02 December 2009

Four LAC pathfinder projects

LAC has placed online the text of four discussion papers regarding pathfinder projects "that seek, through practical projects, to validate the four guiding principles and the key roles of the Documentary Heritage Management Framework developed by Library and Archives Canada (LAC) during summer and fall 2009."

They are:

According to the web site, at www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/modernization/012004-2050-e.html
"each pathfinder project will result in a final report, which will add overall conclusions about the implementation of the Documentary Heritage Management Framework and the Acquisition Orientation Instrument. Based on observations, the final report will be even more effective in contributing to the achievement of LAC's mandate, within the current operating environment."

Consultation is promised. but without detail.

I quickly looked at the paper on newspapers. The proposal on resource discovery is "To maximize access to current and historical Canadian newspaper content for the current and future benefit of Canadians." The proposal strategic direction for response is "seek to increase the body of retrospective Canadian newspapers online through collaborative arrangements."

While peer institutions in other countries are moving ahead with actual digitization of extended runs of historical newspapers this LAC proposal is conditional on finding "collaborative arrangements." That's not good enough. LAC must find the fortitude to take a stand, decide it should be done, then look at how to do so rather than resort to the spineless conditional approach of this draft.

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