ACCOLEDS stands for A COPPUL Consortium Of Library Electronic Data Services. Founded in 1992, ACCOLEDS membership consists of representatives from academic libraries in Western Canada which are members of Statistics Canada’s Data Liberation Initiative (DLI).

The DLI provides three days of training for its ACCOLEDS members each year, usually near the end of November or the beginning of December. It subsidizes the travel costs for each institution’s DLI contact person (who is usually a data librarian) in order to ensure that the training is accessible to all members. Presentations from ACCOLEDS workshops can be found in the DLI Training Repository, or under the links to Previous Workshops on this site.

A Short History

In December 1992, at the University of Calgary, librarians from nine COPPUL institutions across the four Prairie and Pacific provinces gathered for the first time to discuss “data”, a new-to-most-of-us collection format, along with its associated technical and service challenges. (See the photos from this 1992 meeting!)

At the time, while most of us didn’t know very much about “data”, we did know from experience that cooperation, group collaboration, and resource-sharing would be the key to mastering this new resource. A few months after this first meeting, our newly formed group signed a data consortium federation agreement with the ICPSR. ACCOLEDS members later joined the new Data Liberation Initiative.

The DLI was formed in 1996, through the concerted effort of Canadian researchers and the Social Science Federation of Canada which lobbied government agencies and worked with Statistics Canada to make Canadian microdata more readily available to the academic community. (For a fuller history of the DLI’s inception, see “Stats Canada Launches Data Liberation Initiative” in the January 1997 issue of the CAUT Bulletin.)

Now, over 25 years later, ACCOLEDS is a successful model of how combined expertise, shared resources, and consortium licensing can grow a thriving data community from scratch. Our collaborative data services model has now been adopted by most data libraries Canada-wide, and ACCOLEDS institutions number 30 and counting!