Services Consultation Committee

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Services Consultation Committee

Mandate

The mandate of the Services Consultation Committee is to give Library and Archives Canada (LAC) user and professional perspectives, as well as advice, guidance and feedback on the direction and priorities of its public-facing services on the Web, in the National Capital Region and all across Canada.

Members

The Group members represent varied users such as the general public, genealogists, professional researchers, members of the media, academics, the Government of Canada, members from key allied professions including archivist, librarians and museum professionals, information studies professors, as well as national memory institution executive outside of Canada.

LAC has two ex-officio members, the Chief Operating Officer and the Director General, Communications Branch.

The committee is chaired by LAC's Director General of Public Services.

Chair
Johanna Smith Library and Archives Canada
Ex-Officio Members
Normand Charbonneau Library and Archives Canada
Renee Harden Library and Archives Canada
Members
Inge Alberts University of Ottawa
Alison Blackburn Ottawa Public Library
Susan Brown Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory
Greg Donaghy Global Affairs Canada
Brett Lougheed University of Winnipeg Archives and Research Centre
Laura Madokoro McGill University
Ry Moran National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, University of Manitoba
David Obee Genealogy expert
Anita Price Association of Nova Scotia Museums
Claire Séguin Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
Ryan Shackleton Know History
Deborah Kigjugalik Webster Independent Researcher and Author
Pam Wright National Archives and Records Administration, United States

Meetings

The committee meets a maximum of 4 times per year, with one in-person meeting annually.

Meeting in Ottawa on December 7, 2016

  • Agenda, December 7, 2016
    Time Topic Presenter
    9:00 am – 9:05 am​ ​Welcome Johanna Smith
    9:05 am – 9:15 am​ Review of September 20, 2016 Meeting Johanna Smith
    9:15 am – 10:00 am​ Summit Debrief Neale McDonald / Johanna Smith
    10:00 am – 10:15 am​ Break  
    10:15 am – 11:00 am​ Block Review Paulette Dozois
    11:00 am – 11:45 am​ LAC User Survey Renée Harden
    11:45 am – 12:15 pm​ Legal Deposit Alison Bullock/ Pierre Gamache
    12:15 pm​ – 1:30 pm Lunch  
    1:30 pm – 2:00 pm Service Renewal at 395 Wellington Johanna Smith/ Robert Grandmaître
    2:00 pm – 2:30 pm Exhibition Plan Karen Linauskas/ Johanna Smith
    2:30 pm – 2:45 pm Break  
    2:45 pm – 3:15 pm LAC's Wikipedia Strategy Amy Tector
    3:15 pm – 4:00 pm Open Roundtable All
    4:00 pm – 4:30 pm Wrap up / Next Meeting Johanna Smith
  • Summary of discussion, December 7, 2017

    Attendees: Susan Brown (Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory); Pam Wright (National Archives and Records Administration, U.S.); Claire Séguin (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales de Québec); Allison Blackburn (for Elizabeth Thornely, Ottawa Public Library); Brett Lougheed (University of Winnipeg Archives); David Obee (Genealogy expert); Laura Madokoro (Department of History and Classical Studies, McGill University); Raymond Frogner (for Ry Moran, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation); Ryan Shackelton (Know History); Renee Harden (Library and Archives Canada); Johanna Smith (Library and Archives Canada, Chair);

    Library and Archives Canada Observers and Presenters: Steven Artelle; Jeneviève Blier; Marnie Burnham; Robert Grandmaître; Kristina Lillico; Neale MacDonald; Renée; Pierre Gamache; Alison Bullock; Karen Linauskas; Rachel Laurin; Paulette Dozois; Amy Tector.

    Regrets: Elizabeth Thornely (Ottawa Public Library); Heather MacNeil (Faculty of Information, University of Toronto); Ruth Dunley (National Capital History Day); Anita Price (Association of Nova Scotia Museums); Chantal Gagnon (Historica Canada); Greg Donaghy (Global Affairs Canada).

    • 1. Welcome
      Johanna Smith, the Director General of Public Services Branch, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), welcomed the committee members to the fourth meeting of the Services Consultation Committee (SCC). She facilitated the introduction of attendees and provided an update on the composition of the SCC for 2017. Ms. Smith presented the agenda which was approved without amendment.

      Takeaways:

      Members will forward suggestions for new members to Johanna Smith.

    • 2. Review of Sepetember 20, 2016 meeting
      Ms. Smith reviewed the minutes of the September 20, 2016 meeting of the SCC. The SCC Committee members ("Members") approved the minutes without amendment.

    • 3. Summit Debrief
      Ms. Smith introduced Neale MacDonald, Policy Advisor, LAC. Ms. MacDonald facilitated a debrief relative to Member participation at the "Taking it to the Streets: Summit on the Value of Libraries, Archives and Museums in a Changing World" which was hosted at LAC at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa, December 5-6, 2016. Members shared their observations regarding the key themes of the event. Ms. MacDonald indicated that there would be ongoing information sharing with committee members on the outcomes of the Summit.

      Takeaways:

      LAC will report additional information about the Summit to Members.

    • 4. Block Review
      Ms. Smith introduced Rachel Laurin, ATIP Coordinator and Manager, ATIP and Personnel Records and Paulette Dozois, Senior Archivist and Block Review Team Leader. Ms. Dozois presented an overview of the methodology and outcomes of LAC's Block Review initiative.

      In response to questions from Members, Ms. Dozois and Kristina Lillico, Director, Regional Services and ATIP Division discussed the timeframes and processes framing Access to Information and Privacy requests at LAC and the tools and methodologies utilized by other archives. In addition, they addressed the platforms utilized by LAC to promote block review and LAC's role as a champion of accessibility and open government.

    • 5. LAC User Survey
      Ms. Smith introduced Renee Harden, Director General, Communications. Ms. Harden presented the results of a survey of LAC's clients completed by the Nanos Research Group between 2015 and 2016. Ms. Harden provided an overview of the key findings and the profile of LAC users as well as data concerning the overall satisfaction of clients with various aspects of LAC services.

      In response to questions from Members, Ms. Harden discussed the findings relating to on-site visitors, the type of resources consulted via LAC's reading rooms at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa, and service standards for general inquiries. Further, the SCC discussed the utility of public opinion research in reaching communities that would not typically access the services of libraries and archives.

      Takeaways:

      Survey data pertinent to services will be further analyzed and shared with Members.

      LAC will contact Members for their input relative to the next user survey.

    • 6. Legal Deposit
      Following a brief introduction by Ms. Smith, Alison Bullock, Director of Acquisition and Pierre Gamache, Director General of Published Heritage Branch provided gave a presentation on Legal Deposit. Ms. Bullock and M. Gamache reviewed the role of legal deposit at LAC as a collection development tool and the procedures and processes to support digital ingest.

      In response to questions from Members, Ms. Bullock and M. Gamache discussed access, interlibrary loan, and preservation relative to LAC's published collections. Members discussed the desire for enhanced digital access to published material.

    • 7. Service Renewal at 395 Wellington
      Johanna Smith and Robert Grandmaître, Director, Reference Service Division discussed recent activities to solicit informal feedback from clients who are frequent users of services at 395 Wellington St. Further, Ms. Smith provided Members with an update concerning the Service Strategy and noted that the draft will be presented at the upcoming Stakeholders Forum (January 2017) prior to being finalized.

      M. Grandmaître reviewed recent LAC building renovations at 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa and noted the anticipated positive impacts on services.

      Following a brief update concerning LAC's on-going dialogue with the Ottawa Public Library (OPL), and in response to questions, Ms. Smith provided an overview of the anticipated outcomes of the potential collaboration with OPL on a proposed new shared building and opportunities for engagement.

    • 8. Exhibition Plan
      Ms. Smith and Karen Linauskas, Director Exhibitions and Online Content, provided an overview of LAC's Exhibition Program including the Program's objectives and strategies. Ms. Smith reviewed the exhibition schedule forecast for 2016-2021, highlighting loans to other institutions and the addition of venues in Vancouver and Halifax resulting from new collaborations with the Vancouver Public Library and Pier 21.

    • 9. Wikipedia Strategy
      Ms. Smith introduced Amy Tector, Manager Online Content and Copyright, to review LAC's Wikipedia strategy. Ms. Tector's presentation provided an overview of planning and noted examples of how other institutions are leveraging Wikipedia. In response to questions from Members, Ms. Tector discussed issues pertaining to copyright, fair dealing and linked open data.

      Takeways:

      Linked Open Data to be discussed at a future Services Consultation Committee meeting.

    • 10. Open Roundtable
      Ms. Smith opened the floor for a general discussion.

      Members provided positive feedback concerning the format and structure of the meeting and for the information presented. Members expressed an interest in learning more about LAC's efforts to apply crowdsourcing strategies to the description of photos and the possible application of such strategies to transcription. Further, web archiving was a subject suggested for future discussion.

      Members proposed the exploration of alternative formats for committee meetings including the use of Skype and videoconferencing and the option to have shorter, but more frequent, meetings.

    • 11. Wrap up
      Ms. Smith thanked the Members for their participation and contributions to the discussion.

Meeting in Ottawa on September 20, 2016

  • Agenda, September 20, 2016
    Time Topic Presenter
    1:00 pm – 1:05 pm​ ​Welcome Johanna Smith
    1:05 pm – 1:10 pm Review of June 14, 2016 Meeting Johanna Smith
    1:10 pm – 2:25 pm LAC Service Strategy Steven Artelle / Johanna Smith
    2:25 pm – 2:45 pm Break  
    2:45 pm – 3:15 pm​ LAC Digitization Lab Melanie Brown
    ​3:15 pm – 4:00 pm LAC Digital Strategy Michael Corbett / Johanna Smith
    ​4:00 pm – 4:30 pm Open Roundtable All
    4:30 pm – 4:45 pm Wrap up / Next Meeting Johanna Smith
  • Summary of discussion, September 20, 2016

    Attendees: Anita Price (Association of Nova Scotia Museums); Greg Donaghy (Global Affairs Canada); Pam Wright (National Archives and Records Administration, U.S.); Claire Séguin (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales de Québec); Tony Westenbroek (for Elizabeth Thornely, Ottawa Public Library); Brett Lougheed (University of Winnipeg Archives); David Obee (Genealogy expert); Laura Madokoro (Department of History and Classical Studies, McGill University); Ry Moran (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation); Johanna Smith (Library and Archives Canada, Chair); Marnie Burnham (Library and Archives Canada); Steven Artelle (Library and Archives Canada); Mélanie Brown (Library and Archives Canada); Michael Corbett (Library and Archives Canada); Jeneviève Blier (Library and Archives Canada)

    Regrets: Elizabeth Thornely (Ottawa Public Library); Heather MacNeil (Faculty of Information, University of Toronto); Ruth Dunley (National Capital History Day); Susan Brown (Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory); Chantal Gagnon (Historica Canada); Ryan Shackleton (Know History)

    • 1. Review of June 14, 2016 meeting
      Johanna Smith, the Director General of Public Services Branch at Library and Archives Canada (LAC), welcomed the committee members to the third meeting of the Services Consultation Committee (SCC). After highlighting upcoming events at LAC, Ms. Smith presented the afternoon's agenda. The agenda was approved without amendment.

      Ms. Smith reviewed the minutes of the June 14, 2016 meeting of the SCC. The SCC Committee members ("Members") approved the minutes without amendment.

    • 2. Library and Archives Canada Service Strategy
      Ms. Smith introduced Steven Artelle, Strategic Analyst, LAC who provided an overview of the draft document entitled, "Library and Archives Canada Service Strategy 2016-2019". Mr. Artelle noted the previous surveys, corporate documents and current initiatives that are informing the strategy development process as well as planned exercises to solicit input. Following this overview, Mr. Artelle and Ms. Smith reviewed the content of the sections of the draft and solicited feedback from the Members.

      Members provided insight and recommendations for the draft document's key sections, focusing in particular on the Service Vision, Service Channels, the types of LAC clients, and draft Actions and Outcomes. Members also discussed the role of the broader concept of Public Service within the articulation of LAC's service values. In response to a question from a Member, Ms. Smith discussed the alignment of services to Government of Canada clients with these service values.

      Takeaways:

      • Members will forward any additional feedback relative to the draft by September 30, 2016.
      • LAC will revise the draft Service Strategy to integrate feedback received from Members and initiate consultations with staff.
    • 3. LAC Digitization Lab
      Ms. Smith introduced Melanie Brown, Manager, Digitization Partnerships and Initiatives. Ms. Brown provided Members with an overview of LAC's new "DigiLab" and discussed planning for crowdsource digitization within this new facility. Ms. Brown reviewed the operating model for crowdsource projects as well as the anticipated outcomes for participants and LAC's broader community of clients. She noted that further information would be available on LAC's website in November 2016 and that the first digitization projects will begin in early 2017.

      In response to questions from Members, Ms. Brown discussed scanning standards, procedures developed to address rights management, and distinctions between user-created content and descriptive records created by LAC experts. A Member observed that concerns relative to the quality and reliability of user-created content are dwindling as crowdsource digitization becomes more common. Members further discussed the role of the project application form as a tool to facilitate the planning and management of projects. It was noted that care be taken to ensure that the application is not a potential barrier to access.

      Takeaways: LAC will circulate the draft application form to Members for their feedback.

    • 4. LAC Digital Strategy
      Ms. Smith introduced Michael Corbett, Director General, Innovation and Digital Transformation, and noted a recent change to LAC's organizational structure which has resulted in his branch moving to the Operations Sector. Mr. Corbett delivered an on-screen presentation entitled, "Digital Strategy 2015 and Beyond" and provided an overview of the key drivers, priorities and business model informing LAC's approach to digital curation, discovery and performance. A discussion followed on issues such as item-level metadata, speed of online access, Access to Information and reprography.

      Takeaways: LAC will continue to work to improve the efficiency of LAC's website.

    • 5. Open Roundtable
      Ms. Smith opened the floor for a general discussion.

      Members expressed appreciation for the overall positive direction of LAC's innovations. Members requested an opportunity to view LAC's most recent organizational chart and encouraged LAC to share details regarding the structure and mechanism for innovation with the wider heritage and information management communities. Members further discussed opportunities for crowdsourcing and outreach to the 'Coder community'.

      A Member noted interest in learning more about LAC's plans to address the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Ms. Smith reviewed LAC's on-going work to launch a database of documents from the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, among other initiatives.

      A Member identified the opportunity to leverage crowdsourcing to establish a collaborative genealogy centre with the user as expert.

      Takeaways: LAC will share pertinent documents with the SCC as they become available.

    • 6. Next meeting
      Ms. Smith proposed that the next meeting of the SCC be scheduled for December 7, 2016 and that, if possible, Members travel to attend the meeting in-person. She noted that LAC is organizing a summit at 395 Wellington for December 5th and 6th concerning that value of cultural institutions in a changing world. She encouraged Members to align their travel plans to enable them to participate at the Summit.

Meeting in Ottawa on June 14, 2016

  • Agenda, June 14, 2016
    Time Topic Presenter
    1:00 pm – 1:05 pm​ ​Welcome Johanna Smith
    1:05 pm – 1:10 pm Review of December 10, 2015 Meeting Johanna Smith
    1:10 pm – 1:30 pm LAC's Three-Year Plan Johanna Smith
    1:30 pm – 2:00 pm ​Public Services Branch Update: Highlights from the 2016-2017 Operational Plan Johanna Smith
    2:00 pm – 2:15 pm​ ​Services-Related Initatives: LAC National Presence​ Kristina Lillico
    ​2:15 pm – 2:30 pm ​Services-Related Initatives: LAC Access Policies Éric Lévesque​
    ​2:45 pm – 3:30 pm LAC Service Strategy​ Steven Artelle
    3:30 pm – 3:55 pm Open Roundtable All
    ​3:55 pm – 4:00 pm Wrap up Johanna Smith
  • Summary of discussion, June 14, 2016

    Attendees: Anita Price (Association of Nova Scotia Museums); Greg Donaghy (Global Affairs Canada); Ryan Shackleton (Know History); Pam Wright (National Archives and Records Administration, U.S.); Claire Séguin (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales de Québec); Brett Lougheed (University of Winnipeg Archives); David Obee (Genealogy expert); Ry Moran (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation); Johanna Smith (Library and Archives Canada, Chair); Benjamin Ellis (Library and Archives Canada); Steven Artelle (Library and Archives Canada); Kristina Lillico (Library and Archives Canada); Dara Price (Library and Archives Canada); Jeneviève Blier (Library and Archives Canada)

    Regrets: Elizabeth Thornely (Ottawa Public Library); Heather MacNeil (Faculty of Information, University of Toronto); Ruth Dunley (National Capital History Day); Laura Madokoro (Department of History and Classical Studies, McGill University); Susan Brown (Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory); Chantal Gagnon (Historica Canada)

    • 1. Introduction
      Johanna Smith, Director General of Public Services Branch at Library and Archives Canada (LAC), welcomed the committee members to the second meeting of the Services Consultation Committee (SCC). Ms. Smith presented the afternoon's agenda. The agenda was approved without amendment.

      Ms. Smith reviewed the minutes of the December 10, 2015 meeting of the SCC. The SCC members ("Members") approved the minutes without amendment. Members noted that the words "indigenous issues" might be replaced in the future with "engagement with indigenous peoples."

    • 2. The Library and Archives Canada Three-Year Plan
      Ms. Smith described LAC's priorities and commitments for 2016-2019 as laid out in its recently published Three-Year Plan, including examples of key initiatives and projects linked to each commitment.

      A discussion followed. Members commended LAC's recent new initiatives and highlighted social media and public programming as examples of positive public engagement. Members asked for more detail regarding the National Heritage Digitization Strategy. Ms. Smith explained the context and main points of the Strategy and noted she would send Members additional details (available online). Members inquired about the possibility of LAC funding projects related to the strategy. Ms. Smith indicated that various sources of funding will be explored, and identified the potential funding models listed in the Strategy. Members inquired about the collaboration between LAC and Canadiana.org and the availability of digital material currently found only on the Canadiana website. Ms. Smith explained that material digitized in collaboration with Canadiana will gradually be made available on the LAC website as well, as per the terms of the collaboration.

      Ms. Smith also gave a demonstration of the new LAC image search function. Members expressed approval of the new tool and made some recommendations for improvement, specifically that the terms of use for each image should be easier to locate. Ms. Smith asked Members to provide examples of other archives or libraries with exceptional search tools for LAC to consider as it addresses certain elements of its own website and catalogues.

      Takeaways: LAC will send documentation to Members regarding the National Heritage Digitization Strategy.

    • 3. Public Services Branch Update: Highlights from the 2016-2017 Operational Plan
      Ms. Smith described the organizational changes that recently took place within LAC's Operations Sector and the positive effect of these changes on the Public Services Branch (PSB). She explained that PSB would be developing its own plan to align with the LAC Three-Year Plan and that it would be shared with Members.

      Ms. Smith described the key PSB priorities including the development of an "LAC Digitization Access Lab" at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa, where LAC would facilitate hands-on digitization and metadata projects. Ms. Smith also previewed upcoming LAC exhibitions and projects.

      Ms. Smith explained the proposed collaboration between LAC and the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) for a new shared downtown Central Library/LAC building (to replace the public service facilities at 395 Wellington) and gave Members an update on progress and goals. She discussed the vision for LAC to become more accessible by reducing barriers to visitors and creating a more open space for access to services. Ms. Smith gave Members information on upcoming consultations and invited them to participate.

      A discussed followed. Members discussed the proposed Digitization Access Lab and noted successes in similar models elsewhere.

      The discussion focussed mainly on the potential OPL partnership. Members suggested models for inspiration including the consultative process undertaken by the Halifax Public Library. Some Members applauded the idea, noting some of the service access challenges at 395 Wellington. Members also noted the potential challenges of such partnerships in terms of governance, mandate and ensuring that the unique identity of each institution is maintained. There was a discussion about how research services would be conducted in a different location. Ms. Smith explained that access to materials in a new shared location would maintain core features of the current model at 395 Wellington Street, including considerations around access to restricted government records.

      Takeaways: LAC will engage with Members regarding the OPL project and solicit their input at consultation sessions.

    • 4. LAC's National Presence Initiative
      Kristina Lillico (Director, Regional Services and Access to Information and Privacy at LAC) gave a presentation on the changes taking place in LAC's service locations outside of the National Capital region. Ms. Lillico explained the historical context for change and the progress on the plans to relocate and offer new services in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Halifax. She explained the current focus is on Vancouver and Halifax. In Halifax, LAC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 and will be offering expanded public services from within the museum as of January 2017. In Vancouver, LAC is close to finalizing a similar arrangement with a partner in a central, high-profile location. Ms. Lillico described the proposed services for these locations.

      Takeaways: LAC will keep Members informed of changes to the public services offered in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Halifax.

    • 5. LAC Access Policies
      Éric Lévesque (LAC Senior Policy Advisor) gave a presentation on various policies and policy tools related to access at LAC. He explained the legislative context of LAC's access policies and described the four principles that underlie policy development: discoverability, availability, accessibility and collaboration.

      Mr. Lévesque described the ongoing development of two specific policies at LAC related to accessibility for individuals with perceptual disabilities and to standards regarding official languages.

      A discussion followed. Members highlighted international examples of crowdsourcing as a means to support accessibility through transcription and translation. Ms. Smith noted that LAC's policies codified a baseline standard, and crowdsourcing would be a potential means of enhancing those standards.

      Takeaways: LAC welcomes Member feedback regarding its access policies.

    • 6. LAC Service Strategy
      Steven Artelle (PSB Strategic Analyst) gave a presentation regarding the development of a new LAC Service Strategy. Mr. Artelle explained that the Strategy will be aligned with the LAC Three-Year Plan and other major initiatives including the National Presence project and the potential OPL collaboration. The goal of the Strategy is to reposition LAC services so that LAC can proactively reach and impact more Canadians, streamline and reduce barriers to access and do so in a way that is innovative and collaborative. He stated that the final Strategy will be completed and available to the public by the fall of 2016.

      Mr. Artelle described the various methods by which LAC is developing the Strategy, including client survey feedback, consultation with LAC employees, and consultation with external stakeholders. He gave an overview of consultations to date and invited Members to contribute their own ideas.

      Ms. Smith explained that the Strategy reflects LAC's renewed commitment to public-facing services, emphasizing that LAC will continue to focus on digitization and digital access as well as in-person service excellence at its public locations across Canada and through other channels.

      A discussion followed. Members stressed the importance of the quality of the service experience, regardless of channel of delivery. They noted that service must be open, flexible and friendly. Members also noted that local amenities are important for researchers who often spend several days at LAC, remarking specifically that 395 Wellington lacks a cafeteria.

      Members suggested that LAC should branch out geographically and interact with Canadians outside of Ottawa. This could include exhibitions, but also targeted acquisition, oral history events, and on-the-road crowdsourcing initiatives.

      Members noted that service renewal must be balanced with other access activities including development of finding aids, acquisition processing, and other "upstream" LAC functions that facilitate access.

      Takeaways: LAC welcomes input from Members regarding specific strategies or general ideas for the LAC Service Strategy.

    • 7. Roundtable
      Ms. Smith opened the floor for a general discussion.

      Members expressed appreciation for the direction LAC has taken on services, access, and engagement.

      In the context of LAC's National Presence initiative, Members explained similar approaches to regional offices. Ms. Lillico said she would follow up with them individually to learn more about their regional operations.

      Members expressed their desire to see a user profile function for LAC clients. Ms. Smith noted that a project was underway tentatively called "MyLAC" and would put that initiative on the forward agenda.

      Members expressed interest in the developments in Vancouver and Ms. Smith promised to keep Members informed. Members also stressed the importance of creating awareness of LAC and its holdings through the web, especially in areas outside of Ottawa.

      Members suggested LAC hold informal sessions with clients at 395 Wellington to discuss LAC projects, initiatives and services generally. Ms. Smith expressed interest in this idea.

      Benjamin Ellis (Strategic Advisor, PSB) presented suggestions for the forward agenda and invited Members to contribute ideas they would like to see added for future SCC meetings.

      Takeaways:

      • LAC will explore the idea of informal user sessions at 395 Wellington.
      • LAC will circulate the forward agenda and ask for additional items.
      • LAC will set up the next meeting of the SCC to take place in the late summer or early fall of 2016.

Meeting in Ottawa on December 10, 2015

  • Agenda, December 10, 2015
    Time Topic Presenter
    8:30 am – 9:00 am​ ​Coffee and networking All
    9:00 am – 9:30 am​ Welcome and Review of Terms of Reference Johanna Smith
    9:30 am – 10:00 am​ Group Introductions All
    10:00 am – 10:45 am ​Overview of LAC Services Johanna Smith
    10:45 am – 11:00 am​ ​Break​ All
    ​11:00 am – 12:00 pm ​Digitization Plans and Priorities Melanie Brown
    Alison Bullock
    Roxane Lafrenière​
    ​12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch​ All
    1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Exhibition Plans and priorities Alison Bullock
    Carolyn Cook
    Madeleine Trudeau
    ​2:15 pm – 3:00 pm Political and Governance Records Elizabeth Mongrain
    Manager, Political Affairs and Governance
    2:30 pm – 2:45 pm ​Break​ All
    ​2:45 pm – 3:45 pm AMICUS Renewal Diane Beattie
    Merideth Fletcher
    3:45 pm Wrap up All
  • Summary of discussion, December 10, 2015

    Attendees: Anita Price (Association of Nova Scotia Museums); Elizabeth Thornely (Ottawa Public Library); Ry Moran (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation); Heather MacNeil (Faculty of Information, University of Toronto); Ruth Dunley (National Capital History Day); Ryan Shackleton (Know History); Laura Madokoro (Department of History and Classical Studies, McGill University); David Obee (Genealogy expert); Susan Brown (Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory); Brett Lougheed (University of Winnipeg Archives); Pam Wright (National Archives and Records Administration, U.S.); Johanna Smith (Library and Archives Canada); Amy Tector (Library and Archives Canada)

    Regrets: Greg Donaghy (Global Affairs Canada); Chantal Gagnon (Historica Canada); Claire Séguin (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales de Québec)

    • 1. Introduction
      Ms. Johanna Smith, Director General of Public Services at Library and Archives Canada (LAC), welcomed the committee members to the first meeting of the Services Consultation Committee (SGC). This committee is the first of three committees established to provide LAC with an outside view on key areas of its own mandate. The other two committees, to be launched in 2016, will focus on acquisitions and public programming.

      The SCG Terms of Reference were reviewed and approved.

    • 2. Overview of LAC Services
      Ms. Smith presented an overview of LAC services, and explained the current priorities of LAC, its organizational structure, highlights related to public and specialized services, and future plans.

      A discussion followed. Members pointed to the need for new and innovative approaches to attracting users, disseminating information, and maximizing service delivery. Ms. Smith explained current initiatives LAC is undertaking to expand its reach and redefine its service model. Members underscored the importance of looking beyond traditional clients and stakeholders.

      Ms. Smith offered information on the current demand for reference and Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) requests. She noted LAC's success in meeting its service standards for reference requests. Ms. Smith stated that LAC's goal was to eliminate its ATIP backlog and to answer all requests within 30 days.

      The Members discussed the challenges of copyright and confidentiality in a digital age and the ways in which LAC might find a balance between access and privacy for both published and archival material.

      The Members discussed the importance of creating reference tools and making existing tools available. This included digital finding aids and other data for researchers. Members highlighted LAC's role in shaping the national research agenda through such tools. Ms. Smith explained that LAC establishes digitization priorities based on reference trends and the advice of custodial archivists. She also noted that LAC is examining options for public crowdsourcing and increased academic input. Ms. Smith also pointed to LAC's commitment and current involvement in open data and open government projects.

      Takeaways: LAC will examine recommendations and follow up with individual members on solutions and potential collaboration on items discussed.

    • Digitization Plans and Priorities
      Ms. Melanie Brown, Manager of Digitization Partnerships at LAC and Ms. Roxanne Lafrenière, Director of Digitization Services at LAC, gave a presentation on LAC's digitization plans and priorities. The presentation highlighted the context and strategic priorities for LAC's digitization projects and partnerships, as well as its governance and stakeholder considerations. Ms. Brown and Ms. Lafrenière also shared LAC's recent website usability survey.

      Members sought clarification on the survey's scope and methodology. Ms. Brown and Ms. Lafrenière explained that the survey was modest and meant to give a general sense of user interests and satisfaction. Nuances such as user profiles and specialized use were not analyzed.

      Members encouraged LAC to look to international comparisons for possible digitization models including Australia and the United Kingdom, as well as to academia for possible partnering opportunities.

      Ms. Brown and Ms. Lafrenière explained the challenges of external digitization partnerships, especially concerning completeness.

      LAC also noted that it will be continually improving its website in terms of usability and intends to have an internal governance group dedicated to online content.

      Takeaways: LAC will follow up with individual members and external organizations on possible digitization partnerships, processes, standards, and tools.

    • 3. Exhibition Plans and Priorities
      Ms. Alison Bullock, Director of Exhibitions and Online Content at LAC, along with Ms. Smith presented LAC's exhibition plans and priorities focusing on LAC's approach to public events and exhibitions, and outlining current projects and initiatives.

      Members supported LAC's collaborative initiatives and encouraged LAC to explore even more opportunities for partnering arrangements for exhibitions and events. The importance of accessible space was emphasized in order to attract new users and to engage with Canadians. Members offered ideas for public programming and stressed that historical themes and narratives be inclusive in terms of cultural perspectives and geographic regions.

      LAC noted that exhibitions and events are also being developed on digital platforms, allowing content distribution and engagement across the country.

      Takeaways: LAC will follow up with members on collaborative opportunities for exhibitions.

    • 4. AMICUS Renewal
      Ms. Diane Beattie, Director of Description at LAC and Meredith Fletcher, Manager of Metadata Sharing at LAC, gave a presentation on the replacement of AMICUSplan to replace AMICUS, LAC's catalogue, with a new system on the Online Computer Library Centre (OCLC) system. The presentation outlined the project scope, timeline and consultation plan.

      Members sought information on the potential costs. LAC noted that while there will be costs, LAC will examine options to absorb costs for smaller institutions.

      Members also sought information on the impact on users. LAC noted that OCLC had been very responsive to its needs and that the user experience should be improved.

      Concerns were raised about user privacy and intellectual property. Users will not need to register unless they plan to consult or borrow material at LAC. All client information will be stored in Canada and will have proper access restrictions.

      LAC provided general information on the nature of the OCLC contract.

    • 5. Conclusion
      Ms. Smith opened the floor for general questions and comments.

      Questions were raised regarding LAC's participation in the Government of Canada's Open Government initiative. Ms. Smith noted that LAC is a key contributor to the initiative which is being led by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. LAC has developed a new document, the Policy on Making Holdings Available, and is opening millions of pages of records through its block review process.

      A question was raised regarding a possible increase of funding for LAC. Ms. Smith noted that the SCG was put in place to explore cost-effective "big ideas" that could be subject to future funding including those related to open government, Indigenous peoples issues, and a national digitization program.

      LAC was encouraged to take a leadership role on copyright issues. Ms. Smith noted that LAC will provide input to changes to the Copyright Act and will be a key contributor to the copyright work being undertaken at the Department of Canadian Heritage.

      Ms. Smith thanked members for their contribution to the valuable discussions and reaffirmed LAC's commitment to considering the different points of view that were expressed.

      Takeaways: LAC will explore tools to support online exchange among Committee members. LAC will coordinate the next meeting of the SCG to take place in the summer of 2016.

Contact Information

Should you have questions, comments, would like to obtain a document presented during one of these meetings, please contact us at: bac.bureaucesmaoperations-cooofficeadmoperations.lac@canada.ca.

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