The following announcement, dated on Friday, appears on the LAC web site.
Library and Archives Canada to Establish Public Consultation Process Regarding Service Delivery
(OTTAWA, October 5, 2007) - Today, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) announced that it is establishing a new and continuing process of public consultation on the delivery of its public services. This new process is in response to the legitimate desire of LAC's users to provide LAC with advice on how best to deliver its services and access to the LAC Collection.
This new public consultation process has two components. First, LAC is creating the LAC Services Advisory Board composed of representatives of user communities across the country. Its mandate will be to consider issues directly related to the services aspect of LAC's mandate. Chaired by Doug Rimmer, the Assistant Deputy Minister, Programs and Services, the committee will meet 3-4 times a year. The first topic for discussion will be hours of service. Further details on the LAC Services Advisory Board are contained in the attached Backgrounder.
In addition, LAC will conduct regular public consultations on a continuing basis on a variety of topics. Feedback will be collected in person, through the Internet, by mail and on the phone. All Canadians, wherever they are located and whatever their interest in the LAC Collection, will have the opportunity to provide their views on how LAC can best deliver the service portion of its mandate.
Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, said today, "Over the past thirty years, the environment in which LAC provides public services has changed considerably, both as a result of the technology and information revolutions, and also because of the sharp increase in interest in the history of Canada and in its social, cultural and political development. Our increasingly diverse client base includes, among others, high school students, genealogists, academia, the artistic community, and people who have a new, more general interest in the LAC Collection. As a result, the scope and complexity of the needs of LAC's users have increased. Not surprisingly, demand for access to the LAC Collection has risen and the nature of these services is changing.
Serving the changing needs of our users means balancing many differing demands. We recognize that it is important to listen carefully to our clients. The new consultation process announced today is a demonstration of our commitment to do so."
The announcement should be welcome news for all LAC users: genealogists, historians, and researchers of all kinds who use LAC facilities, whether physically in the National Capital Region, at regional outlets, through inter-institutional loan or online.