Posted on May 12, 2012.
The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and other federal libraries and information services are facing severe cuts. Details from the Canadian Library Association (CLA) press release, 2 May 2012:
At Library and Archives Canada, 430 people have been given notices, with more than 200 jobs to be cut over the next three years, representing a reduction of 20% of their workforce. They have also had to cut their acquisitions budget, end their role in national inter-library loan activities, and cut the National Archival Development Program, which has provided funding to Canadian archival organizations to increase their capacity to preserve archival materials and make them available to Canadians. These cuts will negatively impact Library and Archives Canada’s ability to provide front-line services, resulting in reduced access to information for Canadians. …
CLA has also received reports that many libraries in federal government departments will be losing staff; some will be shuttering their libraries altogether. Not only does this result in less support for departmental staff and researchers to access relevant information; but as many of these libraries also provide direct services to the public, Canadians will be prevented from having access to that information. Affected departments identified so far include Agriculture Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Industry Canada, the National Capital Commission, National Defence, Public Works and Government Services, the Public Service Commission, and Transport Canada. Earlier this year, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada had already announced their intention to close that department’s library.
Canadian archivists plan to protest the cuts with an “On to Ottawa Trek” on 28 May 2012. For details, see: http://archiviststrek2012.tumblr.com/
Check the CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network blog for more information and news updates.
Canadian government librarians, please feel free to comment on this post with additional information.
Posted in Archives, Canada, Federal government, Information issues, Information policy, International, Legislatures, Libraries, Library management
Posted on June 3, 2011.
UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has awarded the National Archives of Australia (NAA) its 2011 UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize. The award recognizes NAA for its work in the preservation and accessibility of documentary heritage. In the 30 May 2011 press release announcing the award, UNESCO highlighted NAA efforts in several areas, including:
- Digital preservation
- Making available open source tools for digital preservation to the global preservation community
- Expertise in adapting the record-creating processes of government agencies to the needs of recordkeeping to ensure the lasting access to documents in the digital era
- Innovation in its collaborative work on the preservation of documents written in iron gall ink (an ink that includes iron salts, in use in Europe for many centuries)
Dr Stephen Ellis, NAA’s Acting Director-General explained, “the challenge of preserving records for the future is something we share with our counterparts all over the world. This prize recognises our ability to be innovative, our willingness to share the results of our research and our professional leadership.” (NAA press release, 31 May 2011)
Posted in Archives, Australia
Posted on June 1, 2011.
To all of you professors and instructors who post the reading lists for your courses on the Web, thank you. Those out of academia are busy with the day-to-day and the putting out of fires, but we also need to step back and school ourselves on professional topics in a broad way.
The nonprofit Rare Book School in Charlottesville, VA, has posted a reading list for its course on Born Digital Materials: Theory & Practice which may be of interest to archivists and librarians alike. Other course reading lists cover topics more narrowly related to the world of rare books, but it’s an example of institutions sharing their expertise with the profession.
Do others have great professional reading list sources to share?
Posted in Archives, Digital preservation
Posted on December 10, 2010.
The Libraries and Archives Canada (LAC) has released an outline of digital information goals for 2017, the country’s 150th anniversary year. Major goals in the 9 December 2010 news release, Library and Archives Canada Announces Suite of Digital Services for Canadians by 2017, include:
- “By 2011, Canadians will be able to access the entire contents of the National Union Catalogue, representing more than 30 million entries, using popular on-line search engines.”
- “Over the next year, LAC will double the volume of its on-line content, mounting millions of genealogy images on its website in partnership with Ancestry.ca.”
- “By 2014, LAC will only accept theses and dissertations from Canadian universities in electronic form, saving money in the operation of the program and offering more comprehensive access.”
- “By 2017, LAC will acquire and preserve all borne digital federal archival records electronically, making them easier to find and use.”
- “By 2017, LAC will preserve digital material through a trusted digital repository that meets international standards.”
The news release goes on to state that “LAC will introduce these and other changes gradually and at no additional cost by working collaboratively with other memory institutions, government departments, universities, researchers and the publishing community.”
Posted in Archives, Canada, Library management
Posted on October 27, 2010.
In a blog post, Open to Change, Archivist of the United States David Ferriero introduces the final report of the internal Task Force on Agency Transformation. A Charter for Change [PDF] makes recommendations for organizational and cultural change within the National Archives and Records Management Agency (NARA). It stresses the values of openness and customer service for both the agency in serving its external audiences and NARA’s internal organizations in serving NARA staff. The report also recommends that the agency “embrace the primacy of electronic information in all facets of our work and position NARA to lead accordingly.” In his blog post, Ferriero states that the task force will work with staff through November and December to “identify and implement specific action items and draft the remaining organization structure of the agency.”
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released two reports critical of NARA this month:
Posted in Archives
Posted on September 1, 2010.
Today the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) released their first report on the topic of Web 2.0 and social media. A NARA records management team talked with representatives from 25 federal agencies about their use of these tools; their findings are the basis for A Report on Federal Web 2.0 Use and Record Value [PDF]. The report provides a succinct and insightful analysis of federal agencies’ internal and external use of Web 2.0 tools, and it enumerates issues in need of attention. From the report:
The study identifies characteristics of the information that is found in web 2.0 formats and how those characteristics affect the value of the information. It also provides a basis for determining whether Federal records created using web 2.0 tools should be retained for a temporary period of time or are permanent and ultimately transferred to the National Archives.
This study does not describe or dictate how to schedule or manage web 2.0 records. It does not focus on specific technological issues, identify permanent web 2.0 records, or assess any specific NARA or agency policy or guidance. This study does note key management issues that participating agencies addressed through the course of the study.
Posted in Archives, Social media
Posted on March 15, 2010.
Sunday’s New York Times reported on Carl Malamud‘s International Amateur Scanning League in the article Duplicating Federal Videos for an Online Archive by Brian Stelter. From the article:
The league is a small demonstration that volunteers can sometimes achieve what bureaucracies can’t or won’t. The government’s 10-year broadband plan, to be submitted to Congress this week, will include a vision for Video.gov, a proposed home for video from federal agencies. The proposal is sure to be cheered by people who want the government to put more materials online. But Mr. Malamud and his volunteers are not waiting.
Previous DGI blog post: Digitization Volunteers: The International Amateur Scanning League
For more on the upcoming broadband plan mentioned in the article, see Broadband.gov.
Posted in Archives, Federal government