Monday, 23 November 2009

LAC Services Advisory Board

The Library and Archives Canada Services Advisory Board meets in Gatineau on Friday, 27 November. None of the material for the meeting has (yet) been posted on the LAC website.

Substantive items on the agenda are:

Presentation on Partnerships and Consultations - Sean Berrigan, Senior Advisor to the Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Presentation on Modernization - Doug Rimmer, ADM, Documentary Heritage Sector

Presentation on Service Improvements - Robert Grandmaître, A/Director Client Services Division, Alison Bullock, A/DG, Services Branch, Marc Houle, Chief, Digitization and Public Access, Web Services.

A note on service improvements highlights includes the following:

Client Registration and Orientation:

Previously, clients could only pre-register online from home, now as they arrive on the main floor at 395 Wellington, they can register or renew their user card online at one of the two self-serve workstations.

Since July, information kiosks for clients are functional on the 2nd and 3rd floors at 395 Wellington. Announcements regarding services and general information on various activities are displayed and can be amended within a few minutes.

Access to Documents:

New User Agreement: In consultation with SAB Committee members, LAC successfully implemented the new agreement in September. It simplifies user registration by combining all information regarding the user card, the use of research facilities, handling and copying of documents.

In response to clients' feedback, LAC also took the opportunity to review its procedures, e.g. the use, with permission, of digital cameras during evening and weekend hours.

Acknowledgement of receipt for all online forms. Implementation of the acknowledgement of receipt for all inquiry forms was completed in September.

New retrieval forms:

Online Request
Following clients comments, an online form was created to allow users to order the material online prior to their visit. Clear instructions with relevant examples are given to facilitate the ordering.

Onsite Request
Information was added on the onsite form to allow staff to communicate with users in a timely manner when there is an issue with their request. Clear instructions with relevant examples on how to order archival material are included on the back of the form.

Client Support Agent
Pilot project was launched in June with two staff members, who were trained to quickly resolve issues with orders of documents for the 3rd floor consultation room.

Creation of specialized teams
Staff responsible for consultation of documents were assigned to specific service points; it insures better follow-up of requests and makes staff accountable for the work done at these service points including maintenance of equipment.

Database Updates and Web Launches:
Updates to database
Canadian Naturalization database (from 20,000 to 200,000 names)
Home Children (corrections to entries)
Canadian Expeditionary Force -CEF- (corrections to entries)
Killed in action -KIA- (corrections to entries)
Board of Guardians (addition of 2,000 digital images)
Passenger Lists (addition of 104,000 digital images)
Citizenship Montreal Circuit Court (addition of 40,000 digital images)
Ancestors Search. Migration to a new technological platform to allow the increase of the volume of data (Increase from 2 millions to now 12 millions new records) and improve the response time

Launch of virtual exhibits
Virtual School House website (August)
Canada: A literary tour virtual exhibit (September)
French-Canadian Newspapers: An Essential Historical Source (1808-1919) virtual exhibit (September)
Thematic Guide to Sources Relating to Grosse Île (October)

Work in Progress:
Thematic guides on how to search maps and Orders in Council
Plan to gradually replace some computers in public rooms
Facilitate research discovery, Fed Search results on item level record will be linked to a digitized image
Release of indexes and digital images for the 1861, 1871 and 1916 Census
Addition of three new pages related to Finnish, Ukrainian and German ethno-cultural groups on the Canadian Genealogy Centre Web pages, will supplement the existing 8 pages already online (Aboriginal Peoples, Acadians, Blacks, Chinese, Irish, Jewish, Métis and Polish

If you have any comments that might be helpful input to the Board discussion please reply by comment. If you don't want your comments posted on the blog please indicate.

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