Reopening Library and Archives Canada

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  • Transcript

    Did you miss us? We sure missed you! We’re finally reopening our public service points, gradually. We’ll open our offices in Vancouver first, then in Winnipeg and Halifax, and finally in Ottawa.

    The health and safety of our visitors and employees is our priority. We’ve been hard at work preparing our public spaces to ensure that you’re safe and feel comfortable when you visit us. You’ll notice more frequent cleaning and some Plexiglass panels for additional safety. You may see directional arrows on the floor to ensure clear circulation between spaces. Protocols will also be in place for the safe handling of the collection.

    Before you visit us in any of our four locations, you’ll need to make a reservation. In Ottawa, you’ll be able to reserve your spot in one of our consultation rooms. This will ensure safe distance between visitors.

    All of this may change as the situation across Canada evolves. We’re ready to adapt and will follow the advice of local and national public health authorities.

    We’ll announce the opening dates soon. Be sure to check our website and social media for updates on the public service point near you and to book your visit.

    Welcome back. We look forward to making history with you again.

We are carefully planning a gradual reopening of Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) service points across the country. The health and safety of employees and visitors is our priority. The public facilities located in Ottawa, Halifax, Winnipeg and Vancouver are opening at different times, following a staged approach. On this page, you will find the latest details and opening dates for each location as they become available.

Reopening stages

In the past few months, our staff has been hard at work to provide remote services to the public. A limited number of staff has begun to return to the worksites. We have gradually resumed copy services (online orders only) and responses to Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) requests, although at a reduced capacity. We are also able to provide enhanced remote reference services, as staff are on site and have greater access to the collection.

In the coming weeks, we will continue to increase our service offerings steadily as staff return to the worksites. We do not have specific dates for when this will happen. Access to public service points and the collection will be increased while following local and national health and safety measures.

  • Limited seating will be available by reservation in our consultation, reference and genealogy rooms.
  • Research capabilities will be expanded.
  • Our reference and information desks will offer more services.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely as we move toward reopening our services to the public, including the DigiLab. When it becomes possible, our in-person public events, workshops and tours will return.

You can still contact us by using our Ask Us a Question form or Ask Us a Genealogy Question form, or by telephoning us at 1‑866‑578‑7777 (option 8; toll-free in Canada and the United States).

Resumption of ATIP request processing

  • Because of health and safety requirements related to COVID-19, the LAC ATIP team is operating at limited capacity, so processing delays should be expected.
  • We have also resumed the processing of requests to obtain documents in support of claims related to the Federal Indian Day Schools Class Action.
  • All ATIP requests received on or after March 14, 2020, will be processed in order of priority. Please do not resubmit your request as this may cause it to be delayed further. If there is a change in the urgency of your request, or should you have questions or concerns, please contact us by email. Please quote your request number in your correspondence.

Resumption of copy services (online orders only)

  • Our rush service is suspended until further​ notice.
  • Delays beyond our usual service standards should be expected since we are applying significant internal safety measures and new protocols, including physical distancing and mandatory isolation of collection items.
  • If you sent a request for copies between March 14 and August 11, 2020, inclusive, it was neither received nor processed, so you will need to resubmit it.

Current status per region

Here you will find the latest information for each region on the gradual resumption of online and in-person services during the various stages of reopening. In all cases, LAC will apply and reinforce the health and safety measures announced by local and national authorities.

  • Ottawa: Copy services available (online orders only) – Closed to the public

    The facility located at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa is currently closed to the public. As of August 12, 2020, a limited number of staff has begun to return to this worksite.

    • Resumption of copy services (online orders only)
    • Enhanced remote reference services
    • No opening date is available for visits yet, but you can prepare for your visit by completing your User Card Registration if you do not already have one
    Halifax: Open to the public (reduced hours)

    The service point located in the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, 1055 Marginal Road in Halifax, is open to the public. No reservation needed.

    Services available:

    • In-person or virtual reference services
    • Orientation services
    • Meetings with a LAC reference specialist
    • Digital kiosk to access LAC's databases and other subscription databases
    • Please contact us by email or telephone us at 902-426-4031 if you have questions before your visit.

    Times:

    • Tuesday to Friday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Atlantic Time
    • No reservation is required. Please note, however, that Tuesdays at Pier 21 are reserved for seniors and vulnerable groups, along with their family members and caretakers.
    Winnipeg: Open to the public by reservation only

    The facility located at 1700 Inkster Boulevard in Winnipeg is open to the public by reservation only.

    Services available:

    • Copy services
    • In-person or virtual reference services
    • Orientation services
    • Meetings with a LAC reference specialist
    • On-site consultations on local collections
    • Digital kiosk to access LAC's databases and other subscription databases

    Times and how to reserve:

    • Tuesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Central Time
    • Before visiting, please contact us by email or telephone us at 204-984-1469 to make a reservation. You can prepare for your visit by completing your User Card Registration if you do not already have one.
    Vanco​uver: Research room open by reservation only

    The research room located at 420 – 300 West Georgia Street in Vancouver is open to the public, by reservation only. The public service point located on the 7th floor of the Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia Street, remains closed to the public.

    Services available:

    • Copy services
    • In-person or virtual reference services
    • Orientation services
    • Meetings with a LAC reference specialist
    • On-site consultations on local collections
    • Digital kiosk to access LAC's databases and other subscription databases

    Times and how to reserve:

    • Tuesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Pacific Time
    • Before visiting, please contact us by email or telephone us at 604-666-9699 to make a reservation. You can prepare for your visit by completing your User Card Registration if you do not already have one.

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