Services Consultation Committee

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Services Consultation Committee


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.


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 that are co-chairing the Committee, Johanna Smith, Director General, Outreach and Engagement Branch, and Karen Linauskas, Director General, Access and Services Branch.


  • Johanna Smith
    Director General, Outreach and Engagement Branch, Library and Archives Canada
  • Karen Linauskas
    Director General, Access and Services Branch, Library and Archives Canada


  • Madeleine Soubry
    Indigenous Services Canada
  • Sarah Macintyre
    Ottawa Public Library
  • Connie Crompton
    University of Ottawa, Department of Communications
  • Jean-Pierre Morin
    Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Natasha Zwarich
    Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Stephanie Scott
    National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
  • David Laskey
    New Brunswick Genealogical Society
  • Wendy Ng
    Twin Muses Consulting Services
  • Colleen Murphy
    University of Regina
  • Morgan Chapman
    Havlik Consulting Group
  • Trevor Owen
    Library of Congress


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

May 2019

  • Agenda

    Agenda - May 22, 2019

    12h00 -13h00 (60 min.)

    Welcome and lunch

    13h00-13h05 (5 min.)

    1. Welcoming remarks and introductions - follow up on last meeting (Johanna Smith)

    13h05-13h35 (30 min.)

    2. Subject Headings related to Indigenous Peoples (William Leonard)

    13h35 – 14h20 (45 min.)

    3. Reappraisal at LAC (Candace Loewen / Tina Lloyd)

    14h20 – 14h35


    14h35-15h20 (45 min.)

    4. The LAC Take Down Policy (Melanie Brown)

    15h20-16h20 (60 min.)

    5. Debrief of the OPL-LAC Joint Facility Design Consultation of May 21st (Johanna Smith)

    16h20-17h00 (40 min.)

    6. Tour of the Prime Ministers and the Arts Exhibition (Madeleine Trudeau)


    Optional: Dinner in downtown Ottawa at Spin Kitchen 100 Kent St, Ottawa ON (map) | 613.783.4202

    Agenda - May 23, 2019

    9h00 - 9h10 (10min.)

    7. Welcome and review of minutes from the Dec. 5-6 2018 meeting (Johanna Smith)

    9h10 - 9h55 (45 min.)

    8. Re-examining Commercial Fees at LAC (Melanie Brown)

    9h55 – 10h10


    10h10 – 10h50 (40 min.)

    9. Strategic Planning for Services Transition: Creating a User Outreach Plan, Visitor Volume Projections and Change Management Strategy (Benjamin Ellis)

    10h50 – 11h30 (40 min.)

    10. Imagining the new LAC Orientation Venue at the LAC-OPL Joint Facility (Johanna Smith)

    11h30 – 12h00 (30 min.)

    11. Roundtable and Committee planning (Johanna Smith)

  • Minutes


    • Laura Madokoro (Department of History and Classical Studies, McGill University)
    • Constance Crompton (Department of Communication, University of Ottawa)
    • Jean-Pierre Morin (Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada)
    • Alison Blackburn (Ottawa Public Library)
    • Pam Wright (National Archives and Records Administration, USA)
    • Frédéric Giuliano (McGill University Archives)
    • Madeleine Soubry (LAC Youth Advisory Council)
    • Renee Harden (Library and Archives Canada)
    • Johanna Smith (Library and Archives Canada, Chair)

    At a distance: David Obee (Genealogy expert)

    Library and Archives Canada observer and presenter: Melanie Brown (Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Public Services Branch).


    • Colleen Murphy (University of Regina Library)
    • Ry Moran (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation)
    • Ryan Shackleton (Know History)

    Welcome and Review of Minutes from the December 5-6, 2018 Meeting

    • Johanna Smith (Director General, Public Services Branch, LAC) welcomed new member Madeleine Soubry from the LAC's Youth Advisory group and advised members that LAC will seek a replacement for Deborah Kigjugalik Webster, who resigned.
    • Members reviewed the minutes of the last meeting and accepted without change.

    Re-examining Commercial Fees at LAC

    Melanie Brown (Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Public Services Branch) presented LAC's current thinking in the commercial use of its digital collections.

    • Members suggested the model could follow an ebook licensing model where clients receive short-term licenses to rent books.
    • LAC could prevent a negative impact on their annual budget by ensuring any new source of revenue would be used to support their digitization and access mandate.  
    • Any use of LAC material should give full credit and acknowledgment to LAC.
    • LAC should think about if this model could affect the future acquisition of material. If there is a demonstrated market for this material, holders of the collections may not wish to transfer to LAC.

    Johanna Smith explained LAC is also looking to other possible areas that may be of interest to commercial entities, such as the commercial academic market.

    Imagining the new LAC Orientation Venue at the LAC-OPL Joint Facility

    Johanna Smith presented the four strategic planning areas that will guide the new services delivered at the new building:

    1. Environmental Scan
    2. User Outreach
    3. Visibility
    4. Volume Projections

    1. Environmental Scan

    The environmental scan will look at other research institutions, as well as other examples like the Hockey Hall of Fame. What other institutions should LAC look at? 

    • Members suggest reaching out to the Science and Technology Museum, who hired a consultant to plan their new space.
    • Pier 21, which went from volunteer to national museum, may have parallels in how they managed expectations in terms of engagements with their users.
    • The Vancouver Art Gallery is moving buildings and may share their research and ideas on what they are going to offer.
    • The tourist market could be a good area to research. Tourists may like the chance to see special collections and the preservation lab. Maker spaces are popular but they have additional costs, for example with extra security and janitorial staff. Community members would be interest in the DigiLab.
    • Who will be LAC's clients? Identifying LAC's clients will inform the design of LAC's services

    Johanna Smith states that LAC currently has 30K people a year, mostly in the academic and genealogy field. LAC has had success with school products in the past, and LAC can regrow that. How do we make our resources of history valuable to new Canadians? From a client's perspective, the two institutions do not necessarily exist separately.

    2. User Outreach

    LAC's  Service Strategy must identify and understand the audience in this new setting. We know our researchers, but not much about the public who will be visiting LAC for the first time thanks to this new building.

    • Members highlight the work of the Ottawa Art Gallery, which constantly looks for volunteers for their children's programing, and it has a strong connection to University students because it is free.  
    • University of Ottawa's Digital Humanities program has experts on technologies that can help LAC interact with university students.
    • Some members of the public are very curious and would like to see how LAC operates behind the scenes.
    • Wikipedians want to work with LAC's material, so this is an opportunity to think about a space to make them feel at home. Put a Starbucks in the hub of the space, and have plugs/charging stations to make it welcoming.  
    • LAC will need the capacity to operate in the social space. Wherever people are hanging out, people will stay there to work- for example, Airports. NARA is redoing the exhibitions space, which will have a circular bench with a power pole in the middle for clients to plug in. People need a place where they can be digital. This is an experience for them, which they can Hashtag and Instagram.
    • LAC should take the opportunity to go back to schools and gear the programming towards the classroom, along with programs to get people into the building. LAC can take the opportunity to model their programming after the successful programs at OPL, which may be a way to link these together to provide enriched experiences.
    • Programs that focus on the school work, and provide the students with the opportunities to come in and to do archival research. LAC can talk to institutions and teachers to see how we can address class visits.
    • LAC can look at other institutions' Residencies programs, like the Vancouver Public Library and their Indigenous story telling.
    • The Toronto Public Library has an entrepreneur in residence. 
    • Residency would be a good place to collaborate with clients.  
    • Researchers are connected, and can give public talks to explain their work.
    • LAC must balance the specialized work that takes place at LAC with the public focus of OPL. Public library space is used differently than archival space.  LAC needs to understand how to manage people who do not have specific goals in their use of the space.
    • Members ask to what extend is it getting people in the door the mandate for the new building?

    Johanna Smith explains there are many parts to consider. LAC must understand how it can successfully join OPL in the new building. LAC has experts using the collections and must consider how to support them.  For example, can the building can have seating for them to chat and have conversations?  The Genealogy center is designed with this in mind. We need space for the research of our collections.

    3. Volume projections and resourcing study

    LAC must be able to estimate accurately the volume of clients and their interests in order to better design our services. How should LAC approach this task? Are their similar volume projections in other memory institutions LAC can follow?

    • Members explain that for its new library, McGill did a study of who is in the library and estimated the number of seats needed based on circulation.
    • Estimating the number of seats needed for a specific amount of square footage is a reasonable approach.
    • LAC should consider the increase of traffic on its circulation schedule. Researchers have to wait for materials, and there will be more people requesting material in the new building. This will create a demand for original material and a pull on LAC's reference and circulation services.
    • LAC can be ready by having a set of question for the clients, such as 'do you want books, archives, etc.?' Tell them what is online and how to order a book. LAC can provide guidance to help users to self guide themselves.  

    4. User Outreach Plan

    LAC needs to consult on how users will change in the new building. Who should LAC consult?

    • Members suggest LAC should not only connect with the Universities, but with the student groups directly.  Otherwise students will not even know LAC exist.
    • Another group may be the Federation of Humanity and Social Science, where they can promote the new building.
    • There is a current emphasis on experiential learning where students produce something at the end. LAC can work with professors of architecture students. Perhaps they can work the new building work into their classroom. This would be a useful way to engage people. There are professors at the University of Ottawa that require students to use the archival collections. This is a way to reach students directly.
    • Carleton has collaborated with the archival program at Algonquin College to create a joint program with experiential learning. They build on something that is practical.
    • As well, there are five public history programs across the country, in which students must focus on how to reach an audience. This could be a vehicle for consultation for LAC.
    • Ottawa Public Library has worked with the opera and theater community that uses the archives. The Library created a reading list for this group.
    • Schools of urban planning and communications programs could be valuable, along with social justice groups. LAC should think about the ways communities would like to engage with LAC.
    • Any new programing LAC supports will have an impact on staffing, but if the goal is to attract new audiences, LAC needs to provide programing activities.

    Imagining the new LAC Orientation Venue at the LAC-OPL Joint Facility

    LAC envisions a space that serves as the first point of contact for its visitors, where collections and services are visible in a barrier free environment. LAC will move away from desks and cubes and create a more welcoming, multiuse space. People can have coffee and chat. There will be interactive digital stations and space to exhibit our most precious and interesting treasures. Staff can move around in the space like in Calgary's new building. In that setting, staff wear vests that make them identifiable. To deliver on this vision, both LAC's services and its staff will have the chance to transition over the next 5 years.

    • Members emphasize that the space must support both work and social gatherings-a hybrid space that provides the amenities to both of those goals.
    • If the orientation space has no desks, will clients be disoriented? Will staff be proactive?
    • Members point out this is the model is the Apple store, which is dreadful to some. Clients must catch the eye of someone going by, and the more aggressive people get the service.
    • In general, people don't mind to lining up so they know how long it will take to get service.
    • Perhaps LAC's staff can stand near a question mark, so clients know then can get help.
    • Members questioned if this model will suit a diverse clientele, such as the elderly. Will there be stations for elderly clients to sit and receive service?
    • How will staff answer questions? Will staff have tablets, or will they need to walk with the client to where the terminals are?
    • Getting people to change their habits to ask for help is difficult. There are examples of libraries that have changed services, then after 3-5 years had to undergo renovations to change the space back to how it was. North Vancouver library had to change back to its old way of providing services. Be careful not to change too much at the same time.
    • Since there are two orientation spaces in the building for each institution, staff need to train in both. Users want to be greeted once and not bumped around to different orientation spaces.
    • As well, if there is no security, staff will have to deal with people with mental illness. Staff will need training.
    • Members discussed where the main entrance of the building should be, and the need for the design to be inclusive, for example, the use of ramps instead of stairs so that differently-abled people can have the same path.

    Round table

    Members like the joint committee but would also like to maintain the separate services committee.

December 2018

  • Agenda
    Day One – Salon A – Joint Meeting with the LAC Acquistions Advisory Committee
    12h00 – 13h00 (60 min.)
    Welcome and lunch
    13h00 – 13h05 (5 min.)
    1. Welcoming remarks and introductions
    Normand Charbonneau
    13h05 – 14h05 (60 min.)
    2. Indigenous Heritages Action Plan
    Normand Charbonneau
    14h05 – 15h00 (55 min.)
    3. Culturally Sensitive Descriptions
    Dominique Foisy-Geoffroy
    15h00 – 15h15
    15h15 – 16h15 (60 min.)
    4. Research Report on Virtual Reunification: Towards Greater Collaboration in the Digital Age
    Sheila Ross
    16h15 – 17h00 (45 min.)
    5. Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility: Update
    Johanna Smith / Mario Gasperetti / Lisa Tremblay-Goodyer
    Optional: Dinner in downtown Ottawa (location TBD)
    Day Two – Room 212 – Meeting of the Services Consultation Committee
    9h00 – 9h10 (10min.)
    6. Welcome and review of minutes from September 4, 2018 meeting
    Johanna Smith
    9h10 – 9h55 (45 min.)
    7. The LAC Client Survey: Results
    Alethea Woods (Phoenix Strategic Perspectives Inc.)
    9h55 – 10h05
    10h05 – 11h00 (55 min.)
    8. Youth and the Role of Libraries and Archives: Discussion with representatives of the LAC Youth Advisory Council
    Heather Townsend / Erica Vanden Bosch / Johanna Smith
    11h00 – 11h45 (45 min.)
    9. LAC Strategy for Services to the Public: Update
    Johanna Smith
    11h45 – 12h00 (15 min.)
    10. Roundtable and Committee planning
    Johanna Smith
  • Minutes

    Attendees: Anita Price (Association of Nova Scotia Museums); Laura Madokoro (Department of History and Classical Studies, McGill University); Constance Crompton (Department of Communication, University of Ottawa); Colleen Murphy (University of Regina Library); Jean-Pierre Morin (Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada); Alison Blackburn (Ottawa Public Library); David Obee (genealogy expert); Ry Moran (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation); Deborah Kigjugalik Webster (independent researcher and author); Ryan Shackleton (Know History); Renee Harden (Library and Archives Canada); Johanna Smith (Library and Archives Canada, Chair).

    Library and Archives Canada observers and presenters: Benjamin Ellis, Mario Gasperetti, Dominique Foisy-Geoffroy, Normand Charbonneau, Sheila Ross, Karin MacLeod, Allison Bullock

    Guest presenters: Alethea Woods (Phoenix SPI), Erican Vanden Bosch (LAC Youth Advisory Council), Heather Townsend (LAC Youth Advisory Council)

    Regrets: Pam Wright (National Archives and Records Administration, USA); Frédéric Giuliano (McGill University Archives).

    1. Joint Meeting of the Services Consultation Committee and Acquisitions Advisory Committee – Introductions and Opening Remarks

    Normand Charbonneau (Deputy Librarian and Archivist of Canada) introduced and welcomed the members of the Acquisitions Advisory Committee and Services Consultation Committee and noted that this was the first joint meeting of the two advisory bodies. Mr. Charbonneau presented the agenda for the first day of meetings which was accepted without amendement.

    2. Indigenous Heritage Action Plan

    Ms. Johanna Smith (Director General, LAC Public Services Branch) presented an overview of LAC's draft Indigenous Heritage Action Plan. The Plan consists of twenty-seven action items, organized into four categories: Institutional change, engagement and collaboration, collections management, and promotion and support. Although LAC already has Indigenous Initiatives underway, the plan is a way to formalize future initiatives and to make sure that it captures everything in a written form. Having a robust action plan also helps LAC make its commitments clear to our Indigenous partners.

    LAC emphasized that it is important to have a visible and public action plan so that if programs get cut, they do not disappear without notice and/or accountability. On the subject of accountability, members asked what accountability looks like at LAC. LAC does not currently have anything formalized, or in writing, related to accountability for this plan, but we hold ourselves to account through our consultative committees. LAC is also currently bringing people together to discuss how we would benchmark and report on activities under this action plan.

    Members discussed the importance of the sustainability of LAC's Indigenous Heritage Action Plan. Despite the fact that the specific funding for these programs is only for a couple of years, it was felt that it needs to be anchored into something more permanent and become part of LAC's regular business.

    Another important element of the action plan that members identified, was how to best communicate its projects and activities. LAC has hired an Indigenous Communications Advisor and is developing a communications strategy. Members suggested that LAC should also provide updates, on a regular basis, with libraries and archival communities (through archival councils, for example). In addition, members stressed the need to communicate directly with communities as part of a relationship building process.

    3. Culturally Sensitive Description

    As a follow up to a presentation given in May 2018, which provided a survey of what other institutions do with their inappropriate or offensive descriptions, Mr. Dominique Foissy-Geoffroy (Chief of Staff to the Deputy Librarian and Archivist of Canada) presented LAC's draft policy guidelines for dealing with offensive language in the titles of material related to Indigenous heritage. The procedure relates only to archival records (as opposed to published material). Client service and discoverability, as well as reconciliation, are the primary focus of this instrument. In all cases, the original record will be preserved and the judgement of the archivist will come into play in order to decide when updated terminology be added. Records that are deemed inappropriate will have a public disclaimer added to them and a pop-up window will tell the researcher who is viewing it that the record contains offensive terms.

    Members felt that the procedure was a good first step and wondered if similar approaches to culturally sensitive records were being adopted elsewhere. To LAC's knowledge, there is no large institution that has established a similar procedure. LAC will share the procedure with others and try to improve it through consultation.

    Some immediate suggestions included changing the wording of the pop-up blurb from "may be offensive" to "contains offensive content" and including a time-stamp that tells users when new terms were applied and perhaps reflects the challenge in applying these changes. Members felt that it is important to track these changes and look to technology to make the changes more easily.

    Generally, members were interested in the broader applicability of the procedure since there is racist language associated with holdings from multicultural communities. LAC is taking small steps to start and will judge, as it applies the procedure, how far to take it into other holdings.

    4. Virtual Reunification

    Sheila Ross (Strategic Research Analyst, LAC Strategic Research and Policy Division) provided an overview of the research she has done on virtual reunification. The purpose of this research is to understand the concept and context of virtual reunification and to provide definitions, examples, broader context, key issues and challenges. Virtual reunification is "reassembling physically dispersed heritage collections to produce a consolidated, digitized representation of scattered artifacts, literary and artistic works, and/or archival records of a single origin or common provenance. It is believed to have significant potential to mitigate geographic, material, and political challenges to consolidating dispersed, scattered collections." Part of the research was also to look at the implications of virtual reunification for libraries and archives, and for LAC and its mandate specifically.

    Members gave other examples of reunification projects, such as the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) which is bringing together digital collections related to Indian Residential Schools from repositories across Canada.

    Members pointed out that there are technical considerations that must be factored into virtual reunification. Stable URIs, and creating a stable digital home for records will facilitate the creation of linked data. That stability is something that many organization can not offer, but is something that LAC could aspire to.

    There was also a general conversation about what happens to a physical asset/object once it has been digitized. Once something is digitized, it becomes more freely available and does this availability diminish its value? Does a digitized object become vulnerable to a reassembling or reuse in different context that distorts its original context? Do we need the physical object?

    Members thought that virtual reunification held the potential to reinstitute nation-to-nation relationships, which would foster internal diplomacy. Canada has a lot to offer in terms of helping to preserve and protect information and this should be an important part of our identity. Cultural diplomacy, through acts of repatriation and return of control, should be a big part of Canada's national identity.

    5. Joint Facility with Ottawa Public Library

    Ms. Smith and Mr. Mario Gasperetti (Project Director, LAC-OPL Joint Facility) provided background and a status update on the future joint facility that will be shared by the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) and LAC. In November 2018, the Government of Canada granted Project Approval and Expenditure Authority for the joint facility and the City of Ottawa announced and entered into negotiations with the preferred design team (Diamond Schmitt Architects and KWC Architects). For LAC, this joint facility will be an opportunity to gain greater visibility as a destination, expand LAC's clientele, enrich client experience, align their service model with more open, accessible spaces, and update their technical infrastructure and offer amenities on par with our role as a leading documentary heritage institution.

    Members were interested in how the new facility will affect public services and shared some thoughts about which services should remain a priority. Some felt that LAC's hours of operation should be maintained, if not extended. Ms. Smith explained that LAC will aim to match the Ottawa Public Library's hours.

    Genealogy is one of LAC's public services that will be enhanced in the new facility through collaboration with OPL. Some members thought that this area could be improved to become more reflective of all of Canada, as opposed to being too narrowly focused on Ottawa.

    There was also interest in what kind of exhibition space would be available and whether or not it could be used for co-curated exhibitions with institutions across Canada. Mr. Gasperetti confirmed that exhibit space will be shared with OPL and will include collaborative ventures.

    Members also thought it would be good to have a strong Indigenous element in the new facility, whether it be an interpretation centre, or community space.

    6. Review of Services Consultation Committee minutes from Sept 4, 2018

    Members of the Services Consultation Committee (SCC) met separately from the Aquisitons Advisory Committee on the morning of December 6, 2018. Ms. Smith welcomed members back to 395 Wellington and presented the day two agenda, as well as the minutes of the previous SCC meeting which took place on September 4, 2018. The agenda and minutes were approved without amendment.

    7. Client Survey Results

    Alethea Woods (President, Phoenix SPI) provided members of the SCC an overview of the recently completed LAC Client Survey which measured client satisfaction, impressions, priorities and concerns. She explained the survey methodology and pointed to the very positive results for LAC. The findings pointed to two key areas on which LAC could focus for even better client satisfaction: visibility/awareness and online navigation. Ms. Woods noted that results were more positive with experience LAC clients, and less positive with new users. Ms. Woods also highlighted the excellent results related to client impressions of LAC employees.

    SCC members pointed to related initiatives that could improve client satisfaction even further. These included the way with which LAC's new joint facility could create awareness for inexperienced users. Members also suggested that LAC could prioritize promotion and awareness campaigns for those services most used by inexperienced users, noting that veteran researchers are less likely to need information or help.

    Several members recommended changes to the LAC website as a key step. They suggested a more dynamic website that included updates on LAC projects.

    Members made some recommendations in regards to the methodology for future surveys. They noted, for example, that some of the categories of users are blurred and could be made more distinct for LAC to get a better understand of the particular needs of their client groups.

    Ms. Smith noted that LAC would seek the advice of the SCC in the next iteration of the survey. She assured members that LAC would be responsive to the findings of the survey, and put additional efforts in areas such as digitization, orientation, web improvement and genealogy services.

    8. Youth and the Role of Libraries and Archives: Discussion with representatives of the LAC Youth Advisory Council

    Two members of LAC's Youth Advisory Council (YAC), Ms. Heather Townsend and Ms. Erica Vanden Bosch, provided SCC members with an overview of the work of the YAC and led members in a group discussion about the role of youth in libraries and archives.

    Ms. Townsend and Ms. Vanden Bosch explained the membership, scope and focus of the YAC, which is comprised of 20 members of the National Capital Region, all between the ages of 19 and 25. The members come from various educational and professional backgrounds, and have a range of exposure to LAC. The YAC is an informal and innovative committee that encourages blue-sky thinking and brainstorming. Their current focus is on digital documentary heritage and ways digital technologies and platforms can increase awareness and access. The YAC has discussed several topics to-date, including social media, digital tools, crowdsourcing, the GLAM Summit and the joint LAC-OPL facility.

    Members appreciated the presentation. They noted that students gain good exposure to LAC through university courses that bring classes on site to LAC, for research or tours. Ms. Smith agreed that engaging students is important and that LAC would like to expand its programming to include outreach to schools and students.

    Members suggested that LAC could facilitate the development of a young research professionals community and help coordinate events. Ms. Townsend agreed that peer collaboration would be helpful. Ms. Smith agreed to support such an endeavour if others were interested.

    Members pointed to the many physical barriers to LAC's Ottawa location that exist or are perceived to exist for youth. They noted that LAC can be an intimidating place, and young people many not be familiar with all of LAC's tools and processes, some of which are outdated. They suggested that youth would be best served by LAC's online and digital services. Other members suggested the creation of user guides tailored to youth and the subjects in which they are most interested.

    Members also pointed to the new joint LAC-OPL facility as an opportunity to better engage with youth. They suggested digital interaction, as well as the inclusion of creative and casual spaces.

    Members asked if there are Indigenous members included in the YAC. Ms. Vanden Bosch confirmed that there are.

    All members agreed that the SCC should include a student or young professional as a member. Ms. Smith committed to adding a new youth member as soon as possible.

    9. Newspaper Strategy

    The SCC rejoined the Acquisitions Advisory Committee for the final presentation of the meeting. Ms. Alison Bullock (Director, Acquisitions, LAC Published Heritage Branch) and Karin MacLeod (Manager, Published Acquisitions Division), provided an overview of how LAC is developing its newspaper collection, in order to address its gaps. There is a high demand for newspapers for research purposes and LAC's objectives are to:

    • Establish a comprehensive collection of Canadian newspapers;
    • Provide digital access whenever possible; and
    • Ensure long-term management and preservation.

    The Committee was asked if they thought there were gaps in the newspaper collection, or if any of the areas discussed in the presentation (comprehensiveness, digital access, and management/preservation) should be prioritized over others.

    Members asked what kind of access and licensing models LAC was looking at for its newspaper collection. Ideally, LAC would like to provide the public with access to the newspapers for free. This kind of access could incorporate an embargo period, after which the content is opened to the public. LAC would like to have a comprehensive collection of newspapers that would be available through one portal.

    In terms of content, members were curious about whether or not LAC capture the entirety of the content of a digital newspaper (i.e., advertisements). LAC's pilot project explored this, in consultation with archivists, and determined that the whole content and the way it is organized on the page is important, which means that LAC will try to acquire the replica file from the publisher. The speed at which content can change in digital newspapers was also raised. Even though a story can change multiple times a days, LAC's web archiving program can capture these changes. However, the Published Heritage Branch would like to consult with the Committee at a later date on this issue and how many iterations of a story LAC should be capturing. The right to be forgotten is also increasingly an issue with digital newspapers, but LAC recently published a robust take-down policy that can be applied to these instances.

    10. Conclusion

    Mr. Charbonneau and Ms. Smith thanked members for their participation and committed to holding a subsequent meeting in the spring of 2019. Ms. Smith asked SCC members about their first impressions of the joint meetings with the Acquisitions Advisory Committee and most members responded positively. Ms. Smith suggested that a similar format would be used for the spring meeting.

September 2018

  • Agenda
    13h00 – 13h10
    Welcome and review of the March 15-16 meeting minutes
    Johanna Smith
    13h10 – 13h20
    Review and approval of the revised Terms of Reference
    Johanna Smith
    13h20 – 13h40
    LAC Web Renewal
    Karen Linauskas / Cécile Lamarre
    13h40 – 14h10
    Presentation: Joint Facility Collaboration Project between Library and Archives Canada and the Ottawa Public Library
    Mario Gasperetti / Steven Artelle
    14h10 – 15h00
    Roundtable discussion
  • Minutes

    Attendees: Frédéric Giuliano (McGill University Archives); Constance Crompton (Department of Communication, University of Ottawa); Colleen Murphy (University of Regina Library); Jean-Pierre Morin (Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada); Pam Wright (National Archives and Records Administration, USA); Alison Blackburn (Ottawa Public Library); David Obee (genealogy expert); Ry Moran (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation); Johanna Smith (Library and Archives Canada, Chair).

    Library and Archives Canada observers and presenters: Steven Artelle; Benjamin Ellis, Mario Gasperetti, Amy Tector, Karen Linauskas, Lina Gouger, Cecile Lemaire.

    Regrets: Deborah Kigjugalik Webster (independent researcher and author); Ryan Shackleton (Know History); Anita Price (Association of Nova Scotia Museums); Inge Alberts (School of Information Studies, University of Ottawa); Laura Madokoro (Department of History and Classical Studies, McGill University); Renee Harden (Library and Archives Canada).

    1. Welcome

    Johanna Smith, the Director General, Public Services Branch, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), welcomed the committee members to the eighth meeting of the Services Consultation Committee (SCC, "the Committee").

    Ms. Smith presented the agenda, which was approved without amendment.

    2. Approval of Minutes and amended Terms of Reference

    The SCC members ("Members") approved the minutes of the March 15-16, 2018 meeting without amendment.

    Members approved of the Committee's revised Terms of Reference with minor amendments.

    3. LAC Web Renewal

    Karen Linauskas, Director of Exhibtions and Online Content at and Cecile Lemaire, Director of Digital and Corporate Communications at LAC, presented LAC's vision and obectives related to its website homepage and web renewal project. They explained that the core principle of the renewal project would be to implement a user-centric design based on the expectations and needs of LAC's clients and prospective clients. Other objectives include a personalized experience, seamless navigation, continuous improvements and updates, greater user autonomy and the ability to adapt to evolving technologies. Ms. Lemaire showed a mock-up of a proposed homepage.

    Members suggested that LAC implement a mobile-first approach, focusisng on mobile-friendly applications or pages. Members also cautioned LAC to consider the needs of remote communities where internet access is limited.

    Ms. Linauskas explained the link between web renewal and the new LAC federated search function, as well as the new library catalogue system LAC will be implementing. Members discussed the role of artificial intelligence in archival and library search tools when millions of records are available.

    Members wondered if LAC website URL addresses will change. Ms. Lemaire explained that they will not in the vast majority of cases, but where they do, there will be an automatic redirect.

    Ms. Linauskas and Ms. Lemaire promised to keep the Committee updated as the project progresses.

    4. LAC's Joint Facility with the Ottawa Public Library

    Mario Gasperetti, Project Director in LAC's Real Property Branch and Steven Artelle, Strategic Analyst in LAC's Public Services Branch, presented the Committee with an overview of the collaboration project between LAC and the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) for a new joint facility that will house the OPL Central Branch and LAC's public services areas. They outlined the project background, objectives, and proposed functional program, highlighting the key areas that will be dedicated to LAC and OPL, and the areas that will be shared. Mr. Gasperetti explained the process to-date and the upcoming milestones for design and construction. Mr. Artelle explained how LAC's services would transition and transform with the new space, including a proposed LAC orientation area with exhibits and resources to introduce the general public to LAC's mandate, collections, and services.

    Members asked if the funds approved as part of Budget 2018 for LAC's portion of the building were for construction only, or if also for new, ongoing services. Mr. Gasperetti responded that the funds are primarily for construction and transition.

    Members were concerned about a potential loss of quiet research space and the security of LAC collections. Mr. Artelle explained that there would still be security gates and research protocols beyond certain points, but that LAC was simply adding a more open public area before clients encountered those barriers. Members encouraged LAC not to overlook the needs of existing clients who will need to adapt alongside LAC. They asked LAC to be transparent and to make information related to changes clear as soons as possible. Members suggested that a change management plan for clients could be considered in addition to consultations.

    Members also worried about increased demand and the impact on service standards. Ms. Smith noted these concerns and shared them. She assured Members that LAC would adapt to the changes without impinging on standards.

    Some members asked about the extent of overlap and shared services between LAC and OPL. Mr. Gasperetti explained that while there are some plans for shared spaces for exhibitions, events, facility services and a shared genealogy centre, for the most part the operations would be separate. He remarked, however, that shared services and spaces could evolve over time. Mr. Gasperetti was clear that the facility is not and is not planned to become a merger between LAC and OPL.

    Members offered innovative ideas for the new facility including client "maker spaces", mobile navigation applications, and further integration with OPL on-site and online.

    Members asked about engagement with Indigenous communities, both local and across Canada. They stressed the need for early engagement, co-management of certain areas, and dedicated Indigenous spaces. Moreover, they wondered how the new facility could become an economic benefit for Indigenous peoples in Canada.

    Finally, Members saw an opportunity to create an inclusive, universal design in terms of gender identity and encouraged LAC to explore the way the facility could accommodate the needs of the LGBTQ community.


    • LAC will set up consultations for existing users during the new facility design phase
    • LAC will contact certain Members on specific subjects of interest including design thinking, LGBTQ+ considerations, and genealogy centre requirements
    • LAC will explore opportunities to consult with key stakeholders such as CHA, ACA

    5. Conclusion and Future Planning

    Ms. Smith thanked Members for their input and committed to holding the next meeting of the Committee in the winter of 2018-19. She suggested that the Committee might align their meeting with a meeting of the LAC Acquisitions Advisory Committee and hold a joint session. Members were amenable to this idea.

March 2018

  • Agenda

    Agenda - Day One

    Tour of LAC services facility at 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa
    Johanna Smith / Lisa Tremblay-Goodyer
    Meet at 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa and share taxis to the LAC Preservation Centre at 625 Boul. du Carrefour, Gatineau
    12h00 -13h00
    Welcome lunch and introduction of new members
    Johanna Smith
    Tour of Gatineau Preservation Centre
    Suzanne Pagé-Dazé
    Review of minutes from October 2, 2017 meeting and review/renewal of Terms of Reference
    Johanna Smith
    Public Services Branch tentative operational plan, 2018-19
    Johanna Smith
    Demonstration and testing of LAC's new crowdsourcing tools
    Alexandra Haggert / Michael Smith
    Optional: Group Dinner in downtown Ottawa (location TBD)

    Agenda - Day Two

    Welcome from the Librarian and Archivist of Canada
    Guy Bethiaume
    Indigenous Engagement and Internal Awareness at LAC
    Cleo Big Eagle / William Benoît
    Discussion: User fees and revenue generation
    Lisa Tremblay-Goodyer/ Steven Artelle
    Tour of LAC DigiLab
    Melanie Brown / Karine Gélinas
    LAC's Three-Year Plan, 2019-2022: Preliminary Consultation
    Johanna Smith / ZeÏneb Gharbi
    Roundtable and Open Discussion
    Johanna Smith
    Optional: Group Dinner in downtown Ottawa (location TBD)

    Forward agenda:

    • Results of the LAC Client Survey / Résultats de l'enquête auprès des clients de BAC
    • Indigenous Initiatives Update
  • Minutes

    Attendees: Frédéric Giuliano (McGill University Archives); Constance Crompton (Department of Communication, University of Ottawa); Colleen Murphy (University of Regina Library); Jean-Pierre Morin (Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada); Pam Wright (National Archives and Records Administration, USA); Alison Blackburn (Ottawa Public Library); David Obee (genealogy expert); Ry Moran (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation); Deborah Kigjugalik Webster (independent researcher and author); Ryan Shackleton (Know History); Renee Harden (Library and Archives Canada); Johanna Smith (Library and Archives Canada, Chair).

    Library and Archives Canada observers and presenters: Steven Artelle; Benjamin Ellis, Suzanne Pagé-Dazé, Alexandra Haggert, Michael Smith, Cleo Big Eagle, William Benoît, Lisa Tremblay-Goodyer, Melanie Brown, Karine Gélinas, Zeïneb Gharbi.

    Regrets: Laura Madokoro (Department of History and Classical Studies, McGill University); Anita Price (Association of Nova Scotia Museums); Inge Alberts (School of Information Studies, University of Ottawa).

    1. Welcome

    Johanna Smith, the Director General of the Public Services Branch, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), welcomed the committee members to the National Capital Region and the seventh meeting of the Services Consultation Committee (SCC, "the Committee"). 

    Ms. Smith introduced new members of the committee and presented the agenda, which was approved without amendment.

    2. Tour of the Gatineau Preservation Centre

    The SCC members ("Members") were given a tour of LAC's Preservation Centre in Gatineau, Quebec, including behind-the-scenes access to conservation labs, digitization areas, and preservation vaults. Members were quite impressed with the facility and asked many questions about digitization costs and equipment, maintenance and repair, and the plans for a second LAC preservation facility in Gatineau.

    Takeaway – LAC will send information relating to digitization costs to Members.

    3. Review of previous meeting

    Ms. Smith reviewed the minutes of the October 2, 2017 meeting of the SCC. Members approved the minutes without amendment.

    4. Review of the SCC Terms of Reference

    Members were asked to review the Services Consultation Committee Terms of Reference. Members recommended that the breadth of possible members be expanded to include students. They also recommended that representation from academics in the field of digital humanities be explicitly stated.

    Members discussed the possibility of lengthening membership terms to three-year periods, with the possibility of one renewal per member. Some members suggested having a representative from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation as a permanent member.

    Other minor edits were suggested.

    Takeaway: LAC will amend the Terms of Reference for approval at the following meeting.

    5. Public Services Branch Operational Plan, 2018–19

    Ms. Smith presented an overview of the the operational plan for the Public Services Branch for fiscal year 2018–19. Highlights included website content renewal, optimization of the new LAC online search tool, implementation of the Indigenous heritage digitization initiative, the reduction of reference and ATIP request backlogs, digital access projects, continued implementation of LAC's new services in Vancouver and Halifax, and planning for LAC's potential move and transition of services to a new building in Ottawa in partnership with the Ottawa Public Library.

    Members were most interested in the new building and service transition in Ottawa. They asked questions about plans for research and reading rooms at the new facility. They offered ideas about how LAC could strike a balance between broad public access and professional/academic research. Members asked about the consultation process going forward.

    Ms. Smith committed to holding a meeting of the SCC dedicated to the new facility and assured Members there would be future opportunities for consultations.

    6. Co-Lab Demonstration

    Mr. Michael Smith (Chief, Online Content) and Ms. Alexandra Haggert (Project Manager) gave Members a demonstration of LAC's soon-to-be-launched crowdsourcing tool "Co-Lab." Members were enthusiastic about the tool and how it might be used. They asked many questions about how the public could add and change information, and how LAC would moderate public contributions.

    Ms. Haggert explained that LAC would feature certain "challenges" for public contributors—selected collections that were a good fit for crowdsourced description, tagging, translation or transcribing. She also explained that the tool could also be used for any digital object in LAC's catalogue.

    Ms. Haggert explained that users would not require an account to access Co-Lab and that LAC would monitor activity to ensure any problems were mitigated quickly. She pointed to the experience of crowdsourcing tools in other national archives as examples.

    Members offered many ideas in terms of partnership possibilities, potential projects and incentives. They suggested promotion via academic, educational and professional associations and through outreach from LAC offices across Canada. Members asked about the costs to build the tool and the method by which it was developed.

    LAC shared the Co-Lab link with Members and asked them to test the tool and provide feedback.

    7. Indigenous Engagement

    Mr. William Benoît (LAC Advisor, Internal Indigenous Engagement) and Ms. Cleo Big Eagle (LAC Advisor, Indigenous Engagement and Partnerships) presented Members with LAC's overall approach to internal awareness and engagement with Indigenous peoples, and provided details about LAC's newly formed Indigenous Advisory Circle (IAC).

    Ms. Big Eagle described how the IAC was established and its purpose—to guide LAC on all matters related to Indigenous activities—especially and most immediately the implementation of LAC's Indigenous Language and Culture Initiatives. The IAC, the members of which represent Indigenous communities across Canada and varying fields of expertise, met for the first time in Ottawa only two weeks earlier. Ms. Big Eagle described the successes and challenges of the first meeting, as well as the plans for future meetings.

    Mr. Benoît described LAC's activities related to institutional awareness and the change in its approach to Indigenous peoples and Indigenous heritage activities. He described the training and learning opportunities that had been provided to staff, including the provision of "blanket exercises:" Indigenous-led awareness sessions in which folding blankets are used to represent the occupation of Indigenous land and the disappearance of cultures.

    Members offered further suggestions regarding the ways LAC could engage and collaborate with Indigenous communities and organizations. Members suggested that LAC make information about their engagement activities more public on its website.

    8. Guideline on Administering Client-Initiated Takedown Requests

    Mr. Steven Artelle (Strategic Advisory, LAC Public Services Branch) presented an overview of LAC's draft guidelines on how to administer client requests for LAC to remove digital documentary heritage from its website or partner websites. While not yet finalized, the approach would provide LAC with consistent direction when members of the public request that information on LAC's website be removed for various reasons.

    Members discussed terminology used in the guidelines, including the definition of "harm" as it applies to individuals or communities.

    Takeaway: LAC will revisit the guidelines with the SCC as they are developed further.

    9. LAC's Three-Year Plan

    Ms. Zeïneb Gharbi (LAC Senior Research and Policy Analyst) asked Members for input for consideration as part of LAC's next Three-Year Plan for the years 2019 to 2022. Specifically, she asked Members to consider the activities and issues LAC should prioritize under three broad areas: in-person services, digitization goals and online presentations/exhibitions.

    Members provided input in all areas, both in person and following the meeting in writing. Specifically, Members saw opportunities to enhance access via the proposed new facility in Ottawa. Members highlighted the need for increased digitization of Indigenous-related material and the challenges of finding certain material. Members also noted the need for improvements to LAC's website and online search/catalogue systems.

    Takeaway: LAC will consider all of the Members' suggestions carefully as it continues to consult on the Three-Year Plan.

    10. Miscellaneous

    Members noted that the agenda for the meeting was interesting but too full. They asked the Chair to allow for more time for discussion. Ms. Smith proposed that the next meeting of the SCC be dedicated to only one or two items, one of which would be a discussion of the proposed new joint facility with the Ottawa Public Library and the transition of services.

    Members also asked that information be sent earlier and/or that questions be sent in advance to promote more fruitful discussions.

    Members thought that the next in-person meeting could be stretched over three days to ensure adequate time to include all agenda items and ensure discussions are meaningful.

    Members suggested that the next in-person meeting could be held outside of the National Capital Region.

    Takeaway: The next meeting of the SCC will be held during the summer of 2018. LAC will consider a longer meeting for the next in-person session and will also look at possibilities for other locations.

Contact Information

Should you have questions, comments, would like to obtain a document presented during one of these meetings, please contact us at: