Government Information Day

The University of Ottawa Library, with sponsorship from the Carleton University Library, is organizing a one-day conference, Government Information Day, scheduled to take place on Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at the University of Ottawa's downtown campus.

Last year, Government Information Day was held at the University of Toronto and we would like to continue last year's valuable discussion. We are currently in the process of developing the program. The broad theme will be focused around collaboration, with presentations and panels organized around two proposed subthemes: (i) preservation and access and (ii) open government.

Government Information Day is designed as a forum for keeping current on ongoing changes, but also for exploring how we can collaborate and respond to emerging and ongoing challenges and opportunities in the field of government information in Canada.

Have questions? Email us at



[Click here to download the PDF version of the program]

[Click here to download the a summary of the presentations]

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

5:30– Tour of the Library of Parliament [Full – meet at 5:30pm at the visitor's entrance below the Peace Tower]

Thursday, October 16, 2014

8:30–9:00 Registration and coffee

9:00–9:05 Announcements

9:05–9:10 Welcome from the University Librarian

9:10–9:25 Digitizing Ontario government documents: The story so far [PDF presentation]
Simone O'Byrne [Chair, Ontario Government Libraries Council Working Group on Ontario Government Publications]
Loren Fantin [Director, OurDigitalWorld]

ABSTRACT: In Spring 2013 OurDigitalWorld worked with OCUL's Ontario Digitization Initiative and an iSchool practicum student to survey Government Documents Librarians on completed, in-progress and planned digitization of Ontario Government publications. The initial survey was designed to capture information about the status of digitization projects, with the intent to make information accessible via a wiki. Loren will focus on metadata capture and lessons learned. The Ontario Government libraries that responded to the survey all expressed an interest in digitization, but were and remain challenged by financial and other resource constraints. Simone will highlight some Ontario Government digitization projects, examine some of the challenges, and discuss how a robust registry would benefit the larger community.

BIO: Simone O'Byrne is the Information Specialist and Reference Librarian in the Information Resource Centre of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. The Information Resource Centre began digitizing Ministry publications in 2004; to date over 8,000 print publications have been digitized and are publically accessible via the Internet Archive and the government documents portal on OurDigitalWorld. Simone is Past Chair of the Ontario Government Libraries Council, and current Chair of that organization's Working Group on Ontario Government Publications.

BIO: Loren Fantin is the Executive Director of OurDigitalWorld (ODW), a not-for-profit partnering with over 250 organizations (libraries, archives, and museums) on access to our shared digitized cultural heritage via the Our Ontario portal and digital collections software. Since 2006 ODW has also been working with the Legislative Library of Ontario on a government documents portal.

9:25–9:35 Who's digitizing what? [Online presentation]
Catherine McGoveran [Government Information Librarian, University of Ottawa]

ABSTRACT: Building on interest from the 2013 edition of Government Information Day and acting on the need for a registry as demonstrated in the presentation on the ODI Wiki, a group at the University of Ottawa Library decided to get the gov docs digitization registry project underway. Using Google Forms, a registry was created to capture essential information about digitization projects involving Canadian government publications. Although Google Forms provided a quick and simple platform on which to initiate a registry, we are optimistic that it is a stepping stone for a more robust tool.

BIO: Catherine McGoveran is the Government Information Librarian at the University of Ottawa. She is an active member of the government information community, volunteering for the Canadian Library Association Government Information Network (CLA-GIN), the Depository Services Program Advisory Committee, and Open Data Ottawa. Catherine is involved in a research study exploring the transition from Canadian LIS student to academic librarian in Canada, and has research interests in open government and open data, data visualization, and civic engagement.

9:35–9:50 Planning for a registry of digitized Canadian government documents [Online presentation]
Margaret Wall [Communications Librarian, University of Toronto]

ABSTRACT: Margaret will provide a preliminary overview of plans to collaboratively develop a registry of digitized Canadian government documents and publications. The registry will provide a single access point to digitized government documents for researchers, and identify digitization projects completed, in progress or planned as a tool for institutions considering digitization projects. The project is currently in the planning and consultation phase, and feedback regarding functional requirements for the registry is welcome.

BIO: Margaret Wall is the Communications Librarian for the central University of Toronto Library. She is cross-appointed to the Reference & Research Services department, where she got her start as a Graduate Student Library Assistant in the government publications unit in 2007. She holds a BA from the University of Waterloo and a MISt from the University of Toronto.

9:50–10:00 Questions

10:00–10:20 The 30-year rule has been gone for just over 30 years now R do we miss it?
Fabien Lengellé [Director General, Services Branch, Library and Archives Canada]

ABSTRACT: Before the Access to Information and Privacy (ATI&P) legislative framework, government records were subject to a legal regime that has come to be known as the 30-year rule. Under this regime, government information could be kept secret for a certain period of time after which public institutions had to make a case for maintaining access restrictions. Under the new ATI&P regime, many exemptions do not have any time limits and Library and Archives Canada must pro-actively declassify them through block review exercises. This presentation will look at recent information management trends and their consequences on how government records are made accessible to researchers.

BIO: Fabien Lengellé has been a federal public servant since 1993. He is currently the Director General of Services at Library and Archives Canada. In his role, he oversees reference services, access to information, public programming, web content, published description and cataloguing standards. Before joining Library and Archives Canada, he worked in various departments including Statistics Canada, the Correctional Service of Canada, the International Joint Commission, Environment Canada, and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. Mr. Lengellé holds a bachelor's degree and master's degree in law as well as a master's degree in public administration.

10:20–10:40 Cuttings or compost? Working with the weeding outfall of LAC and GoC [PDF presentation]
Amanda Wakaruk [Government Information Librarian, University of Alberta]

ABSTRACT: The University of Alberta Libraries is working with the Internet Archive and other partners to digitize Government of Alberta publications weeded by Library and Archives Canada. Additionally, scholars are trying to identify what web content has been - and continues to be - weeded by Government of Canada departments. Amanda Wakaruk will provide updates on these two projects.

BIO: Amanda Wakaruk (MLIS, MES) is the Government Information Librarian at the University of Alberta. Having worked with government information in libraries since 1998, she is well versed in the precarious publishing patterns of our governance agencies. Amanda is a member of the Depository Services Program Advisory Committee and the current chair of the CGI-PLN Steering Committee. She has also served as the coordinator of the CLA Government Information Network (formerly AGIIG), and the ALA Government Documents Roundtable International Documents Taskforce. Amanda is a repeat instructor at the Winter Institute on Statistical Literacy for Librarians. Her research interests include exploring the evolving role of libraries and librarians as stewards of government information.

10:40–10:50 Questions

10:50–11:05 Break

11:05–11:25 Digitization of the Statistics Canada Library's Historical Collection [PDF presentation]
Jennifer Pagnotta [Chief, Statistics Canada Library]

ABSTRACT: The Statistics Canada Library is making progress on its project to digitize its collection of print-only, official, Statistics Canada publications. The Chief of the Statistics Canada Library will provide an update on the status of this project and will discuss next steps necessary to make this valuable collection available to the public.

BIO: Jennifer Pagnotta received her Master of Library and Information Studies degree from McGill University in 2001 and she has worked at Statistics Canada ever since. Prior to becoming the Chief of the Statistics Canada Library in 2011, she held various positions including reference librarian, collection development librarian, and reference services coordinator. In addition, between 2008 and 2011 she took an assignment with the Data Liberation Initiative where she worked as Reference Services Coordinator and oversaw a project to offer subscription-based access to the Public Use Microdata File (PUMF) Collection for institutions that were not eligible for Data Liberation Initiative membership.

11:25–11:40 Historical Debates of the Parliament of Canada Portal: Increasing access to Parliament's documentary history and heritage [PDF presentation]
Sébastien Tremblay [Library of Parliament]

ABSTRACT: This session will provide an overview of the Historical Debates of the Parliament of Canada Portal, highlighting the portal's functionalities, coverage and potential future developments. The portal constitutes a centralized, free and streamlined tool to access the historical debates of the Senate and House of Commons for the public, in both official languages. It includes all published debates of both the Senate and the House of Commons from Parliament 1, Session 1 until coverage on begins. The digital page images were produced by Library and Archives Canada, and the portal developed in collaboration with

BIO: Sébastien Tremblay is the Manager of the Preservation and Parliamentary Publications Management Section at the Library of Parliament. His responsibilities include digitization, print and digital preservation, and heritage asset management. His team also manages PARLINFO, a product highlighting the people and events that have shaped Parliament since 1867.

11:40–12:00 Digitization, preservation, access: and trustworthy digital repository (TDR) services [PDF presentation]
William Wueppelmann [Chief Information Officer,]

ABSTRACT: has been preserving and providing access to digitized content for more than 15 years, including both its own digital collections and those of its partners. This summer it completed its final audit for certification as a trustworthy digital repository (TDR). This presentation will discuss Canadiana's approach to digital preservation and how it fits within the larger framework of digitization, discovery and access.

BIO: William Wueppelmann is the Chief Information Officer at He has been involved with Canadiana for more than thirteen years, helping to build its technical and preservation infrastructure and to develop its services.

12:00–12:10 Questions

12:10–1:20 Lunch [Courtesy of the Carleton University Library - FSS 2010]

1:20–1:40 Web archiving: Getting started with Internet Archive's Archive-IT service [PDF presentation]
Andrea Mills [Collection Specialist, Internet Archive]

ABSTRACT: Embarking on a targeted web archiving initiative can be daunting, but a successful outcome is in the details! What questions need consideration before a project begins? How does the process of web archiving actually work? Archive-IT services has assisted more than 300 collecting institutions to archive over 460,000 sites. Through this experience, we present our advice and insight on getting started with Archive-IT Services.
First deployed in 2006, Archive-IT is a subscription web archiving service from the Internet Archive that helps organizations to harvest, build, and preserve collections of digital content. Through our user friendly web application, Archive-IT, partners can collect, catalogue, and manage their collections of archived content with 24/7 access and full text search available for their use as well as their patrons. Content is hosted and stored at the Internet Archive data centers.

BIO: Andrea Mills is the Collection Specialist at Internet Archive Canada. She is a teacher by trade and has spent the better part of the last decade working and learning with libraries and institutions across Canada to digitize their text collections. With a focus on metadata, organization, and discovery, Andrea has worked with the Ontario Publications Roundtable, the Ontario Council of University Libraries and the Ontario Digitization Initiative to preserve and provide access to government publications and our shared intellectual heritage.

1:40–1:55 Cultivating community engagement through web archiving [PDF presentation]
Nicholas Worby [Government Information & Statistics Librarian, University of Toronto]

ABSTRACT: Web archiving electronic government information is a labour intensive process. The demands of capturing, performing quality assurance, creating metadata, and curating content can be too much for a single institution to bear. This presentation will describe University of Toronto Libraries' process of reaching out to new community partners to help develop municipal and provincial web archive collections. This session will also provide an update on UTL's latest web archiving initiatives.

BIO: Nicholas Worby is the Government Information & Statistics Librarian at University of Toronto Libraries. In addition to providing reference and instructional support, he works on UTL's government information related web archiving projects.

1:55–2:10 On the hunt for fugitive government information [PDF presentation]
Sam-chin Li [Government Information Librarian, University of Toronto]

ABSTRACT: The Fugitive Document Working Group (FDWG) was formed in July 2014 as a sub group of The Canadian Government Information – Private LOCKSS Network. FDWG was tasked with investigating how fugitive Canadian government materials were being identified and preserved. We will talk about a survey we conducted to find out if institutions are collecting Canadian government fugitive materials and, if they are, how they are being collected. A fugitive document is a document published by the government which could be - but is not - collected by depository programs such as the Depository Service Program (DSP). We will also go through the type and form of materials which are not included in the DSP. Practices and limitations of using web harvesting to collect fugitive documents will also be presented.

BIO: Sam-chin Li has been a Government Information Librarian at the University of Toronto Library (UTL) since 1998. She has been involved in many digitization and web harvesting projects. Her current project is creating the Sessional Papers Database in a digital repository. Sam-chin is the coordinator of the Web archiving program at UTL and was the coordinator of last year's Government Information Day in Toronto.

2:10–2:20 Questions

2:20–2:40 Keeping current, staying relevant [PDF presentation]
Maureen Martyn [Chief, Current Awareness and Strategic Analysis Section, Library of Parliament]

ABSTRACT: The Library of Parliament provides balanced non-partisan research and analysis to parliamentarians and their staff. will allow us to publish more posts, on more topics, more often. This is a direct response to client demand for balanced, non-partisan treatments of current and emerging issues. This presentation will highlight the blog and its features, as well as discuss the challenges and opportunities of providing high quality research publications in new formats.

BIO: Maureen is currently the Chief of Current Awareness and Strategic Analysis in the Research Service of the Library of Parliament. She has more than twenty years' experience working in the parliamentary environment. Her expertise is in leading digital initiatives intended to improve access to content. Past projects include LegisInfo, the redesigned Parliamentary web site and the Library's first Twitter account. Her children don't quite understand how one of her first jobs, Internet Librarian, was created to teach people how to "surf the web".

2:40–3:00 Public library micro-blogging and community engagement: Results of a national survey
Mary Cavanagh [Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies, University of Ottawa]

ABSTRACT: This presentation will highlight the results of a recent survey of 71 Canadian public libraries about their use of Twitter and how they perceive its challenges and benefits for engaging with their local communities. The primary research contribution coming from this work is a set of baseline data to inform larger longitudinal studies and locally-based studies of social media participation along government-community boundaries in a variety of socio-cultural, economic and demographic, national and international settings. This work is part of a larger research collaboration on federal, provincial and local government-community engagement through social media with a focus on the types of information produced and shared.

BIO: Mary Cavanagh is an assistant professor in the School of Information Studies at the University of Ottawa. She combines her previous 20 year career as a library practitioner with her current research interests on how public libraries as local government agencies promote community engagement through social media.

3:00–3:20 E-informing the public: Information access and e-government [PDF presentation]
Luanne Freund [Associate Professor and Chair of the iSchool PhD program, University of British Columbia]

ABSTRACT: This talk will present the results of a series of research studies on public access to e-government information in Canada. The studies cover a range of issues, including the design of government websites and search systems, use of social media, open data, the digital divide, and digital preservation. The talk will highlight different levels of access and will draw upon the perspectives of information producers and users, as well as information professionals.

BIO: Luanne Freund is an Associate Professor and Chair of the PhD program at the iSchool at the University of British Columbia. She holds a PhD from the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. Dr. Freund's research and teaching focuses on information access, online searching and human information behaviour, and in recent years she has examined these issues in the context of e-government and the open data movement. She was the Principal Investigator for the E-Informing the Public research project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2008-2013) and is a Principle Network Investigator within the Canada-wide Graphics, Animation and New Media (GRAND) Network of Centres of Excellence (2010-2014). Further information can be found on her website.

3:20–3:30 Questions

3:30–3:45 Break

3:45–4:05 Open government 2.0: Learning from the past and moving forward [PDF presentation]
Mary Francoli [Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Carleton University]

ABSTRACT: This year, governments in many countries are working to develop their second action plan on open government, a requirement of their membership in the Open Government Partnership (OGP). The new action plans come at the tail end of independent assessments done in each country by national researchers working for the OGP's Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM). This presentation provides a brief overview of what the IRM learned during this process, and discusses ways to improve open government practices for the future.

BIO: Mary Francoli is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication. She is also the current Canadian national researcher for the Open Government Partnership's Independent Reporting Mechanism.

4:05–4:25 Canada's Second Action Plan on Open Government
Mark Levene [Acting Director, Policy and Liaison for Open Government, Treasury Board Secretariat]

ABSTRACT: This presentation will give an overview of the Government of Canada's Open Government Activities. It will touch on a number of the activities to be included in the Action Plan, including an update on our open government portal for data and information.

BIO: Mark Levene is the current Acting Director, Policy and Liaison for Open Government at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. His area is responsible for drafting and guiding the implementation Canada's Action Plan on Open Government, working nationally and internationally with partners, and developing policy on a wide variety of open government issues, including common licensing and open standards. Prior to joining Treasury Board, Mark worked at Library and Archives Canada for a dozen years, where he worked on a variety of collection acquisition and management strategies.

4:25–4:45 The conditions and challenges for sustainable open data ecosystems [PDF presentation]
Jean-Noé Landry [Director of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach, Open North]

ABSTRACT: The number of municipalities launching open data portals across Canada continues to grow. More and more cities recognize the benefits of providing access to public data in a machine readable format to stimulate innovation, increase efficiency, and reap the economic benefits. This infrastructure and buy-in is essential, but we are still at the end of the beginning of delivering the promise of open data. So, what are the conditions for a sustainable open data ecosystems? What are the elements of an engaging and collaborative open data strategy? Who should be (and isn't yet) part of this conversation?

BIO: Jean-Noé Landry is Open North's Director of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach. He has 12 years of local and international democracy development experience, working with the National Democratic Institute in Croatia, Serbia, Russia, the West Bank, Kenya, Algeria, and Tunisia. As co-founder of Montreal Ouvert and Québec Ouvert, he focused on building and expanding the open data movement in Canada. He enjoys working and educating governments and legislators on open data and supporting civil society to become an active stakeholder. Jean-Noé is also a civil society representative on the City of Montreal's Task Force on Democracy, a unique working group that reflects on participatory democratic practices.

4:45–4:55 Questions

4:55–5:05 Wrap-up

6:00– Informal, off-campus dinner (optional)
The Black Tomato** Please RSVP to

Key locations around campus

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