Friday, 13 November 2009

Modernization @LAC

LAC have placed on their web site a major announcement about modernization, see

"Library and Archives Canada is mandated to preserve and make available the documentary heritage of Canada, and to serve as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada. However, the overwhelming growth in the production of digital material, which has created an overabundance of information in a variety of formats, as well as changing user behaviors and expectations about information, have created considerable challenges for all documentary memory institutions. There is a growing awareness that there is too much content for one institution to address alone, and that collaboration among memory institutions is essential.

In order to respond to these challenges, as well as the reality of the hybrid digital/analog landscape, LAC is developing a new framework based on three pillars of documentary heritage: acquisition, preservation and resource discovery. The framework will be based on four guiding principles designed to assess the value of acquisitions: Significance, Sufficiency and Sustainability and Society. Consultations on the framework and other new approaches are currently underway, setting the stage for ongoing collaboration among actors who share similar goals."

LAC's consultation plans are unclear. "LAC is presently organizing a series of consultation sessions with key stakeholders and other interested parties." "More information on the consultations process is forthcoming."

Given the large number of users who only obtain LAC services through their web site, and its commitment to "open discussions and transparency", LAC has an obligation to ensure these clients have as equitable an opportunity to be consulted, and take part in interactive discussion, as do those of us fortunate enough to visit the building at 395 Wellington.

Two of four supporting documents for the consultation are currently on the web site, Documentary Heritage Management Framework, and Acquisition. It would be desirable if these could be made available in a printer-friendly format.

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