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Library and Archives Canada - Multicultural Resources and Services

[Library and Archives Canada - Multicultural Resources and Services, Canada]


The National Library of Canada is a federal cultural institution located in Ottawa, established by Parliament in 1953, whose main role is to acquire, preserve and promote Canadiana which is part of the published heritage of Canada for all Canadians, both now and in the years to come. The Library serves as one of the nation's foremost centres for research in Canadian Studies and as a showcase for Canadian literature and music.


The National Library is dedicated to building a world-class national resource enabling Canadians to know their country and themselves through their published heritage and to providing an effective gateway to national and international sources of information.

The vision of the Multiculturalism Working Group:

The Library and Archives of Canada is a gathering place, both real and virtual, known and open to all, accessible from anywhere. Our collections, services, partnerships and programs strengthen and reflect the rich multicultural heritage of Canada and contribute to our sense of identity.

Programs and Services:

In addition to extensive collections of "ethnic materials", the National Library of Canada provides a wide variety of services and programs relevant to a diverse clientele. These include:
• Public programs celebrating the many heritages of Canada.
• Genealogy and Family History research.
• Digital projects which feature the history and contributions of different immigrant groups.
• Development of specialized reference and resource materials.

Multicultural Resources and Services:

2001 a Working Group Report on the Collection recommended a closer examination of Aboriginal and Multicultural collections. Aboriginal and Multicultural collections were separate and distinct and led to two reports. As a result of the reports, the Multicultural Resources and Services Program of the National Library of Canada was established in November, 2001. The
Aboriginal Resources and Services Program was established in April, 2002.

The major recommendations of Working Group Report on Multicultural/Multilingual collections include:
• Re-establishing a leadership role for the National Library of Canada in supporting, promoting, coordinating and delivering  multilingual collections and services.
• Engaging in a consultation process with libraries and the multicultural community.
• Ensuring that the National Library’s collection is more comprehensive in terms of ethnic
• Canadiana and foreign publications to support the needs of the diversity of heritages in Canada.
• Developing a wide range of online resources to support libraries providing services to multicultural communities.
• Providing resources to multicultural communities through the NLC’s Internet.
• Creating a permanent position of Multicultural Librarian.
• Participating in international cooperation initiatives to share Canadian resources with other countries and to bring the wealth of resources available internationally to Canadians.

• Internal consultation and advocacy within the National Library of Canada.
• Broad external consultations with libraries, associations, ethnic media and community groups.
• Promotion of the National Library’s activities to other governmental bodies.
• Outreach activities to publishers of ethnic Canadiana.
• Establishment of partnerships with provincial, national and international organizations.
• Development of a Multicultural Resources Web Portal. This website will act as a “one stop shopping” site for all things multicultural/multilingual at the National Library of Canada;
provide valuable resources for individuals and librarians seeking multilingual collections; and, act as a clearinghouse for activities and news in multicultural librarianship in Canada.

Source: Architects of Change: How the National Library of Canada is Responding to the New Cultural Landscape
Mijin Kim (Multicultural Resources and Services, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)


Multicultural Initiatives - Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa Ontario  K1A 0N4


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