Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The fight to save Canada's Archives

On May 28th librarians & archivists made their way to Ottawa to participate in the Archivists’ On to Ottawa Trek to protest funding cuts to Canada's libraries & archives.

On May 31st attendees of the Canadian Library Association Conference are being asked to show their support by wearing a white shirt and/or black ribbon.

But it doesn't stop there. YOUR help is needed. Why?

If you are a genealogist, regardless of where in the world you live, these funding cuts will affect your ability to search for Canadian relations.

- Digitization has been cut by 50%. The past few decades LAC has brought us thousands of digital records all freely accessible from their website. With digitization cut in half we'll see a significant drop in the records being brought online. Many genealogists are anticipating the release of the 1921 census next year, with these cuts will it be made available?

- Staff cuts. When you write to a library or archive who answers your inquiry? When you visit who helps you locate the records you seek? With 450 LAC staff on notice (215 whose jobs will be eliminated) who will be able to help you?

- Preservation. 30% of the staff charged with preserving non-governmental records have been eliminated. Many records will be destroyed because there is no funding to preserve or store them. Is the elusive piece to your genealogy puzzle among them?

- Inter-library loan. Starting in 2013 it will no longer be possible to request microfilm, books or other materials from other libraries. If your local library or archive doesn't have what you need, you're out of luck!

- Library closures. With lack of stuff, funding and programming support many libraries will either have to cut services significantly or close. Among those affected are Transport Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Parks Canada, Citizenship & Immigration Canada... and many many more.

These cuts are not isolated to the services provided by Library & Archives Canada. They are not isolated to the staff losing their jobs. These cuts affect everyone who uses or benefits from our archive & library services.

How you can help
  •    Visit the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) website Save Library & Archives Canada and get involved. (Even if you live outside Canada!)
  •   Sign a Petition
  •    If you live in Canada write to your local member of parliament

  • Need more info?
  •    Save Library & Archives Canada
  •    Canadian Association of University Teachers
  •    Open letter to James Moore about NADP and CCA
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