Library and Archives Canada to acquire a new library management system

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has entered into an agreement with the non-profit co-operative OCLC to make Canada's documentary heritage even more widely available.

A global leader in library services, this international co-operative was awarded the contract following a Government of Canada public procurement process. In fact, OCLC was determined to be the only organization to meet all of LAC's requirements.

For more than 20 years, LAC has used the AMICUS system to manage its own collections and the National Union Catalogue. LAC is pleased to replace its outdated system with a new one that is already used by tens of thousands of libraries.

To take advantage of OCLC's services, Canadian libraries will need to join its co-operative. Many Canadian libraries already subscribe to its interlibrary loan and copy cataloguing services. LAC's transition to OCLC will not affect these libraries.

Small public libraries and small libraries at post-secondary institutions will be able to benefit from OCLC's services. LAC will cover their subscription fees. In response to feedback from the library community following consultations, LAC added this provision to the agreement.

LAC will also work closely with Canadian libraries that are not OCLC members to resolve their interlibrary loan and copy cataloguing needs.

LAC is pleased that the agreement will allow Canadian libraries to provide better access to their documentary heritage and collections through a single window.

Implementation of the new library management system will be spread out over the next 24-month period. During this time, LAC will work closely with the Canadian library community and ensure that AMICUS remains in operation until the transition to OCLC is complete.

For further information about this contract, the services offered and the transition schedule, visit the LAC website.


"This agreement will enable LAC and the Canadian library community to make the published heritage of our country more accessible than ever before, and to share Canada's culture and knowledge with the world."

Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Library and Archives Canada

"Library and Archives Canada, Canadian libraries and cultural heritage institutions have a mission to preserve and share Canadian history. This new agreement will enable cataloguing and managing these resources in WorldCat, the world's largest bibliographic database. As a result, collected knowledge on Canadian heritage will have even greater visibility and accessibility across Canada as well as on a global scale. LAC is a leader in the global library community; we are pleased to partner even more closely with LAC and other library institutions across Canada."

Skip Prichard, OCLC President and CEO

"The Canadian Federation of Library Associations-Association canadienne des bibliothèques (CFLA-FCAB) is pleased that after a consultative and lengthy competitive selection process, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is moving forward with this highly anticipated acquisition of a system that supports collection, identification, management, and sharing at a national and international scale. It is good news that a Canadian location for the OCLC servers has been negotiated, in response to requests from the library community. CFLA-FCAB will be working with LAC and other members of the Canadian library community during the two-year transition to OCLC, to consider ways to ensure equitable access for all Canadian libraries."

Peter Bailey, Chair, Canadian Federation of Library Associations

"This is a major step forward for the visibility Canadian information resources in a digital global context. All Canadian researchers -- as well as those seeking Canadian content from around the world -- will be able to find the collections of participating Canadian libraries, free-of-charge. It will also benefit library technical operations, including those provided for the library community by Library and Archives Canada. Canadian research libraries and our users stand to benefit from the range of state-of-the-art services provided through the global OCLC cooperative."

Martha Whitehead, President, Canadian Association of Research Libraries

"Over the course of the long term process looking at the National Union Catalogue it was clear that the technology was past its prime and a new platform was required to house and access this important national asset. An important feature of the arrangement is the different levels by which institutions and individuals will be able to access our national union catalogue."

Paul Takala, Chair, Canadian Urban Libraries Council

About Library and Archives Canada

The mandate of Library and Archives Canada is to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations, and to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, thereby contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada. Library and Archives Canada also facilitates co-operation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge, and serves as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions. Stay connected with Library and Archives Canada on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.

About OCLC

OCLC is a non-profit global library co-operative. It provides shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries co-operatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC's WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform.

OCLC offers services in English, French and a variety of other languages and scripts. Its members are located around the world. By collaborating and sharing their collected knowledge, libraries can help people to find the answers they need to solve problems. OCLC's partners include the national libraries of New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain and the Netherlands. Its Canadian office is in Montréal.

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