Monday, 7 January 2008

LAC hours of operation

Library and Archives Canada held the first meeting of its Services Advisory Board (SAB) on Nov 30th. After the meeting LAC summarized the Board's concerns:

1. [Full Service Hours] Current staffed hours of service are inadequate. The SAB would like to see an increase in the number of service hours per day, and how these increased hours would be allocated at the points of service.
2. [Consultation Room Hours] Increase the range of activities in the 3rd floor consultation rooms outside regular hours (self-serve photocopying, etc.).
3. [Reference Room Hours] Improve access to research tools located on the 2nd floor.
4. [Service Quality] Improve service quality by reviewing the organization of work and internal procedures.

Coming Soon
Before the end of the fiscal year, March 31, LAC have undertaken to proceed with the following:
- improvements to registration processes and creation of new user orientation tools;
- upgrades to technology used in LAC 3rd floor consultation rooms (e.g. reader-printers, etc.);
- installation of a security station on the 2nd floor at 395 Wellington (to enable access to research tools outside regular hours).

Coming in 2008-2009
An additional $500K per year has been allocated to LAC Services for next fiscal year. SAB members have been asked by Board Chair, and LAC Assistant Deputy Minister, Doug Rimmer to provide input on some details on the improvements that should be offerred. Board member comments to him are due by January 18.

Please take this as an invitation to provide your input by sending a comment to this blog, or to pastpresident (at) bifhsgo.ca . The service others ask for may or may not meet your needs so this is an opportunity to have your say. I especially welcome comments from the genealogy community.

A] Full Service Hours
LAC proposes to add one hour of staffed services (moving from 6 hours to 7 hours each weekday) for the following: registration and orientation, reference rooms, Canadian Genealogy Centre, consultation rooms, telephone services at a cost of $317K over the year, or $1.2K per full service hour.

Advice is sought on the following options:
i) 8:30 - 15:30 (LAC preferred)
ii) 9:00 - 16:00
iii) 10:00 - 17:00
iv) Some other variation, perhaps not evenly spread though the week.

B] Enhanced Consultation Room Hours
These 3rd floor services enable users to obtain documents ordered in advance (circulation), and maximize the use of new technologies (digital photography and self-serve copying, etc.). LAC is proposing to extend these beyond the hours for which full consultation service is provided. Retrieval of newly ordered documents will not be available. The cost is $0.07K per hour.

Advice is sought on the following options:
i) Provide an additional 4 hours, 2 evenings a week, e.g., Tuesday-Thursday or any other combination;
ii) Provide an additional 4 hours, 2 evenings a week, e.g., Tuesday-Thursday or any other combination, and add 4 hours on Saturday;
iii) Provide an additional 4 hours, 5 evenings a week;
iv) 4 hours on Saturday, 10:00 to 14:00, 4 hours on Sunday, 10:00 to 14:00;
v) Some other variation.

C] Enhanced Reference Room Hours
LAC is proposing that research tools, such as finding aids and city directories, and more computer terminals in 2nd floor reference rooms will be made more available to users by adding security staff, in combination with increased automation and digitization of research tools so that they can be put online. This would not add to the availability of microform reader-printers, self-service copying, etc. The cost is $0.02K/hr.

Advice is sought on the following options:

i) Open at 8am, with security staff only
ii) Add 4 hours after closing on weekdays, with security staff only
iii) Add 4 hours on Saturday, from 10:00 to 14:00; add 4 hours on Sunday, from 10:00 to 14:00
with security staff only
iv) From 8:00 to 23:00, with security staff, outside of regular hours on evenings and weekends
v) Some other variation.

I have already received comments from members of the genealogy community on these proposals, and have my own views, but will defer posting these.

1 comment:

Peter said...

I have no problems with the old hours, (which I would like to see reinstated) though I would like to see them extended later into the evening. I would not use weekend hours, but I can see their advantage for locals or visitors who want to do as much as possible in a short time. Queen's University manages to keep its library open 24 hours some times of the year ...