice is published.
Sylvie Nadeau described a pilot project undertaken by libraries in the NBPLS, and she distributed hand-outs that outlined the results. This project estimated the costs incurred by depository libraries within the NBPLS in their providing access to Canadian government publications.
Christine Leduc commended Sylvie for her initiative in undertaking this project and she asked whether other members of the DSP-LAC would be willing to investigate the feasibility of undertaking similar studies in their respective institutions or organizations, and whether they would be willing to share the results at next year's meeting.
There was general agreement to do so. Carla Graebner mentioned that the DSP-LAC Information List, a listserv that she had set up, would be a good forum in which to share information and ideas concerning this project.
Doris Ricard spoke about electronic resources cataloguing that is shared among a network of eight libraries in the University of Quebec system and for which she is responsible.
She also raised two issues related to the Depository Library Program:
Louise Carpentier spoke on behalf of the Association pour l'avancement des sciences et des techniques de la documentation (ASTED) and as a faculty member of Concordia University. She announced the upcoming conference for the library community to take place in Montreal in November, "Imaginer de nouveaux partenariats" (Imagining New Partnerships).
Louise commended PDS for its kiosk at last year's conference in Montreal, saying that it was one of the nicest. She spoke about the portal for government information on the Concordia University Libraries Web site, and about the indexes and databases that are maintained there. Louise spoke about the continuing problem of finding physical space for older publications, and she asked for guidance on weeding hard-copy formats.
She specifically mentioned the Canadian Aviation Regulations in loose-leaf format, saying that nobody was sure whether what they had was complete. Gay Lepkey responded that, if the base volume is defective or incomplete, and if there is an electronic version available, the retention guidelines could be invoked. Caron Rollins asked how a library should inform PDS if it wishes to stop receiving loose-leaf publications. Gay responded that if a particular loose-leaf publication is available online, then the library can simply cancel its subscription to the print edition.
Katharine Barrette said that Mount Royal University Library had cancelled its subscription to the print edition of the Canadian Aviation Regulations because the student pilots were only interested in accessing the publication online.
There was some discussion around the table about how a library could know to which loose-leaf publications and to which serial publications it was subscribed. Gay said that PDS could provide a list of current loose-leaf publications that have viable electronic editions, as well as a list of active subscription items handled by PDS.
Karen Adams said a few words as a representative of CARL and as Director of Libraries at the University of Manitoba. She talked about a discussion among libraries in four Western provinces to consolidate its last-copy print strategy. Karen also spoke about the need to keep up with students' informational expectations, such as full-text keyword searching and downloading to handheld devices. She said that moving to electronic format, in this context, was not enough.
Brent Roe, as executive director of CARL, commended the government for its revisions to copyright policy on non-commercial use. He raised two questions pertinent to the academic library community:
Carla Graebner, added a few more comments on behalf of CARL. On the topic of missing ("fugitive") government publications, Carla suggested that if responsibility for all federal organizations could be divided among DSP partners, then all partners could participate in capturing publications.
Carla reported members' interest in investigating the formation of a LOCKSS system similar to what had been implemented in the United States, for Canadian government publications. [See http://www.gpo.gov/help/authentication_of_information.htm.] An additional item of feedback from government librarians was a request for archival access to a searchable version of INFODEP. Currently access is restricted to three months and no search function is available. Carla circulated a print out of the SFU Library's Home Page with an image of DSP materials and a message indicating the library's involvement with the DSP. The SFU Library uses a portion of their Web site to highlight different services, resources or newsworthy items.
Gay Lepkey outlined four CLF 2.0 requirements that may have caused publications to be removed from government Web sites:
When publications have been removed as a result of CLF 2.0 compliance, Gay added, they have not been consistently archived and they have been very difficult to trace. One participant in the meeting suggested that the problem of disappearing publications could be seen as a failure of government accountability.
Katharine Barrette spoke from the vantage point as librarian at Mount Royal University. She said the main challenge was to make students aware of government publications as sources of information. The library had stopped ordering print publications, where possible, due to space and time constraints. She agreed with earlier comments about loose-leaf publications and suggested that regular confirmations of subscriptions be sent to libraries.
Katharine also mentioned that she had created a significant pathfinder to government information and that it was published on her library's Web site. Christine Leduc responded that it would be great if DSP partners shared their collective knowledge by providing additional resources or links to those resources that we could add to the Publications Web site.
Bernie Gloyn presented recent developments regarding Statistics Canada publications, relationship with the DSP and with its library activities.
The strong opposition voiced by the library community over INFODEP upon the news that the Market Research Handbook would be discontinued in all formats was noted. Bernie said that the main reason for the decision to discontinue the publication was the difficulty in making it available in XHTML format. There was some discussion about which stakeholders had been consulted before reaching the decision, as the messages on INFODEP demonstrated that end-users had relied on the publication heavily. Bernie said that there were plans to discontinue the paper format of other publications, such as the Consumer Price Index, but that librarians would be among those consulted before decisions were reached.
In response to the earlier questions about preservation of government publications, Bernie described the policy of the Statistics Canada library: all print publications and print-outs of all publications in PDF format are retained indefinitely, but publications in other electronic formats are not retained.
There was some discussion about Statistics Canada's digitization projects. Bernie reported that the goal was to digitize all publications that are in the library and that the project was expected to take several years to complete. This year, the focus was on Census publications. Antonio Lechasseur asked whether digitized versions of historical publications would be treated as new publications by the DSP and listed in Checklists. Gay responded that they would be, in principle.
Margo Jeske asked whether depository libraries would be able to dispose of print editions of publications if federal departments digitize them. Gay responded that this would be a legitimate interpretation of our retention guidelines, but that DSP had not yet fully developed a policy on whether depository libraries would still have an obligation to catalogue and provide access to the digitized editions. Louise Carpentier asked whether Statistics Canada had tracked usage of the Canada Year Book historical collection, as the server could be over-taxed if library users try to access digitized publications simultaneously rather than consult print editions. Frank Winter responded that, in his experience, students and professors would prefer to wait for an electronic resource to become available than to go to the stacks to consult print equivalents.
Bernie spoke about the Open Data Initiative and about the Data Liberation Initiative program. He also mentioned the recent controversy about the abolishment of the mandatory long-form census for 2011.
Carla Graebner asked why the current MOU between DSP and Statistics Canada was signed for only one year. Marc St-Pierre responded that with the trend towards a smaller production of publications at Statistics Canada, DSP did not want to commit to paying the same amount for potentially fewer publications, particularly as the DSP was coming under strategic review.
This presentation was cancelled due to illness on the part of the scheduled presenter.
The DSP-LAC meeting was adjourned for the day shortly before 5:00 p.m. Many participants reconvened for an informal supper at a nearby restaurant at 5:30 p.m.
Doug Rimmer, Assistant Deputy Minister of Library and Archives Canada, gave a short talk on "Modernization of Library and Archives Canada and the Digital Opportunities." Print-outs of his PowerPoint presentation were distributed to all participants.
The most important reason for the modernization agenda, Doug Rimmer said, was the perception that a major shift from "analog" to "digital" media was occurring and that Daniel Caron, the current Librarian and Archivist of Canada, believed that the digital world was fundamentally different from the analog world. LAC would be looking at different ways to shift its focus from print and digital collections, including changes in acquisitions policy and working in partnership with other Canadian institutions, including libraries and the DSP, to distribute the responsibility of collection development and description.
A lengthy discussion followed Doug's talk. Karen Adams asked for comment on how the DSP's and LAC's collections differed. Gay Lepkey and Christine Leduc spoke about how the DSP had a distributive model, where DSP holdings were not located in a central office but where all the depository libraries acted as regional distributive repositories. While preservation was not part of the DSP's mandate, Christine said, the DSP's biggest strength was its status as a single access point for federal government publications. In answer to a question about whether LAC would have to consider some kind of distributed long-term preservation model, Doug responded that it was inevitable, and that the leaders of LAC consider the institution as one of a number of trusted digital repositories.
Louise Carpentier requested comment on the "significance" criterion that had been cited under the heading of collection development. Doug responded that, on the government records side, LAC was currently acquiring around 3% of government records, as that quantity was considered to be adequate to document Canadian experience. The emphasis for government publications, however, had always been on comprehensiveness. Doug said that this paradigm had run its course and that the question of significance would have to be considered more closely. He asked, "Does every pamphlet that the government publishes have enduring significance?"
Louise Carpentier and Caron Rollins both expressed concern about the possibility of fewer publications being considered significant enough to be collected and to receive bibliographic treatment. Caron made the point that ephemera such as pamphlets can be important in their own right for demonstrating how government communicates issues to Canadians. She said that such publications and their MARC records were also useful in indicating that more substantive documents may be available.
Doug Rimmer responded that acquisition decisions will become much more transparent than before and that there may be some kind of formal mechanism in place to collect feedback such as that from Canadians.
To the question of how LAC will collect information about what other institutions have acquired and have made available, Doug responded that this question will be on the agenda of discussions with stakeholders that Daniel Caron would be holding towards the end of October.
To the question of how a mass digitization of heritage government publications would be achieved, Doug responded that Canadiana was focusing on possibilities for coordinating resources among a network of repositories.
Frank Winter expressed the opinion that there was a mismatch between Library and Archives Canada, its resources, its mandate and the expectations of Canadians. He said that the expectation was that LAC would have a comprehensive collection of federal government publications that was discoverable and accessible, and he asked whether it was necessary for these expectations to be recalibrated. Frank made the point that the same trends were occurring on the provincial level, too, with the exception of Quebec, where Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) had proven that it could do everything. Louise Carpentier, Carla Graebner, Carolyn Shandler, David Jones and Margo Jeske echoed Frank's opinion that LAC's collection of federal publications should be comprehensive.
There was also further discussion about mass digitization and about acquisitions of publications in electronic format. Christine Leduc offered the DSP Library Advisory Committee as a sounding-board for the discussion and INFODEP as a means of communication.
Paul Sawa, Chief Librarian at the Canada School of Public Service, gave a presentation on the Canadian Federal Libraries Strategic Network (CFLSN). CFLSN is comprised of information professionals from dozens of organizations across the federal government and aims to promote partnership and sharing.
Meetings of the CFLSN have noted that senior management in government see librarians in a negative light, while librarians have relied too much on their professional reputation. Information Management (IM) is seen as much more important than LIS. IM has been viewed by librarians as Records Mangement and therefore not the responsibility of libraries. Librarians have changed their view on this and begun to participate in IM.
CFLSN is trying to identify collaborative efforts or arrangements among federal libraries. Federal libraries are being looked at very closely by the ADM's Federal Libraries Task Force to determine what they do and how they do it.
Some discussion followed.
Ann Martin, Director of the Data Dissemination Division at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), presented information on mapping trends and activity at NRCan. She described how there had recently been increased funding for mapping of the North, as the current government's strategic focus was on the North for various reasons.
NRCan plans to complete NTS mapping with about 22,000 map sheets resulting. Afterwards, NRCan's role in mapping is likely to diminish or cease. Digital data for all maps produced by NRCan was available at no fee with an unrestricted use policy via GeoGratis (http://geogratis.cgdi.gc.ca/) and vector data was also available and updated twice per year.
Downloads have greatly increased and there is a great deal of re-use and re-purposing of the data.
NRCan maintained a network of map plotters in every province and it was expected that NRCan's role as a producer of physical topographical maps would not continue indefinitely.
Christine Leduc spoke about the differential between what the DSP could afford to pay NRCan and NRCan's actual cost of producing maps for the DSP last year. She said that all map libraries with active DSP accounts were full map depository libraries (FMDLs), since the dozen selective map depository library accounts were inadvertently deactivated several years ago. Christine said that PDS proposed to reinstate the selective libraries and work with the FMDLs to determine whether they wanted to continue to receive all available maps or whether some wished to change their status to become SMDLs.
David Jones agreed that a discussion about the full or selective status of map depository libraries was valid. He said it was problematic that the most produced maps-those for the North-were not necessarily the most in demand by library patrons, and that maps of Southern Canada were not always updated regularly. He qualified this observation by noting that the maps of the North were very important to northern researchers and that northern research was a major research area in many of our institutions.
David also made the point that digital maps did not have the same purpose as flat maps, which are archival and easier to view spatially. He asked whether something could be worked out in view of the fact that the DSP had been paying the same amount of money to NRCan during years when few maps were produced as the DSP was currently paying NRCan.
Ann Martin said she did not dispute the need for continued map production, but that financial realities, NRCan's lack of mandate for recreational and commercial usage, and the environmental advantages of a plot-on-demand model would determine NRCan's future role in producing maps for the DSP.
Christine said there was clearly a need to follow up on some of the issues raised and that a working group should be formed for this purpose.
The DSP-LAC Terms of Reference were examined by committee members and commented upon. The following changes were decided upon:
Christine Leduc solicited feedback from committee members. Carla Graebner said that she felt the meeting went well and that she was surprised at how long the round-table lasted. She suggested that this part of the meeting be made more flexible in the future to encourage more discussion. Carla also mentioned that she had liked the previous year's "homework questions". She asked whether it would be desirable to prepare a written report from CARL in the future, and Christine responded in the affirmative. Louise Carpentier said that she had found the meeting rewarding and that she had appreciated the focus on the stated agenda.
There were some final words from Christine and from Marc St-Pierre. Christine announced that this would be her final year hosting the committee, as she would be retiring in the spring of 2011. She was thanked by all for her service and was told that she would be missed.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 3:00 p.m.