IN CONSTRUCTION. This timeline will document the events that have gradually led to recent cutbacks, job insecurities and professional concerns in recent years. It will document incidents in the two professions related to archivists and academic librarians.  More information soon, this is an on-going-work-in-progrss. Send us your information and we will add it.


Public Archives of Canada was established.


National Library of Canada was created.


National Archives of Canada established.


Report on the Future Roles of the National Archives and the National Library (1999) by Dr. John English to the then Heritage Minister Sheila Copps. One of its many recommendations was that “recommend that the National Library and the National Archives be separate institutions with distinct leaders.” This report went unheeded five years later. A copy of the report is attached.

April 22, 2004

National Archives of Canada Act (repealed);National Library Act (repealed); Library and Archives of Canada Act.

April 22, 2004.

The Library and Archives of Canada Act, when describing the appointment of the Chief Librarian and Archivist, did not specify what qualifications that individual should hold. This led to the later hiring of a non-librarian and non-archivist. See An Act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada, to amend the Copyright Act and to amend certain Acts in consequence (S.C. 2004, c. 11):

Appointment of Librarian and Archivist
  • 5. (1) The Governor in Council shall appoint an officer, to be called the Librarian and Archivist of Canada, to hold office during pleasure and to have the rank and powers of a deputy head of a department.

May 21, 2004

The amalgamation of the National Archives of Canada and the National Library occurred, and the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) was created.


British Columbia advocacy group for librarians forms and launches blog, http://concernedlibrarians.blogspot.ca/


American Library Association survey notes that “212 library support staff, 73% stated that they are now performing tasks previously performed by Masters of Library Science (MLS) librarians at their libraries, or have the same or similar duties as MLS librarians at other institutions.” (Source: CAUT report on McGill academic freedom issue, see below and Quoted in Concerned Librarians of British Columbia, “Deprofessionalization, Updated Figures,” March 26, 2007.)

March 26, 2007

Concerned Librarians of British Columbia, “Deprofessionalization, Updated Figures,” March 26, 2007, see http://concernedlibrarians.blogspot.ca/2007/03/deprofessionalization-updated-figures.html


Daniel J. Caron appointed Librarian and Archivist at the LAC.

February 2010

The McMaster University Academic Librarians’ Association was founded.

February 25, 201o.

Article on situation at McMaster University in Library Journal http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6720402.html

August 25, 2010.

CAUT produces a paper on why academic freedom matters to academic librarians in response to escalating situation at McGill University, see 2010.08.25_McGill_Librarians

June 2011

CAUT issues Open Letter to Daniel J. Caron, LAC. http://www.caut.ca/uploads/CAUT_to_Caron_LACv2.pdf

June 29, 2011.

Progressive Librarians Guild issues a response to McMaster University Librarian Jeff Trzeciak from the Edmonton Chapter, see http://plgedmonton.blogspot.ca/2011/06/response-to-mcmaster-university.html

November 18, 2011.

Symposium, “Academic Librarianship: A Crisis or Opportunity?” University of Toronto, see http://journal.lib.uoguelph.ca/index.php/perj/article/view/1678/2239

November 2011

CAUT launches Save the LAC site, http://www.savelibraryarchives.ca/default.aspx

April 30, 2012

LAC presented 450 members of its staff with affected notices, with 215 of those positions to be eliminated. Elimination of 21 of the 61 archivists and archival assistants that deal with non-governmental records (source: CAUT)

May 2, 2012

The following government libraries are reported to be closing: Citizenship and Immigration, Agriculture, Environment, Industry, Transport Canada, National Defence, Public Works and Government Services, the National Capital Commission and the Public Service Commission (source: OLA Timeline)

April 30, 2012

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) eliminates the National Archival Development Program (NADP), a 1.7 million contribution program administered by the non-for-profit Canadian Council of Archives (CCA) for LAC .(Source: OLA Timeline)

May 7, 2012

LAC staff confirm that the current Inter-Library Loan (ILL) service will end February 15 2013 (source: OLA Timeline)

August 30, 2012

LAC withdraws from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL)

1 Response to TIMELINE

  1. [withhold, please] says:

    You may also want to add to your timeline the following, which was an important (though overlooked) milestone in the sad trajectory of the institutions:
    Report on the Future Roles of the National Archives and the National Library by Dr. John English, a report tabled in 1999 to then Heritage Minister Sheila Copps. One of its many recommendations was that “recommend that the National Library and the National Archives be separate institutions with distinct leaders” .
    As a former employee of the National Library and LAC, I can attest to the care and detail with which the report was studied by the institution. And yet, a mere five years after its publication, the NL/NA choose to disregard most of the recommendations and proceed to merge. Even then, many echoed the long-held adage, ‘marry in haste, repent at leisure.’

    A copy of this report (though evidently not the final version) is available at:http://archivists.ca/sites/default/files/Attachments/About_Us_attachments/Governance/englishreport1999.pdf

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