CRKN’s 2017 Annual General Meeting was held October 18-20 in Montreal, Quebec. The meetings were well attended with 94 registered members and stakeholders, plus invited guest speakers and staff. Attendees benefited from the quality of the facilities at the Marriott Château Champlain and were able to enjoy tremendous fall weather and colours.
The event opened on October 18th with a welcome from Dr. Alan Shepard, CRKN Board Chair and President of Concordia University during a reception hosted by Dr. Colleen Cook, McGill’s Trenholme Dean of Libraries in the recently renovated Colgate Room at McGill’s McLennan Library.
Thursday, October 19th began with a Licensing Session moderated by Content Strategy Committee Chair, Todd Mundle which provided an in-depth update on CRKN’s 2017 negotiations and 2018 negotiation priorities. During that session, Martha Whitehead, Vice-Provost and University Librarian of Queen’s University also provided an update on the status of CARL’s Licensing Data Sharing Project. Members of the Trusted Digital Repository Working Group provided an update on their progress in describing proposed elements of a national perpetual access and preservation solution for CRKN-licensed content. The TDRTG obtained feedback from members on the current direction of the discussions of the task group, and gauged level of interest among librarians in the potential extension of Scholars Portal services nationally. Members of the License Transition Task Group provided an update on their work and a review of progress to-date, including the results of a comprehensive literature review and member survey. Feedback was elicited from attendees on potential recommendations.
Following a break for lunch, five panelists described aspects of the Journal Usage Project, including how the project has impacted collection development strategies on member campuses, how the data could be used for future analysis at a national level, and how the results will be communicated to the broader community. The afternoon concluded with a presentation from the CRKN-Canadiana Merger Working Group. Board Chair Alan Shepard moderated the session, in which members of the working group walked through the CRKN‐Canadiana Merger Business Proposal that had previously been distributed to members. Members had an opportunity to clarify elements of the proposal, provide feedback and make further suggestions. Many members expressed their support for the proposal, a few expressed ongoing concerns and all were enthusiastic about the opportunity to make Canadian Digital Heritage content Open Access as an outcome of the combination .
Following the Thursday’s sessions, AGM delegates and special guests were invited to the Ron MacDonald Distinguished Service Award Reception hosted by CRKN Board Chair Alan Shepard at the Grey Nuns Building (Concordia University) and honouring Brian Owen. Mr. Owen is Associate Dean of Libraries for Library Technology and Special Collections at Simon Fraser University and, since 2005, Managing Director of the Public Knowledge Project (PKP). He has worked to develop and strengthen the Canadian research framework, including work on the Negotiations Resource Team to develop CRKN’s original model license. The event was generously sponsored by the libraries of Concordia University, Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and HEC Montréal.
On Friday, October 20th, delegates received an update on LAC’s National Heritage Digitization Strategy from Caitlin Horrall, Secretariat of the NHDS. The presentation provided an overview of the strategy, updated attendees on some foundational projects and described what is still to come from the NHDS committee. Following that members were energized by a session moderated by Gwen Bird, University Librarian, Simon Fraser University in which Tanja Niemann, Executive Director of Érudit and Brian Owen (representing the Public Knowledge Project) presented a proposal for the Coalition Publi.ca initiative. The proposal follows addresses CRKN member commitment to both Open Access and the sustainability of Canadian Scholarly Journals and is an evolution of both the current CRKN - Érudit Partnership and the PKP-Érudit strategic alliance.
Following a brief break during which voting cards for 62 CRKN member institutions were distributed, the Annual Meeting of the Members began. Reports were received from the Board Chair and Executive Director. CRKN’s Treasurer reported on the financial statements for 2016/17 and budgets for 2017/18 and members were asked to approve the appointment of auditors. The Chair of the Content Strategy Committee provided a formal report on 2016/17 negotiation outcomes and the activities of the CSC. Members confirmed new Board members as elected. A significant moment in the AGM came when the members were asked to vote on the motion to approve in principle the combination of operations with Canadiana.org, and authorize the Board to negotiate with Canadiana as described in the Business Proposal delivered to members prior to the meeting. The members voted overwhelmingly in favour indicating their ongoing financial support for a combined organization. As described to members the next steps will include a formal approach by the CRKN Board to the Canadiana Board to discuss terms and then Canadiana members will also need to vote on the proposed combination.
The Annual General Meeting was concluded with members having a last opportunity for networking over lunch. The CRKN Board of Directors met immediately following the business meeting to finalize the Board slate, including reappointing both Alan Shepard as Board Chair, and Larry Alford to the balance position, confirming Gwen Bird as incoming Vice-Chair.
CRKN has provided evaluation surveys to all AGM attendees which will help to inform the planning for future Annual General Meetings.