Express yourself! Protest the cuts to Library and Archives Canada and other Federal Libraries this October

The cuts to LAC and other federal libraries threaten to impede the preservation of the documentary heritage of Canada. Additionally, they have made LAC collections less accessible and have reduced the support available to everyone. These cuts affect everyone.

Organizations such as BCLA, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) and the Canadian Council of Archives have expressed their concerns about these cuts. Now its our turn as individuals to let our politicians know how these cuts impact us.

This October, write, email or fax your Member of Parliament.

Following are some areas that might spark a personal story you can share in your letter:

  • Staff at LAC will be reduced by over 200 positions, severely impacting the hours and services for reference and research. Archival work, cataloguing, digitization, and loan policies will also be impacted.
  • Several programs, including the National Archival Development Program (NADP) and the Understanding Canada Program, have been eliminated. The loss of the NADP means a reduction in funding for the Canadian Council on Archives (CAC) and local archives. Discontinuation of the Understanding Canada Program means scholars around the world will lose funding to study about or conduct research on Canada.
  • Libraries at several federal departments or agencies have closed or will be closing, including Canadian International Development Agency, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Immigration and Refugee Board, National Capital Commission, Public Service Commission, Public Works and Government Services Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Transport Canada.
  • Other federal libraries, including Statistics Canada and Industry Canada, have received severe cuts that include staff reductions and, in the case of Statistics Canada, the elimination of key surveys including the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
  • The Interlibrary Loan Department will be eliminated effective February 2013. In order to access the LAC collection, you will have to travel to Ottawa. Additionally, you will have to schedule an appointment for reference services.
  • Cuts have reduced the acquisition of published materials and archival materials, and threaten Legal Deposit at LAC.
  • Purchases of rare books have been eliminated.

While these cuts are egregious, what is important is how they will affect you personally. If you can, please include in your letter how you have benefitted from accessing Library and Archives Canada or any of the other federal libraries.

The Citizens for Public Justice website provides an excellent example on how to write a letter to your MP: http://www.cpj.ca/en/content/how-write-letter-mp  or you may download and modify this template: http://www.bcla.bc.ca/ipc/template_letter.doc 

Many voices, joined in common cause, can make a difference. Join us this October and tell your MP these cuts affect everyone.


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