Terms of Reference of the Depository Services Program Advisory Committee 2016

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Revision date

Updated and revised, March 11, 2016


The Depository Services Program (DSP) was created by Order–in–Council in 1927. Its original mandate was to acquire, catalogue and distribute Government of Canada (GC) publications in all formats to a network of depository libraries, as well as to parliamentarians. In April 2014, the mission of the DSP, and of its parent directorate Publishing and Depository Services (PDS), changed to focus on acquiring, cataloguing and making available for download GC information published in portable electronic formats. This change in mission is supported by the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada and by the GC Procedures for publishing. By collocating and hosting GC documents independently of the author departments, the DSP itself has become the depository of the program. In this way, the original role of the DSP as a safety net for GC published information continues even after its change in mandate.

The Depository Services Program Library Advisory Committee (DSP–LAC) was established in 1981. It was created to provide the DSP with advice on its operations, policies, practices, plans, direction and services.

Its members represent the major library associations, key federal government organizations and academic and public libraries, and are representative of Canada's geographic regions and linguistic communities.

Print copy distribution by the Depository Library Program concluded March 31, 2014. The Committee revised its Terms of Reference (ToR), including a revision of the Committee’s name to the Depository Services Program Advisory Committee (DSP–AC), to reflect the changes to the program and to ensure stakeholders still have the opportunity to provide input and advice to the DSP.


The mission of the DSP–AC is to articulate, communicate and collaborate on, where possible, the needs of the DSP's partners and user communities and to provide advice to the DSP on its priorities, policies, operations and services.

The DSP–AC acts solely as an advisory body and does not have any governance authority over DSP policies or operations. Its role reflects the important partnership that exists between the DSP and the library community in providing the Canadian public with access to Canadian federal government published information.


The principal objective of the DSP–AC is to contribute, via the Canadian library community, to the maintenance and development of public access to Canadian Government publications.

To this end:

  1. The DSP–AC provides advice and information to the DSP on issues of interest to both the DSP and the library community
  2. The DSP–AC makes recommendations to the DSP on matters of interest to the stakeholder library community and user communities
  3. The DSP advises the DSP–AC on both its current operations and policies and on current plans and priorities
  4. The members of the DSP–AC work with their respective organizations and user communities to facilitate communication of the DSP's role and activities

Committee operations

  1. The DSP–AC will meet on an as needed basis but no less than once a year, on a date and at a place to be determined by the Director or Manager responsible for the DSP
  2. The DSP–AC may meet using video, teleconference and electronic means
  3. The DSP–AC will review its ToR on an annual basis
  4. The DSP–AC may strike sub–committees or working groups to address specific issues or to carry out projects. Such committees or working groups submit reports to the DSP–AC on or before each meeting
  5. Deliberations of the DSP–AC are held in both official languages. Members may express themselves in the official language of their choice


  1. The DSP–AC Terms of Reference and minutes from DSP–AC meetings are kept in both official languages by the DSP and made publicly available electronically
  2. Other reports and related documents are kept in both official languages by the DSP and made available electronically to all DSP–AC members
  3. The DSP will draft minutes of the DSP–AC meetings and will distribute to the DSP–AC members as quickly as possible


In general, the membership of the DSP–AC should broadly represent the library community along with representatives from Government of Canada stakeholders. In particular, the membership should represent, to the extent possible, the various types of libraries, large and small, library communities, geographic regions and linguistic groups.

Membership will include the following:

  1. The Director and/or Manager responsible for the DSP
  2. Representatives of each of the following organizations, to be named by the organization in question:
    • Library and Archives Canada (LAC)
    • Library of Parliament
    • Statistics Canada
    • Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS)
    • Representatives from other federal government departments or interested stakeholders may be invited from time to time
  3. Up to two representatives of each of the following organizations to be named by the organization in question and be reflective of Canada's major regions:
    • Canadian Library Association (CLA)
    • Association pour l'avancement des sciences et des techniques de documentation (ASTED)
    • Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL)
  4. A minimum of three at–large members from the following types of libraries:
    • Libraries of post-secondary institutions
    • Public Libraries
    • Law Libraries
    • Government or Legislative Libraries

As of March 2016, the process for nominations to the DSP–AC has been eliminated. A decision was made at a special meeting with members, held on February 25, 2016, to allow anyone from the list above to participate by simply sending an official request to publications@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca. If at any point in time, the DSP determines the committee has become too large, a review of its members will be necessary. Members who no longer want to participate in the committee will need to advise us in writing to officially step down.

Participating members of the DSP–AC must subscribe to the DSP's list server, Infodep.


The DSP–AC meetings are chaired by the Director or Manager responsible for the DSP, or may be co–chaired by the Director or Manager responsible for the DSP and another person to be determined by a recommendation of the DSP–AC.

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