The Twain Shall Meet: 10 Years of Evolution and Innovation at Library and Archives Canada

BERTHIAUME, Guy (2015) The Twain Shall Meet: 10 Years of Evolution and Innovation at Library and Archives Canada. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2015 - Cape Town, South Africa in Session 200 - National Information and Library Policy SIG with National Libraries.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1196
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

The Twain Shall Meet: 10 Years of Evolution and Innovation at Library and Archives Canada

In 2004, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) became one of the first organizations in the world to integrate the services and functions of a national library and a national archives. The vision behind it was the creation of a new kind of knowledge organization, fully integrated, and able to respond to the information needs of the 21st century. LAC has been undergoing a steady redefinition ever since. From the initial stages of transformation (from 2002-2008), through a period focused internally on modernization and policy realignment (from 2009-2014), LAC has now emerged with a new focus, one which looks outward, with collaboration and access as the key drivers. The merger of the two organizations has presented unique opportunities and challenges; LAC has learned as much from the latter as it has the former. Charting unknown territory, LAC’s approach to its key activities has evolved over time, from acquiring and managing records, to providing services, to developing hybrid professionals. The challenge, ultimately has been to find solutions which strike the right balance – integrating resources and skills, while recognizing the distinct nature of the professions and our collections. Along the way, LAC has had the opportunity to test a number of innovative approaches: from providing unified services, both in person and online; to acquiring information resources in a world where the distinctions between published and unpublished becomes ever more blurred; to establishing a coherent digital infrastructure and policy approach that integrates LAC’s mandate to collect across three distinct areas (private, published and government).

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