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CLA Call for Nominations: Councillors at Large (2015-2017)

Posted by Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2015-03-14

Are you interested in helping to shape the future of the Canadian Library Association (CLA)?

CLA is seeking nominations for two (2) positions on the Executive Council.

This Special Election is being held to fill two vacancies created by the resignation of two Councillors. Members have been appointed until June 2015, however, an election is required to fill those roles beyond that date.

The elected individuals will start their terms immediately following the Annual General Meeting (June 4, 2015) and will end their terms immediately following the AGM in in June 2017.

The nominees shall be Personal Members of the Association in good standing since December 31, 2014.

CLA is seeking candidates for the following positions:

  • Two (2) Councillors-at-large for a two year term (June 2015 – June 2017)

If you are interested in nominating a Personal Member to one of these positions, please submit the candidate’s name and a short statement to

If you are a Personal Member and wish to serve in one of these positions, please submit your name and a short statement to

Nominations must be received no later than Midnight (Eastern time) on Sunday, March 22, 2015.

Posted in Canadian Library Association, Elections | Leave a Comment »

CLA Statement on Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015

Posted by Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2015-03-13

The safety and security of Canadians is an important responsibility of the Government of Canada. Given the deplorable events in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu last October, the government’s desire to protect citizens more effectively is understandable. The Canadian Library Association (CLA), however, has serious concerns about Bill C-51 (the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015) in relation to the risks that it poses for the privacy of Canadians and for their freedom of expression, both of which are essential to a free and democratic society. We are especially concerned that this bill is proceeding through the parliamentary process much too quickly for it to be fully analyzed and debated in terms of its implications for these important Canadian values.

The CLA therefore urges the government, with respect to Bill C-51, to:

  • Incorporate considerably greater restrictions and independent oversight into the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act provisions.
  • Limit and clarify the kinds of expression that would be criminalized or restricted as “terrorist propaganda.”
  • Allow Parliament to fully examine and properly debate the bill’s provisions, giving as much time as needed for all appropriate consultation.
    Privacy and Bill C-51

Canadian libraries and library professionals, who have traditionally guarded the privacy and unfettered information access of their readers and researchers, are sensitive to the importance to Canadians of being able to learn, to communicate and to pursue personal interests and knowledge without surveillance by governments and corporations. We are concerned that the sharing of information about Canadians across many federal government entities, as allowed by Bill C-51, may be insufficiently limited and lacking in independent oversight. This may result in the private information of Canadians who are far from committing terrorist acts being shared across federal institutions for reasons that have nothing to do with preventing terrorist atrocities.

Specifically, Bill C-51 contains a new Security of Canada Information Sharing Act, which would allow 17 federal government departments and agencies to share any information about a person with each other in relation to an open-ended list of “activities that undermine the security of Canada”. Moreover, receivers of this information can pass it on “to any person, for any purpose.” We note that “terrorism” appears among the examples given of problematic activities, but that it remains undefined in the context of this Act. There is no independent oversight provision in this Act, such as review by a judge or an officer or committee of Parliament. We worry that, in spite of some very general principles according to which information is supposed to be shared, there is considerable risk both of private information being shared in relation to an excessively wide and subjective definition of terrorism.

The CLA asks that the government of Canada respect core principles of democracy by amending this part of Bill C-51 to include clearer limitations around such government information sharing and to incorporate independent oversight mechanisms to monitor the sharing of private information of Canadians under this law.

Freedom of Expression and Bill C-51

In addition to a concern for privacy, Canadian libraries and library professionals have a time-honoured professional duty to defend the freedom of expression of Canadians. While the CLA recognizes that this and other freedoms are constitutionally constrained, we are concerned that provisions in Bill C-51 around “terrorist propaganda” risk jeopardizing potentially legitimate expression, however unpopular or controversial it may be.

Specifically, Bill C-51 proposes a number of amendments and additions to the Criminal Code. The additions of particular interest to us are those around advocating or promoting the commission of “terrorism offences in general,” which becomes in itself an indictable offence with this bill. Specifically, a judge may warrant seizure of copies of printed material that is deemed “terrorist propaganda,” which is defined as “any writing, sign, visible representation or audio recording that advocates or promotes the commission of terrorism offences in general…or counsels the commission of a terrorism offence.” A judge may also warrant the removal of terrorist propaganda from a “computer system” and the provision of information to identify and locate the person who posted the material. We note that in both of these situations, there is the requirement of a judicial warrant and there is an appeal process. In addition to the Criminal Code amendments, terrorist propaganda is added to the list of materials in the Customs Tariff that already references obscene, hateful, treasonous or seditious materials, all of which can be confiscated by border officials. Although there are checks and balances in place via the judicial process, the potential for these investigations to proliferate based on loosely defined parameters is high, and puts an onerous burden on the accused.

We urge the government to considerably narrow and clarify the definition of the kinds of expression that would become illegal under this legislation.

Proper Parliamentary Analysis and Debate of Bill C-51

Bill C-51 was introduced in Parliament only on January 30, 2015, and passed at Second Reading already on February 23. While terrorism is a current concern for Canadians and frequently appears in newspaper headlines, there is no clear emergency requiring such rapid passage of this legislation.
Furthermore, when very strong cautions about this bill are delivered in an open letter by more than a hundred law professors from across the country, and in another by four former Prime Ministers and a range of former Supreme Court justices, cabinet ministers and officers of Parliament, and when the current federal Privacy Commissioner expresses grave concerns, Canadians rightly expect the government to allow Parliament to fully examine and properly debate this bill that has so many implications for the privacy of Canadians and their freedom of expression – whether or not it can be passed before Parliament’s summer recess.

The CLA urges Parliament to insist on extensive consultations and hearings on Bill C-51 to ensure that all relevant knowledge, opinions, and perspectives can be heard and considered. As well, we urge the government, based on such testimony, to amend Bill C-51 if the evidence suggests that the bill in its present form is not in the best interest of both public safety and the democratic freedoms cherished by Canadians.

Posted in Advocacy, Canadian Library Association | 2 Comments »

Normand Charbonneau Appointed Chief Operating Officer of Library and Archives Canada

Posted by Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2015-03-11

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Normand Charbonneau to the position of Chief Operating Officer, effective April 20, 2015.

Mr. Charbonneau has worked in the library and information field for 30 years. He acquired extensive experience working for the Archives nationales du Québec, and then the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. He has held several management positions there, including the position of Curator and Executive Director, Archives, since 2012. Mr. Charbonneau is well-known, and respected within the documentary heritage community.

Join us in welcoming Mr. Charbonneau in his new role at LAC.

Posted in Library and Archives Canada, People | Leave a Comment »

10 Tips To Master The Phone Interview [infographic]

Posted by Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2015-03-09


Posted in Careers, Infographics | 1 Comment »

News Release: New Open Access Policy for Research

Posted by Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2015-03-01

Canadians will have free online access to research funded by NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR

February 27, 2015– Toronto

Making research results as widely available and accessible as possible is an essential part of advancing knowledge and maximizing the impact of publicly-funded research for Canadians. Increased access to the results of publicly-funded research can spur scientific discovery, enable better international collaboration and coordination of research, enhance the engagement of society and support the economy.

The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today unveiled  the new policy as part of a wide-ranging speech on the government’s updated Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy in a speech to the Economic Club in Toronto. The harmonized Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications requires all peer-reviewed journal publications funded by one of the three federal granting agencies to be freely available online within 12 months. Canada’s three federal granting agencies are: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The policy will require NSERC and SSHRC funded researchers to comply with the policy for all grants awarded May 1, 2015 and onward. The policy will not change current compliance requirements for CIHR funded researchers since a similar policy with the same requirements has been in effect since 2008.

In developing this policy, the three agencies held an online consultation, receiving feedback from over 200 individuals and groups from the research community, institutional libraries, scholarly associations, non-governmental organizations, publishers, and journals. The granting agencies will continue to work closely with stakeholders to support and facilitate the transition towards greater open access.

Quick Facts

  • Open access is the practice of providing free and unrestricted online access to research publications.
  • In keeping with the global movement towards open access, the harmonized policy requires that researchers receiving grants from CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC  make their resulting peer-reviewed journal articles freely available online within 12 months of publication.
  • Researchers can comply with the open access policy in two ways: ‘self-archiving’ by depositing their peer-reviewed manuscript to an online repository that will make the manuscript freely accessible within 12 months of publication; or submitting their manuscript to a journal that offers open access within 12 months of publication.
  • CIHR-funded researchers are also required to deposit bioinformatics, atomic, and molecular coordinate data into the appropriate public database immediately upon publication of research results. They must also retain original data sets for a minimum of five years (or longer if other policies apply).
  • Since 2008, SSHRC has invited applications for financial support from open access journals through its Aid to Scholarly Journals funding opportunity. In the 2014 competition, nearly 65% of applicants had an open-access or delayed open-access business model, up from just over 50% in the previous competition.
  • The Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications aligns with the objectives of Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government and is a commitment under the updated Science, Technology, and Innovation Strategy.


“Our government’s updated Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy demonstrates how we have made the record investments necessary to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians. Building on that record, today’s forward-looking announcement will provide Canadians with free, online access to federally funded research; providing researchers, entrepreneurs, and the wider Canadian public with an increased opportunity to build upon this research in innovative ways that can create social or economic benefits for Canadians.”

The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

“The new Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications is a step in the right direction for our research community and Canadians. Open access is good practice and will reinvigorate dialog in scientific publication. This enhanced dissemination of ideas will, maximize the impact of research, and result in knowledge mobilizaton for economic and societal benefit.”

– B. Mario Pinto, President, NSERC

“I am pleased to see the CIHR Open Access Policy on publications harmonized across the three granting agencies. Joining forces to encourage greater access to results from various research fields will help stimulate collaboration, fuel innovation and speed discoveries. This will ensure the work of Canada’s researchers achieve the greatest impact possible.”

– Alain Beaudet, President, CIHR

“With this new Open Access policy, the Tri-Agencies are adopting a single, harmonized approach to promoting Canadian research to the world. The policy both reflects and facilitates new forms of collaboration that are a hallmark of scholarship in the social sciences and humanities. It represents a true step forward for the research community.”

–Ted Hewitt, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, SSHRC       

Additional links

Tri-Council Open Access Policy on Publications

Frequently Asked Questions

Toolbox for researchers

Science,Technology and Innovation Strategy

Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government

Posted in Open government, Research | 1 Comment »

2015-16 Main Estimates Tabled: Library and Archives Canada

Posted by Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2015-02-24

Today, the Government of Canada tabled the 2015–16 Main Estimates in the House of Commons.

  • The Main Estimates reflect the Government’s resource allocation priorities for the fiscal year. The voted amounts represent maximum “up to” ceilings or estimates and may not be fully spent during the course of the year. Actual expenditures are found in the Public Accounts.
  • These estimates, combined with the Reports on Plans and Priorities, Public Accounts, and Departmental Performance Reports, help inform Parliament and hold the Government to account for allocating and managing public funds.

Library and Archives of Canada

Raison d’être

The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages is responsible for Library and Archives of Canada. The mandate of Library and Archives of Canada under the Library and Archives of Canada Act is to:

  • Preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations;
  • Serve as a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, contributing to the cultural, social, and economic advancement of Canada as a free and democratic society;
  • Facilitate cooperation among Canadian communities involved in the acquisition, preservation, and diffusion of knowledge; and
  • Serve as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.

Organizational Estimates

Table 168. Organizational Estimates (dollars) – Library and Archives of Canada

Main Estimates
Estimates To Date
Main Estimates
Program expenditures 89,849,885 86,431,409 87,431,410 83,183,100
Total voted 89,849,885 86,431,409 87,431,410 83,183,100
Total Statutory 10,953,807 9,433,379 9,433,379 9,828,389
Total budgetary 100,803,692 95,864,788 96,864,789 93,011,489


An overall decrease of $2.9 million between the 2014–15 and 2015–16 Main Estimates is mainly due to a decrease of $3.1 million for the conversion of a commercial building in Gatineau, Quebec, into a collection storage facility with a high-density shelving system.


Expenditures by Strategic Outcome and Program

Table 169. Expenditures by Strategic Outcome and Program – Budgetary – Library and Archives of Canada

Main Estimates
Main Estimates
Canada’s continuing memory is documented and accessible to current and future generations.
Access to documentary heritage 31,959,088 28,589,912 29,762,349
Stewardship of documentary heritage 18,019,293 23,377,784 16,742,862
Documentation of Canadian society 15,112,669 12,902,706 11,591,441
Current government information is managed to support government accountability.
Collaboration in the management of government records 8,506,781 7,595,563 6,212,732
Development of regulatory instruments and recordkeeping tools 2,694,577 3,471,762 2,753,175
The following program supports all strategic outcomes within this organization.
Internal Services 24,511,284 19,927,061 25,948,930
Total 100,803,692 95,864,788 93,011,489

Table 170. Listing of the 2015–16 Transfer Payments – Library and Archives of Canada

Main Estimates
Main Estimates
International Serials Data System 26,116 25,000 25,000
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions 10,650 11,000 11,000

Posted in Library and Archives Canada | Leave a Comment »

Canadian Library Association 2015 Awards – Call for Nominations

Posted by Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2015-02-23

The Canadian Library Association (CLA) Awards promote the recognition of excellence, outstanding service, innovation, and dedication to the Canadian library community and the values of the Canadian Library Association amongst CLA members. Please nominate a colleague(s) by 28 February 2015 unless otherwise noted.

Complete information on criteria and judging, prizes, nominations and applicable forms are available on the CLA website or on request from the CLA office at info@cla.cla.

Please nominate your choice(s) for following awards to be presented at the CLA National Conference and Trade Show, Ottawa, June 3-5, 2015:

Support of Core Principles:

  1. CLA Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award
  2. CLA/OCLC Award for Innovative Technology
  3. CLA/Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship

Recognition of Members:

  1. CLA Alan MacDonald Mentorship Award
  2. CLA Emerging Leader Award
  3. W. Kaye Lamb Award for Service to Seniors

Recognition of Research:

  1. CLA Robert H. Blackburn Distinguished Paper Award
  2. CLA Student Article Award (Deadline 31 March 2015)
  3. Angela Thacker Memorial Award


Posted in Awards | Leave a Comment »

Book Review – Persona Non Grata: The Death Of Free Speech In The Internet Age

Posted by Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2015-02-22

Persona non grata: the death of free speech in the internet age by Tom Flanagan. McClelland & Stewart: Toronto, ON, 2014.

Reviewed by Nancy E. Black.

Cover of Persona Non Grata: The Death Of Free Speech In The Internet Age

Persona non grata, from the Latin, diplomatic meaning: a person no longer welcome in a foreign country, a form of censure applied to diplomats; non-diplomatic meaning: a shunned person, loss of favour, unwelcomed, determined to be non-existent, usually as a consequence for actions deemed culturally, morally, or socially unacceptable.

Persona non grata, based on the personal experiences of Dr. Tom Flanagan – author, lecturer, University of Calgary Political Science professor (on academic leave), former CBC commentator, and former political advisor to Stephen Harper – is a provocative examination of the impact of social media on free speech. His discussion analyzes media, specifically social media and the negative impact on the freedom of speech, and in doing so, sets off alarm bells that should not be ignored.

Flanagan opens by stating that he is already well-known within the academic and First Nations communities for his controversial opinions about Louis Riel and the North-West Rebellion and then recounts the events leading to the Incident.  In November of 2009, Flanagan gave a lecture on political campaign ethics for an academic audience in Winnipeg. He spoke without notes, however with his knowledge and permission a student reporter recorded the lecture. During that lecture, Flanagan discussed adversarial political and legal processes, and the value, for the purpose of procedure, of taking a particular position: “we expect lawyers to take positions in the interests of their clients, we don’t expect that these are the thing that the lawyer necessarily believes personally” (p.40).  To illustrate his point, he provided a concrete example: “….I can’t remember all the details, but the lawyer had defended somebody accused, I think, of child pornography and Mr. Day suggested the lawyer himself believed it was okay to have child pornography” (p. 41).  He notes, that had he stopped at that point, nothing further would have happened, but he “made a sidebar comment” and continued: “That actually would be another interesting debate for a seminar, like what’s wrong with child pornography, in the sense they’re just pictures?…..but I’m not here to debate that today and I don’t have exhibits here, I have to stick to the campaign process” (p. 41).  At the time, Flanagan gave this incident no further thought: “though I was often in the news, I never mentioned child pornography again because it wasn’t part of my research and I had no special interest in the subject” (p. 43).

“So that’s how it all started – a couple of sentences about child pornography in the midst of a seventy-five-minute session on campaign ethics. I didn’t state a position; I spontaneously asked a question as a way of punctuating a rather long train of thought. I raised a question about child pornography not because I had anything particular to say about that topic but because I had just been talking about Stockwell Day’s unfortunate experience, and one thing leads to another when you’re speaking extemporaneously……the two-word phrase just pictures was really the source of all the later trouble”, p.41-42.

In retrospect, however this set the stage for the Incident – it was how it all started.

In February 2013, Flanagan gave a presentation on the topic of “Is it time to reconsider the Indian Act?” at the University of Lethbridge for the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs (SACPA). The presentation was forty minutes in length, and as Flanagan notes, it was evident that some members of the audience were present to “denounce” him: “it was completely chaotic, and none of the event organizers were doing anything to restore order….I should have gotten out of there, but I persisted, making small points and corrections when there was a question I could understand and hoping that tempers would cool down” (p. 46). After two and a half hours, the presentation ended and he returned to his hotel “thinking it had been a brutal evening but that it had ended on an upbeat note…no one mentioned to me, the few seconds of dialogue that would dominate the news going forward” (p. 47). Flanagan notes that at some point in the evening, a person asked about the comment about child pornography made in 2009. He admits that had he been thinking politically, rather academically, he would not have “plunged in”, he recalled that he had said something at the previous event: “but on the spur of the moment I couldn’t remember exactly what I had said or what the context was” (p. 48). The response he gave at the 2013 event is found on page 48. Not being present for this event, this reviewer hesitates to venture an opinion on his response, which is likely given in its entirety, yet still must be considered within the context of the entire evening. It does seem apparent, however, that he was caught off guard by a question unrelated to the topic, and drawn from a previous event. As a consequence, based on the text provided, it appears that Flanagan’s response is awkwardly framed and open to inviting various interpretations and reactions. Unbeknownst to Flanagan, the question and the response were recorded, along with the comment: “Gotcha, Tom” (p. 49), which in Flanagan’s words, indicated entrapment.

By offering an opinion, Flanagan unwittingly opened Pandora’s box and set the stage for the Incident which would subsequently unleash a media maelstrom. In a matter of hours, this information and tagline: “Tom Flanagan okay with child pornography” (p. 49), was spreading on social media. The following day, he returned to Calgary, but before he even arrived, the damage had occurred: the University of Calgary, CBC, the Prime Minister’s Office, and various other associations and connections, had denounced and distanced themselves from him. Without benefit of the doubt, Flanagan was found guilty before proven innocent in the media and became persona non grata.

“The Incident also illustrates media trends that are driven more by technology, including the hyper-acceleration of the news cycle and the impact of social media. The extreme speed-up in reporting the news, combined with the replacement of professional standards by a mob mentality, threatens rational discussion on all fronts. You can’t have an intelligent conversation if there is no time for anything except demagogic slogans”, p.8-9.

After recounting the events, Flanagan defends the Incident by presenting reasoned arguments based on principles of academic freedom and teaching, and democracy. He explores the definition and legal parameters of child pornography and notes how misunderstandings and misinterpretations contributed to the reactive rather than reflective responses to his comments. Drawing on other examples (Niall Ferguson, Rob Ford), he discusses the problematic issues related to the right to privacy, political correctness, and condemns social media for creating and contributing to a mob mentality.

Although Flanagan provides a strong defense for his actions and outlines clearly how quickly things spun out of control with detrimental consequences to his reputation; it is unfortunate that at times, the tone shifts from defense to defensive. This work is likely to prompt a variety of responses from readers: indignation, empathy, anger, sympathy – either in support of Flanagan or in support of those who denounced him.

Flanagan’s points about the threat social media poses to freedom of speech are well presented and clearly argued, giving the reader broader perspective and certainly more context against which to assess Flanagan’s comments. However, with respect to the discussion devoted to child pornography, particularly as Flanagan notes this is not part of his research or a subject of special interest to him, the work would have been strengthened if additional references had been made to other academic works on the topic. Sumner’s The Hateful and the Obscene: Studies in the Limits of Free Expression, for example comes to mind for its very thorough and reasoned analysis. In spite of these minor drawbacks, Persona non Grata is an engaging read about an important topic.

Reading this book against the current political climate of the Conservative’s anti-terrorism Bill C-51 brings a different perspective to Flanagan’s discussion that cannot be ignored. Critics and opponents fear this Bill will limit free expression and also threaten privacy by giving broader powers to the RCMP, police, and CSIS to surveil social media and other aspects of the personal lives of citizens. News headlines reference these “sweeping powers” and note that many of us, depending on how the proposed language is interpreted, have already violated the Bill. This reviewer ponders if this review could come under the microscope for the opinions expressed and subject matter under discussion.

“…there are also impacts of social media that are more dubious….there is no editorial control….in my own Incident, social media became the trigger for a mainstream media massacre…it was the epitome of ‘gotcha’ journalism….”, p. 211.

It is ironic that social media, heralded as an effective means to succinctly communicate ideas quickly and broadly – a technological support to advancing free speech – can be completely unforgiving of spur of the moment, off the cuff comments. Instead of promoting academic discussion, social media is used as a tool to condemn ideas and encourage inaccurate conclusions.

What is alarming is the subsequent actions taken based on those conclusions will most likely cause irreparable harm to individuals and signal disaster for free speech. Just ask Tom Flanagan.

Nancy E. Black, PhD
Executive Director, Library Services, Nipissing University and Canadore College

Note: this review is the reviewer’s opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of Nipissing University and Canadore College

Posted in Book reviews | Leave a Comment »

uMontreal ÉBSI’s Maîtrise en sciences de l’information programme reaccredited by ALA until 2021

Posted by Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2015-02-21

Communiqué : Agrément de la maîtrise en sciences de l’information par l’ALA renouvelé jusqu’en 2021

Montréal, le 12 février 2015 – L’École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l’information (EBSI) de l’Université de Montréal est heureuse d’annoncer que l’agrément de son programme de maîtrise en sciences de l’information par l’American Library Association (ALA) a été renouvelé jusqu’en 2021.

L’American Library Association garantit de manière indépendante le respect de critères stricts afin d’assurer la qualité du diplôme. L’agrément peut être obtenu pour une période maximale de sept ans. Il ouvre aux diplômés de maîtrise en sciences de l’information le marché de l’emploi nord-américain.

L’Université de Montréal est le seul établissement entièrement francophone à atteindre les standards d’excellence de l’American Library Association. Seules huit universités au Canada et 58 en Amérique du Nord peuvent s’enorgueillir d’un tel agrément. L’EBSI a reçu son premier agrément en 1969 et celui-ci a été renouvelé sans interruption depuis cette date.

L’EBSI remercie chaleureusement les nombreuses personnes qui se sont impliquées, tout au long de l’année 2014, dans le processus de demande de renouvellement de son agrément.


Source :

514 343-6044

Posted in LIS Education | Leave a Comment »

Library and Archives Canada’s Response to the Royal Society of Canada Report on the State and Future of Libraries and Archives in Canada

Posted by Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2015-02-17

On November 13, 2014, the Royal Society of Canada published the report titled The Future Now: Canada’s Libraries, Archives, and Public Memory. That same day, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) stated in a news release that it welcomed the report with interest and that it intended to study the report’s recommendations with its partners.

On December 9 and 10, LAC’s Stakeholders Forum met for the first time, and one of the main items on the agenda was the analysis of the Royal Society’s report. At the end of this exercise, Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, wanted to share his organization’s response to the recommendations outlined in Section A of Chapter 2 of the report, which focuses exclusively on Library and Archives Canada. The stakeholders involved are responsible for addressing the report’s 64 other recommendations.

RECOMMENDATION 1: Library and Archives Canada (LAC) should develop a five-year strategic plan in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.

Government of Canada departments develop three-year business plans to communicate more directly with Canadians. As our current business plan is coming to an end, we will apply the recommendation of the Expert Panel, and we will consult with our clients and our stakeholders in designing our 2016–2019 Business Plan, taking their comments into account.

RECOMMENDATION 2: LAC should participate actively in Canada’s library and archival associations and, to this end, develop a regular schedule for working with these organizations.

LAC completely agrees with this recommendation. Since 2013–2014, we have been in regular contact with Canada’s library and archival associations. We have attended several of their board of directors meetings and have addressed important issues. We also participate in the strategic discussions that motivate these communities, including the work of the Canadian Archives System Working Group.

In 2014, we re-established a mechanism allowing us to maintain dialogue with stakeholders: the Stakeholders Forum. This Forum met last in December 2014, and will continue to meet three times annually. The Forum brings together library and archival associations and other partners for early discussion of LAC priorities and directions, and to systematically explore avenues of collaboration.

Moreover, LAC employees regularly attend library and archival association meetings as both presenters and participants. For example, we are currently working closely with the Canadian Library Association to prepare for its upcoming Ottawa conference this June.

RECOMMENDATION 3: LAC should address the problem of employee morale.

In 2013, the Government of Canada launched a government-wide renewal process based on a desire to create a world-class Public Service for Canada. All federal employees were invited to take part in this exercise and to consider how this vision could be realized within their department or work unit.

LAC established an employee-led working group to discuss the institution’s future, to plan new projects and, above all, to renew the sense of pride in our mandate. Discussions were held between management and employees to find ways to make LAC more effective, and a better place to work. We have also created mechanisms to enable senior management to solicit direct input from employees, an approach that has greatly improved relations at all levels of the institution.

Although the situation has improved a great deal recently, we believe that the quality of employee morale is a subject that must remain at the heart of our concerns.

RECOMMENDATION 4: LAC should focus its efforts toward harmonizing library and archival cultures.

We are proud to have successfully merged the National Library and National Archives of Canada into a single institution. We are confident that this union improves access to our collections and that the combined expertise of our library and archival employees means better services for Canadians.

Of course, the merger of two major institutions such as the National Library and National Archives introduced a number of challenges with regard to administration, management, processes and technology, as well as issues of organizational culture.

However, while the principles, practices and professional cultures of library and archival employees are different, they are also complementary. LAC will therefore continue to draw on the strengths of its two professional cultures and will respect their distinctiveness while striving to improve efficiency.

RECOMMENDATION 5: LAC should reassert Canada’s role in international library and archival communities.

By being part of international library and archival networks, LAC is in a better position to build on global best practices and to effectively fulfill its mandate, while promoting Canada’s expertise abroad. Using our available resources, we will therefore foster LAC’s visibility and maximize Canada’s presence in international networks, in compliance with Government of Canada policies.

LAC is an active member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the International Council on Archives, and it encourages its employees to become members of committees within these groups. Our institution also contributes to the work of La Francophonie bodies and to UNESCO initiatives. In addition, a LAC executive chairs the International Internet Preservation Consortium, and we are continually helping to develop international standards.

RECOMMENDATION 6: LAC should maintain an ongoing dialogue with Government of Canada decision makers to be fully able to carry out its mandate.

As an organization within the Canadian Heritage Portfolio, LAC maintains an ongoing dialogue with the Department of Canadian Heritage and with other federal departments (such as the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat) to ensure that it has the necessary flexibility to effectively carry out its mandate.

LAC also works with its Government of Canada partners to ensure that all Canadians have greater access to their documentary heritage. It plays a lead role in the Open Government initiative, which aims to facilitate access to government information. Lastly, LAC is working to renew all its policies to ensure that the government information entrusted to it is accessible as quickly as possible.

Posted in Library and Archives Canada, Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel | Leave a Comment »


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