Friday, 25 September 2009

Changes to service at TNA

The UK National Archives have announced their decisions regarding changes in services in order to meet budget requirements. In brief:

  • Moving to a five-day week (Tuesday to Saturday), from 4 January 2010, with an extension of opening hours and document ordering times for the remainder of the week
  • Charging for use of the public car park, with an annual season ticket available for frequent users (based on vehicle emissions, in keeping with government guidelines)
  • Changes to copying and microform services, with the aim of simplifying the process for users
TNA conducted consultations, both face-to-face and online, regarding their proposals. that's a big improvement over the unilateral decisions made, and subsequently modified, by Library and Archives Canada during the last set of cuts.

Although the main thrust of their proposals is unchanged in implementation there does appear to have been a bit of tweaking around the edges in response to the consultation comments

Read the TNA release here, and additional information from Chris Paton here.

For those of us who only visit TNA infrequently the impact may be minimal, as long as we remember not to try and visit on a Monday. However, the building was already quite crowded during my last visit, and it could become a zoo when six days worth of visitors are shoehorned into five.

On the positive side there could be benefits for online users if more effort is directed to enhancing web services.

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