Canadian Archivists add their voice to challenge LAC Code of Conduct

The Association of Canadian Archivists sent this letter to Dr. Daniel Caron on March 18, 2013:

Dr. Daniel J. Caron
Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada
Library and Archives Canada
550 de la Cité Blvd
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0N4

Re: Library and Archives Canada Code of Conduct: Values and Ethics

Dear Dr. Caron,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA) concerning the
Library and Archives Canada Code of Conduct: Values and Ethics(or LAC Code of Conduct).

Established in 1975, the Association of Canadian Archivists is a national not-for-profit
organization representing over 600 archivists in Canada. With headquarters in Ottawa, the
ACA’s mandate is to provide the archival profession leadership and to facilitate an
understanding and appreciation of Canada’s archival heritage.

Public servants, including the archivists at LAC, should be guided by rules of conduct in their
daily work and in their interactions with the public. However, the ACA is concerned with the
effect that some provisions of the LAC Code of Conduct could have. Section 4.4.2 of the LAC
Code of Conduct identifies teaching, speaking at conferences, and other personal engagements as
“high risk.” Presumably engaging in similar professional association and related work, such as
committee membership, editing, and publishing, is also “high risk” behaviour.

LAC archivists have long been leaders in the Canadian archival profession. Indeed, many were
founding members of the ACA. LAC archivists have served as editors for Archivaria, chaired
ACA Conference Programme Committees, and volunteered on numerous ACA boards and
committees. LAC employs some of the leading thinkers and professionals in the archival field.
LAC archivists have helped to advance archival theory and practice by writing, teaching and
presenting on developments and issues in the archival world. A source of knowledge to their
peers, federal archivists have enhanced LAC’s reputation as a leader in the archival community,
not only in Canada but throughout the world. And so, we are concerned that the LAC Code of
Conduct defines these contributions to archival knowledge as possibly being “high risk”
behaviour. Far from being negative, these activities have only served to enrich the archival
profession and LAC’s standing amongst its peers.

I look forward to discussing this matter with you further.

Best Regards,

Original signed by Loryl MacDonald

Loryl MacDonald
ACA President