In 2017, LAC announced that it signed a contract with OCLC, a non-profit library co-operative, to replace AMICUS and to manage Canadian library holdings records.
LAC's agreement with OCLC will provide you, as our client, with an advanced library catalogue. There will be a modern interface, self-serve functions to help save you time, and automatic notifications about the status of your requests.
LAC's goal is to provide seamless access to both its archival and library collections. This page contains important information for clients who have a LAC user card and those clients who use LAC's catalogue.
For information specific to other Canadian libraries, please see our questions and answers for Canadian libraries in light of LAC's contract with OCLC.
Countdown to launch
Library and Archives Canada will launch its new library catalogue soon.
Here are a few suggestions to help you get the most from the new catalogue:
- Get ready to request materials directly in the catalogue. You will make almost all of your requests directly in the catalogue. There are only a few collections where the separate material retrieval request form will still be used
- Make sure you have the email address that you provided to us when you registered for your user card. You will need it to sign in to the catalogue to order materials. If you have questions, please contact us
- Take note of the title and author (not just the AMICUS number) of any publications you use frequently. AMICUS numbers will be searchable, but they will not display in the new catalogue. We therefore recommend having this additional information on hand to help you find what you are looking for
While we do not anticipate any disruptions to our services, we may encounter a few bumps in the road. We would therefore like to thank you in advance for your patience and understanding concerning these important changes. You can follow updates on the new catalogue on this page. If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to contact us.
You may notice changes to our website as we pave the way for AMICUS's replacement. Having used the same catalogue for over 20 years now, there is a lot of work to do to refresh our help and research guides.
Due to the size of this undertaking, modifications will occur gradually. Detailed instructions on new features, such as how to request and renew loans of published materials, will be available on the website only when the new catalogue launches. As always, Reference staff will be on hand—whether onsite, by telephone or online—to help with any questions you may have about the catalogue or LAC procedures.
When will the new catalogue be launched?
The new catalogue will be launched in the fall of 2018. Please continue to visit this page or the LAC homepage for more announcements later in the year.
How will the new catalogue work?
We will share more details on how to use the new catalogue closer to the launch date.
Questions about LAC user cards
What is changing?
As part of the transition to a new library catalogue, we are changing where we store some of your personal information. The transfer and storage of this minimal information to secure OCLC servers in Canada will allow you to continue to access and borrow from LAC's library and archival collections. LAC takes privacy concerns seriously, and this limited data will be stored according to strict security requirements, and in keeping with the requirements of the Privacy Act.
LAC's goal is to provide seamless service to both its archival and library collections. By transferring a minimal amount of client information, LAC clients can continue to access both collections with a single registration process and a single user card.
To obtain a user card, clients will need to consent to the transfer and storage of some of their personal information to secure OCLC servers.
We will contact clients who already have a user card about the migration of their information to OCLC.
Future clients will be required to consent to the transfer and storage of their information to OCLC servers as part of the user-card registration process.
Why is this change happening?
OCLC's secure servers will host LAC's new library catalogue. To allow our clients to continue to borrow from LAC's library and archival collections, we must have a profile for each client in the catalogue.
Where will client information be stored?
In addition to the client information already stored on LAC servers, a minimal amount of client information will be stored on secure OCLC servers located in Canada. This data and the servers are subject to strict security requirements and management of personal information requirements.
What client information will be transferred?
LAC takes your privacy seriously. We will only transfer the following minimal information about you to secure OCLC servers:
- Full name
- Email address (this will enable automatic notifications about the status of your requests)
- If we do not have an email address on file for you, we will transfer either your telephone number or your postal address.
- First three (3) characters of your postal code (to assist in processing requests for out-of-town clients)
- Preferred official language (English or French)
- User card barcode number
- User card expiry date
Which clients are affected?
Clients who hold a valid LAC user card that expires after October 5, 2018: We will contact clients who already have a user card about the migration of their information to OCLC.
Clients who request a new card or renewal of their card: We will ask these clients for their consent to transfer their information to OCLC servers as part of the user-card registration process.
Clients who hold a user card that has already expired: We will not transfer information for these clients. If these clients request a new card or renewal of their card in the future, we will ask them at that time for their consent to transfer their information to OCLC servers as part of the user-card registration process.
Will I need a new user card for the new library catalogue?
No, you will continue to use your current user card.
Can OCLC sell my information?
No, OCLC cannot sell your information. There are strict restrictions in place in the contract to protect your information, in keeping with the requirements of the Privacy Act.
I only use LAC's website for online research purposes. I do not plan to consult materials in person. Does this change affect me?
No. This change only affects LAC clients who visit our facilities to consult materials in person.
I have a valid LAC user card. What do I need to do?
We will contact most clients who hold valid user cards by email. If we do not have an email address on file for you, we will contact you by letter.
Our email/letter will ask you if you object to the transfer of your information to OCLC secure servers.
If you agree to the transfer of your information to OCLC servers, there is no action required from you. We will send your information to OCLC. This will help avoid any possible disruption to your access to the collection.
If you object to the transfer of your information to OCLC servers, you will need to reply to our letter or email by the indicated date.
I do not want to transfer any of my information to OCLC servers. What will happen to my user card?
First, we invite you to contact us at the coordinates below to discuss any questions you might have about the transfer of your information.
If you still do not wish to consent to the transfer of your information, you will need to reply to our email/letter by the indicated date, advising us of your decision.
Client consent is required to receive or maintain a LAC user card. If you do not provide your consent, we will have to cancel your user card.
I only consult archival material. Why is it necessary to transfer my information to OCLC servers?
A single user card for both library and archival collections provides more convenient client service and greater staff efficiency, making service faster. Creating a two-card system is less convenient for users, creates delays, and risks errors in services.
I have questions about my personal information. Whom should I contact?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Allow approximately five (5) business days for a reply.
For questions or further information, please contact us.