OTTAWA, Nov. 2, 2011 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of University
Teachers today unveiled a national campaign to protect Library and
Archives Canada (LAC).
The "Save Library and Archives Canada" is being launched by CAUT in
response to funding cuts and internal managerial decisions that are
threatening the quality and integrity of Canada's only national public
library and archives.
"Badly conceived restructuring, a narrowing of its mandate, and
financial cutbacks are undermining LAC's ability to acquire, preserve
and make publicly available Canada's full documentary heritage," James
L. Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University
Teachers said at a news conference in Ottawa today.
These changes, Turk added, have already led to a reduction in the number
of specialist archivists and librarians, reduced public access and
services, and the loss of rare and important materials.
Liam McGahern, president of the Antiquarian Booksellers of Canada, said
a growing number of Canadian materials are not being collected by LAC
because of reduced funding and a change in its acquisitions policy.
"Canadians recently lost a unique and irreplaceable set of journals
chronicling late 19th Century stories of settlers and First Nations people of the Gulf of St.
Lawrence and Labrador Coast. This is just one of many examples,"
McGahern explained. "Rare military documents, sheet music, and
literature that would otherwise have gone to Library and Archives
Canada are quietly all slipping away."
CAUT is calling on the federal government to amend the LAC Act to ensure
its mandate includes developing a comprehensive, not selective,
collection of Canadian material.
"Our nation's artistic, historical, and cultural heritage is at stake,"
said Turk. "Genealogists, historians, researchers, graduate students,
Aboriginal communities, and the general public are all affected by what
is happening at LAC."
The Canadian Association of University Teachers is the national voice of
66,000 academic and general staff at 120 universities and colleges
across the country.
More information on the campaign can be found at www.savelibraryarchivescanada.ca.
SOURCE Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)
For further information:
Angela Regnier, Communications Officer, 613-726-5186 (O); 613-601-6304 (cell);