OCLC Canada Advisory Council

Minutes — 4 November 2015

Gwen Ebbett, University Librarian, University of Windsor
Suzanne Payette, Directrice, Bibliothèque publique de Brossard
Joyce Garnett, University Librarian Emeritus, Western University
Lisa O'Hara, Head, Discovery & Delivery Services, University of Manitoba Libraries
Madeleine Lefebvre, University Librarian, Ryerson University
Marie DeYoung, University Librarian, Saint Mary's University
Danielle Chagnon, Directrice générale, Direction générale de la diffusion, BAnQ
Debbie Schachter, Director, Learning Resources, Douglas College (afternoon)
Daniel Boivin, Executive Director, OCLC Canada, Latin America & the Caribbean

Bruce Crocco, Vice-President, Library Services for the Americas, OCLC

Johanna Smith, Director General, Services Branch, Library and Archives Canada

Kathleen O’Connell, Director General, Knowledge Management, National Research Council

Submitted Agenda:

  1. Opening of the meeting and agenda approval (Chair, Debbie Schachter)
  2. Review the minutes of the June 19th, 2015, Conference call (update, questions)
  3. Sustainable Collection Services review from Rick Lugg, Executive Director
  4. Update on the Americas Regional Council and discussion about the next Global
  5. Key topics/areas needing to be discussed and reported at Global Council or affecting Canadian Libraries (Group) Council agenda and elections (if available -- all delegates)
  6. OCLC enterprise / Canadian division year in review and update
  7. Brainstorming on the actual library landscape (local and global, economy, staff, technology, top priorities at your library) and specific recommendations to make to OCLC “A strong foundation for the future” (see attachment).
  8. Review of the OCAC Charter (clauses, number of delegates, terms, etc.)
  9. OCLC Member Relations discussion with Meryl Cinnamon, Member Services Consultant
  10. 2016 future Member Forums in Canada and CLA Symposium topic
  11. Other business
  12. Group picture + Signing of the release form
  13. End of the meeting

1. Opening of the meeting and agenda approval

  • Ms. Ebbett is chairing the meeting to start with as Ms. Schachter cannot join us until the afternoon due to other commitments.
  • The third item on the agenda, Sustainable Collection Services review from Rick Lugg, Executive Director, is switched with the 10h15 item to accommodate the fact that Mr. Lugg has become unavailable to join OCAC at the scheduled time.
  • The agenda is then approved with the proposed changes.

2. Review the minutes of the June 19th, 2015 meeting (update, questions)

  • Minutes accepted and approved without changes.

3. OCLC enterprise / Canadian division year in review and update

  • Lots of questions and exchanges occurred during the presentation.
  • The delegates felt that in addition to seeing the number of Canadian members per type of libraries, it would also be nice to see this per province and show the number of participants as well. This will be shared before the next conference call.
  • Many statistics on usage and contributions by Canadian libraries as well as Web traffic generated due to the partnerships and the linked data initiatives at OCLC were presented. Most were surprised to see that McGill University was the third library to have been providing the most original records to WorldCat in FY15.
  • List of new WMS, WorldCat Discovery and significant sales were also shared as well as information on the migration progress towards the WorldShare platform (ILL, Collection Analysis, discovery, cataloguing)

4. Update on the future Americas Regional Council Meeting

  • Mr. Crocco reported that Irene Hoffman at OCLC has worked hard at making delegates working hard and at assuring the delegates could offer even more feedback to OCLC since she has been named the liaison between ARC and OCLC.
  • Ms. Payette then asked if it was true that there will be no more ARC meetings during ALA and Ms. Ebbett said that the ARC Member Forums were indeed replacing these for the time being. ARC requires one annual meeting per year and this was happening at ALA. With the ARC Member Forum, ARC is trying to reach out to more members in going to more areas. Four out of the twenty-four Member Forums are/were identified as ARC Meetings. There will be a program at ALA Mid-Winter but it will not be a formal meeting (update brunch). ARC seems to want to try these ARC Member Forums for one year or two and evaluate the success of these moving forward.
  • Someone indicated that some people do not see themselves as members and others think that these events are not open to them if they are not members. It is recommended to do a better job at making sure people do know they are open to all.
  • Ms. Ebbett believes that ARC should continue be part of ALA and she will raise that at the ARC meeting during Global Council. She also reported that she does not receive posting on ARC listserv and she is not sure if the listserv works.
  • Coming back closer to us in Canada, someone indicated that it might be worth considering a listserv in Canada for OCLC that could be managed by OCAC, not OCLC, as this could help positioning OCLC more as a cooperative and facilitate further exchanges and communications about what OCLC does. Someone did then ask if messages coming from members or delegates, not OCLC employees, would receive more attention. Nobody had a firm position about this and admitted that it was not an easy question to answer.
  • Ms. Lefebvre then indicated that at her library, the younger librarians “want to run their own things”. When they hear about or see the OCLC logo from Ms. Lefebvre’s communications, they think that she “drank the cool-aid” and is advocating a little too much for the “big corporation”.

5. Sustainable Collection Services review from Rick Lugg, Executive Director

  • Mr. Lugg was able to deliver his presentation despite being located in an airport on his way to the Charleston conference.
  • Everybody was very enthusiastic about what SCS and the Green Glass application can accomplish for libraries and felt it could help many of them. Even those from the public library sector thought it could be helpful and were asking if SCS had done work before for this market. For example, Mme Chagnon indicated that a lot of the things he talked about they do manually at BAnQ. They probably could benefit from their tools at BAnQ.
  • Ms. Garnett reported that after SCS had come to the Iowa State University library, the results obtained got most of the collection development librarians talking. It sounded like librarians were way more aware and better informed as to the consequences of their decision and as to why some books could be weeded.
  • Someone asked Mr. Lugg when will SCS also be used for serials and he indicated that this is planned but not sure yet when this might be completed. Same with using this for digitization projects and archiving material.
  • Ms O’Hara asked how much staff time is required for this to be implemented and ran and the answer was “it depends”. It depends on the nature of the project and its purpose. Mr. Lugg indicated that the most involvement though is at the very beginning so that the parameters and expectations are properly defined. This could take up to 1 week or so. Overall, such a project should not take months to get going but weeks. Same with completion even though this might take a little longer based on the amount of data being analyzed and the size of the groups.

6. Brainstorming on the actual library landscape & specific recommendations for OCLC

  • Everybody kept talking about the SCS presentation saying this sort of service is very timely in Canadian academic libraries these days.
  • Mss. DeYoung and O’Hara indicated they were loosing spaces at their libraries so tools like this would help them make better/wiser decisions.
  • Ms. O’Hara said that an article she recently read mentioned that if a library was to buy the back file to complete a serials collection, it would cost them $1060 per title to have the entire serials residing and available at the university.
  • Ms. Lefebvre said that a service like SCS helps thinking at going back to demonstrating the value of the library. She mentioned that at Ryerson, the library’s impact drop to 2.17% overall which is a large drop compared to where it was when this started in the 1960s. The student FTE count has increased a lot at Ryerson but this growth isn’t fully reflected in the library’s budget. In MacLean’s rankings, the percentage of the overall university operating budget given to the library is one of the lowest in Canada. Much of the library’s budget these days goes to on-going commitments and one time money as often offered does not help moving forward. Ms. Lefebvre added that increased staffing and benefits costs is taking up an increasing percentage of the budget and thus putting more and more pressure on funds for collections. This is made worse by the falling dollar and publisher inflation. The situation is currently not too good for Ryerson’s Libraries but all Canadian libraries are challenged right now due to the currency drop.
  • Ms. Garnett said that most libraries are starting to struggle with the changing role of libraries and the fact that they are all expected do the same with less and, play new roles which means doing even more with less.
  • Ms. DeYoung feels that academic libraries should look more often into what public libraries do because they do have more varied influences going “against” themselves than academic libraries and still, many of them do thrive.
  • Ms. Chagnon indicated that we as librarians have to reconsider how we go about doing our business and manage staff time better. Librarians are doing way more project management now and managers need to allow them to reassign their own staff and time in different areas and in more various areas. The roles are becoming less traditional and the frame of the jobs is set such as that librarians often go beyond what they should do or have learned to do.
  • Ms. Lefebvre reported that Ryerson University is looking at partnering with the Toronto PL to expand services and collaborate further. They are even considering cancelling all products their students can get at the public library. They are at the library signing up students to the public library and even giving them public library cards. Ryerson U. library cancelled Safari because TPL has access to it.
  • Ms. Chagnon reported though that the “public library” side of BAnQ has to be careful with marketing their databases at large because publishers will increase their pricing as these are for individuals/citizens and not organizations. Consequently, UQAM cannot cancel their subscription and tell their users to go to BAnQ openly. There would be then copyright and licensing issues.
  • Ms. Garnett then went on to ask “what are the meaningful indicators that do speak” to administrators? And, can OCLC help the Council, the members, to identify these? It is important for librarians to be able to show the difference between the “what” and the “so what”. She felt that, while we as librarians understand the value of libraries, we do not always know how to effectively articulate that value to administrators.

7. Strong Foundation for the Future

  • Mr. Crocco spoke to that as Mr. Jacobs was not available. He explained the previous structure at OCLC in relation to the IT environment that were divided into “developments” and “infrastructure” and has now been joined to one group under one CIO.
  • He raised elements part of the IT environment such as privacy, security, laws, etc. He mentioned the data centre in Toronto was one of the first released and now OCLC has a total of 5 worldwide. He indicated that OCLC needs to develop faster and better our ability to always be functioning in real time. For sure, the recent outages are in relation with OCLC’s needs to do better and be more reliable with our IT infrastructure. OCLC had different technology in place in its data centres. OCLC is now deploying cloned data centres so all of them will be alike in 6-9 months. This will also apply to development, test and production as all will be sharing the same infrastructure which was not the case entirely in the past. We will see much better and reliable deployments and testing will not need to be repeated for all data centres.
  • Mr. Crocco indicated that recent outages were with older pieces of equipment and technologies and some of these outages came during the transition to the new infrastructure. Additionally, OCLC was told to communicate better with the members and he indicated that they are addressing that matter too. The goal is to have planned outages so that indeed, we can communicate these ahead of time. Once the new infrastructure is in place, OCLC expects stabilization of these and have planned outages. He reported that OCLC should also be moving the Westerville centre to South Western US to have a better distribution in the future.

8. Review of the OCAC Charter

  • Mr. Boivin reminded the group that there is no limit in terms of time a person can run on Global Council. Someone can be elected for many 3 year terms if she/he wishes. The previous Members Council had a limit of two terms and this was one reason why this was also used for OCAC. The other reason was to assure a certain rotation within the delegates to OCAC.
  • Consequently, OCAC asked to modify the terms of service as follows:
    • Under “Term of Service”, modify:
  • “A member to the OCAC will be designated for a three-year term. Any member is eligible to run for a second term after Council approval normally once for a total of six consecutive years.”
    “A member to the OCAC will be designated for a three-year term which may be renewed.”

  • The delegates also recommended to use the acronym OCAC everywhere the terms “council” or “Advisory Council”, in relation to OCAC, were used.
  • Someone asked if a mention about having a quorum before the meetings started was needed. It was agreed that there was no need for a quorum since OCAC and Mr. Boivin always try to find a date that fits most and, OCAC is not an official governing body.
  • Ms. Schachter indicated that she might be stepping down as chair knowing her term on Global Council is ending.

9. OCLC Member Relations, Member Forum and OCLC Canada Symposium at CLA discussions

  • Meryl Cinnamon, Member Services Consultant, joined OCAC in the afternoon to update everybody on the activity of this division and talk further about the Member Forums.
  • Status on previous events, what went well, less well, upcoming sessions were all shared with OCAC. From this, a discussion on the Forums and ARC Member Forums followed where ideas were shared:
    • Maybe considering doing something with LAC-BAC in the future was suggested.
    • Ms. Chagnon indicated that there is a “Metric and cultural environment conference” in Montreal in 2016 and that a Member Forum around that theme and how to put that into good use might be another topic for a forum or the CLA Symposium.
  • Various suggestions were made for future forums in Canada and the CLA Symposium.
  • Ms. DeYoung indicated that the next CLA might be more like a convention and that they would not necessarily be asking for “papers/sessions” like in the past. CLA will be from 1–3 June in 2016 and OCLC could possibly have its Symposium the morning of 1 June. She also indicated that pass the June 2016 “convention”, it is an “unwritten script” regarding what might happen to this event.
  • OCAC then went on to propose to have Mr. Lugg as OCLC’s keynote to the Symposium at CLA if there was one. OCLC could also then ask the gentleman from LAC-BAC that spoke in Toronto and possibly someone from COPPUL to also speak. It is believed within the group that the idea/theme of “space management” would attract many libraries.
  • There is a “Collaborative future” project at OCUL going on and this topic should attract some of them but they too could be consider as potential speaker to a Forum or Symposium.
  • It is worth noting for OCLC that there will be in 2017 the Metropolitan Public Libr. meeting which is part of IFLA. This might be a good opportunity to reach further to this group and consider a Forum or something else but be involved.

10. Other business

  • A discussion on the OCAC 2016 meetings took place. OCAC used to model its schedule on the 2 GC meetings and the 2 ARC meetings. The question is what do OCAC do now that ARC do not meet at ALA any longer and has Forums across North America?
  • In the past, we had OCAC before ARC because some Canadians were going to this event.
  • Consequently, it is suggested to have two calls before the GC and one in person meeting. If OCAC has an ARC Member Forum in Canada, OCAC will then consider having a call before that ARC Forum.

11. Next meeting

  • Will be confirmed after Doodle results but aiming at late March early April, before the next Global Council meeting.
Actions required before the next meeting Responsibility
Delegates would like to see statistics per province on the membership and participation. Daniel Boivin (done).
Modify the Charter as required. Daniel Boivin (done).
Send Doodles for 2016 meetings once find out what happens with ARC and ALA. Daniel Boivin (done).