Sunday, 4 November 2012

LAC's secret

To what lengths will LAC go to keep things a secret?

On Monday afternoon and Tuesday in Ottawa LAC is convening a meeting (Forum) of its Pan-Canadian Documentary Heritage Network (PCDHN) at the Delta Ottawa City Centre in Ottawa. If the material on the LAC website is up to date the last meeting was a year ago.

There has been no public announcement of the meeting; nothing on the web site. What's it about?
"The principal objectives of the 2012 Forum are to share information and strengthen connections within Canada’s well-established library, archival and historical research communities. By having key representatives from Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial library and archival communities as well as national and other associations, we will ensure a productive dialogue."
According to the proposed agenda the sessions starting at 1pm on Monday, following a brief introduction by Daniel Caron, have Cecilia Muir, Chief Operating Officer at LAC reporting on the four network initiatives: analogue preservation; digital preservation; new approaches to description and; acquisition marketplace. After a break there will be presentations and a discussion on copyright. On Tuesday morning there's a session Perspective: Appraisal and Acquisition at Library and Archives Canada with Lucie Séguin, Director General, StrategicResearch and Policy at LAC and Chantal Marin-Comeau, Director General,Documentary Heritage Relevance Assessment at LAC. Following on are Two stakeholder perspectives on Acquisitions and Holdings Managementgiven by Normand Charbonneau, Curator and Executive Director, Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec and Chantal Marin-Comeau. Then a discussion on Perspective: Partnering, Sponsorship and Fundraising lead by Edward Atkinson, Territorial Archivist, Government of Nunavut and, Debbie Brisebois, Executive Director, Inuit Broadcasting Corporation.

Tuesday afternoon's session has the general theme Innovation in Service. Perspective: Markham Public Library is a Q&A session with Mohammed Hosseini-Ara, Director, Service Excellence at the Markham Public Library; Perspective: Renewed approach to services at Library and Archives Canada is being presented by Fabien Lengellé, Director General, Content Access at LAC; Plenary: Evolution of the Pan-Canadian Documentary Heritage Network will be lead by Hervé Déry, Assistant Deputy Minister and Corporate Secretary at LAC and; a final session on Next steps and closing remarks will include Daniel Caron.

The Canadian Association of Archivists withdrew from participation in the PCDHN as of last May as it failed to provide "meaningful dialogue with you about the LAC’s intentions and plans to support the Canadian archival community." Others are disillusioned. What substantive change has LAC ever made in its plans as a result of deliberations at such a forum?

Family historians constitute LAC's largest user group yet there is no organization representative in the network. Neither is there any other forum in which these LAC clients can exchange views. Although most family historians would not care to participate in PCDHN their organizations, like OGS, do have a stake in some of the issues discussed.


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