Thursday, August 28, 2008

What's happening at LAC

It's my last day at LAC tomorrow and I'm keen to get back to classes. Before I wrap up my time there, I thought I'd blog about some interesting things I read about in LAC's magazine called ACCESS. One of the interesting projects mentioned is something called "The Canada Project." The purpose of this project is still a bit fuzzy but I get the impression it has the goal of bringing a huge volume of Canadian content online. The project is a national effort involving LAC, the University of Waterloo, the Library and Archives of Quebec, the Open Text Corporation and so on. There was an announcement about the Canada Project back in December 2007, but I still can't find anything substantial about it.

Moving on, let's look at some of LAC's statistics. These are simple, descriptive statistics but I think they are useful in tracking patterns and in focusing discussion. Much better than vague examples certainly...

Here's the numbers for LAC in 2007:
Acquisitions include 23 terabytes of electronic records (I wonder how much of that is non-government?), 73,000 Canadian publications, and apparently more than 600,000 images digitized. According to this, around 47,000 reference inquiries were answered.

The website statistics are presented elsewhere in the brochure-cum-magazine part of the publication shows what's happened from 2004 to 2007. Average number of visits per day was around 46,000 in 2006 and 2007. Likewise, there was 17 million visits in 2006 and 2007. I wish there was more detailed data on the website. Specifically, I wonder about the geographic origin of visitors to the website. I also wonder about how the website is being discovered.

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