Friday, 13 July 2012

New at LAC

Library and Archives Canada have been placing online additional content almost every day. Most of it is relatively modest in scope, Flickr photographs, blog posts, and just this week a YouTube channel. On Thursday it was the announcement below:

A new gateway for finding out about Canada’s heritage will soon be opening up online: Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is developing a modernized website that will make it easier for you and Canadians everywhere to access its holdings. The new site includes a suite of helpful features and content, including drop-down menus, introductory and educational videos, a blog pilot project as well as quick links to LAC's social media platforms. The new site is one of the first federal sites to conform to the new Government of Canada design, with a set-up that already follows the new Treasury Board Secretariat Standard on Web Usability. It includes navigational aids that allow you to quickly browse what the site has to offer, and to complete the most popular online tasks. You will find it easier to discover the collection, do online research, get copies of materials and plan a visit to LAC, as well as access services designed for professionals, such as publishers, librarians and archivists. A short video also introduces you to the work LAC does, and a second video explains the basics of online research. As content from LAC’s existing website is steadily migrated to the new one, during this transition period both websites will remain online with uninterrupted user access to both. The site will be completed by summer 2013, when all of LAC’s existing Web content will have been transferred. Visit the new LAC site and find out for yourself what LAC is doing to make its information resources easy to find, increasingly available and accessible to all Canadians.

Interesting as this is it's largely window-dressing and exhibition type material not making much of a dent in the more than 95% of archival material at LAC not online. When will we hear detailed plans, and even better experience the product of some serious heavy lifting to make this material available across Canada on the web as LAC management professes is its intention?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I suspect the key sentence is this: "The new site is one of the first federal sites to conform to the new Government of Canada design, with a set-up that already follows the new Treasury Board Secretariat Standard on Web Usability." Caron is a savvy civil servant who carefully feeds the machinery of the bureaucracy. This announcement is all about having pull-down menus in the approved colours and formats and nothing to do with running an archive. It's essential work, to be sure, in any large organization, but hardly important enough to outsiders to warrant a breathless, self-congratulatory press release.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how difficult it will be to alter all the links in, say, Wikipedia to the part of the new LAC website they are intended to reach?

Having had to deal with this problem with Ontario Archives lately, I shudder.

Anonymous said...

Not announce a change in the layout and structure of the LAC website? I wonder who the loudest complainers would be if the new site appeared and no announcement had been made ahead of time. I can hear it now: "They need to consult and inform their clients!!!"