25 January 2012

Clarification on LAC service changes

Yesterday's posting, and the 62 responses to the poll question "Ending duty archivist service at the reference desk on the second floor at Library and Archives Canada will mean.." got some attention.  55 people felt it would mean  "a significant net service deterioration."

I received feedback from LAC clarifying the changes being implemented. 

From February 13, 2012 – end of March, 2012
• Basic orientation services will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday;
• Access to LAC experts will be available through a new reference by appointment service, provided between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Appointments will take place onsite or at a distance, using videoconferencing or telephone, depending on the preference of the client; and,
• As a transition, during this period walk-in reference services with LAC experts will be maintained from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday.

From April 2, 2012
• Basic orientation and genealogy services will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday;
• Access to experts, including for genealogy inquiries, will be through reference by appointment only, provided between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday; and,
• All reference services will be offered by appointment only.

This information came from Fabien Lengell√©, recently named as Director General
Services at LAC replacing Alison Bullock.

Basic orientation services appears to refer to the help of a clerk, not a professional archivist or librarian. 

I was also informed that genealogical services will not be moving from its present location on the 3rd floor as had been contemplated. Also there will be no reduction in space allocated for public access although a multi-year process to upgrade the sprinkler system in the building will mean temporary closures in some areas.

What do you think?  I'm told LAC do monitor these and, unlike the feedback you provide directly to LAC, it's open for all to read. Would you favour a feedback process to LAC which allowed for open interactive two way communication, perhaps a Facebook group. Please leave a comment.


turner said...

Sounds like complete CRAP to me. In the transition period, someone will be available for only 2 hours per day. Possibly clerical staff. After 2 April, no one at all.

If one has managed to find a vacant parking space of the precious few LAC now makes available to the public (in preference to their own staff), and has a question, it is almost incomprehensible that a service organization will make service available for only 2 hours per day. And, having spent the last 32 years working in service delivery organizations in the federal government, it is also almost incomprehensible to me that after the transition period no one will be available at all. And above all, it is highly unlikely, if you are in the building, and need advice, that an appointment will be available during the few hours one can leave one's vehicle in the lot.
And, given that most of the time I need advice I have a document with me that needs discussion, how is it possible that decent quality advice could be given when a telephone consultation is perferable, obviously, to LAC, when one cannot show the document in question? And an on-site consultation means waiting for some future date when one hopes one may also be available, and one also hopes that even paid parking may be available. HONESTLY!
Brenda Turner

Brian Glenn said...

Yes indeed, they do need a PhD in customer service on staff - maybe a couple.