Library and Archives Canada is cutting a program dedicated to helping local archives develop and preserve their collections. As of February, the national archive will no longer be part of Canada's countrywide inter-library loan system. These cuts to Canada's national memory-keeping institution passed last week in the government's omnibus budget bill.
The deputy head of Library and Archives, Daniel Caron, says he's doing his best to keep his department "relevant to a new generation of Canadians," but some archivists fear the cuts will build a wall around the archive's information.
Caron claims that Library and Archives Canada's in-person visits to the marble-floored building are down to 2,000 a month, whereas online visits to the Library and Archives web-site are at an all-time high. Caron uses this excuse as the reason for slashing the budget. What he neglects to mention is that less than five percent of the documents are available online, the other ninety-five percent are only available on paper. However, the new budget makes no provision for adding the "missing" ninety-five percent of the documents to the Library and Archives Canada web site.
In order to speed up the process of putting the national archives collection of maps, books, audio recordings, portraits, videos and every publication ever printed in Canada online, Caron says his department is already exploring the option of using private contractors to "digitize on our behalf." In other words, there is no plan. They are "exploring" but don't yet have a clue how they will proceed. The financial cutbacks will take place now with no money earmarked for possible future digitization efforts.
You can read more in an article by Teresa Smith at http://goo.gl/G6BLl.
If you enjoyed this article, please share it with others. Tweet it, share it on Google+, Facebook or on your preferred social network.
Republishing of this article in newsletters, blogs, and elsewhere is allowed and encouraged, with a few minor restrictions. Details may be found at http://goo.gl/hoHH1.
Of course, if you haven’t done so already, you should join my email newsletter mailing list to stay current on my latest articles and announcements. You can also cancel at any time within seconds.
You also might like to leave a comment below.