Cuts to Library and Archives Canada: Destroying Canadian heritage
Recent cuts to staff and programming at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) will have devastating effects on Canada's ability to acquire and preserve documents related to its history. On April 30, LAC presented 450 members of its staff with affected notices – including 235 PSAC members – with 215 of those positions to be eliminated.
“It's absolutely appalling that we're seeing such drastic cuts at Library and Archives,” said Doug Marshall, the National President of the Union of National Employees, a component of PSAC.
“We represent members who are so passionate about our national treasures and the services they provide to Canadians. Library and Archives Canada has thousands of historic documents that should be on display for all Canadians to see, but they're just sitting hidden away in a vault. It's sad that Canadians will never get to see them – that Canadians are being robbed of their heritage.”
"The cuts to jobs at Library and Archives Canada are an attack on one of Canada's most important cultural institutions," said James L. Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers. "Staff at our national archives and library are the stewards of our collective memory."
According to CAUT, the cuts will devastate precious records and services currently managed on behalf of all Canadians:
- 21 out of 61 archivists and archival assistants that deal with non-governmental records will lose their jobs.
- Digitization and circulation staff will be cut 50 per cent.
- There will be a significant reduction in the number of staff that deal with preservation and conservation of documents.
- The interlibrary loans unit will be closed.
According to recent media reports, the cuts at LAC will also lead to the closure of the Canadian Council of Archives, which organizes much of Canada's governmental documents. Other libraries and archives housed within specific departments such as Transport Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada are also set to close. This will lead to the destruction of thousands of historically important documents.
Visit www.savelibraryarchives.ca to get involved in the fight to preserve Library and Archives Canada.
Date Modified : 2012/05/29