Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Dr. Guy Berthiaume: What a difference a year makes

Today, June 23 2015, marks one year since Dr. Guy Berthiaume assumed the role of Librarian and Archivist of Canada. What's been achieved?

On arriving at LAC Berthiaume stated four commitments for LAC:

  • Be dedicated to serving its whole range of clients;
  • Be recognized as being on the leading edge of archival and library science and new technologies because of the quality of its staff;
  • Be proactively engaged with national and international networks, listening and showing respect, and;
  • Have greater public visibility.
I'm not in a position to appreciate everything that happening. In my view it's for the last of these that he deserves the greatest plaudits. The previous Librarian and Archivist was loath to appear in public, Guy Berthiaume is out and about telling the LAC story and responding to questions. There's a more relaxed attitude to other LAC staff speaking at public events. LAC more than ever puts its materials on exhibition in other venues, and has taken small steps to exhibit materials at 395 Wellington. That's good.

On the other three items my feeling is that progress has been made, and is reflected in higher morale at LAC. Some is detailed in this speech

But there's more to do, particularly more effort in making resources, and encouraging others to make their resources available across the country through digitization.

For an objective evaluation will LAC benchmark its performance against that of peer institutions internationally?

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