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Title:The rhetoric of digitization and the politicization of Canadian heritage
Author(s):Kandiuk, Mary
Subject(s):Canadian heritage
Libraries and digitization
Abstract:Canadian heritage institutions are perceived as being used as political instruments of nation-branding to advance a government ideological agenda. Faced with budget reductions and increased federal government oversight, the national library and archives of Canada, titled Library and Archives Canada (LAC), has, in the eyes of stakeholders, abdicated its stewardship role and responsibility for all of the nation’s collections and records to focus on government priorities. Behind what has been described as a “smokescreen” of digitization, a “modernization” approach at LAC has resulted in the loss of expertise, a moratorium on acquisitions, and the elimination of national archival development and interlibrary loan programs. This paper examines the new strategic priorities of LAC with respect to digitization and resource allocation against a failed digital strategy, which has impacted its ability to fulfill its legislated responsibility for acquisition, preservation, and access; explores the ramifications and barriers created by the digital priorities and strategy of LAC for underserved populations, with a focus on Canada’s Indigenous peoples; and concludes with a discussion of the findings and recommendations of the 2014 Royal Society of Canada’s expert panel’s report, The Future Now: Canada’s Libraries, Archives, and Public Memory.
Issue Date:2016
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and the Illinois School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:In Library Trends 65 (2) Fall 2016: 165–179.
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-01-04

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