Librarian and Archivist of Canada
Leslie Weir became the Librarian and Archivist of Canada on August 30, 2019. She is the first woman to be appointed to the position since the National Library of Canada and the National Archives of Canada merged to form Library and Archives Canada (LAC) in 2004.
Under Ms. Weir’s leadership, LAC embarked on a major transition in 2020 to improve its services to Canadians and to better fulfill its mandate of acquiring, preserving, making accessible and sharing Canada’s documentary heritage, specifically through significant service and technological shifts. To focus its efforts, LAC developed Vision 2030, a strategic plan unveiled in 2022 that is intended to foster reconciliation, reflection, analysis and planning to chart the institution’s course over the next 10 years, and beyond.
Providing access, supporting democracy and working in partnerships endure as some of the Librarian and Archivist of Canada’s main focuses as LAC sets out to remain a world leader among memory institutions. During Ms. Weir’s tenure, LAC has been able to plan for a future that reflects the collective ideas of the documentary heritage community, shaped by the needs of its users, the realities of the institution and the benefits of its experience.
In her role as Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Ms. Weir has guided LAC to several significant and innovative achievements, including the opening of its Preservation Storage Facility in the National Capital Region in 2022. This state-of-the-art building is the first net-zero carbon archival preservation facility in the Americas and the largest automated archival facility in the world.
In addition to increasing its preservation capacity under Ms. Weir’s leadership, LAC is revolutionizing its services to the public with a second major infrastructure project: Ādisōke, the joint facility that will be home to LAC and Ottawa Public Library in 2026. The result of an ongoing collaboration in the spirit of relationship building, decolonization and reconciliation, Ādisōke represents an unprecedented partnership between governments. It promises to be a cultural showplace for the country’s heritage and a prime example of the federal government’s commitment to building sustainable infrastructure.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Weir was University Librarian at the University of Ottawa from 2003 to 2018. She also held positions at the National Library of Canada, the Statistics Canada Library and the Côte Saint-Luc Public Library in Montréal.
Over the course of her career, Ms. Weir has demonstrated vision, dedication and outstanding service by encouraging connections both within and outside the world of librarianship. She guided many transformative moments at the Canadian Research Knowledge Network and research libraries in Canada. Ms. Weir is one of the founding architects of Scholars Portal, the state-of-the-art research infrastructure in Ontario universities that brings together information resources and services in support of research and learning. Ms. Weir served as President of Canadiana.org, where she oversaw the introduction of the Heritage Project, in collaboration with LAC, to digitize and make openly accessible some 60 million heritage archival images. As well, she was President of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries from 2007 to 2009 and the Ontario Library Association in 2017.
Ms. Weir is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Forum of National Archivists, Vice Chair of the Conference of Directors of National Libraries, and President-elect (2023–2025) of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).