Thursday, 20 August 2009

Friends may not be forever

The Friends of the Archives of Ontario (FAO) wound itself up as an organization at the end of 2008. They were unable to find volunteers to fill key board positions, a challenge many such organizations face. FAO lasted just 10 years. A summary of the highlights of its history is given in this news item on their website.

It's ironic that just as the Archives of Ontario was getting ready to move into a brand-new building on the campus of York University its friend's organization was forced to disband. The move away from downtown Toronto alienated a large number of people. The reduction in hours at the new location has led many to seriously question whether the leadership of the Archives of Ontario is interested in service. Friends will only be there for the organization if the organization is there for its friends and clients. That's a lesson for all organizations that look for support from their client base.

A final meeting of FAO’s Board in January decided to distribute the organization's remaining funds to the Ontario Genealogical Society which would oversee the awarding of grants for indexing projects that would then bear and perpetuate the FAO name. OGS has yet to make an announcement about the future disbursement of the funds.

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