In the fall of 2005, Library and Archives Canada conducted an online survey about on-site client services at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa.
Here is an extract from the summary posted to LAC's website:
Access to LAC
What you said:
Some commented on the current service hours. Others stressed the importance of after-hours access to key reference collections and materials, both hard-copy and electronic versions
What we have done, or plan to do:
To address user feedback in this area, in 2007, LAC will consult with clients on how to best organize our hours of service and improve service features to benefit them. We will seek advice on such matters as the quality of the current work and research environment and ways to improve how well it functions.
Library and Archives Canada invites its clients to an informal discussion session where they will be able to ask questions and obtain explanations on the latest changes related to client services.This notice seems to only be available online via the Anglo-Celtic Connections genealogy blog. That same blog has some numbers about what has been cut:
The session will be on September 19th from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in room "A" in 395 Wellington St., Ottawa.
Everyone is welcome.
According to a post on the LAC web site, weekday full service hours will be 10 am to 4 pm, that's 30 hours a week. These are the hours during which LAC professional staff can be consulted and materials ordered. At present these services are provided from 8:30 am to 5 pm on weekdays, that's 42.5 hours a week. The reduction in service hours is nearly 30%.
Hours when pre-ordered and self-service materials can be examined are also being reduced. On weekdays the building will be opening at 8:30 am and closing at 8 pm. At present the weekday hours for much of this material is 8 am to 11 pm. The reduction in hours is 23%.
The cuts are even more drastic on weekends. The present availability of pre-ordered and self-service materials from 8 am to 11 pm is being reduced to noon to 6pm, a 60% reduction.
Your e-mail of 7 September 2007, in which you have expressed concerns regarding the new hours of service that were introduced as of 1 September 2007, was forwarded to this office for reply.
The decision to introduce new hours of service results from an ongoing review of LAC's normal business practices to ensure efficacy and accountability of delivery of all services.
Increasingly, the internet is the vehicle by which Canadians conduct research and expect to find information. Library and Archives Canada is shifting a greater portion of its resources into adding documentary heritage material to our website in order to respond to this need. We will also be improving services available online. This shift towards digital, also allows us to better support our mandate of making the documentary heritage of Canada accessible to all Canadians, not only those in the National Capital Region or those who can afford to visit us onsite. A review of the use of our research facilities onsite indicates that late evening use during the week and morning use on the weekends is infrequent. This has allowed us to shift our resources with a larger benefit to all our users. The availability of lockers and the improvements in online services will limit the impact of the reduction in staffed hours.
We appreciate you taking the time to express your concerns. Feedback such as yours is one mechanism through which we gain a better understanding of the needs of our clients.
[Signed by Acting Director, Client Services Division, Library and Archives Canada]