Tuesday, 30 August 2011

LAC on advisory mechanisms

Library and Archives Canada has posted an item Services Advisory Board which suggests the approach it intends taking to identify and respond to client needs. Here is the text:

At the final meeting with members of the Services Advisory Board in 2010, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) committed to developing its advisory approach during 2011. The new approach will provide LAC with an ongoing capacity to address the diverse service needs of clients
In May 2011, LAC convened a Stakeholders Forum, comprised of approximately 40 individuals representing national library, archival and historical research communities and organizations. The wide-ranging discussions led to a consensus on the concept of a Pan-Canadian Documentary Heritage Network and supporting initiatives. These initiatives include collaborative approaches to acquisition, collection management, digital preservation, metadata, and discovery tools.
The Stakeholders Forum will meet twice a year as an umbrella consultative body for LAC issues. LAC will continue its role as a convener and as an enabler through this adaptable approach to shared decision making
As well as the Stakeholders Forum, LAC's Resource Discovery Sector will establish a systematic and broad-based advisory capacity that will consult with experts in the field, encourage client feedback on Sector operations, involve organizations with similar mandates, and engage LAC clients and the public at large. Specific activities will include the following:
  • Recurrent meetings with experts, individually and in small groups, to provide advice on key strategic issues over the next year. Cecilia Muir, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Resource Discovery Sector, has met with many organizations and individuals during 2011, including the Canadian Council of Archives, the Canadian Library Association, the Association of Canadian Archivists, and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council.
  • Efforts to reach beyond LAC's traditional stakeholder communities through ongoing survey and consultation initiatives. The Resource Discovery Sector is examining Web-based options for dialogue, such as wikis and blogs, as well as in-person options, such as survey panels.
  • An online, standardized feedback mechanism to enable clients to provide ongoing feedback about LAC services at www.LACListens.ca.
  • Active collaboration with individual experts as follow-up to the Stakeholders Forum to inform the modernization of LAC's access and discovery services.
As the public-facing area for services at LAC, the Resource Discovery Sector will look for creative ways to engage all of its stakeholders and client groups in this ongoing consultation process. The Resource Discovery Sector will evaluate this process by the first quarter of 2012, and at that time will communicate a new strategy for consultation reflecting what has been learned of shared priorities, insights and opportunities.
The emphasis in the text above is mine. 

The Stakeholder Forum is a mystery. The LAC website is silent. Who are the 40 members? What is the mandate: advisory, consultative, something else? How will the public be able to follow the work and deliberations of this body? 

LAC undertakes to develop 
a "systematic and broad-based advisory capacity" for its Resource Discovery Sector. This announcement is mostly about a process by which such a mechanism, or mechanisms, will be developed. In other words, more process.

1 comment:

Laura Kirbyson said...

How on earth are you finding this information? It's wonderful! I, along with a number of other research consultants I work with, have been trying to find a way to share our frustrations with LAC.
I shared your post regarding LAC's survey with them. It wasn't much of an opportunity, but at least the last option provided space for comments.
After reading the previous LAC post, I went to their web site and couldn't find anything that looked like a survey. I had to call to get the link.
Nice work!
Laura Kirbyson