Libraries and archives throughout Canada have many overlapping obligations. They collect, preserve and disseminate knowledge, and provide access to information and intellectual resources for civic engagement. Libraries and archives are actively meeting the challenges of unfolding digital technologies, changing cultural practices, and society’s expectations. These are the founding principles of the Expert Panel of the Royal Society of Canada, which has as its mandate:
- To investigate what services Canadians, including Aboriginal Canadians and new Canadians, are currently receiving from libraries and archives.
- To explore what Canadian society expects of libraries and archives in the 21st century.
- To identify the necessary changes in resources, structures, and competencies to ensure libraries and archives serve the Canadian public good in the 21st century.
- To listen to and consult the multiple voices that contribute to community building and memory building.
- To demonstrate how deeply the knowledge universe has been and will continue to be revolutionized by digital technology.
- To conceptualize the integration of the physical and the digital in library and archive spaces.
Public consultations are being planned to take place in: Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary/Edmonton, Vancouver, and Yellowknife.