Progress: Stakeholder and Academic Forums (November, 2011)

At a Stakeholder Forum held in May, 2011, participants were invited to sign on for working groups for five key initiatives of possible interest to the development of the network. These working groups met over the summer of 2011 to identify the most significant issues for their areas and to look at next steps. By sharing the results, participants can learn from each other and possibly discover points of convergence between their respective mandates.
Following is a brief summary of what has been accomplished to this point, group by group, as well as a wrap-up of the work flowing from the Academic Forum.
1) Collaborative management of analogue holdings
The challenge for this working group is to identify the network’s collective holdings, share the information, and then define the commitments needed to manage the holdings properly. This will involve the more complicated issues of copyright, ownership, principles, responsibilities and obligations. Current work and ideas include:
  • expansion of National, Provincial and Territorial Archivists Conference (NPTAC) member survey on preservation capacity
  • a working definition of “Last Copy”, as well as a framework to outline principles, responsibilities, obligations
  • use of the Agora to support exchange of information
2) Digital preservation through a Trusted Digital Repository (TDR)
The question of whether information resources will be properly stored and available in the future challenges the work of this group. Once again, identification forms a key first step in securing digital preservation. Where is the expertise located? Who will retain the most authentic version? The participants have met on several occasions and drafted:
  • a high-level strategy
  • a collaboration continuum
  • next step: a work plan
3) Linked metadata pilot
Metadata and resource discovery form a two-sided coin for user access, resulting in these two initiatives coming together in a single pilot proposal to create a national model for linked metadata. Users could theoretically perform one search, and access all the relevant material from across the country. So far, the work includes:
  • a pilot project teleconference
  • a summary (distributed)
  • a second teleconference (scheduled)
  • a survey of metadata (underway)
  • preliminary survey results (to be released in November 2011)
4) Acquisition marketplace
Originally called the Acquisition Market Agora, this working group explored ways to foster collaboration among institutions across Canada related to the acquisition of documentary heritage. So far the group has:
  • drafted a statement of principles
  • discussed re-appraisal and agreed to post requests for materials to the marketplace
  • agreed to post mandates and strategies
  • adopted the Agora, on LAC-hosted software, as their collaborative virtual workspace
  • agreed to draft terms of reference, develop a timeline for guidelines, and develop a process for recommending where documentary heritage items should reside
5) Pan-Canadian Documentary Heritage Network (PCDHN)
This working group met to discuss the vision, shape, roadmap and possible outcomes of the PCDHN. Following a teleconference, a number of next steps were identified:
gather comments on the PCDHN backgrounder distributed at the May Stakeholders Forum
  • establish a draft vision
  • draw up the terms of reference for the working group
  • explore current landscape for the network
6) Academic Forums
The goal of these forums is to develop a collaborative information research community in Canada. Two meetings have already been held, resulting in a series of proposed, collaborative short- to long-term projects, including:
  • a framework for institutional collaboration in library, information and archival sciences
  • a renewed curriculum agenda based on research and environmental analysis
  • the development of an online program in Library and Information Science (LIS) training for aboriginal communities