LAC Co-Lab Q/A

Before the holiday, I sent a query to LAC about the statement in their 2021-2022 DRR about Co-Lab that “There were a total of 16,205 contributions from the public.”

I received the following responses more quickly than expected.

1- How many were contributions to the Challenges? 8766

2- How many contributions were there using Co-Lab but not through Challenges? 7438

3- What is the goal for Co-Lab contributions? Two central goals are to increase the accessibility and discoverability of LAC’s collection while encouraging Canadians to engage with, and feel a sense of ownership of, LAC’s documentary heritage When the tool was launched the goal was 5% increase in contributions each fiscal year, now that the program has been running for a couple of years, we will review our goals and strategies to ensure that Co-Lab is serving Canadians effectively.

4- How can one judge whether Co-Lab is value for money for the investment of LAC resources ($ and FTEs)? While there have been some technical issues and operational challenges arising from Covid-related temporary shutdowns, we are seeing a growth in contributions which is encouraging.

5- The Challenge “Travel posters in the Marc Choko collection” went from 98% complete in November to 96% this month. What accounts for this? Contributors can change the status of an image from “Complete” to “in progress”/”Needs review” etc.. therefore, altering the overall percentages from month to month.

Comment. The 8766 contributions to Co-Lab Challenges is more than I expected given the progress I’ve reported month by month.
The 7438 contributions outside the Challenges is new information. LAC is missing the opportunity to give publicity to the documents now available through the program, thus giving “a sense of ownership of LAC’s documentary heritage.”
The planned review of goals and strategies to ensure that Co-Lab is serving Canadians effectively is welcome. I would suspect that there are lessons learned from the past year’s experiences and from similar programs operated by peer institutions.

Thanks to LAC Communications for the timely responses.

One Reply to “LAC Co-Lab Q/A”

  1. It would be wonderful if LAC allowed other archives and other organizations to add significant, historical documents they wanted transcribed. Small institutions cannot afford the software and the yearly hosting costs but yet they may have very important documents that Canadians would be interested in.

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