October 20, 2014

Two More Reports on Canadian Government Library Closings (Including List of Closed Libraries)

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Two reports including a list of Canadian government library closings since 2012.

Note: This Article Includes a List of Canadian Government Libraries Closed Since 2012

From Post Media News/Canada.com:

When Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration library closed its doors in the fall of 2012, head librarian Charlene Elgee wasn’t just worried about the loss of her job. She also feared that important documents she had immersed herself in for more than a decade would become unattainable to researchers.

“There’s a loss of accessibility,” Elgee said. “This material belongs to Canadians and I’m so afraid that some of this stuff will be lost forever if we don’t look after it.”

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“With libraries closing, there’s content in those libraries that’s no longer available to the users — be they researchers, members of the public, people who are developing policy in government departments — and that’s always worrying,” said Marie DeYoung, president of the Canadian Library Association and librarian at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

Read the Complete Article

From The Chronicle of Higher Education (via The New York Times):

The closing of seven regional libraries in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the quiet elimination of more than two dozen libraries in other departments, might otherwise have passed largely unnoticed, given the modest cost savings.

According to government documents, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans estimates that the consolidation will save 443,000 Canadian dollars, or about $405,000, in 2014-15.

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Moreover, librarians said, digitization is no panacea. “There’s a lot more going on under the hood than just chucking it through the scanner,” said Erin Patterson, a librarian at Acadia University in Nova Scotia who heads the Librarians and Archivists Committee of the Canadian Association of University Teachers.

“You need to have metadata attached to the item so it’s searchable, findable,” she said. “You need to have databases to store those individual items, you need to have user interfaces so people can retrieve them, you need search algorithms so they can be found, you need software so people can display them once you retrieve them, and all these steps involve technology that’s changing constantly.”

Read the Complete Article (via The New York Times)

Primary Doc

Last Week the Canadian Association of Research Libraries Sent a Letter to the Canadian Department of the Fisheries (Full Text)

Past Coverage

Dismantling of Fishery Library ‘Like a Book Burning,’ Say Scientists (December 6, 2013)

Purge of Canada’s fisheries libraries a ‘historic’ loss, scientists say (via Globe and Mail)

On a Related Note

The Status and Future of Canada’s Libraries and Archives: The Canadian Library Association’s Response to the Consultation of the Royal Society of Canada’s Expert Panel (34 pages; PDF)

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.