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Cuts and Closures at Canada’s federal libraries

posted Jun 7, 2013, 6:51 PM by SOS SaveOceanScience

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 by John Dupuis on May 20, 2013

Cuts and Closures at Canada’s federal libraries

Federal libraries are an important part of Canada’s cultural heritage. These specialist libraries house some of Canada’s most important collections. For instance, the Human Resources and Skills Development (HRSDC) Libraries include the largest collection of books in Canada on the social sciences. The libraries’ physical collections will be entirely phased out by March 31, 2013.

The fate of the HRSDC libraries is not unique. Dozens of federal departmental libraries across the country are destined for closure within the next two years. No studies were done to assess the impacts of these closures, and for many of the libraries affected there is no clear plan for what will be down with their collections. Where plans have been developed, departments indicate that their libraries’ historically valuable material will be relocated to Library and Archives Canada. However, given that acquisitions at LAC have been dramatically diminished, the likelihood that it will be able to cope with a massive influx of material from departmental libraries is small. Library material qualified as “non-mandate” by departments will be offered to other departments or employees, sold through Crown Assets Distribution, or destroyed.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

  • CRA is consolidating its nine existing libraries into one, the location of which has yet to be determined.

Canadian Heritage

  • LAC’s Staff Resource Center closed November 1, 2012
  • The Public Service Commission (PSC) is in the process of closing its library. Plans regarding the disposition of PSC’s Library collection have not been finalized.

Citizenship and Immigration (CIC)

  • The CIC library closed March 31, 2012

Environment Canada

  • Parks Canada will consolidate 5 libraries into one. Regional libraries located in Calgary, Winnipeg, Quebec City, and Halifax will be consolidated into the Cornwall, Ontario location.
  • National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy was eliminated. Its library will close by March 31, 2013.

Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)

  • The DFO will close 7 of its libraries, leaving two principal and two subsidiary locations. Consolidation completed September 2012.

Foreign Affairs

  • The Documentation Service and library of the Canadian Cultural Centre at the Canadian Embassy in Paris have been closed since June 21, 2012.

Human Resources and Skills Development

  • HRSDC will close its libraries in Gatineau, Quebec, and Montreal. The closures will be complete by March 31, 2013.

National Capital Commission

  • National Capital Commission Library closed in 2012.

Natural Resources

  • Natural Resources Canada is set to close six of fourteen libraries in 2012-2013: two in Ottawa, one in Varennes, Quebec; one in Edmonton, Alberta; and another in western Canada. In 2014, another Ottawa library will be closed.

Intergovernmental Affairs

  • Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is expected to significantly reduce and eventually close its library.

Public Works and Government Services

  • PWGSC closed its library on May 31, 2012

Transport, Infrastructure and Communities

  • Transport Canada closed its library in 2012.