Tuesday, 19 December 2017

The Future for LAC?

"I also believe that the coming years will bring legislative changes that enable LAC to develop its own revenue streams.While maintaining quality services and offering them free of charge to our users, we could emulate many of our sister institutions—museums, and even national libraries and archives, such as the Biblioth√®que nationale de France, the Library of Congress and The National Archives in the UK—in developing complementary revenue sources, such as sponsorship and philanthropy."
This is an extract from a speech by Dr. Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada on 21 October, 2017 at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario.

While the whole speech is worth reading, and should be read for context of the initiatives already taken, the quote gives hope that LAC may aim to increase the resources available to it while fully respecting its public service mandate.

I hope LAC will look at opportunities beyond sponsorship and philanthropy. Canada's National museums and galleries, and those in the UK all generate revenue from special exhibitions, shops and restaurants that can contribute to enhanced public service -- except LAC.


David T said...

Agree completely. Done well, such ventures can not only contribute funds,but also raise awareness and numbers of visitors, enhancing the reputation of and public support for LAC.

Anonymous said...

I agree as well. Wouldn't some of the wonderful old maps at LAC for different areas of the country make terrific prints one could order online? Wouldn't census data of famous Canadians be wonderful if printed on place mats? On coffee cups? How about records of Canadian military plans and troop movements in WWI printed on cloth as tea towels such as I buy every year in the UK? How about historic donated photographs of oil portraits and pencil and water colour paintings reproduced of the Rideau Canal? One of my best ever gifts to a chum from Manitoba was the gift of a framed and mounted aerial view of the small town he was from, obtained from the aerial mapping people at Natural Resources Canada. Surely there should be a way to coordinate such production .....

As a government department LAC cannot do things such as sell to the public and it needs to be re-created as a government agency such as the National Gallery, which can do so. It would be terrific if its resources, which belong to all of us already, could be exploited for their historical interest and sheer beauty! Cheers, BT

Lynn said...

I agree! I attended the Open House at the LAC building in Gatineau this year. It is a treasure trove of Canadian artwork, historical photos, books, maps, recordings, etc. - all beautifully & carefully preserved in their vaults, VIRTUALLY UNSEEN! Let's open up the LAC Preservation Centre with the necessary oversight & security, like the National Gallery, the Museum of Canadian History & other national facilities, to allow Canadians to view & discover our shared heritage.