OTTAWA — A joint project between the National Library of Canada and the National Archive of Canada is spearheading a change in the government’s attitude towards Information

Management.

The two organizations came together last fall, and responsibilities and resources are now being juggled between the two in order to accommodate the Management of Government Information policy.

“”There has been a growing dependency on electronic information,”” said Julia Ginley, director, Government IM Infrastructure Initiative, National Library and Archive. “”We have had to reallocate resources to implement the IM policy.””

The goal of the policy is to build a shared vision of IM and to improve the current state of information management in the Government of Canada. Ginley, who made her remarks Tuesday at the Managing Government Information Conference, said that there has to be an increase in knowledge and understanding of the importance of information management.

Paul McCormick, Director General, Strategic Planning and Policy, National Library, said that the combination of their resources has resulted in a “”new super-knowledge institution.”” The purpose of the merger will be the creation of one single database that will champion the development of “”one-stop shopping for information on, or about, Canada,”” he added.

The amount of information that the Archive and National Library has to deal with is vast: 26 million bibliographic references, 1.6 million publications varying from print to video and more than 9,000 electronic titles.

Up to this point, Ginley doesn’t think the government has done a very good job at implementing the new policy and even admits that the amount of paper backlog within the National Library and Archive is hampering IM development.

The initiatives that the National Library and Archive have set in motion include communicating a case of action and developing products and services to facilitate the management of records and information through their lifecycle. They have positioned themselves as a key player in the management of IM development and will be part of the legislation and harmonization process that will soon begin.

Both presenters indicated the process of developing fluent and accessible information would be met with a few roadblocks.

“”We have been collecting electronic information since 1995,”” explained McCormick. “”One of our biggest issues is one of access. We have some publishers who want restrictions placed on material while at the same time we have access to information issues.””

There are obstacles dealing with what may seem like trivial issues such as information format.

“”We are concerned with our present technical solutions in dealing with older electronic files,”” admitted Ginley. “”As technology advances we have to

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