ARCHIVED—Minutes of the Depository Services Program Library Advisory Committee (DSP-LAC) Meetings, 2009

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Meeting Dates and Location

Monday, August 24, 2009 and Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Confederation Room B, 2nd Floor
Constitution Square, 350 Albert St.
Ottawa, ON Canada

Table of contents


Day 1: Monday, August 24, 2009

A. Preliminaries

  1. The meeting was called to order by Christine Leduc at 8:37 a.m.
  2. All present introduced themselves to the group
  3. Christine Leduc reviewed the Agenda
  4. Questions pursuant to the minutes from the 2008 meetings were considered
  5. The fifteen action items cited in Appendix 1 of the 2008 minutes were reviewed. It was noted that almost all of these had been actioned, but a few items would be carried over to the following year:
    • Members would continue to report "fugitive" publications to the DSP
    • It was decided to merge and carry over action items 2 and 9, concerning the collection of data on the usage of Canadian Government information in Canadian libraries. Sylvie Nadeau recommended devising a model for a study. Karen Adams suggested two types of information that could be collected relatively easily: circulation data and stories from users of Canadian Government information. Louise Carpentier mentioned that the cost of cataloguing a single item or answering a single reference question has been estimated elsewhere. Dorryce Smelts reflected that Treasury Board would likely respond if presented with a description of what would happen if Canadian Government information and DSP services were no longer available or accessible. Gay Lepkey suggested that a working group be formed to come up with a plan for a study

B. Update / Report from Committee Members (Round Table)

  1. David Jones reported on issues of particular relevance to depository map libraries.
    1. There has been some confusion on the part of map librarians with regards to the wording and applicability of the new Depository Library Agreement. ACMLA would be willing to work with the DSP on the wording of an amendment or appendix to the original Depository Library Agreement
    2. Map librarians have also voiced concerns over selectivity: print versus digital, and regional versus national coverage. The first issue is important with regards to retention guidelines, since some libraries are not equipped to house a large amount of paper. Gay responded that the DSP does not deal with data, and that since digital cartographic products tend to be data, it would not be possible to offer this choice. The second issue is important because some map libraries would like to have control over what regional coverage is open to them for selection. He noted that the definition of a region as six squares around a library is problematic for libraries whose special area of interest might be a more remote region
    3. Map librarians share general concerns regarding the preservation of digital records and files
    4. David asked about the possibility of having cartographic products from departments other than NRCan distributed through the DSP. Gay Lepkey reported that an agreement in principle had been achieved for electoral maps with Elections Canada and that, with regards to nautical charts, the DFO has consistently shown a lack of interest in participating in the Depository Services Program
    5. David noted that a communiqué had been drafted by the DSP to go to map libraries that had not yet signed the Agreement, and that some of the issues raised would be addressed
  2. Bernie Gloyn reported on news from Statistics Canada.
    1. A new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed with the DSP
    2. Tony Moren has been replaced by Christie Martel as the main liaison with the DSP and depository library community, via Infodep
    3. The 2011 Census consultation closed on March 31 and analysis is currently on-going. A discussion forum was implemented late in the consultation which was in effect Statistics Canada's first use of a moderated blog. Louise Carpentier requested that links to the blog be sent to the DSP-LAC committee
    4. The 2009 issue of the Canada Year Book will be released in early September. It will have a reduced format, with less text, as a result of budget constraints
    5. Many changes and improvements to the Statistics Canada website have occurred in the past year: movement to CLF2, a new Health module has been added, and improvements have been made to the search functionality
    6. Statistics Canada thesaurus terms have been linked to SC's taxonomy, or Statistics by Subject, terms. This is to be added to the search functionality in the near future
    7. The Statistics Canada library has contracted out a strategic review of its library services with a view to potentially adjusting its service delivery model in the future
  3. Sylvie Nadeau reported on developments in the New Brunswick Public Library Service:
    1. Sylvie announced that all depository libraries within the New Brunswick Public Library Service (NBPLS) had signed their Letter of Agreement with the DSP
    2. She said that the DSP is an ongoing item on the agenda of the Provincial Reference Service Committee (NBPLS)
    3. Sylvie reported that a training presentation on the DSP had been developed by NBPLS to help library staff dealing with the DSP. Christine Leduc requested a copy of the presentation
    4. She has ensured that at each depository library within NBPLS someone be responsible on a long-term basis for the DSP program
  4. Dorryce Smelts and Frank Winter reported on six issues with which the Canadian Library Association was engaged during the previous year.
    1. The achievement of a new Depository Library Agreement gave the library community an opportunity to engage and to revisit their obligations as depository libraries. Space limitations in smaller public libraries were cited as a continuing issue that would affect retention of print publications
    2. The preservation of legacy material on Government of Canada websites and the future of government publishing in Canada are major concerns, given the recent removal of, or intention to remove, significant collections from Government of Canada websites. "Gaps in the public record of information are occurring without consultation with stakeholders."
    3. Two resolutions were passed at the CLA AGM in June, 2009: one regarding CISTI and one regarding LAC. [These resolutions were published in Feliciter.]
    4. The CLA has been involved in Initiative for Equitable Library Access (IELA) activities, such as conducting a survey of public libraries. A report by the IELA Working Group can be found here:
    5. CLA participated in the Calgary Round Table and Public Hearings on Copyright Consultation. Rob Tieseen, of the University of Calgary Library, represented CLA. The CLA's official position on Crown Copyright is that it should be relinquished
    6. CLA is concerned with LAC's announcement in June 2009 that it has placed a moratorium on purchasing print materials. One apparent implication would be that LAC will no longer seek out copies of Government of Canada publications that are not received via the DSP. CLA does not feel that the LAC harvests of the domain are an adequate substitute
  5. Louise Carpentier reported on news from ASTED, CREPUQ and Quebec, in general:
    1. ASTED will not hold a conference in November. However, the first conference of the library and information community of Québec, Investing in the Digital World, will be held from November 11 to 14, 2009, in Montréal. Louise suggested that the DSP might have a presence at the conference. More information can be found through the ASTED website:
    2. The Director General of ASTED, M. Francis Farley-Chevrier, and Louise joined the representatives from CREPUQ to participate in the PDS Online Virtual Roundtable via the web site The session was held in French on March 10, 2009.The participants in the discussion thought that such collaboration worked very well and CREPUQ supplied some technical assistance for the session. On March 17, 2009 Louise participated, via a teleconference, in a follow-up to the roundtable
    3. Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BANQ) has expanded its online digital collection. BANQ now provides free access to, and full-text searching of digitized Quebec Provincial Government publications. The Publications gouvernementales du Québec en ligne portal can be accessed at the following address:
    4. La Gazette officielle du Québec, Partie I and Partie II in French and in English, has now been digitized and is available free of charge on the Web site of the BANQ at It can be searched from 1993 to 1995 for Partie I and from 1980 to 1995 for Partie II
    5. A university library in Montréal, which is a designated as a full depository and includes a number of selective depositories, enquired about the new Letter of Agreement and also about the separate map depository agreement. It has received several letters of agreement for signature
  6. Doris Ricard reported on activities at the Université du Québec à Trois Rivières:
    1. Doris is responsible for cataloguing electronic publications for the eight institutions in her library's consortium
    2. E-publications from the DSP's e-collection are especially important. MARC records created for publications in the DSP's e-collection now have a searchable subject field indicating the provenance, for example, "PSD 2009"
  7. Carla Graebner reported on challenges faced at Simon Fraser University (SFU) and on CARL:
    1. There have been dramatic reductions in funding for libraries in BC. At SFU, a 25% reduction in funding for collections was imposed this year, and further cuts are slated for next year
    2. The reduction in individual libraries' capacities will make it all the more important that there be a central, external repository of electronic publications
    3. CARL is concerned about the future accessibility of NRC Press journals. If universities are obliged to pick up costs, it will be a further strain on already strained budgets
  8. Karen Adams also reported on issues facing CARL member libraries:
    1. There are continuous concerns regarding "shifting URLs" on Government of Canada websites
    2. All four Canadian university library associations have been looking at the question of the "last copy": How many copies are enough? How many copies are needed? The need for trusted repositories for both print and digital materials is becoming increasingly urgent, both because of space considerations at individual libraries and because of budget cuts. Carla Graebner supported this with an example from SFU: in order to save their federal government subscriptions, they made a decision to stop all provincial government subscriptions from provinces other than British Columbia
  9. Carolyn Shandler reported on developments at Surrey Public Library (SPL):
    1. Through the new Depository Library Agreement process, SPL branch libraries have had the opportunity to increase their awareness of their roles and responsibilities as depositories
    2. A code to identify DSP materials is added to their catalogue records
    3. There is a wish for a central repository of electronic publications to be easily searchable by keyword or subject, as SPL's clientele does not tend to be very computer-savvy
  10. Cynthia Hubbertz reported on developments at the Library of Parliament:
    1. Cynthia echoed comments made by others about the awareness-raising effect of the new Depository Library Agreement, especially in the context of staffing changes
    2. A large-scale project is underway to develop organization-wide taxonomy that will be used not only for describing resources collected and published, but also to describe the expertise of staff working within the organization. The end goal is to connect information with end-users using this new taxonomy
    3. Tim Mark organized the workshop Challenges for Digital Preservation. Slides from the presentations can be found here:
    4. An MOU has been signed with LAC to digitize and make available Debates of both Houses of Parliament from 1901 to 1994, filling the gap between Early Canadiana Online and the Internet. LAC will do the actual scanning and will keep the preservation copy; LOP will be responsible for making the material accessible (free, easy to use and easy to find)
    5. Cynthia invited members to read the Library of Parliament working paper "Digitization of Publications relating to the Parliament of Canada" and to submit comments, if any, to her: The working paper can be found here:
    6. An LOP working group has been examining current compliance with existing copyright legislation and the impact of the new bill on service and collections
    7. New priorities going forward include: creating a Parliamentary News Room; and establishing policies and procedures to collect and make available Committee records
  11. Christine Alexander reported on news from Library and Archives Canada:
    1. LAC has a new Librarian and Archivist of Canada (Daniel Caron), whose stated priority is "modernization".
    2. LAC's Government Records Branch has moved to the Documentary Heritage Collection Sector. It is expected there will be greater integration between library and archival functional areas at LAC in the future
    3. Further innovations in the area of resource description, such as the use of upstream metadata, are also being examined
    4. An RFP for a new ILS was posted in May. The closing date was in the summer, and the evaluation phase has now begun. If none of the proposals meet mandatory requirements, then a new RFP will be issued
    5. It was recently announced that funding was received from Treasury Board to convert a building (formerly, a Zellers department store) in Gatineau into a high-density storage facility
    6. A study on the levels of cataloguing treatment assigned to publications has been carried out over the past year. There will be five levels of cataloguing treatment and four priority levels. The new policy reflects the strategic direction and acquisitions orientation of LAC, including the focus on digital publications. A policy document will be made available online shortly. Louise Carpentier requested that a message be posted to Infodep when this occurs
    7. RDA will be implemented at LAC once the tool has been made available. IT has been asked to accommodate any new MARC fields that will appear. Training documents will be created and distributed to cataloguers, as well as posted online. Gay Lepkey asked whether any likely consequences have been identified for libraries that choose not to adopt RDA. Christine Alexander responded that conversion files may be developed to deal with any mapping problems that may arise
  12. Margo Jeske and Katharine Barrette, as new members, introduced themselves to the DSP-LAC and expressed their appreciation for having bee nominated.

C. Annual presentation on the DSP

Christine gave an overview of the DSP's activities and achievements over the past year.

Print-outs of Christine's PowerPoint presentation were included in the DSP-LAC meeting kit.

D. Video conference: Conférence des recteurs et principaux des universités du Québec

Benoit Séguin, of the Université du Québec à Trois Rivières, spoke about issues and challenges facing Quebec university libraries, as well as about experiences of collaboration among Quebec university libraries. PowerPoint slides were distributed at the meeting.

E. Plenary on Question 3:

"Depositories are currently guardians of printed government publications. If government publications were to become digital only, would there still be a reason to have depository libraries? Would there be a role for the DSP in a totally digital universe? If so, what should it be?"

Dorryce Smelts distributed a document in which she recorded responses she received from the library community to the three questions posed by the DSP in advance of the August 24–25 DSP-LAC meeting.

For a summary of comments made on important issues during the DSP-LAC meeting, please see Appendix 1.

F. Demo of the new publications website

Catherine Blake, the Website Integration Project (WIP) Manager for Publishing and Depository Services, showed some slides representing the new look of the integrated website. She explained that the new website will reflect CLF2 requirements but will not have any new or improved functionality. The new tentative target date for completion of the Website Integration Project is now July 2010.

G. Plenary on Question 1:

"Have libraries encountered any problems or concerns with changes to the Government of Canada websites that have occurred since the implementation of the Common Look and Feel 2 web publishing standard on Government of Canada websites?"

Christine Leduc asked whether anybody had encountered concrete instances where information has disappeared. At least two people immediately said, "Yes." Because of time considerations, Christine Leduc asked members to hold their further comments until the next day's presentation on this topic.

Day 2: Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A. Presentation on the Government of Canada Information Management Policy

Trevor Banks, Senior Project Officer, Committees, Administration and Planning Division, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, delivered a presentation on IM governance. He referred listeners to the following document from the Information Management Forum:

B. Presentation on Common Look and Feel 02 (CLF2)

Pirthipal Singh, Project Coordinator, Information Technology Division, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, described the background and content of CLF2.

C. Trusted Digital Repository (TDR)

Susan Haigh, Manager of Digital Office, Library and Archives Canada, discussed the project underway to build a TDR at LAC. She distributed print-outs of PowerPoint slides to accompany her talk.

D. Update on the National Research Council Canada

Jason Charron, Director of Business Affairs, National Research Council Canada, gave a presentation on the "new" CISTI and the "new" NRC Research Press. He distributed print-outs of the PowerPoint slides that accompanied his presentation.

E. Presentation on the National Libraries Strategic Network

Charlene Elgee, Library Manager, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, talked about the formation of an advocacy group for Government of Canada libraries. She reported that the group was in a formative stage and was looking for an organizational sponsor.

F. Plenary on Question 2:

"Have libraries made any decisions about how or if they will acquire, catalogue or provide access to online publishing formats such as streaming video or audio files (MP3 etc.)? Should the DSP include such resources in its e-collection?"

A very brief discussion was held on this topic. Gay Lepkey said that PWGSC's IT people are concerned about the prospect of a systems overload if a large number of people simultaneously try to access such resources on our server. Cynthia Hubbertz mentioned that Canadian Heritage has been making multimedia files available on its website. These can be accessed here:


Christine Leduc asked for comments on the meeting. Karen Adams thanked the DSP for its leadership on the Crown Copyright issues. She also commented on how difficult it must be for Christine to act both as a participant and as a moderator. Louise thanked the DSP for providing lunches, as doing so increased the opportunity for informal discussions to take place among participants. Katharine said that she felt the content was interesting and useful, and she suggested that perhaps more time could be allocated for discussions in the future. David commented that some of the presentations increased his appreciation of the challenges faced by the DSP. He also added that, even if there were no more physical publications left to distribute, the DSP would still have value as a "channel to the back-systems." Dorryce Smelts stated that her work did not end with the meeting but in fact began after the meeting. She mentioned that she would like to find a way to be in continuous communication with the group about issues of importance. Christine Leduc recommended adding this as an action item for all and encouraged members to exchange information on a regular basis. Carla Graebner offered to set up a Listserv for the Committee on the SFU Listserv application.

It was decided that the tentative dates for next year's meeting would be August 23 and 24, 2010.

Appendix 1: Summary of Concerns Raised in Relation to the Trusted Digital Repository, the Government of Canada Information Management Policy and Common Look and Feel 02 (CLF2)

Trusted Digital Repository

Concern was expressed that librarians and other members of the public would not be able to rely on the TDR to provide long-term preservation. First, the ability of the TDR to be able to capture all or even most available digital content was called into question. Secondly, since the inclusion of any given electronic publication in the repository would only amount to a single copy, libraries would not be able to rely on the security of the TDR for long-term preservation. Members agreed that the best format for long-term preservation was paper format. Finally, concern was expressed about the accessibility of documents included in the repository: if cataloguing and metadata standards are inadequate, then both library professionals and general members of the public will have significant difficulty finding or even knowing about the existence of any given publication.

Government of Canada Information Management Policy

Concern was expressed that, despite an elaborate organizational structure, there seemed to be no blanket policy on information management for all Government of Canada institutions. There was concern that nothing like a publishing standard had been developed and that publishing concepts such as document integrity, persistence and preservation had not been addressed by the policy. Without the concept of a publication, cataloguing and metadata standards cannot be applied very successfully, and this would have a deleterious effect on accessibility. In one member's words, "If people don't know it exists and don't know how to retrieve it, it is not very good."

Common Look and Feel 02 (CLF2)

Throughout the two days of the meeting, grave concern was expressed about the recent displacement and disappearance of information from Government of Canada websites following CLF2 conversion. Members complained about the numerous broken links and redirects that have arisen, and one librarian reported that search functionality on certain websites has also been lost or diminished. One member expressed that she had "absolutely no faith in the management of Government of Canada websites" because information has disappeared too often.

The Treasury Board representative commented that CLF2 only dictates consistency, not content. However, several cases are known to us whereby a department, confined by financial or technical restraints, has decided to remove information rather than risk censure from the Treasury Board. The HRSDC, for example, removed its entire library catalogue from the Internet because it could not be converted to XHTML. A few departments have been pushing publications in PDF format directly to the DSP for inclusion in our e-collection rather than to risk publishing these on their own websites. Many people in attendance at the DSP-LAC meeting had encountered instances of previously available information no longer being available on Government of Canada websites. They noted that, in this way, a lot of information has thus been made inaccessible to everybody.

Appendix 2: Action Items

Carried over from last meeting

New Action Items

Originally published: November 16, 2009
Re-published: July 28, 2011

Date modified: