Friday, 9 September 2011

Service further deteriorates: wait times double or triple at Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada quietly posted the following notice under What's New on September 8th.

Changes to Lending Services at 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa
The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) Lending Services Unit is making changes to its retrieval schedule for published heritage material located at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa.
As of September 19, 2011, the Lending Services Unit will reduce the number of retrieval runs for published material from eight runs per day to four. Accordingly, it will be necessary for on-site clients to wait an estimated two to three hours before receiving the published heritage material that they request.
Comment: The previous service standard was one hour retrieval. Taking 2-3 hours to retrieve material in the same building signals management's disinterest in providing good onsite service.

Former staff are dumbfounded at the deterioration in service being implemented under present LAC management. Reduced service standards like this are a particular burden on those from outside the National Capital Region, especially graduate students, with limited time and resources to do intensive research at 395 Wellington.

LAC clients should also be aware that available staff expertise is being eroded to the point that only three generalists are left to consult on the whole range of government records when the front line consultants knowledge is not adequate.

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