Minutes of the Depository Services Program Library Advisory Committee (DSP-LAC) Teleconference, August 20, 2013

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Teleconference Date

August 20, 2013

Meeting chairperson

List of participants

Participating observers

Unable to participate

Meeting summary

  1. The meeting was called to order at approximately 1:30 p.m. with Graeme Campbell (Graeme) as Chairperson
  2. Opening remarks were delivered by Marc Saint-Pierre (Marc) and Joanne Joanisse (Joanne)
  3. The minutes of the January 10, 2013 DSP-LAC Teleconference were reviewed and approved with minor changes. Louise Carpentier agreed to send modifications to be made to item 10 (vi)
  4. Tracey Davis (Tracey) of the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) gave an overview of the new Procedures for publishing.
    1. Tracey confirmed that the procedures support a general move to electronic publishing in the Government of Canada (GC). She explained that departmental heads of communications were responsible decisions related to paper vs. electronic, and should it be necessary to print, there are some exceptions in the Procedures, including promotional items and communications products
    2. Caron Rollins (Caron) emphasized the importance of having a place where users can determine what is and is not being printed. Carla Graebner (Carla) suggested that a stated rationale for not printing items would also be useful. Joanne noted that it would be difficult for TBS to keep track of what each department decides to print or not, especially during the first year of implementation
    3. Marc emphasized that departments are obligated to send all electronic publications to the DSP for cataloguing. The DSP performs a review of departmental compliance each year, sending a report to Treasury Board. The last few reports showed an increase in electronic publications and departmental compliance. Marc encouraged members to continue reporting fugitive publications
    4. Amanda Wakaruk (Amanda) asked how the figures for compliance were calculated. Marc responded that the DSP has lists (for example ISBNs requested) and checks on departmental Web sites, though he conceded that this is not 100% accurate. Graeme noted that compliance measures will be easier in the future, as departments are required by the Procedures to provide the DSP with a list of everything published within the last fiscal year – though this means that fugitive publications from previous years are not part of the yearly calculations
    5. Carla and Amanda asked about the treatment of press releases, speeches, etc., in this context. Graeme responded that those are communications not normally considered publications for DSP purposes, and suggested that what will be collected going forward as electronic publications will be similar to the type of publications collected in the past as print. He went on to state that the DSP may be revisiting collection policy once the coming changes to the program take place
    6. Jacqueline Luffman (Jackie) asked about the portion of the Procedures concerning the metadata schema. Merideth Fletcher (Merideth) responded that LAC is looking for any metadata that publishers might be able to provide, and confirmed that it could include (but was not limited to) a subject taxonomy
    7. Caron asked if any specific departments are exempt from the publishing policy. Graeme responded that only departments in Schedules I, I.1 and II of the Financial Administration Act must comply
  5. Sylvain Latour (Sylvain) of TBS gave an overview of the Open Government (OG) initiatives and the Virtual Library (VL).
    1. Sylvain responded to concerns about the consolidation of GC Web sites by clarifying that the initiative is part of a larger consolidation effort on the government’s end intended to streamline service. For example, the GC is also migrating to one email system, but it will not be changing how everyone uses the email system
    2. A Committee member asked how the Procedures related to OG. Sylvain stated that they are working with Tracey and her group to ensure that as they move forward, these policies and directives work together
    3. Chantal Poliquin (Chantal) asked how OG related to the archiving of publications. Sylvain responded that the goal of OG initiatives is not to hold information, but to provide access. LAC is archival, and TBS does not wish to duplicate information on its Web site. They intend to create an integrated search to act as a single window to content. Retention guidelines are under discussion
    4. A Committee member asked if the DSP e-collection will be part of the VL. Sylvain responded that they will work with everyone who has holdings, including the DSP. No decisions have been made as to exactly what the VL will be yet; they are still exploring options
    5. Sylvie Nadeau (Sylvie) asked about the consequences of documents being removed. Sylvain noted that the VL will not be the official repository. The obligation to keep information will remain with the department. Whether documents removed from the VL will remain accessible is something that still needs to be discussed
    6. Carla asked about government Web archiving and publications that have already been removed from Web sites. Sylvain stated that this was not a question he could answer. Merideth stated that she cannot speak to things that have already been removed, but that they (at LAC) have been given approval for another in–depth crawl of the GC domain. Graeme noted that some departments have already been in contact with the DSP in order to send publications taken off line to the DSP directly
    7. A Committee member asked about a timeline for a launch of the VL pilot and eventual roll out. Sylvain indicated that a date had not yet been set, as it is still in development
    8. Jackie asked if other departments were allowed to provide input. Sylvain replied that they would be happy to have conversations about this but have not formally determined how to do that. The hope is to have a stakeholder input phase, but there are no guarantees
    9. Carla asked if the related documents to be released at the end of the year would be released publicly for comments. Sylvain said he hoped this would be the case but could not commit to that deadline
  6. Gaétan Trottier (Gaétan) from PDS discussed updates related to the PDS Web site and the Integrated Library System (ILS) acquisition project.
    1. Gaétan stated that PDS is currently finalizing its plan to change our back–end system for cataloguing and acquisitions. PDS is migrating to a standards–compliant ILS from our current in-house application. This will allow the DSP to provide better data and better access to data. Once the ILS is installed, the DSP will begin cataloguing in MARC
    2. Caron asked if we would also be reflecting RDA when cataloguing in our new system. Graeme responded that the DSP has yet to discuss this in detail, but informal talks indicate that they may begin cataloguing using techniques to prepare for RDA once the ILS has been installed
    3. Gaétan noted the following upcoming changes to the PDS Web site:
      1. Crown copyright content and applications will be removed from the Web site as PDS will stop managing copyright clearance. This will become the responsibility of the author departments. Some information will remain on the Web site for reference purposes
      2. The ordering function will be removed from the Web site as PDS will no longer be selling and distributing physical publications
    4. Gaétan invited members to discuss the future of the Weekly Checklist, since it will no longer be available in print starting in 2014.
      1. There was agreement from Committee members that they would like to see something promoting recently catalogued publications
      2. Members dismissed the idea of having a button or link on the Web site to generate a list of recently catalogued publications as not proactive enough
      3. Caron suggested a weekly or bi–weekly list that would provide the batch information in one download
      4. Carla supported the idea of maintaining the two current checklists to avoid seeing redundant catalogue records
      5. It was suggested that users be able to choose between a mass download of batches and picking only certain documents for download as not everyone would want everything
    5. It was asked whether the DSP would be providing better serial records after migration to the ILS. Graeme responded that the plan when moving to the new ILS is to check in serial issues as a regular library would rather than cataloguing each issue individually. Access to serials should be much improved with the ILS
    6. Caron asked if the DSP would still be providing ISBNs to departments. Graeme said they would still be providing ISBNs and catalogue numbers
    7. Sylvain added that future publications will be covered under the open government license. Joanne asked when this would be enforced. Sylvain replied that it has already started to happen; departments have been given the information. Information is available on open.gc.ca
    8. A Committee member asked if the DSP minutes from the last two teleconferences would be added to the PDS Web site. Graeme replied that they were currently being worked on
    9. Carla and Amanda commented on the importance of the Infodep message archive on the PDS Web site. Graeme replied that current plans are for the Infodep message archive to continue on the Web site
  7. Graeme noted that depository library agreements will be terminated later this year; a communiqué will be sent to libraries indicating December 31, 2013 as date of termination. Retention guidelines will no longer be in force since the online collection provided by the DSP will be the main focus
  8. Caron asked about the future of the DSP-LAC, and noted that advisory committees exist for various government departments and that this one is very useful.
    1. Marc responded that PDS has no objections to maintaining the DSP-LAC and having regular teleconferences. He encouraged comments and suggestions from the Committee with regard to its future
    2. Graeme pointed out that the current Terms of Reference focus on print publications. He suggested a future teleconference to address the issue of a new Terms of Reference document once the DSP knows more about how the coming program changes will be rolled out
    3. Caron suggested that it would be important to keep the conversation open so that libraries can offer help, and noted that various library associations may want to play a role in this conversation
  9. Chantal asked if foreign exchange partners would be informed by PDS of the coming changes to the DSP or if the partner libraries should be doing this.
    1. Graeme responded that this would be up to the libraries since the DSP has no formal exchange partners; the DSP only distributes publications on behalf of departments with formal exchange partners
    2. Joanne agreed to provide a list of the foreign exchange partners to Chantal
    3. Merideth commented that LAC’s partners have been written to and told they would have to enter into partnerships directly. She was not sure if the DSP had been informed of this, but confirmed that LAC’s foreign exchange partnerships would cease. (This comment also responds to item 9 from the minutes of the January 10, 2013 teleconference)
  10. Follow-up on actions from the minutes of the January 10, 2013 teleconference:
    1. In response to item 8 of the minutes, regarding changes at LAC, Merideth noted that LAC will continue cataloguing digital and print publications as well as producing the MARC batch files. However, they will not catalogue print publications they do not receive. Caron asked if future DSP MARC records will cause duplicated efforts if the LAC is also creating the batch files. It was noted that this was a possibility and future discussions between the DSP and LAC on this subject would be useful
    2. In response to item 10 (iv) of the minutes, regarding bundled resources from StatCan, Graeme stated that a sample of these resources had been provided to the previous DSP manager, but that he (Graeme) had not yet been able to look at it. He and Jackie are currently discussing the situation in order to respond to this
    3. In response to item 10 (v) of the minutes, regarding modular resources, Jackie reported that they (StatCan) located some old PDFs of the Health Indicators. She sent these to Carla and spoke with those responsible for the product. The plan for now is to keep everything active and not remove anything, but rather to archive it on the Web. They are in the process of putting some of the previously removed issues back up on their Web site
    4. In response to item 10 (vi) of the minutes, regarding census tables and E-Stat, Jackie reported that she had communicated with the census team about these tables and is encouraging them to find a spot for the tables on their Web site. Because this is the same team who takes care of the census products, they are too busy right now address this. Jackie agreed to follow-up with the team when they have finished with the census
    5. In response to item 11 (vii) of the minutes, regarding the harvest of GC Web domains, Merideth reported that the necessary approvals for harvesting have been received. They are currently contracting with Archive-It for the capture. She noted that when the crawl is performed they intend to capture the archived pages as well as the active content. She suggested Susan Haigh as a contact should any on the Committee have specific questions regarding this issue. Members should feel free to contact Merideth as well via email and she will forward questions on to appropriate personnel
  11. The Committee discussed the future of Supreme and Federal Court print publications.
    1. Caron noted that the reports have always been distributed in print to full and selective depository libraries. She had had some conversations with a librarian at the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) and found that they were planning to comply with the new guidelines, but might be releasing something in the fall. Caron asked if the courts fell under the Financial Administration Act schedules listing departments that must comply with the new publishing procedures and if the DSP is able to contact them to see if they will continue producing print publications
    2. Joanne reported that she met with SCC and found that they are looking at what the future will be for print publications but she cannot say more than that. It is the same for the Federal Courts. However, we will receive an electronic version of the Federal Courts Reports. Caron requested that updates regarding this matter be posted to Infodep. Joanne agreed to do this
    3. Joanne assured the Committee that the DSP will provide a complete set of the 2013 reports in print rather than cutting the libraries off half way through the year
  12. The Committee discussed the removal of data sets from StatCan Web site.
    1. Caron noted that a colleague of hers had noticed data sets were being removed from the StatCan Web site. She wanted to know if they were being archived
    2. Jackie requested some specific examples. Caron agreed to follow up with Jackie about this. Committee members indicated their interest in the result. Graeme agreed to distribute the response
  13. The Committee discussed digitized historical census publications.
    1. Carla noted that there is concern from the library community about the commercialization of government information in terms of ancestry.ca. She asked if the DSP will be providing access to historical census products
    2. Graeme noted that this is the intention at the DSP. The DSP was supplied with digitized versions and MARC records for some historical census products. He stated that the DSP would likely wait until after migration to the ILS to catalogue them, because it would be more efficient to import the MARC records than to catalogue the documents in our current system prior to migration
    3. Caron stressed the importance of getting the digitized historical census products into the DSP catalogue as soon as possible because ancestry.ca is not available to everyone
    4. Graeme responded that the DSP will definitely consider these products important when tackling the volume of historical publications recently received as a result of the GC “Reduce the ROT” exercise and noted that the DSP might soon have extra resources to tackle this. He agreed to let the library community know if DSP adds these census products to the catalogue before the ILS is installed
    5. Jackie mentioned that StatCan is trying to digitize everything and determine how to make it easily accessible. Graeme asked if there will be MARC records for newly digitized products. Jackie agreed to look into this
  14. The Committee discussed LAC Web harvesting efforts.
    1. Carla noted that she thought LAC had done a few domain crawls but was unable to provide access due to technical limitations. She wanted to know if access could now be provided to the archived Web crawls. Merideth agreed to follow–up on this
    2. Graeme suggested that if public access could not be provided, a second option could be for the DSP to gain access in order to harvest fugitive publications. Merideth said she would include this in her follow-up
  15. Update on the Canadian Government Information Private LOCKSS Network (CGI-PLN)
    1. Amanda noted that the DSP collection has been downloaded to several network nodes, allowing academics to perform the stewardship role for electronic collections that they also perform in the print world
    2. She said she would follow up with Graeme regarding a CGI-PLN press release
  16. The Committee discussed the affect of the TBS Web standards on GC publishing.
    1. Caron expressed concerns over content that is being labelled as archived with large red and yellow banners. She suggested that this could dissuade users from using such information even when it is not truly archival in nature. It could prevent people from using a perfectly good document
    2. Graeme noted that this is a standard from TBS. The banners must be included on older content to permit it to remain on the Web. The banners also allow the DSP to continue hosting older publications in electronic formats on the PDS Web site. It is a blanket solution meant to ensure that citizens are aware that some documents may be out of date or no longer valid, even though this is not always the case with older publications. Because the DSP is subject to TBS policy and standards, they must comply
  17. The Committee discussed the requirement to request access to publications rather than having the ability to directly download.
    1. Caron expressed concerns surrounding the issue of having to fill out a form to request publications from many departments (as opposed to simply following a link to a document) as this is an invasion of privacy. In filling out these forms, people are required to reveal their identity. She asked how departments decide which publications require a request form and which are accessible through a link
    2. Graeme stated that he cannot speak for other departments as each responds to TBS policy in different ways. He suggested that some publications may not be posted to the Web site because they are deemed not in compliance with TBS policy. He encouraged the Committee to alert the DSP to publications requiring a request form so that they could be added to publications.gc.ca in order to provide easier access
    3. Amanda added that she had been prevented from acquiring publications in this manner because so many were requested at once and that she had successfully made use of the DSP instead in order to acquire the publications
    4. Carla suggested that someone at TBS might want to look into this issue in terms of Open Government, since this information should be available to the public without having to provide personal information
  18. The Committee discussed the next DSP-LAC teleconference.
    1. Graeme suggested that the next teleconference should be organized for January 2014 in order to discuss the DSP-LAC Terms of Reference (TOR)
    2. There was a suggestion that the teleconference not conflict with the ALA Midwinter Meeting (January 24–28, 2014)
    3. John Sadler suggested that a draft of an updated DSP-LAC TOR would be useful prior to discussing it at the next teleconference. He agreed to organize a working group from current DSP-LAC members to work on this task

The meeting was adjourned at 3:44 p.m..

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