OCLC Canada Advisory Council

Minutes — 16 April 2015

Debbie Schachter, Director, Learning Resources, Douglas College
Hélène Roussel, Director General, Direction générale de la diffusion, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
Gwen Ebbett, University Librarian, University of Windsor
Suzanne Payette, Director, Bibliothèque publique de Brossard
Lisa O'Hara, Head, Technical Services, University of Manitoba Libraries
Madeleine Lefebvre, University Librarian, Ryerson University
Bruce Crocco, Vice-President, Library Services for the Americas, OCLC
Daniel Boivin, Executive Director, OCLC Canada, Latin America & the Caribbean

Marie DeYoung, University Librarian, Saint Mary's University
Mary-Jo Romaniuk, SLIS, University of Alberta
Johanna Smith, Director General, Services Branch, Library and Archives Canada
Joyce Garnett, University Librarian Emeritus, Western University and Interim Dean of the Library Iowa State University
Michael Ireland, Information Management Services Directorate Knowledge Management, National Research Council

Submitted Agenda:

  1. Opening of the meeting and agenda approval (Chair, Debbie Schachter)
  2. Review the minutes of the January 23rd 2015 OCAC conference call (update, questions)
  3. Discussion on the upcoming Global Council meeting (Group)
  4. Key topics/areas needing to be discussed and reported at Global Council or affecting Canadian Libraries (Group)
  5. SCS Acquisition (Bruce Crocco)
  6. Member Forum scheduled and possible topics (Group)
  7. Other business (OCLC Symposium at CLA, etc.)
  8. Next meeting and end of the meeting

1. Opening of the meeting and agenda approval

  • Agenda approved as submitted.

2. Review the minutes of the 23 January 2015 meeting (update, questions)

  • Minutes accepted and approved without changes.

3. Discussion on the upcoming Global Council Meeting

  • Ms. Payette suggested to view the EMEA clip on YouTube as it is apparently very interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgS9uaxg5hQ&list=PLWXaAShGazu6vFOJl8-b3LCas8jB2D0om&index=6
  • Ms. Ebbett indicated that the ARC Executive Committee is still tossing around the idea of trying to have a meeting outside of ALA but not before 2016 if this happens.
  • Ms. O’Hara asked about what application was the Canadian Data Centre supporting today. Mr. Boivin indicated that it supports right now all of the WorldShare applications (that includes ILL that many Canadian libraries are using and also other WMS applications a library can subscribe to separately) and CONTENTdm. It seems very possible that EZproxy will be the next application to be moved to the Canadian data centre but there is no date for this yet.
  • Mr. Crocco then added that it is also interesting to look at access and privacy under the “metadata angle”. Metadata is accessed from users around the globe when comes the time to deploy projects like “last copy” and this do concerns some librarians from time to time as well.
  • Ms. O’Hara then indicated how challenging issues related with access to authority and managing authorities were at the U of Manitoba when she observed that this topic was on the agenda under the item “Global Data Network”. For example, there is no way right now for them to know in bibliographic records which authority file should be used and this creates issues as they are cataloguing in both languages at the U of Manitoba with the U of St-Boniface sharing systems. They cannot easily validate authorities. In Canada, this is an issue that cloud based providers of ILS will need to tackle better.
  • Mr. Crocco believed that this topic will also touch on leveraging data, such as authority files usage and management.

4. Key topics/areas needing to be discussed and reported at ARC or affecting Canadian Libraries (Group

  • Data security was one item of concerned raised by Ms. O’Hara. They at U of Manitoba had many breaches to e-resources and they keep worrying on this as it seems to be growing. These attempts are coming from China, Russia or now even from some Canadian servers and the hackers get hold of users’ accounts to download thousands of documents. Most of these are aiming at accessing electronic resources. How does a library keep up with all these attempts and she sees this as a growing challenge with more and more services now being offered in the cloud?
  • Ms. O’Hara also mentioned that Internet identity is another/related topic of interest. Better password protection is needed and educating library users seems a most. Some of these users utilize the same password everywhere and this affects libraries in the process as the library accounts get hacked due to this poor management of identity from the patrons.
  • Ms. Ebbett said that she has not heard as much on these issues in Ontario. She thinks that it might be because the Scholar’s Portal, which provides most access to OCUL libraries e-content, helps as they have a lot of protection.
  • Ms. Schachter asked if funding was more stable in general and this is a topic everybody had some sad story to share!
  • Ms. Ebbett and Lefebvre said that in Ontario the exchange rate affects their buying power a lot. U of Windsor will have to cancel over 1 million dollar worth of subscription and buying to cover their bills. For OCUL libraries, end of year is end of April and Ryerson Univ. will finish the year in the red for the first time in a long time because the currency drop so much. The issue is that the drop happened quickly and nobody had forecasted this drop to be that big. Next fiscal year should be less of an issue in terms of surprise and shortcomings but it will still limit everybody’s buying power.
  • The “Ontario differentiation” (possible elimination of duplicate programs between institution) is still up in the air. They are also talking about austerity in Ontario with the goal of having a balanced budget for 2017-18. U of Windsor library for example had 8 years in a row of cuts so managing the library keeps on getting harder and harder. At Ryerson Univ., everybody is unionized so there is no room for cutting staff and allocating “salaries” differently (Example of this challenge: Ms. Lefebvre has at the library two support staff in their 70s which do not seem to be ready at all to retire).
  • Academic libraries have been using mostly attrition when people are leaving to make these adjustments. Apparently, there is also a lot of “bumping” going on within universities and university employees end up at the library without any knowledge of how a library operates which affects the quality of the services. Unfortunately, some managers on campus seem to think that everybody can work in libraries without much background!
  • On the public library side, Ms. Payette reported that budget seems quite stable, at least in Quebec. However, libraries have to “use” their budget for what they intended to because anything unspent is removed from the next fiscal year budget. In Quebec, public libraries do not buy much material in US currency so this does not affect them.
  • Mr. Boivin reported that the budget cuts and challenges do vary from province to province. In Quebec for example, all universities are being cut with this austerity budget and this will or has triggered down to libraries. Similarly, libraries in Alberta are also affected as the province receives less dividends from oil production which ends up in cuts in many sectors.
  • Mr. Boivin went on in indicating that link data and big data were hot topics six to twelve months ago but that this seems today to be mentioned less often. Ms. Ebbett indicated that it might be related to the fact that the big data challenge is now being addressed, at least in Ontario. OCUL is building an environment for managing data and CARL is also looking into this initiative at a national level. OCUL is building a cloud storage through their Scholar’s Portal initiative. Right now, five nodes around the province are being tested. These are acting mostly as storage containers at this point and it is not easy to use. Ms. Ebbett reported that libraries in Alberta were also applying for funding to do something similar, same in BC so this is taken place across the country gradually. CARL’s plan is to have all those nodes across the country interacting.
  • Mr. Crocco then asked if government required the raw data to be stored and available first as part of providing funding for these initiatives and they are. Ms. Ebbett indicated that providing or improving accessibility was next on the list but it is apparently not easy to design easy access to this type of data. Ms. Ebbett thinks that in the future, a data research plan will need to be included with all funding applications. She sees that as the next logical step.
  • In BC, the government provided funding through ELN to create an institutional repository at the consortium level for those libraries that could not afford to build these on their own. ELN chose Islandora. This initiative is funded partly by the provincial government which goal is to create a digital library even though they at the government apparently are not too clear on what that means. They asked librarians to help them define this and Ms. Schachter is seeing this type of initiative as a growing demand, i.e. the one to efficiently store and disseminate the outputs of research. That seems to be a good opportunity for libraries.
  • Mr. Crocco then asked “So what is a Digital Library?” This might be a good topic for Global Council.

5. SCS Acquisition

  • Mr. Crocco reported that on 13 January, OCLC announced the acquisition of SCS (Sustainable Collection Services).
  • Its primary focus as an organization is data driven deselection. SCS has been doing this for about 4 years for individual or group level libraries. In Canada, they have worked with the U of Saskatchewan, COPPUL, the Tri-University group in Ontario and a few other sites.
  • It is a four person company and the two primary individuals are Ruth Fisher and Rick Lugg. With 2 technical guys with them, they developed a software to help them do these analysis and it is called GreenGlass.
  • They had partnered with OCLC for 4 years using WorldCat data to deepen their analysis when needed. But, they also uses other sources mainly, HathiTrust, Internet Archives, and Choice. They also use and look circulation data.
  • Each project can last for as much as 2 years. This is the maximum life cycle for these projects as data needs to be refreshed after that.
  • They are a standalone solution now with OCLC. Of course, they are now helping us at OCLC with our shared print strategy. OCLC will be announcing soon more involvement regarding managing shared print.
  • SCS is only for monographs but it is planned to update the service in the next while to cover for serials as well.
  • Most of their work has been with academic libraries since this is where their main expertise was but they could also start looking at working with public libraries if there is a demand.
  • Ms. Lefebvre indicated that “space is the new currency on campus” and deselecting helps obtaining more spaces in libraries.
  • SCS and OCLC existing Collection Analysis or as now called WorldShare Collection Evaluation, did not overlap with SCS. SCS is for moving off the shelves books while OCLC tools are for benchmarking and accreditation mostly.

6. Member Forum scheduled and possible topics

  • Mr. Boivin gave a status report on where is the planning for the first event in Toronto.
  • Already about 25 persons registered in just a few days.
  • Mr. Boivin indicated that there will be another event next fall in Vancouver as UBC has accepted to host the event. A date remains to be identified.
  • The goal is to also have another one further east, i.e. Ottawa or Montreal (or maybe both if these events are well attended).
  • Ms. Schachter proposed to offer the same topic when this event is in BC. She feels that there might be benefits to do this as an “across the country” event. It could help building these shared print repository in a well-planned manner.
  • Mr. Boivin mentioned that doing something with the “developers’ network” was mentioned for BC but the group felt that this might be a topic for the morning instead. He also indicated that if OCLC was signing an agreement with LAC-BAC in the next few months, this could also be a topic of interest for the members’ forum.
  • Ms. Schachter asked Mr. Boivin to report on how the forum went in Toronto at the next conference call in June.

7. Other business

  • Ms. Schachter asked Ms. Roussel if she had anything to add in relation to the key topics discussion since she joined the call at 14h. Ms. Roussel mentioned that they are restructuring at BAnQ and they lost 7 managers which represented a 25% cut within the management group. It was hard to go through this process but they had to do it due to all the cuts they suffered again this year. She said that it is right now fairly difficult financially for libraries in Quebec. For BAnQ, this was the 5th cut they had to suffer in the past 6 years. This time was focused on the management team mostly. There might be more in other sectors of BAnQ as this is still going to be studied further later in April. Luckily, BAnQ still have projects to plan for, thanks to the foundation that helps them with their grant and special funding. This allows BAnQ to keep moving on and to work with what is left.
  • The currency drop has also affected BAnQ, mostly with electronic resources as they buy quite a lot to serve the Quebec population.

8. Next meeting and end of meeting

  • Next Conference Call – June 19th, 2015.
Actions required before the next meeting Responsibility
Report how the Member Forum at U of Toronto went. Daniel Boivin