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THE BIBLIO FILE is a podcast about "the book," and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by Nigel Beale it features wide ranging, long-form conversations with best practitioners inside the book trade and out - from writer to reader. Why listen? The hope is that it will help you to read, write, publish, edit, design, and collect better, and improve how you communicate serious, big, necessary, new, good ideas and stories...

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Jun 15, 2020

Leslie Weir was the University Librarian at the University of Ottawa from 2003 to 2018. She became Librarian and Archivist of Canada in August, 2019. Ms. Weir is the first woman to hold this position since the National Library of Canada and the National Archives of Canada were merged to form Library and Archives Canada in 2004.

She was born and raised in Montreal, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Canadian History from Concordia University in 1976 and a Masters in Library Science from McGill University in 1979. She joined the University of Ottawa in 1992. During her tenure as University Librarian, she founded the School of Information Studies in the Faculty of Arts where she was also a Professor.  She was a member of the Board of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), from its inception until 2009 and again from 2011 to 2015. She served as President of between 2012 and 2016 where she oversaw the introduction of the Heritage Project to digitize and make openly accessible some 60 million heritage archival images. Ms. Weir was also president of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries from 2007 to 2009 and president of the Ontario Library Association in 2017.
We met in her high-ceilinged offices at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa to talk about, among other things, the merging of Library and Archives, the mandate of LAC, federal government departmental libraries, the Library of Parliament, budgets, acquisitions, fundraising and the new LAC Foundation, author archives, Michael Ondaatje, exhibitions, the new LAC building, partnerships, Access to Information requests, the white diamond building, legal deposit, the Internet, Dominion Archivist Arthur Doughty, gold claims, book collecting culture, Pierre Berton, Kay Lamb, and Winston Churchill.