Frequently Asked Questions
Questions and Answers:
Q1: Why is the department consolidating its libraries?
More and more Canadians are turning to electronic sources and the Internet to search for resources and information. The growing willingness of Canadians to look online, coupled with an increasing presence of information online, including electronic scientific journals, enable the Department to consolidate its library resources. In 2011, over 95% of the total documents provided to users were provided digitally through self-service or library-staff virtually assisted service. Modernizing our library resources allows for easier search and access to clients no matter their location.
Q2: Which libraries will remain open?
The Department’s 11 library locations will be consolidated into 4 locations, composed of 2 primary locations, the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney BC, and the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth NS, as well as 2 specialized collections residing at the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) College library in Sydney, Nova Scotia and the CCG technical library in the National Capital Region.
Q3: Who are the users of DFO libraries?
The libraries exist to support the Department in the execution of its mandate. The primary users of DFO libraries are employees of the Department. For example, in 2011/2012, over 86% of requests to library staff for service were made by employees of the Department.
Q4: How do external users currently access library services?
In 2011/12, 85% of external client requests were received virtually, i.e. by email, phone and mail. All virtual support services will continue to be offered. WAVES, the Departmental library catalogue, can be accessed from anywhere in the world via the Internet. In 2011/12, in-person visits by external users made up about 2% of total requests for service; there were only 5-12 in person visits at most locations.
Q5: How do external users receive materials that they have requested?
Many Departmental publications are already freely available in electronic form and can be found at the Department’s library portal “WAVES”. Some materials, e.g. those published by international bodies or other governments, are also now freely available in digital form on the Internet and via WAVES. Materials subject to intellectual property or copyright laws can be made available via inter-library loan on request by an external library on behalf of its client.
Q6: What does this change mean for users?
Consolidating Departmental libraries will result in minimal change for external users. There will be no changes to the size or scope of the collection.
Most users already make requests digitally and in 2011/12, in-person visits by external users only made up about 2% of total requests for service.
As has always been the case, external users cannot borrow materials that are subject to copyright or intellectual property rules directly; however, loans can be arranged through their own library.
Q7: Will users have to pay fees in order to access the collection?
No. Users will not be asked to pay fees in order to access the collection.
Q8: What is the size of the DFO collection?
DFO's libraries contain one of the world's most comprehensive collections of information on fisheries, aquatic sciences and nautical sciences. The total size of our print collection as of fall 2012 is approximately 660,000 items.
Q9: How much of the DFO library collection is currently available online?
Many publications are already available in full-text online at the click of a mouse, including approximately 30,000 departmental publications. We are currently in the process of adding the links to WAVES to point to online versions of other publications currently in the collections in print format.
Q10: Will DFO be removing items from its collection?
The Department may remove only content that is duplicated at one or more libraries and, in rare instances, materials which fall outside the subject disciplines pertinent to the department’s mandate from its collection.
Q11: Is the Department reducing its acquisition/collections budget?
No. The collections budget is not affected by these changes. 95% of the annual library acquisition budget is spent on expanding access to on-line journals and other digital research tools, which allows our collection to reach a much broader base of users.
Q12: Will the Department be selling items in its collection?
The Department is contacting universities and other local partners to determine if there is interest in acquiring some of the duplicate or non-DFO related materials. Some materials will be offered to on-site staff of the Department for work-related use.
Q13: When will consolidation of libraries occur?
Consolidation is currently underway as the Department is examining its collection. The consolidation will be implemented in a phased approach, to ensure that service availability is maximized. Completion of consolidation is expected to occur by the Fall 2013.
Q14: Will the collection be unavailable as consolidation progresses?
While libraries are being consolidated, the entire library collection will remain available.
Q15: Will services remain available in both French and English?
Library services will continue to remain available in English and French. This change will not have any impact on the quality or quantity of French resources held in the Department’s library collection.
Q16: Will “grey literature” still be available?
“Grey literature” is research that has been published in non-commercial form. Grey literature may include reports (pre-prints, preliminary progress and advanced reports, technical reports, statistical reports, market research reports), theses, conference proceedings, bibliographies, and official documents not published commercially.
Materials currently available to employees and the public will continue to be available through a variety of means, including online; this includes “grey literature.”
Q17: Will Departmental publications and reports remain available?
Yes. DFO libraries are mandated by Treasury Board policy to collect, preserve and make accessible all DFO/CCG publications. DFO libraries collect and maintain Departmental reports and reports prepared for the Department. Approximately 30,000 Departmental publications and reports are available in full-text online and findable via WAVES. Those which are only in print form can be digitized on demand. The resulting items in digitized format are preserved, catalogued in WAVES and made available on the internet.
Q18: Are all DFO reports and publications available online?
About 30,000 DFO-published reports and publications are currently available online. Outstanding items will be digitized if requested by users.
Q19: What materials do DFO libraries collect?
To learn about the DFO collection, please visit WAVES, the Fisheries and Oceans online catalogue.
DFO libraries collect materials that support the subject disciplines pertinent to the department’s mandate. DFO libraries collect in digital or other formats materials in the following areas:
- Native affairs and Native history pertinent to fisheries
- Coastal Zone and maritime management
- Cartography, mathematical geography
- Law of the Sea, ocean policy
- Geography of polar regions, maritime regions, oceans
- Law of Canada, maritime law, environmental assessment law
- Physical geography (coasts, reefs, hydrology)
- Law- US, ocean coastal law
- Statistics pertaining to fisheries
- Economic geography of the oceans
- Fisheries economics
- Aquatic/Marine geophysics and meteorology, chemistry and geology
- Aquatic/Marine biology, ecology, botany, zoology, physiology, and microbiology
- Fishing Communities, coastal zones
- Fisheries and Aquaculture, fisheries management, and fish diseases
- Freshwater Fisheries
- Ocean and coastal engineering
- Fisheries Protection
- Aquatic/Marine pollution
- Marine navigation, engineering, and naval architecture
- Marine hydrography, tide tables, pilot guides
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