Regional Report 1992-1993 Canada

IASSIST Report of the Canadian Regional Secretary


Wendy Watkins
The Data Centre
Carleton University
Ottawa, Ontario

May 1993

Given tight budgets, 1992-93 has been a very creative year for Canadian IASSISTers! Several universities have banded together for group purchases, group subscriptions, sharing training resources and other co-operative ventures.

Thirteen western universities, the entire membership of the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL) voted unanimously to form a federated membership in ICPSR. Similar arrangements are being negotiated OCUL and CREPUQ representing university libraries in Ontario and Quebec, respectively.

In conjunction with COPPUL-ICPSR federation proposal, the Universities of Alberta and British Columbia along with Simon Fraser University jointly offered a data library workshop in Calgary.

Further to the east, Statistics Canada’s Quebec regional office offered two, one-day workshops to librarians using their CANSIM and Census CD data products. A workshop for “would-be data librarians” was held in Quebec in April.

The year has seen two established data archives change places of residence. The University of Alberta Library has taken responsibility for the Data Library from the Computing Centre. In addition, Carleton’s Social Science Data Archives has been moved from the Sociology Department and is now know as the Library Data Centre, although responsibility for the function rests with the Faculty of Social Sciences for a time.

While some of the ‘old’ archives were on the move, new data libraries were established at the University of Calgary, the University of Saskatchewan and Universite de Laval. In addition, McGill, Guelph and Waterloo are thinking about establishing data libraries.

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) organized two further group purchases of data, this time for the 1991 Census of Population and the 1991 Census of Agriculture. This bring the number of consortium bulk purchases to five. Previous acquisitions included two sets of GSS data and the data from the 1986 Census of Population.

Last, but not least, two Freenets or community computing facilities were established over the past year. The first in Victoria was instituted in late 1992, while the National Capital Freenet was launched in Ottawa in February of this year.

While I don’t have statistics for the Victoria freenet, the National Capital Freenet is now the second biggest in North America with more than 4,000 registered users. Not to be left behind, a group of committed people is currently planning the Toronto freenet. They had their first planning meeting in late April and had to turn people away at the door!

Thus, the theme for the year is sharing resources, forming alliances and stretching scarce resources as far as possible.