29 November 2009

LAC Services Advisory Board 27 November meeting highlights

The current embargo on acquisition purchases will end on 31 January.

As part of its modernization agenda, www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/modernization/index-e.html, LAC has eight pathfinder projects underway to "show the demonstrability of their Framework model." Short papers on four of these should be released within the next week:

  • development of an integrated collection development/management plan for military acquisitions
  • long-term loans: a citizen focused collaborative approach
  • rethinking the stewardship of newspapers in the digital age
  • exposing union catalog metadata via third parties.
Additional papers to be released before the end of December are:
  • development of an integrated collection development/management plan for aboriginal information resources
  • acquisition priorities: private archives
  • LAC trusted digital repository: preserving the digital memory of Canada through collaboration and stakeholder engagement
  • repurpose user-generated metadata.
It remains unclear how LAC will be conducting anything but passive (put the paper out on the website and invite comment) consultation on its modernization initiatives.

In response to a question we learnt that LAC did not receive any satisfactory responses to its announcement of opportunity earlier in the year for digitization partnerships for a long list of documentary resources. It appears that the collaborative arrangement with Ancestry.com is the only such agreement with a commercial organization.

An agreement was recently signed with FamilySearch for indexing the 1825, 1831 and 1842 censuses; and the remaining passenger lists for all Canadian polls, except Québec city which is already online, from 1900 to 1922.

LAC remains open to and seeks further arrangements on mutually beneficial terms.

Following a series of short updates on service improvements, which suggested a growing sensitivity to client needs in the past coupled years, there was a presentation on the just released microform digitization pilot, www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/microform-digitization/index-e.html. Reaction was generally favourable. The few who had had an opportunity to try it recommended additional indexing to make it easier to find a section within the film. One suggestion was to allow clients to perform this as a social project.

A list of work in progress shows the prospect of release of indexes and digital images for the 1861, 1871 and 1916 censuses.

The meeting ended with thanks to those who had served on the SAB since its inception and have reached the end of their terms. In the context of the modernization review it is unclear what the future of the Board will be.

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