17 August 2012

What's wrong at LAC?

While coverage of the deterioration of service at Library and Archives Canada has decreased over the summer the concern continues.
The Bibliographical Society of Canada has posted a thoughtful letter directed to Members of Parliament recommending that members ensure changes at LAC do not transgress Parliament’s obligations under the Library and Archives Canada Act.

Some of the points made are:

  • LAC has yet to submit its budget to the Parliamentary Budget Officer despite a request that it do so
  • abolition of interlibrary loan service
  • lack of specialist/dedicated archivists
  • promised new model service delivery ignores copyright limitations; How will LAC/BAC be able to deliver a printed work in digital form if that work’s still under copyright?
  • people untrained in archival or library practices do the major and fundamental work of writing official descriptions
  • New Book Service on LAC’s website not being updated
  • Amicus, the national library catalogue, not being properly maintained
  • Cutting entirely the National Archival Development Program while downloading responsibilities to local and regional archives
Read the full letter at http://www.bsc-sbc.ca/en/letter.pdf


Kanata Barrie said...

The BSC letter is one of the best summaries of the current lamentable state of affairs at LAC. It covers all of the bases and should be a model for others writing to their MPs or to the Minister.

Sadly, the reaction to such letters will depend on how deeply entrenched the Conservative's deafness and unconcern for the country's cultural health and welfare actually is in individaul members. And that may depend on party stripe. I don't hold out much hope of changing the views of the Minister, or the head of LAC.

Kanata Barrie

Carolyn Lumsden said...

I agree with Kanata. What is happening at LAC is happening across the country to many of our institutions. As long as we have this government I believe it will continue, although no plan has been stated, several times the Prime Minister has refered to having a five year plan. Sure wish he'd share it with us. Can you envision LAC five years from now?