OCLC Canada Advisory Council

Conference meeting minutes - 17 November 2009


  • Daniel Boivin, Director, OCLC Canada
  • Bruce Crocco, Vice-President, Library Services for the Americas, OCLC
  • Beth Barlow, Chief Librarian, Surrey Public Library
  • Doug Rimmer, Assistant Deputy Minister, Documentary Heritage Collection Sector, Library and Archives Canada
  • Hélène Roussel, Directrice générale, Direction générale de la diffusion, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales
  • Bill Maes, University Librarian, Dalhousie University
  • John Teskey, Director of Libraries, Univ. of New Brunswick
  • Ernie Ingles, Vice Provost & Chief Librarian, University of Alberta
  • Gwen Ebbett, University Librarian, University of Windsor
  • Pam Bjornson, Director General, CISTI



Submitted Agenda:

  1. Opening of the meeting and agenda approval (Chair, John Teskey)
  2. Review the minutes of the May OCAC meeting (update, questions)
  3. Update on the Americas Regional Council, the Global Council and committees (Beth Barlow, Bill Maes, Gwen Ebbett, John Teskey)
  4. OCLC Global Council Webinar
  5. Changes required to the Charter
  6. Brainstorming on the actual library landscape (economy, staff, technology, and specific recommendations to make to OCLC)
  7. Next OCAC meetings, when should they be based on the new governance structure
  8. Any departing members and formal thank you note to Ingrid Parent
  9. OCLC Pre-Conference event at CLA: two ideas
  10. Other business

1. Opening of the meeting and agenda approval (Chair, John Teskey)

  • Suggested to add the topic “BAnQ Survey” to the agenda in the section “Other business”.
  • Mr. Teskey asked the members if they had any changes or additions to make to the agenda and none were proposed.  The agenda was approved as is.
  • 2. Review the minutes of the May OCAC meeting (update, questions)

  • It is suggested to remove the word chance in Point 7 and to correct “everythink” with “everything” in Point 9.
  • Minutes were accepted with this change.

    3. Update on the Americas Regional Council (ARC), Global Council (GC) and committees

    Ms. Barlow reported the following points:

    • In the past months, the planning committee meetings addressed the following points:  future elections, communications committee and service groups committee items. 
    •  About 35 people attended the meeting in Chicago.  The executive committee grew out of this meeting.  Since then, they have met once a month over phone.  The planning of the next series of meetings is a big task.   January 15, 2010 is the next meeting date, at ALA and this will be for the entire day.  Format will be voice of members starting with new ways to communicate with OCLC.  The Board representative will talk about new governance, Jay about engaging membership, then 3 concurrent sessions on a) record use policy, b) coop shared value and c) social contract, emerging technology.   Have no sense yet on how many will participate.  OCLC Symposium will complete the day as these meetings are in the morning.
    • Global Council meeting is from April 19-22, 2010, and each Regional Council will update the GC Members on its activities.  Programming for ARC is on its way: keynote is Google books and impact on libraries (Paul Courant from U of Michigan) with a response panel.  This is a new format as it will be from Monday through Thursday.
    • Do not know until January how many members will need to be elected on ARC.  Election process is pretty much like on how it worked in Canada in the past (new for OCLC as the networks were handling this). 
    • The Boston meeting in January will have a Web component so if you are not on site, you still can participate/attend.
    • Ms. Ebbett, OCAC representative on the ARC communications committee, updated the group about their developments:
    • A SWOT analysis was prepared to develop a communication plan.   Objective was to have this ready by Oct. 21st and presented to the executive committee by the 29th and these goals were met.
    • It contained a strong analysis on the environment and the stakeholders (type of libraries).
    • A brochure has been designed from this.  The communication strategy will include such things as: an invitation to the ALA mid-winter, page on OCLC site, interactive member to member section (a “ning” – social networking tool), welcome letter from ARC President Wilkinson, membership handbook.
    • The ARC web page is well underway (information hub and key message is that ARC is a voice for all), ARC M to M (member to member).  The target date for this is January 1, 2010. 
    • Also, started an ARC eNewsletter as a new way to communicate.  Will be looking at contribution from Canadians.

    Mr. Maes, OCAC representative on the ARC nominations’ committee updated the group about their developments:

    • They had three teleconferences and they worked with a schedule for accomplishments.  They are on track as the position descriptions are close to the last iteration (requirements, desired traits, etc.).  Similarly, metrics for potential nominees and candidates are being designed.
    • This committee will also meet during ALA in Boston.  There will be two groups to develop these drafts and one to figure out the sub-regions.  For Canada, it is puzzling because we have 4 regions with only 3 seats: West, Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic.  US will be trickier and Latin America & Caribbean’s (OCLC-LAC) is fine with less seats. 
    • For Canada, need to find a way to stagger so have continuity (3 for Canada, 12 for US, 2 for OCLC-LAC are minimums on Global Council).
    • Adjustments by type of libraries are planned and seats for museums/archives are planned as well.   The ARC committee has that mix already.
    • The elections for ARC and Global will be at the same time and through electronic ballots. 
    • The Executive Committee terms are all one year on ARC except for the chair and the vice-chair.   Again, the representation on the ARC Executive Committee is as follows:  1 from Canada, 2 from US and 1 from OCLC-LAC.
    • Everybody will be allowed to vote for everybody.
    • Question: Can you have one Canadian running for ARC and for Global?  Not brought up yet.
    • It was mentioned that Ms. Barlow and Mr. Teskey are both ending their terms on Global Council this April.   The question raised then to assure some continuity from Canada was “Can their terms be renewed and are they interested?”   Ms. Barlow indicated that she might consider a one year term for transitioning on the ARC’s Executive Committee.
    • OCAC will clearly need to identify prospects for Global Council and ARC Executive;  OCAC should start asking members of this committee first for possible interest in running for one of these positions.   This would assure some form of continuity within these “official” bodies within OCLC’s governance.   And, it is a possibility that OCAC might need to expand.
    • Related to open positions at ARC and the Global Council, the three ex-officio OCAC members can be elected on these bodies as they are formal OCLC member.
    • For clarifications, only the chair and the vice-chair of ARC are automatically elected on the Global Council.  This is why there might be up to four (4) Canadians involved in total with ARC and GC.

    The communications committee’s mandate will be completed once ARC is running but the nominations committee will continue. It will require someone from Canada to be involved.

    The OCAC thanked Ms. Barlow for all her hard work and involvement representing OCAC and the Canadian membership at OCLC.

    4. OCLC Global Council Webinar

    A presentation was delivered by the President of GC.

    The comments from OCAC were as follows:

    • Finding it surprising that OCLC US is challenged with finding out who are members and communicating with them.
    • Ms. Ebbett indicated that the ARC is concerned that the letter from Pat Wilkinson will get lost or not go to the right person.  The communications’ committee thinks it is being addressed as it should go to the director’s office.  And, the information will be out there at many levels (State, associations, etc.). 
    • OCAC asked that the communication plan be shared.
    • OCAC took the opportunity to review the notes shared from GC and sent by Ms. Barlow:
    • Benefits to  membership are: World largest bibliographic service, trusted place/partner for specific initiatives, well positioned for web scale right now, research for libraries, continuing education opportunities spam from these research initiatives and reports, leveraging the benefits of the mass as being one of the largest library coop (unique as being alone in the intellectual property space), being a large membership organization also allows to discuss with larger partners; 
    • What do we expect of OCLC:  see opportunities and take advantage of these (step up to the plate), find ways to make libraries more attractive in Canada, help them being considered and involved (missed opportunities);
    • Is OCLC doing anything with Internet Archives since many Canadian libraries are connected to it?  Chip Nilges, VP of Business Development, is developing partnership/business opportunities and we are discussing with them;
    • Comment:  Knowledge Ontario looks like a missed opportunity to leverage expertise (could be inserted in OCUL Scholar’s portal since this is sustainable); 
    • Feels the value brought to the end users is not reflected in the value of the OCLC Cooperative. 

    5. Changes required to the Charter

    • The discussion started with comments about the fact that some OCAC members are reaching the end of their terms and/or are thinking about retiring from the profession.  For example, Mr. Ingles has passed his two terms and he took the opportunity to describe the history between his institution and OCLC, and why he got involved in the first place.   He recommended to the Council to consider that his replacement be Mary-Jo Romaniuk in the future based on the provided explanations.  The Council was agreeable for various reasons but mainly because there are official mechanisms at the ARC and GC for formal elections and that any Canadians elected on these bodies would have to be added to OCAC as stipulated in the charter.
    • It was also mentioned that the three ex-officio delegates on OCAC can be elected on GC or ARC. 
    • It is recommended to add “ARC Executive” in every section of the charters where “OCLC Global Council” is mentioned since an elected officer on ARC might also be elected on GC and OCAC would want that person to join OCAC.
    • Consider changing the number required for delegates on OCAC to a flexible/open statement.  Mr. Boivin will propose language to be approved by OCAC members.

    6. Brainstorming -- Actual landscape in the Canadian library economy

    • At UNB, three year reduction cycle, 2% per year.  So, staff will need to be cut.
    • CISTI looking at outsourcing and partnering.  Possible partnership with other federal department on technical services. 
    • BC public libraries got provincial funding cut of 20%, advocacy helped to avoid larger cuts.  Databases licensing is affected so some of these subscriptions are going back to libraries as it was paid totally by provincial funding.  Fiscal 2010 will be known in March 2010 and still unsure if further changes will be required.  Price saving solutions is then very important for BC libraries.
    • BAnQ / Quebec, a few have to cut and might be more in 2010.  BAnQ is being cut which can turn into less opening hours.  ILL is growing a lot.  4% more visitors again this year, 30-40% increase for e-resources. 
    • LAC, ILL went down for 20 months in a row so surprised to hear that BAnQ is increasing (possibly due to the VDX initiatives/set up that was not in place before).  Manage on-going department records is a growing focus at LAC.  On the library side, they consider other people doing work for them:  working with publishers to reuse data, working smarter with metadata.  On archival side, changing internal practice, describing deeply on few areas and will move to describing everything with less data to start with improvement over time.  Not getting out of description as being used by many others but refocusing and refreshing their services.  ILL may be less of a priority because more initiatives in the regions like in the East and with BAnQ. 
    • Alberta’s recession came later.   But in their case, some money got transferred (9 million) to libraries from other sectors (public libraries).  U of Alberta had best budget year in 20 years but not the case for U of Calgary.  Ernie expects next year to be tough.  Best to expect is 0% increase (education, health), rest could expect reduction (municipal, etc.).  Expect around 4% cut at U of Alberta or better.  Big cut back this year was on Lois Hole Digital Library Initiative as it was reduced by 50%.  Next year not too sure yet but this year TAL let go the manager of Lois Hole and could not administer any longer the program.  This initiative was transferred to U of Alberta.  All money goes into content, databases, a little to digitization.  Next year is unknown! 
    • NS, Dalhousie.  Good shape due to a previous agreement with academic sector.  The agreement ends in 2011, so it is expected that the picture will change.  Dalhousie increased by 600 students.    Pension problem in NS (50 million), translate to 12-16 million dollars per year for next 4-5 years.  Official freezes on hiring at the government level.  Public libraries looking for funding in 12-15 years.  City matching province funding through a grant and was announced a few weeks ago.  NS announced its first attempts/steps at the “borrow and return” anywhere services at no cost.  They might consider doing joint purchases but timing is not best to attempt this with other library type.
    • Windsor, Ontario.  4% cut and in their second year out of three years.  Province is in “dire straight” and is looking at 2 more years of cuts.  Only lights are with the fact that some institutions have grown more than usual in terms of number of students.  U of Windsor is down 8 positions at the library.  Cuts are not well planned out, through attrition and retirement.  Economy has tanked in Ontario for probably two more years to go. 
    • Mr. Ingles asked if Ontario libraries are considering outsourcing of cataloguing?  Some do talk about this but look within the province through existing agreements within the province.  Ms. Ebbett thinks that most have cut a lot already in tech services and that not much is left to save in this area.  Scholar’s Portal referred to as one area for saving.  Open source initiatives are also undertaken and Scholar’s Portal is trying some right now.
    • Will libraries be forced to make drastic changes?   Philosophies will change per institutions.  For example, one would prefer cutting public services people before collections activities.  There is no “national” consensus, even regionally.  Collections decisions are already difficult at the provincial level, imagine at the national level.  How many copies are required and who will be saving/storing these?  The US sometimes has interesting initiatives when handle at the State level, where they try to include all libraries, not just academic libraries, for examples. 
    • Someone mentioned that some of those group initiatives should be focusing on discussions to streamline resources instead of licensing more of the same.  Ex.: Edmonton patrons have access to same content through Edmonton Public and U of Alberta so some of that licensing could be left at the institution level and still make savings.  There are too many licensed resources. 
    • Survey by Leger marketing for the “table de concertation” released last year on/for  public, school, college and university libraries.  One finding was that 43% are library users and they say they would like more e-services, online.  Hélène will share the survey with the group.

    7. Next OCAC meetings discussion

    • In light of the new governance structure, OCAC might need to review its own schedule of conference calls and meetings. 
    • Thus, it was suggested, knowing that GC is meeting in April, that OCAC would meet before the GC through a conference call. 
    • Similarly, OCAC should plan to do another conference call before the June ARC meeting.  
    • Other OCAC conference calls schedule to be determined later.
    • Ideally keep a face to face meeting in the fall. 

    8. Any departing members and formal thank you note to Ingrid Parent

    Mr. Ingles proposed a motion, supported by Ms. Barlow, to thank Ingrid Parent for her contribution over the years to the OCLC Canada Advisory Council.

    The OCAC delegates discussed their future delegates representation as follows:

    • Ms. Barlow may be staying one more year so she may run to be elected on ARC executives to assure some continuity from Canada.  She would  then be staying also on OCAC for at least one more year.
    • Mr. Maes is interested in another 3 year term.
    • Mary Jo Romaniuk from the U of Alberta is replacing Mr Ingles.
    • Ms. Roussel said that in one year, she would consider a position on GC and/or ARC.
    • It is recommended to try to find someone from the archives and/or museums world.   Apparently, Doug Kas, from the Glenbow Museum would be a good candidate.
    • According to Ms. Barlow, Canada needs at least two names for each position so need 8 names or 4 names minimally (three for GC and one for ARC Executive but could be the same on ARC and GC??).
    • Seven positions at ARC will be for grab (3 at the executive level and 4 delegates at large – Canada has 1 seat, minimum).
    • Suggested names to approach for elections were:  Barbara Clubb at Ottawa Public, someone from the colleges in Ontario, Madeleine Lefebvre at Ryerson, Richard Dumont at the U of Montreal.  
    • OCAC delegates will think at some other names to propose.

    9. OCLC Pre-Conference event at CLA

    • Mr. Boivin exposed the initial idea and what was submitted to CLA for acceptance as a pre-conference activity: “Improving the user experience when you’re not vis-à-vis: Strategies in virtual reference, outreach and customer retention management”.
    • Mr. Boivin indicated that there was also another session proposal coming from Ontario and involving OCLC employees about being and going mobile.  He felt that this could be associated with the original proposal and wanted to open this for discussion.
    • The delegates agreed and asked to pursue the possibility of combining if the session had not already been accepted.
    • Ms. Barlow mentioned that Ontario also has a virtual service.  Novanet / NS also have a service and these could be approached as potential speakers.

    10. Other business

    • The group already talked about the survey in a previous point so this additional business had been covered. 


    Actions required before the next meeting Responsibility
    1. Changing the section of the charter regarding the three ex-officio members. Daniel Boivin (done)
    2. Changing Members Council to Global Council in the Charter. Daniel Boivin (done)
    3. Proposed new dates for the fall face to face OCAC meeting. Daniel Boivin (done)