• AMICUS was over 20 years old, and provided Canadian libraries with freely available copy cataloguing, Interlibrary Loans (ILL) and sharing of holdings. Maintenance of AMICUS was resource intensive, time consuming, did not keep up with the technological advances and requirements of a modern library system.
  • In March 2017, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) contracted Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) to replace both the National Union Catalogue platform and the internal library management system. The new National Union Catalogue, Voilà, was launched in February 2018. The implementation of the acquisition and description functionalities began in June 2018, and Aurora (LAC’s catalogue) was launched in January 2019.
  • Since the implementation of the OCLC systems, there are noticeable improvements as well as significant challenges identified by the Canadian library community and LAC staff. The most significant challenges identified are the fee-based subscription model and the fact that the data in the National Union Catalogue are not open and accessible.


  • LAC funds ILL and Copy Cataloguing Services for eligible small public and academic libraries:
    • in 2018-19, 32 academic institutions and 34 public libraries were eligible
    • 63 copy cataloguing subscriptions and 42 ILL were funded
  • Through engagement with multiple Canadian library audiences, LAC has learned about their concerns:
    • affordability (pricing model based on individual collections vs regional networks)
    • locating Canadian authored content
    • need for communication on direction for Voilà, and policy
  • To address concerns, LAC put in place a transition strategy:
    • transition funding for one year only for copy cataloguing/holdings registration and/or ILL/holdings registration
    • eligibility criteria were developed with the Provincial Territorial Public Library Council
    • co-creation of the first National Union Catalogue strategy and policy with Canadian libraries is underway (PHB National Engagement Plan)

Key Public Messages

  • LAC is currently engaging with provincial, public and school library associations across Canada on Voilà policy development.
  • LAC supports a strong and connected Canadian library community. Canadians and Canadian libraries are encouraged to have their say on Voilà by using Place Speak, an online citizen participation forum.
  • LAC meets regularly with OCLC to address concerns of Canadian libraries.

Consultations To Date

  • University of Alberta
  • NEOS Library Consortium
  • First Nations Information Connection
  • Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL)
  • Public Library Services Branch, Alberta
  • Saskatchewan Library Association (SLA)
  • Saskatchewan Provincial Library
  • University of Regina
  • First Nations University
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Council of Atlantic University Libraries (CAUL-CBUA)
  • Iqaluit Public Library
  • Arctic College
  • Université de St. Boniface
  • Manitoba School Library
  • Brandon Public Library
  • Winnipeg Public Library
  • Public Library Services, Manitoba


Monica Fuijkschot, Director General, Published Heritage Branch
Email: monica.fuijkschot@canada.ca
Tel: 819-934-7252

Date modified: