OCLC Canada Advisory Council

Minutes — March 23rd 2023


Debbie Schachter, Associate Vice-President, Students and Interim Director, Library Services & Learning Commons
May Chan, Head Metadata Services, University of Toronto
Joseph Hafner, Associate Dean, Collection Services, McGill University
Mélanie Dumas, Directrice de la collection de la Grande Bibliothèque, BAnQ
Gabrielle Prefontaine, Dean, University Library, University of Winnipeg
Renee Reaume, Director, Metadata Services, University of Calgary
Bruce Crocco, Vice-President, Library Services for the Americas, OCLC
Daniel Boivin, Executive Director, OCLC Canada, Latin America & the Caribbean


Renee Venne, Acting Director, Library and Information Management Services, National Research Council
Lisa Haughton,, acting Director of Description, Library and Archives Canada (Replacing Caitlin Horrall, Director General, Description Division, Published Heritage Branch, Library and Archives Canada)

Submitted agenda:

  1. Opening of the meeting and agenda approval
  2. Welcome new delegate – Gabrielle Prefontaine, Dean, University Library, University of Winnipeg
  3. Review the minutes of the Spring 2022 Meeting
  4. Global Council upcoming meeting (March 28-29) – Theme is "Redefining the library experience"
  5. Update on North/Nord Canadian Shared Print Group – Joseph Hafner
  6. Brainstorming on the Canadian library’s landscape:
    • New/revised priorities
    • Budget trends, new/revised initiatives
    • Are new library positions / roles being created
    • Exciting projects underway
  7. Introduction to Choreo Insights, Pete Zeimet, Senior Library Services
  8. Consultant at OCLC (https://www.oclc.org/en/choreo-insights.html)
  9. Other business (dates for fall meeting will be defined using Doodle)
  10. End of Conference Call
  1. Opening of the meeting and agenda approval
    • Agenda approved as submitted.
    • Mr. Joseph asked everybody to introduce themselves with the arrival of a new OCAC delegate, Gabrielle Prefontaine, Dean, University Library, University of Winnipeg and also Vice-Chair at COPPUL.
    • Following his own introduction, Mr. Crocco announced to the Council his retirement which is planned for June 30th, 2023. He indicated that Eric Van Lubeek, Vice President, Global Library Services, would replace him. Eric has been with OCLC for 15 years and is/was the current EMEA General Manager.
  2. Review the minutes of the Fall 2022 Meeting
    • The minutes were approved with no further changes.
  3. Global Council (GC) upcoming meeting (March 28-29) – Theme is "Redefining the library experience"
    • None of the OCAC delegates seemed to have filled the survey related with the current theme.
    • Mr. Hafner summarized the agenda for the upcoming meeting.
    • Mr. Boivin reminded the Council that there is no GC election this year due to COVID that required to cancel 2020 meeting(s). For that reason, all delegates were added one more year to their terms. This is why there is no election in 2023.
    • However, GC will still elect at this meeting one new person to the Board of Trustees as planned.
  4. Update on North/Nord Canadian Shared Print Group
    • Mr. Hafner who is involved with this initiative indicated that North has been having a formal committee in place for the past year and a half. They were a working group for about three years before then. Their first project was to analyze monographic government documents.
    • North now has three distinct projects and details can be found at this URL:
    • The original project objectives for the government documents were to put commitments from the participating libraries on titles that were widely held. They looked closely at 2000 titles out of the 250k selected to see what could be learned from the analysis. They were also trying to see what LAC did not have to help them with maintaining copies and it was not much. Consequently, LAC will keep their titles as a secure copy in their depositary. During the process, the group tried to spread out collections' responsibilities across Canada. The other larger libraries like the University of Toronto, University of Alberta, University of British Columbia and McGill University also kept copies. Some tiles are not necessarily in these five libraries, and they have been asking other libraries to help out in those instances. About fifteen libraries did sign an agreement and made a commitment for this shared print collection.
    • The group is trying to cover government document serials now. This is complicated. The Downsview group, McGill University and LAC are trying to define what they own, and they will add their own commitments to these titles once completed. They are making their commitments first, before any digitization occurs which is a bit working the other way around compared to how it was done in the past.
    • McGill University is building a storage facility with robotics that will be useful for this exercise.
    • The goal is to have five secure copies across Canada so other libraries know if they should keep, retain, or weed their own copy. This is still regarding the government documents only at this point.
    • Another project on its way is for the Canadian University Presses. They are gathering data on who wants to be part of the project, but they will keep the same goal which is to save three to five copies across the country. The good news is that most are digitized already.
    • A third project that will take longer to complete started and it is the one related to Indigenous works. They are building a committee to address this one.
    • North is trying to distinguish itself from other shared print projects by focusing uniquely on Canadiana content. This is where the group can have a real impact and this was a natural focus for them.
    • Ms. Prefontaine then asked about the governance structure of North because often these projects tend to be with larger institutions only. She more precisely asked if there were plans to share knowledge across the shared print institutions in each of the region and across the country. Both, answered Mr. Hafner. North is giving a seat to people from across Canada and covering various types of libraries. Various consortia are part of it as well. Mr. Hafner is representing Quebec but someone from PBUQ (new name for BCI) will be named shortly. Trish Chatterley has been leading the group so far. She has done lots of outreach to explain the initiative, etc., including talking to government libraries and Canadian University Presses. However, outreach to various Indigenous communities is still required.
  5. Brainstorming on the Canadian libraries' landscape
    • Mr. Hafner started the discussion by reporting that at McGill University, they are finishing installing their Robotic solution in their new storage facility. The building is 80% completed. It will contain 92,000 bins and six robots. They plan to have this ready sometimes this summer and to start ingesting material in about six to nine months. McGill University library also has a major building renovation project on its way. It will pretty much take the existing facility down and they will rebuild completely a new infrastructure. It will not have "super flat" floors but close to. At the University of Calgary, this "super flat floor" concept also came up when they were looking at renovating, but it was not implemented either.
    • Mr. Crocco then asked the delegates on:
      • how are descriptive projects evolving at their library and,
      • if ChatGPT (https://openai.com/blog/chatgpt), AI / machine learning ingesting and matching were being discussed at all.
    • Those topics are of interest to OCLC and he was interested to hear if these discussions were currently taking place in libraries.
    • Ms. Chan, from the University of Toronto, started by saying that many people are concerned about how AI and ChatGPT might impact teaching and learning, and other kinds of work but they are in planning mode now to see how they could use these tools and have them more naturally part of their "operations". At the University of Toronto library, she believes that staff still needs more literacy to better use the tools in place. Same is true about how/what to delegate to such a tool. Some cultural adjustments would definitely be required. She indicated that the library has a membership to The Carpentries (https://carpentries.org/about/). One of the benefits is access to Instructor Training. 37 instructors went through the process to be certified course leaders and to upgrade their skills.
    • Ms. Chan also mentioned that the University of Toronto has contributed to NIKLA initiatives through CARL. Separately, UTL experimented with some matching of subject headings to see how they could "mask" more offensive headings at the library. They are not changing the data in the records, and they have a "middle layer" to accommodate this. It is described as an intermediary approach for the time being. They are working on a process to identify harmful terms and to prioritize what to improve first. She says they are not leading in this area but are making efforts to improve.
    • Ms. Reaume shared that she is currently planning a staff development day at the University of Calgary and what came up was to look closely at DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) and how it is reflected in their spaces. They do have local collections of Indigenous art at the library and regular tours are given to visitors to see these collections. In fact, they also have various Indigenous author collections, including the Louis Riel papers which are all being presented. Other topics for staff development considered are around neurodiversity. They have two library spaces been reworked to be more inclusive for neurodiverse students.
    • Ms. Reaume also indicated that local faculties have done work on academic integrity related to ChatGPT. She plans to have hands-on exercise on the topic of ChatGPT during the professional development day. They will also try to bring Aaron Tam from Japan during that day (virtually). AUL Susan Powelson heard the person speak recently on the topic and Mr. Tam was excellent.
    • Ms. Prefontaine then followed in saying there are still a lot of open question about ChatGPT and AI: what can it do for us, what needs to be checked regarding integrity, etc. She shared that a librarian at the University of Winnipeg tried to see if ChatGPT could do a strategic plan for the library and it did. The job was "decent". They, at the library, are currently designing a "roadmap" for the library. A new President arrived one year ago, and they have experimented some culture shift within the institution but so far so good. They have a metadata librarian working on a precise Indigenous project. They are trying to have a few specific initiatives to see where some might take them. They spent the past five years on a campus consultation and plan, and they now have an Indigenous architect employed to reengineer the building. They are looking at an overall Indigenous design instead of just a section. They are currently accessing fund raising possibilities. The University of Winnipeg is a small urban campus, and this would be needed.
    • Ms. Dumas shared that Maya Cousineau Mollen has joined BAnQ. She will help them integrate the 1st nation's perspectives in the library's culture. They also have a new working group focusing on DEI. In Quebec, they have had media enquiries about the subject, but she indicated that request to remove books from the shelves as seen elsewhere are extremely rare. BAnQ is working with ARL and ACRL on the Marrakesh treaty which is all about improving access to documents for VIP (visually impaired and print disabled). They are working on best practices to display and access to metadata.
    • Ms. Schachter mentioned that she recently was asking Pillar Martinez about what she had been seeing in public libraries related to DEI and she said that "censorship" is being discussed a lot. There is increased pressure as to why some documents are not banned while other individuals are questioning why would they be (banned). She is seeing that comments are also becoming more extreme in Canada as well. Recently, a paper in Calgary had an Editorial saying that such and such type of content should not be purchased and kept in the libraries. She feels that funding could potentially be impacted because of some of these diverging positions. Additionally, Ms. Schachter mentioned being on a committee that is constantly discussing on educating on the value of fair dealing. The committee is concerned with education exemptions as they want to assure that these are maintained and that is a constant battle. She indicated that the idea that people keep on making copies is not accurate. And they are seeing news article indicating that fees are growing. In the United Kingdom, copying documents for education purposes is considered infringing copyrights. Nobody in the education system in Canada wants to go down that road!
    • Mr. Hafner shared that McGill University is growing its indigenous and EDI office. They have a steering committee to figure out how to embed challenges in those areas. Their new building plans are starting to consider how to assure the facility will be for all people, making sure everybody feels like they belong there. They do not want uniquely an indigenous room or a wall but they want to transform the space so everybody feels welcome. They also want to try the WorldCat Discovery new indexing and searching options for locally preferred subject headings to suppress sensitive subjects using the proposed subject re-mapping model. They are also following what is being done with AI, in fact, their new building and storing facility will make use of AI. For example, they will be able to make more accessible what circulate more often. Ms. Dumas then asked Mr. Hafner if they planned to weed more, and he said that this has been planned for past 2 years and is on-going.
    • Ms. Chan added that she inherited a large area, ie. the "e" resources materials to catalog, to create metadata for. Her staff before was mostly print and have now added "e" content to their tasks. Staff need to learn what it is to provide access to the "e" ecosystem. It is a big change for her area in terms of metadata management. A sign of that required adjustments; twenty-five persons signed up to the e-resources course offered at University of Toronto library school. The University of Toronto is going through an austerity period so things are tight, but she had a new position approved that was recently filled in technical services. It is for being the operations lead, ie. Ms. Chan's right hand. Because of that, they have been able to work on their backlog. She was asked to increase more of the shelf ready items and to help, using contract cataloguing is required. She has been involved with the process of finding a company but not the current RFQ process to identify a preferred partner(s). She indicated that there are not a lot of "agencies" to provide the type of services they require. She is not involved with the evaluation but was involved with setting the specifications.
    • Ms. Dumas shared a link to a document offering an overview of what is going on in public libraries of Quebec that was recently published. It provides a good view of the level of activities that went on last calendar year: https://numerique.banq.qc.ca/patrimoine/details/52327/3671911
  6. Introduction to Chorea Insights
    • Mr. Pete Zeimet, Senior Library Services Consultant at OCLC, joined the group to give a short presentation.
    • He shared a brief presentation and demonstration. A similar presentation is available here: https://www.oclc.org/go/en/on-demand/choreo-insights/shaping-the-future-dec-fy23.html
    • Choreo is for building, growing and comparing collections while GreenGlass is more for weeding and establishing a shared print collection with partners. GreenGlass requires to extract the library catalog from the local system while Choreo uses WorldCat holdings information.
    • Serial analysis was recently added.
    • Choreo is on an annual subscription basis. The price is based on collection size. Early adopter pricing is in effect until June 30th, 2023, and will remain permanent with annual increase for subsequent years.
    • There is however a bit of overlap between the two products, but both has its own purpose.
    • In summary, GreenGlass is good for inventory management while Choreo is great for collection assessment.
  7. Other business
    • Ms. Prefontaine asked a question as to how much efforts in obtaining information locally, regionally or even at higher level is required to be prepared for the regular OCAC brainstorming discussions. It was indicated that the council expects some level of reporting on what is going on in her "types of libraries" and in her province. OCAC tries to have delegates from various types of libraries and coming from across the country to hopefully have a country-wide coverage for this open discussion.
    • Ms. Prefontaine asked about what happens when changes are made to records in WorldCat in a shared record context. Knowing that adjustments are made on relation to indigenous metadata and cataloguing, it is important that these do not get reversed. Mr. Boivin will obtain further details to properly address the question.
  8. End of the meeting
    • At 15h30 Eastern Time.
Actions required before the next meeting Responsibility
  1. Record changes in WorldCat. How to avoid they get reversed back by another library.
Daniel Boivin, done.
  1. Send a Doodle for the fall 2024 conference call.
Daniel Boivin.