How does society measure the value of memory institutions in an increasingly digital world? Hundreds gathered to explore this question on December 5 and 6 at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa for Taking it to the Streets: Summit on the Value of Libraries, Archives and Museums in a Changing World.
Hosted by Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and the Canadian Museums Association, the high-profile event explored the social and economic dimensions of the value of libraries, archives and museums (LAMs) in a rapidly changing world, as well as methods of connecting with their communities and of developing international networks of LAM practitioners and experts.
The two-day Summit featured close to 30 national and international speakers who focused, among other topics, on digital literacy and the fundamental shift towards the adoption of digital strategies. What was made clear in the conference’s numerous presentations and exchanges is that LAMs are some of the most enthusiastic adopters of new information technologies. Contrary to the popular belief in some circles, LAMs are far from archaic when it comes to the technological and interactive fields. Another pertinent issue raised was LAMs’ continuing need to support their communities and young creators through meaningful partnerships and connecting individuals with their heritage.
- Randy Boissonnault, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, who brought greetings on behalf of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau;
- Simon Brault, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Canada Council for the Arts;
- Charlotte Gray, award-winning author and historian;
- Patrice Landry, Management Support Officer, Swiss National Library;
- Andrew Tessler, Associate Director, Oxford Economics;
- Liz White, Head of Strategy Development, The British Library; and
- Pam Wright, Chief Innovation Officer, National Archives and Records Administration of the United States of America.
Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, closed the Summit with a call to action for the library, archival and museum communities in the form of the Ottawa Declaration.
The Summit was open to the public and livestreamed with simultaneous interpretation in both official languages. The livestream platform gave viewers the opportunity to email questions to speakers.