29 July 2009

Service reduction at LAC

A notice is posted at Library and Archives Canada stating that from next week the expected delivery time for published materials will be 60 to 90 minutes, rather than the 30 to 60 minutes which is the present service standard. I am informed by a staff member that this change, say reduction, in service is due to a decision that will make materials less readily available than they were. It will likely be permanent. Maybe one day LAC will let us know why they made that decision!

If you're coming to LAC from outside Ottawa and area make sure to order published materials in advance. My recent experience is you won't find everything you order waiting when you get there, screw-ups and material out on inter-library loan, so manage your expectations.

Better yet, avoid the trip (and trap) altogether. Use inter-library loan yourself. Have the material sent to your home institution. Unfortunately that doesn't work for rare and reference material.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Harold Bérubé harold.berube [at]GMAIL.COM
Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 11:20:43 AM
Subject: Archives of Ontario reduction in hours

From: Dan Malleck dmalleck [at] brocku.ca

Dear colleagues,
I don't know if this has been discussed on the list yet, so forgive me if
I'm repeating what someone else has said.

As many of you may know, the Archives of Ontario recently moved from its
location downtown Toronto, to purpose-built facilities at York University.

At the same time, the archives has significantly reduced its hours of
access. Prior to the move, retrieval service and staff were available
Monday to Friday, 8:15am-5:00pm, but the archives reading room was open
until 10pm Mon-Fri, and 10am-8pm on Saturday. This was good, allowing those
of us from outside the GTA to maximize our time at the archives (I have
spent many a productive 12 hour day in the reading room). It also allows
those who work outside of the centre of the university the opportunity to
come in on Saturdays. Moreover, the only staff on site at the time was a
security officer/concierge, so the staffing costs were minimal at that time.

Now, of course, none of this is possible. Anyone not located near enough to
the Archives to merit a weekday, "business hours" visit, is out of luck.

This reminds me, on a smaller scale, of the same sorts of restrictions made
on hours at the National Archives and Library in Ottawa, which were resisted
by historians and others. Policies changed.

Is there any move to challenge this decision?

Dan Malleck
Associate Professor
Brock University.