The Future Now: Canada’s Libraries, Archives, and Public Memory

The Royal Society of Canada/La Société royale du Canada (RSC/SRC) has released its report on the The Future Now: Canada’s Libraries, Archives, and Public Memory: A Report of the Royal Society of Canada’s Expert Panel on the Status and Future of Canada’s Libraries and Archives. The report is available for purchase here and the pdf is available here.

From the RSC/SRC website:

Since the 1950s debate has raged about the impact of new technologies on print culture in the broadest sense and on the publishing industry, libraries, and archives in particular. Succinctly put, “The Death of the Book” has been both proclaimed and denied. Meanwhile, notions of what constitutes a library or an archive have been challenged and transformed by new communications competencies and needs. In response to these realities, the Royal Society of Canada is establishing an Expert Panel on “The Future Now: Canada’s Libraries, Archives, and Public Memory”.

 The panel held consultations across Canada, and tackled an impressive mandate:

  1. To investigate what services Canadians, including Aboriginal Canadians and new Canadians, are currently receiving from libraries and archives.
  2. To explore what Canadian society expects of libraries and archives in the 21st century.
  3. To identify the necessary changes in resources, structures, and competencies to ensure libraries and archives serve the Canadian public good in the 21st century.
  4. To listen to and consult the multiple voices that contribute to community building and memory building.
  5. To demonstrate how deeply the knowledge universe has been and will continue to be revolutionized by digital technology.
  6. To conceptualize the integration of the physical and the digital in library and archive spaces.

The University of Alberta’s Dr. Patricia Demers chaired the expert panel. She is a close affiliate of CWRC, as project leader of Canadian Women Writing and Reading from 1950, and we look forward to reading the panel’s findings.