Departmental Performance Report 2013–14: Section II

Section II: Analysis of programs by strategic outcomes

Strategic outcome 1: Current government information is managed to support government accountability

Program 1.1: Development of regulatory instruments and recordkeeping tools

Library and Archives Canada (LAC), working collaboratively with central agencies, federal departments and institutions, and other stakeholders, plays a lead role in developing standards, tools and best practices for information management and recordkeeping. LAC facilitates the management of information within federal institutions by approving and issuing Records Disposition Authorities that govern the retention, disposal and transfer of government records; it also develops recordkeeping tools, guides and guidelines that support the implementation of sound recordkeeping practices. Finally, LAC provides input on information management policy by chairing and participating in various intergovernmental committees.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2013–14
Main Estimates

2013–14
Planned spending

2013–14
Total authorities
available for use

2013–14
Actual spending
(authorities used)

Difference
(actual minus planned)

3,060,327

3,060,327

3,074,431

2,694,577

-365,723

Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])

2013–14
Planned

2013–14
Actual

2013–14
Difference
(actual minus planned)

30

26

-4

Performance results

Expected results

Performance indicators

Targets

Actual results

Regulatory Regime is established across the Government of Canada and government information is managed and disposed of appropriately

Percentage of federal government institutions supported by complete records disposition coverage

New indicator for which the benchmark was set on the basis of the 2013–2014 results

Not measured

Performance analysis and lessons learned

LAC continued its work to implement and improve its Disposition and Recordkeeping Program, xiv under which it issues disposition authorities and helps federal departments and agencies ensure effective recordkeeping. Comprehensive disposition coverage increased in 2013–2014 with LAC granting 13 authorities to a number of departments. The goal is to update the disposition coverage of all federal institutions subject to the Library and Archives of Canada Act. The advice and guidance provided by LAC will enable organizations to implement sound disposition and recordkeeping practices so that they can manage their information resources of business value more effectively and transfer those of enduring value to LAC. LAC also reviewed certain service and transfer agreements with federal institutions that are not subject to the Act in order to prioritize their renewal.

Program 1.2: Collaboration in the management of government records

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) offers advice, support, services and training to federal institutions, which enables them to manage their information effectively and helps them comply with the requirements of the Directive on Recordkeeping of the Treasury Board Secretariat. LAC carries out these functions by providing direction, presenting papers at conferences, symposiums and forums, as well as offering training and awareness sessions. LAC also facilitates the disposition of government information resources, providing guidance and support on their storage, preservation, destruction and transfer.

LAC also coordinates certain initiatives with federal libraries and their respective departments. Accordingly, through the Federal Libraries Consortium, LAC oversees collective purchases in order to make the most of invested resources. In addition, LAC develops guidelines and other tools that support federal institutions in applying their disposition authorities. Finally, LAC contributes significantly to providing access to government records for which it has responsibility under the Access to Information Act.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2013–14
Main Estimates

2013–14
Planned spending

2013–14
Total authorities
available for use

2013–14
Actual spending
(authorities used)

Difference
(actual minus planned)

7,232,371

7,232,371

8,413,918

8,506,781

1,274,410

Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])

2013–14
Planned

2013–14
Actual

2013–14
Difference
(actual minus planned)

103

85

-18

Performance results

Expected results

Performance indicators

Targets

Actual results

Increased capacity and readiness to manage Government of Canada information effectively

Percentage of Government of Canada institutions that are engaged with LAC and undertake disposition activities according to their disposition instruments

New indicator for which the benchmark was set on the basis of the 2013–2014 results

68%

Note:    The term "activities" includes a wide variety of activities involving disposition, tools, measures and instruments associated with the management of government records.

Performance analysis and lessons learned

LAC continued to support federal departments and agencies in managing their information effectively. On its Recordkeeping Portal, LAC provided them with various work tools and guidance, including four new generic valuation tools. These tools help the organizations manage their information resources of business value for common activities within the government (such as grants and contributions), and understand the specifications for their preservation. With these tools, departments and agencies can properly fulfill their role in implementing the Treasury Board Secretariat's Directive on Recordkeeping.

Since June 30, 2013, under a new service model for the storage of federal government records, LAC's Regional Service Centres have been focusing their activities solely on the storage of information resources of enduring value. Government institutions are therefore responsible for retrieving and storing their own information resources of business value. LAC worked with them to prepare for the transfer of these resources out of its centres. The new service model provides for the closing of five of LAC's eight Regional Service Centres. Three centres were closed over the last few years, including the centre in Toronto on March 31, 2014.

In 2013–2014, LAC collaborated on a variety of government-wide and international information management initiatives. It also continued to participate in the development of national and international standards with the Treasury Board Secretariat and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

LAC also supported Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission xv by facilitating access to its collection in order to advance research on residential schools. Its support included providing Commission researchers with a reading room, reference services and a digitization service. LAC also supported the Commission by issuing, in March 2014, an authority to dispose of business records.

Lastly, LAC signed a memorandum of understanding with Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada to help the Arctic Council manage its information effectively; LAC set up an action plan and business model to provide a better framework for recordkeeping within the international organization.

Strategic outcome 2: Canada's continuing memory is documented and made accessible to current and future generations

Program 2.1: Documentation of the Canadian experience

The mandate of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is to ensure that Canada's continuing memory reflects Canadian society and is available to current and future generations. The holdings that it acquires and preserves consist of published and unpublished materials created in a variety of formats, both analogue and digital.

The majority of LAC's acquisitions take place within a legislative framework. For example, Canadian publishers must deposit a copy of all published material with LAC in accordance with the Legal Deposit of Publications Regulations. As well, federal information resources of enduring value must be transferred to LAC, in accordance with the Library and Archives of Canada Act.

LAC also enriches its collections by acquiring records that reflect Canadian society as accurately as possible. It works with the documentary heritage community to encourage information sharing and greater collaboration on common issues. The diversity of experience and expertise in this network strengthens the community and facilitates the development and implementation of solutions needed to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2013–14
Main Estimates

2013–14
Planned spending

2013–14
Total authorities
available for use

2013–14
Actual spending
(authorities used)

Difference
(actual minus planned)

14,236,034

14,236,034

15,352,127

15,112,669

876,635

Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])

2013–14
Planned

2013–14
Actual

2013–14
Difference
(actual minus planned)

142

125

-17

Performance results

Expected results

Performance indicators

Targets

Actual results

LAC's collection is relevant to and representative of Canadian society

Percentage of users who consider that LAC's collection represents Canadian society

75%

65% of survey respondents agreed with the statement: "LAC's collection is representative of Canadian society"; 31% were unsure; and 3% disagreed

Performance analysis and lessons learned

In 2013–2014, LAC made important acquisitions that document the evolution of Canadian society, including 76 private archival holdings (compared with 36 the previous year) and nearly 150,000 publications. In addition, 1,583 government transfers were recorded.

Among the major acquisitions was the collection of Sir John Coape Sherbrooke, former Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia and Governor General of British North America. It is the largest and most complete collection of records about the War of 1812, and was acquired with the help of the Friends of Library and Archives Canada xvi and the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board. xvii Other acquisitions of note include a manuscript diary about the 1758 siege of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, and an aquarelle by artist Peter Rindisbacher (Poplar Point, Lake Winnipeg), acquired at the same time as other works of art and maps associated with Rupert's Land.

LAC continued to collect Canadian documentary heritage from the Internet, adding to its collection more than 1,100 websites relating to historical, economic, social and cultural topics, including the Canadian experience at the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia; perspectives on Arctic sovereignty; and media coverage of the railway disaster in Lac-Mégantic. Also, for the fourth time, LAC took on a comprehensive collecting of Government of Canada websites, amassing more than 750 over the course of the year.

LAC continued to acquire content in digital format, 54% of which was made up of Canadian theses. A strategy was developed to facilitate their transfer to LAC.

In addition, LAC pursued its consultations with representatives of the publishing industry to discuss its mandate and legal deposit and, more specifically, to gather information from the industry on its shift towards digital publishing and discuss legal deposit for commercial titles in digital format.

Program 2.2: Preservation of continuing memory

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) manages a vast collection of materials in a wide range of formats, both digital and analogue, to ensure their long-term preservation and accessibility for the benefit of all Canadians. To do so, LAC relies on traditional and cutting-edge archival and preservation techniques. It also ensures that all of its management activities and strategies guarantee the integrity, authenticity, and short- and long-term availability of Canada's continuing memory.

There are various types of stewardship activities: those related to the physical management of the collection, such as storage; those involving restoration, which include preventing records from deteriorating and repairing already damaged records; and those associated with reproduction and the making of replacement copies, which ensure the preservation and availability of records that would otherwise be too fragile to access. On the digital side, innovative strategies are implemented to maintain accessibility to records in obsolete formats and to ensure the originals are protected through backup and adequate storage.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2013–14
Main Estimates

2013–14
Planned spending

2013–14
Total authorities
available for use

2013–14
Actual spending
(authorities used)

Difference
(actual minus planned)

21,288,244

21,288,244

23,248,034

18,019,293

-3,268,907

Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])

2013–14
Planned

2013–14
Actual

2013–14
Difference
(actual minus planned)

90

150

60

Performance results

Expected results

Performance indicators

Targets

Actual results

LAC collection is properly safeguarded to make it accessible for current and future generations

Proportion of the collection in appropriate storage

94%

Not measured

LAC collection is properly safeguarded to make it accessible for current and future generations

Percentage of increase of digital content preserved in appropriate storage in a digital asset management system (includes both born-digital and digitized records)

5%

LAC preserved a total of 445 terabytes of digital content in 2013–2014
(it is not possible to calculate the percentage of increase because data for 2012–2013 are not available)

Performance analysis and lessons learned

In 2013–2014, LAC continued its efforts to preserve the ever-increasing quantity of information resources added to its collection. More than 80,000 items were processed by its conservation experts—that is, triple the amount processed in the previous year. The increase is directly related to the digitization strategy launched in 2013–2014, which involves preparing parts of the collection for digitization (e.g., the Sir John Coape Sherbrooke collection and the Canadian Expeditionary Force files).

LAC also achieved its annual target set for implementing its audiovisual migration strategy (2009–2019), xviii which aims to migrate 178,598 hours of audiovisual content by 2019. As of March 31, 2014, LAC had achieved 44% of this overall objective. It also achieved its performance targets for the migration strategy for unpublished content recorded on outdated digital media (such as diskettes and floppy disks).

In addition, LAC acquired a digital scanner to transfer its collection of motion picture films; this acquisition was necessary given the decline in technologies used for film-to-film copying in analogue format. Thanks to the new equipment, LAC will be able to preserve this collection and provide access to it.

LAC continued its work to become a trusted digital repository able to receive, store and preserve digital documentary heritage, and make it available. To this end, it developed three policy instruments: the Stewardship Policy Framework, the Collection Management Policy, and the File Format Guidelines. LAC also backed up a large quantity of digital content in a long-term digital asset management system, while creating some additional backup space to meet future needs in terms of preservation.

In addition, the published heritage collection has almost been completely moved into the new high-density storage facility. The new state-of-the-art facility, located in Gatineau, Quebec, became operational in 2013–2014. It brings together, in a single location, published heritage and Second World War records. LAC is now using this facility to house the publications previously kept at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa, its entire newspaper collection, and the service files of soldiers of the Second World War. Implementation of LAC's long-term infrastructure strategy will continue over the coming years, thereby enabling LAC to preserve its continuously expanding collection in a sustainable way and under optimal conditions.

Program 2.3: Exploration of documentary resources

This program is aimed at disseminating Canadian information resources and making them available to anyone interested in Canada, its society or its history. Library and Archives Canada (LAC) puts in place strategies that enable Canadians to access these information resources more easily and use them more often. By providing access to the resources for which it or other documentary heritage organizations are responsible, LAC contributes to the creation of new knowledge that helps to better understand Canada's continuing memory.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2013–14
Main Estimates

2013–14
Planned spending

2013–14
Total authorities
available for use

2013–14
Actual spending
(authorities used)

Difference
(actual minus planned)

29,950,151

29,950,151

31,609,536

31,959,088

2,008,937

Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])

2013–14
Planned

2013–14
Actual

2013–14
Difference
(actual minus planned)

325

329

4

Performance results

Expected results

Performance indicators

Targets

Actual results

Canadians are satisfied with the level of service provided through their preferred channel

Percentage of client satisfaction with online services

75%

83% of survey respondents were satisfied with online services, 10% were unsatisfied, 4% were neither satisfied nor disappointed, and 3% were unsure

Canadians have access to Canada's documentary heritage

Percentage of clients who report being able to find what they are looking online

60%

86% of clients found all or part of what they were looking for

Performance analysis and lessons learned

LAC continued to focus on service excellence by creating tools to help Canadians access their documentary heritage. It improved its search engines and reference service to promote online self-service access. It also put forward new ways of making known the collection (such as podcasting) to reach new audiences and to facilitate research.

Although LAC's website is one of the Government of Canada's 10 most popular websites, in-person services remain central to its commitment to Canadians. In 2013–2014, front-line staff responded to an average of over 8,000 requests each month.

In 2013–2014, LAC developed and implemented a content digitization strategy that focused on topics of interest to its clients. The strategy led to a multi-year plan to digitize the most highly valued collections, whose themes (military heritage, Aboriginal affairs, politics, and government) fit well with the commemorative activities for Canada's 150th anniversary in 2017.

LAC stepped up its digitization efforts to increase the availability of its resources, while at the same time ensuring that the content is preserved in a sustainable manner. Over 17 million pages of the collection were digitized by LAC and its partners in 2013–2014, compared with a total of 2 million the previous year. The increase is due primarily to the implementation of the microfilm digitization initiative, which will continue in partnership with Canadiana.org until 2014–2015.

LAC was also proactive in boosting the quantity of analogue content available. The block review process—which consists in evaluating a set of restricted documents and making them all accessible at the same time—has so far made it possible to provide access to 9 million pages of historical government documents. This approach contributes to the government‑wide open government xix initiative.

Subprogram 2.3.1: Description and contextualization of documents

Organizing the collection involves presenting and contextualizing documentary heritage. This process includes the activities by which continuing memory is described, organized, structured, indexed and interlinked, making it more accessible and user-friendly to meet the needs and expectations of users. The resulting databases, catalogue indexes and other tools assist users in researching information resources for which LAC is responsible.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2013–14
Planned spending

2013–14
Actual spending

2013–14
Difference
(actual minus planned)

9,950,600

12,591,090

2,640,490

Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])

2013–14
Planned

2013–14
Actual

2013–14
Difference
(actual minus planned)

113

106

-7

Performance results

Expected results

Performance indicators

Targets

Actual results

 Information resources are described in order to facilitate retrieval by clients

Proportion of published material described within the 3-month performance standard

New indicator for which the benchmark will be established at the end of the 2014–2015 fiscal year

Not measured

Performance analysis and lessons learned

In 2013–2014, LAC pursued the implementation of its new approach to describing published materials and archival records. The approach allows Canadians to explore the collection using online databases and collaborative resources maintained by LAC, such as the National Union Catalogue integrated with AMICUS (the database of published materials). The Catalogue is supported by the contributions of nearly 700 Canadian libraries, and visitors to the LAC website make more than one million search requests each month. Given the importance of this resource, in 2013–2014, LAC launched an initiative to renew AMICUS and the Catalogue with new functionalities.

During this same period, the Resource Description and Access (RDA) standard was successfully implemented; it is a new international cataloguing standard being applied by documentary heritage institutions to facilitate the description and findability of content. LAC thereby produced more than 24,000 bibliographic records for published material and 121,000 archival descriptions.

In addition, tens of thousands of links were created between the bibliographic and archival records and the content available online (PDF images and documents) to facilitate access to these digital resources. LAC also continued to integrate the content provided by users into the information available online associated with historical military records, censuses, immigration and Aboriginal heritage.

Subprogram 2.3.2: Promote and make documentary heritage available

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) makes documentary heritage available to all Canadians, in particular through its website and on-site visits. LAC offers information, as well as consultation, research and lending services—in person, by telephone, by mail, by email and via the Internet—to a wide range of users. Records held by LAC can also be consulted through public libraries, research libraries, museums and other institutions. Lastly, LAC provides access to its records through online activities and partnerships with stakeholders to support their programming and interpretation projects, thereby contributing to making Canada's continuing memory known.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2013–14
Planned spending

2013–14
Actual spending

2013–14
Difference
(actual minus planned)

19,999,600

19,367,998

-631,602

Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])

2013–14
Planned

2013–14
Actual

2013–14
Difference
(actual minus planned)

212

223

11

Performance results

Expected results

Performance indicators

Targets

Actual results

Clients are able to access the collection through LAC services

Percentage of service standards met: Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) requests

95%

Average of 97% for all formal ATIP requests: 95.5% of access-to-information requests were answered and 98% of privacy requests were answered

Clients are able to access the collection through LAC services

Percentage of service standards met: purchase of photograph reproductions

90%

98%

Clients are able to access the collection through LAC services

Percentage of service standards met: purchase of photocopies

90%

92% (this represents the percentage of requests answered for reprography of textual records within established service standards; LAC no longer offers a photocopy service)

Performance analysis and lessons learned

In the past year, LAC contributed to many collaborative initiatives aimed at improving access to documentary heritage. LAC continued to support projects to commemorate Canada's 150th anniversary in 2017, for example, by lending items from its collection to other memory institutions—such as the Canadian War Museum and the National Gallery of Canada—and by participating in collaborative exhibitions, including About Face: Celebrated Ontarians Then and Now, on display at Queen's Park in Toronto.

However, the largest commemoration project concerns the centennial of the First World War. In total, more than 650,000 service files of members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) will be digitized, representing more than 18 million pages. On average, LAC receives and processes more than 3,300 requests to access this group of records each year, making it one of the most consulted collections. LAC also began the "100 Stories" project, which will tell the stories of 100 people who experienced the First World War, connecting them to items in the collection, such as maps, photos, sound recordings and other unique holdings.

A number of collaborative projects involving the digitization of many heritage records in high demand continued in 2013–2014:

  • Thanks to the partnership with Canadiana.org, more than 6 million pages of heritage material from 78 different collections were digitized and put online.
  • The partnership with Ancestry.ca involved the digitization of files from the 1921 Census and other collections that will soon be put online: registers of officers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force transferred to the Royal Flying Corps; Canada House admission records; Queen's Canadian Military Hospital records; South African War land grant applications; and Canadian Soldier Homestead grant registers.
  • LAC also completed the digitization of major collections that will be accessible online in 2014–2015, including the Glenn Gould collection, Canadian theses, and the telephone directories of Canadian cities.

LAC continued to enrich its Portrait Portal: so far, approximately 80,000 portraits from a variety of photographic and documentary art collections and other media have been digitized and are accessible online. xx LAC's goal is to digitize and describe 200,000 portraits by 2017.

LAC also used social media to increase access to its collection:

  • Its Flickr page xxi recorded an average of 225,000 visits every month, and a total of 19 photo albums with historical photos were posted on the site.
  • It published numerous blog posts, xxii generating approximately 110,000 visits.
  • It posted three new podcasts online, which were consulted approximately 72,000 times.

Lastly, LAC continued its collaboration with the TD Bank Group and the Toronto Public Library to set up the annual TD Summer Reading Club program. Through this initiative, more than 2,000 public libraries in Canada offer various summer reading activities to over half a million children.

Internal services

Internal services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are: management and oversight services; communications services; legal services; human resources management services; financial management services; information management services; information technology services; real property services; materiel services; acquisition services; travel and other administrative services. Internal services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2013–14
Main Estimates

2013–14
Planned spending

2013–14
Total authorities
available for use

2013–14
Actual spending
(authorities used)

Difference
(actual minus planned)

22,579,568

22,579,568

24,602,230

24,511,284

1,931,716

Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])

2013–14
Planned

2013–14
Actual

2013–14
Difference
(actual minus planned)

170

170

0

Performance analysis and lessons learned

In 2013–2014, internal services enabled Library and Archives Canada (LAC) to fulfill its mandate and achieve most of its priority-related objectives, while supporting the Operations Sector in many ways. 

Developing the physical and technological infrastructure 

LAC prepared and began implementing a long-term infrastructure strategy to efficiently meet current and future requirements for space. The first phase involved moving part of its collection into the new high-density storage facility, which made it possible to dispose of four storage facilities and at the same time respond to the Auditor General's 2003 report recommendations regarding the need to improve storage conditions for the published material collection.

LAC also designed tools to take better advantage of what new technologies have to offer. For example, one tool made it possible to automate and streamline the real‑time tracking process for new acquisitions. LAC will have to make greater progress in the coming years to equip itself with the technological infrastructure that will enable it to manage documentary heritage efficiently in the 21st century. 

Also in 2013–2014, LAC complied with the Treasury Board Secretariat's new Web standards, xxiii which serve to ensure greater access to government websites, facilitate usability and enhance interoperability. It also worked with central agencies to move its website to the Canada.ca site as part of the Web Renewal Initiative.

Innovation and continuous development

LAC carried out a number of engagement activities under Destination 2020 xxiv, a government-wide initiative launched by the Clerk of the Privy Council to encourage the public service to be more efficient and to create a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. Beginning in the summer of 2013, LAC multiplied efforts to implement its engagement action plan and its management action plan. It also created forums to encourage discussion about a vision for LAC in the future and ways of realizing that vision. Projects were also launched to renew employee interest and pride in the institution's mandate and collection.

In addition, the Acting Librarian and Archivist of Canada met with employees to openly discuss specific issues LAC faces and the ways in which it can fulfill its mandate.

Lastly, a new version of LAC's Code of Conduct: Values and Ethics was launched in December 2013. It is the result of in-depth consultations with employees aimed at defining and articulating the link between the values of the institution and its employees and those of the public service.

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