OCLC Canada Advisory Council

Conference call meeting minutes - June 19th, 2012


  • Gwen Ebbett, University Librarian, University of Windsor
  • Hélène Roussel, Directrice générale, Direction générale de la diffusion, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
  • Madeleine Lefebvre, University Librarian, Ryerson University
  • Lisa O'Hara, "Head, Discovery and Delivery Services", University of Manitoba Libraries
  • Michael Ireland, Director, Information Management Services Directorate
  • Knowledge Management, National Research Council
  • Debbie Schachter, Director, Learning Resources, Douglas College
  • Mary-Jo Romaniuk (on the phone), Acting Chief Librarian, University of Alberta
  • Daniel Boivin, Executive Director, OCLC Canada, Latin America & the Caribbean
  • Bill Maes (on the phone), University Librarian (retired), Dalhousie University
  • Fabien Lengellé, Director General, Content and Access, Library and Archives Canada


  • Joyce Garnett, University Librarian, Western University
  • Bruce Crocco, Vice-President, Library Services for the Americas, OCLC

Submitted Agenda:

  1. Opening of the meeting and Agenda approval (Chair:  Hélène Roussel)
  2. Review the minutes of the June OCAC meeting (update, questions)
  3. Update on the Americas Regional Council  (Bill Maes by Phone) and discussion about the next Global Council agenda
  4. Topics to bring to the next GC from Canadian delegates and Upcoming GC Elections (Anybody going for a second term?  Need someone else from OCAC? Do we need to recruit?)
  5. WorldShare Metadata (David Whitehair)
  6. OCLC enterprise / Canadian division year in review and update on WorldShare ILL (WCRS migration and VDX – Daniel)
  7. Linked Data – Jeff Young, Office of Research           
  8. Brainstorming on the actual library landscape (economy, staff, technology) and specific recommendations to make to OCLC
  9. Departing OCAC delegates
  10. Other business
  11. End of the meeting
  12. Next meeting is a conference call on December 18th, 2012

1. Opening of the meeting and agenda approval:

  • Agenda approved as submitted.

2. Review the minutes of the June 2012 Conference call (update, questions):

  • Some corrections were suggested.
  • The minutes are accepted with these changes.

3. Update on the Americas Regional Council:

  • Mr. Maes started his update from the Annual General meeting in Anaheim:
    • Barbara Preece, the new Americas Regional Council (ARC)’s Chair, presented the action plan for the coming two years.  The main emphasis is on membership (recruiting and getting members to engage) and she is considering restarting the interest group model.  There is one now but it is difficult to keep it up to date (for example, the minutes of the last meetings were not there back in June).  The ARC site might have been revamped or will soon be in conjunction with the Global Council (GC) site update (for those changes, it was apparently even considered to link ARC to the OCAC site).  Ramping up the ambassador’s program is also part of the plan.  ARC is considering more regional meetings and maybe breaking the ARC annual meeting away from ALA.  ARC is looking at different options to reach members like Web conferencing.  There is also an Executive Subcommittee on Organization and participation that got created and Lisa was on it but nobody seems too sure if it is was really active yet (Lisa read part of the purpose and action items of this subcommittee:  “Humanize OCLC, make it less feeling like a vendor, have ambassadors going to National Library meetings, assign OCLC staff to be responsible for ambassador program …).  During the ARC meeting, the credits and incentives discussion that took place at GC was also brought up as an FYI.  Elections are coming up and this time there are lots of vacancies to be filled (16).   ARC bylaws are still being revised and might come forward in the spring for a vote.  Some of them would be to cover terms, replacing delegates with alternates, removal of delegates that misses two consecutive GC meetings and some other points. 
  • Mrs. Lefebvre indicated that WebEx sessions for the ARC meeting she attended so far were very painful.  It did not go well at all due to tones of technical issues.  She did not recall discussions on changing the meeting structure.  She indicated that they were focusing mostly on by-laws and discussing potential speakers for the next meeting.  Communications, ambassadors and membership were also brought up.  She reported finding it very challenging to arrive within a group that seems to have lots of background on OCLC and ARC and the lack of proper orientation to ARC and OCLC’s structure.  It made it hard to keep up with those that had been there for a while.  Mr. Boivin indicated that this was a comment he would share with George Needham but also a note to himself as he could be giving some orientation before the first meeting takes place.  Similarly, this would be an opportunity to introduce a new delegate to the fact that they are also automatically on OCAC and provide background on the Council.
  • Mrs. O’Hara reported that for the ARC, only the President is getting a “seat” on GC and for that reason she felt that ARC ought to look at the EMEA or Asia Pacific Regional Councils structure because she thinks that all of their executive are also elected on GC at the same time.  She sees that as a benefit and a better way to “link” both governing bodies.  To her, this helps pursuing the discussions and bringing regional issues up the ladder.  It seems that these Asia and EMEA RC are structured that way and not ARC.  Why?

Global Council Discussion:

  • It is recommended to consider providing dial-in mechanism to members for the Americas RC caucus during GC.  Mr. Boivin will check if someone can dial-in to that meeting.
  • Mr. Maes felt that due to the small participation from LAC libraries at ARC and GC, it would make sense to try to have Mr. Boivin, or a delegate, always giving some updates on what is happening in the region.  Mr. Maes felt it necessary as there is nothing in the ARC meeting addressing none US challenges.
  • Discussion on the upcoming GC and ARC elections took place:
    • First question raised was if there was anybody within the existing three Canadian delegates at GC running for a second term?  Ms. Schachter indicated that she was.  At the same time, Ms. Schachter indicated that she wanted to be more actively involved with GC and that it did not feel like they had a lot of opportunity to be more involved.   Someone suggested that the Interest Groups could be a mean to do this as they are looking at some activities and leadership to take these off the ground.  It might be an idea to volunteer leading an existing or new group. She felt that the IG need more structure so that there are someone taking a lead and responsibility to get these going. Other ideas maybe of IG could be on “Copyright”, “RDA” but this might be a little too narrow.
    • Mrs. Lefebvre indicated that she had already also applied to run for GC.  The group then also discussed other candidates that could be approached so that we try to bring someone from the public library sector and of course have enough candidates running to have alternates.  The following names were suggested in addition to reviewing names of previous nominees we could approach once again:   Jeff Barber at Regina Public Libr (but also running for CLA), Linda Cook or Pam Ryan at Edmonton Public Libr.  Maybe Sylvie Nadeau for NBLS so that we keep someone from Eastern Canada now that Mr. Maes has left OCAC.  Heather DeMoore from U of Calgary said to Mrs. O’Hara that she could also be interested in running.
    • We also need to find out if Mrs. Garnett is considering running again. 
  • Mr. Lengellé said:  It is difficult to sustain participation in an “organization” based on volunteer work like for OCLC’s Councils.  A high level of discussion on participation seems required for an organization of the size of OCLC to assure that it continues receiving the input and generating the participation it expects and it needs.  Mr. Lengellé indicated being very interested in the Archives & Museum Interests discussion during GC.  He felt that this topic should have had a greater attention in the agenda (over the discussion on the Netherlands public libraries).  He also indicated that LAC-BAC, as well as BAnQ, could be good candidates to talk about their experience with merging libraries and archives, and talking about the challenges and differences in metadata management between libraries and archives.  He felt that the bottom line for OCLC with this topic could be a business opportunity and an area of special attention for OCLC.  An example he thought of could be to make sure that metadata management system should be developed in the future to fulfill both areas’ needs and requirements to avoid having to run two separate systems and have to ask users to search in two separate databases.  There are apparently more similarities than differences between archives and libraries.
  • Mr. Maes indicated that the OCLC activity on that side of the industry (ie. the archives) is too quiet and would benefit from being heard more. 
  • Ms. Schachter indicated that a lot of education is required at GC in relation to technologies and “data” to get everybody up to speed.  A lot of these are seen in the agenda and then the real discussions related to these challenges are embedded in smaller sessions which mean one would miss them if that person is part of another subgroup.  She suggested that pre-education might be required to help speeding up the discussion and to allow for keeping these at the group level as she felt lots of time was lost in having to bring everybody up to speed. 
  • Consider proposing GC to have a focus on Library & Archives (mergers, cooperation, partnerships) for its next meeting. Mrs. Ebbett said that this is talked a lot in the field right now and such a topic would need to be linked to what OCLC does in general which might make this more difficult as it would need to be narrowed to what OCLC does.    
  • Mr. Ireland suggested considering informing better the members about cataloguing and OCLC services in general.  He felt that this was still not a given for OCLC in Canada, especially in light of its not-for-profit status.
  • ACRL apparently has a placed its focus on library and archives.
  • Mrs. Ebbett indicated that the “linked data” topic is being talked a lot these days.  She felt that the emphasis should now move to “how to provide access to large data sets” (faculty/research data in universities – how to maintain while using it, etc.).  This goes beyond repositories.  Libraries are being asked to be involved and they do not know how to and she felt that libraries are missing a window of opportunity.  If OCLC could help in this area, it would be greatly appreciated by the libraries.

5. WorldShare Metadata:

  • Mr. Whitehair presented the current status of this new component of the WorldShare Management Services and its time frame for releasing the various pieces of it.  The presentation is posted on the OCAC private Web site.

6. OCLC Enterprise / Canadian division year in review and update on WorldShare ILL:

  • Mr. Boivin also presented a brief update on some changes at OCLC, accomplishments in Canada and a summary of other upcoming changes with the WorldShare Management Services.  His presentation is also on the private OCAC web site.

7. Linked data presentation:

  • The presentation is posted on the OCAC portal. 
  • Discussion on what OCLC has done took place.  1 million of the most popular WorldCat records now have linked data.

8. Brainstorming on actual library landscape: 

  • What other reports are coming up from OCLC marketing.  Mr. Boivin will check with marketing at OCLC.
  • Academic libraries in Ontario have had cuts in the past 5 years. There is a freeze on student fees (no more than 5% increase). 
  • Online education and 3 year degree programs are things being discussed in Ontario.  Mrs. Ebbett indicated that the Ontario Scholar’s Portal is well placed for online education.
  • M. Lengellé mentioned that it seems that more and more the name of the game is to charge for services in the future for public institutions, including possibly libraries.  At LAC-BAC, their “parliamentary credits” are frozen and they lost 27% of their buying power in the last 7 years. 
  • Mr. Ireland then asked Mr. Lengellé if they had any opportunities to partner with the private sector?  Mr. Lengellé indicated that LAC-BAC is approached by many organizations regularly.  One good example of that is ancestry.com.  But, public good is in conflict with for profit models and LAC-BAC runs into many conflicts with such partnerships.  They could have many opportunities but this business model cannot easily be implemented within the government. 
  • Some public libraries charge a fee.   As indicated by Mrs. Romaniuk, the Edmonton Public Library charges a fee and they surveyed their citizens to find out that they were OK with the annual fee.  Some even said that they could pay a higher amount than what the library had thought off. 
  • Ms. Schachter indicated that BC Public libraries cannot charge a fee for library services (B.C. Libraries Act) and some libraries are even considering removing fines as well.  Mrs. Roussel mentioned that in Quebec, some were asking for a fee but when they looked at their usage, libraries without a fee had greater use of the library services. 
  • It was mentioned to remember that many can probably not afford to pay a fee to access the library and this was why most seem to think it should be keep as a free service to their community.  Then, Mrs. Romaniuk indicated that in Edmonton, they waive the fee to those not wanting to pay!

9. Departing OCAC delegates

  • Mrs. Ebbett and Mrs. Romaniuk both reached the end of their first three year term.  Once reminded and asked if they had planned to leave or remain on Council, they both agreed to remain for a second and last 3 year term.
  • Mr. Maes had resigned from his position so he was thanked for his services to OCAC, and ARC and GC.  A small gift from OCLC and OCLC Canada will be mailed to him.

10. Other business:

  • None.

11. End of the meeting

  • The meeting is adjourned at 15h.

12. Next meeting on December 18th from 13h to 15h, 2012

Actions required before the next meeting Responsibility
Is dial-in provided for the Americas RC caucus during GC? Daniel Boivin
Ask George Needham if Asia and EMEA RC executive are also on GC, all of them? Daniel Boivin
Is Mrs. Garnett considering running again for GC? Daniel Boivin and/or Mrs. Lefebvre
What other reports are coming up from OCLC marketing Daniel Boivin