March 17, 2018

Carrol Lunau | Movers & Shakers 2003

Weaving a Web

“In many ways, getting libraries in Canada to work together is like herding cats,” Carrol Lunau observes, soft-spoken but wry. Her job is to link the systems together, nationally and regionally. While the National Library’s grand plans have been only partly fulfilled – there’s no national library card – the provinces have taken the ideas Lunau “sells” and incorporated them into regional resource sharing.

Working on the Virtual Canadian Union Catalogue, Lunau and her team found problems with interoperability among Canada’s decentralized networks, “so we sat down and defined a core set that represented the kinds of searches people wanted.” A local version of the Bath Profile – named for the town in the UK where it was developed – is now being incorporated into integrated library systems.

Lunau considers herself more a systems analyst than a true techie – “able to look at the technology and figure out how it can be used to provide better services.” Using the Bath Profile, Lunau also coordinates the Sm@rtLibrary Project, linking universities, libraries, and government agencies in Ottawa. Its aim: seamless access to library resources. A common library card and interlibrary loan are under discussion.

With the upcoming merger of the National Library and National Archives, Lunau sees new possibilities. “I have firmly believed, if somebody wants something, they want it,” she says. “They don’t care if it’s in a library, an archive, or a museum.” A genealogist by avocation, Lunau says, “If I have some difficulty finding stuff with what I know, then other people are having more trouble.”

“Five years from now, I hope we will have resolved interoperability issues, and people will get true seamless interactions to collections,” not to mention delivery of information, Lunau declares. “I really have a problem with people who work on standards but are separate from the day-to-day life of the library.”


Current Positions: Senior Resource Sharing Officer, National & International Library Programs; Sm@rtLibrary Project Coordinator; Bath Profile Manager, National Library of Canada, Ottawa, ON

Degrees: BLS, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 1976; MLS, University of Toronto, 1980

Web Sites: Resource Sharing (; Virtual Canadian Union Catalogue (; Bath Profile (