Friday, 1 April 2016

LAC 3 Year Plan, what will it do for client frustration?

Just in time for the start of the new Government of Canada fiscal year, Library and Archives Canada has released its 2016–2019 Three-Year Plan (pdf).
The first six pages give the rationale, the remaining six the commitments and expected results.
They are given under the headings:
Dedicated to serving all our clients
Improved access
Effective tools
At the leading edge of archival and library science and new technologies
Enhanced skills and expertise
State-of-the-art infrastructure
Proactively engaged in national and international networks
Innovative partnerships
Active collaboration
Greater public visibility
Showcasing the collection

Having just reviewed some of the digitized material from LAC, page images made available through, I'm concerned that the LAC's Improve Access commitment to "digitize 40 million pages in three years".

Will it result in the same practically useless product we see for the Upper Canada Sundries collection? While there are 94 reels of digital microfilm made available online with nothing to help you hone in on the one image in the collection you're looking for. You swap the previous frustration you couldn't get access to the microfilm for the frustration that you can't find what you're looking for.

On the positive side, there are commitments to agreements with new partners, allowing the public to help enhance information related to two collections per year and, to leverage support from national and international partners. These are issues that have been dealt with elsewhere such as with TROVE at the National Library of Australia. LAC appears to have an open approach. The proof of the pudding . . .

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