On Friday, March 16th, we learned the BC Government will be closing the Legislative Library for seismic upgrades.
Here is what we know to date:
* The bulk of the library’s collection will be boxed up and sent to remote storage in Saanich (a suburb of Victoria) approximately 25 minutes from the Legislature while a small core collection will be kept at the library’s temporary location. Assessments need to be taken to determine how much space is available to house this core collection and determine what it will comprise.
* The decisions regarding the future of the library are under the Speaker of the House. It will be discussed in the Legislative Assembly Member Services Committee (LAMSC) which is chaired by the Speaker and consists of 3 Liberals and two NDPers.
* The ACT indicates that the library needs to be near the building.http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/stat/L/96260_01.htm
Here is what we don’t know:
* Whether or not the library will move back into the original space after the upgrades have taken place or if a new building will be constructed. To date, no media reports have outlined any plans for the construction of a new building which is astonishing considering they expect the upgrades to be completed within a two year period. There has been speculation that the library will be converted into office space and reception area.
* How the collection will be maintained during the two year period it is not housed in the library
Here’s what we need to do:
* Provide positive reenforcement about the services, collection and staffing of the legislative library.
* Request the Library be moved back to its original location once the seismic upgrades have completed. The Library of Parliament has recently completed significant renovations, including seismic upgrades, and still remains a library complete with reference services although part of the collection remains housed nearby on Sparks Street.
* Emphasize the importance of the Legislative Library’s collection which, since British Columbia does not have a depository services program, is the “library of record” for much of the government publications produced by the province. Access to the collection needs to be readily accessible.
* Underscore the Legislative Library’s services. It downloads and archives government publications released on the Web, relevant to its mandate, and provides permanent URLs to these records. Many other libraries and researchers depend on this information and these services need to continue without interruption.
Write, telephone or e-mail the government:
Premier Gordon Campbell at email@example.com
Leader of the Official Opposition (NDP) Carole James: firstname.lastname@example.org
Speaker of the House: Speaker@leg.bc.ca. The Speaker has control over the library and its staff according to the ACT
Find your MLA (BC): http://www.leg.bc.ca/mla/3-1-1.htm
Mailing address (no stamp required):