Business Plan 2013-2016

Message from the Acting Librarian and Archivist of Canada

The world of information is in a constant state of reinvention. Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is evolving in the context of a social and digital technology revolution with its own challenges and opportunities. LAC must adapt to and take advantage of this new environment, and play a primary role for the benefit of its clients and Canadians.

Significant progress has been made and solid foundations have been established with regard to acquiring, preserving and providing access to information resources. By applying selection criteria that are based on a rigorous policy framework, LAC ensures that Canadian society as a whole is well-documented and evaluation and acquisition processes are transparent. The condition of the collection is systematically reviewed and the necessary steps taken to ensure its preservation. More and more Canadians are accessing the collection directly online as a result of our digitization efforts. They also have access to it through multi-channel reference services and the travelling exhibitions produced in co-operation with other Canadian institutions.

LAC's business model must allow it to keep carrying out its legislative mandate. LAC's open, collaborative approach to working with Canadian documentary heritage and university communities seeks to foster co-operation on matters of common interest. 

This business plan highlights LAC's efforts to meet the current and future needs of Canadians. It focusses on the direction laid out in the 2013−2014 Report on Plans and Priorities and the following priorities:

  1. to acquire information resources that represent Canadian society;
  2. to improve documentary heritage preservation in analogue and digital formats;
  3. to improve access to and distribution of content with digital technologies;
  4. to adopt a more collaborative approach to carry out the mandate and support documentary heritage communities; and
  5. to develop the infrastructure and new competencies required to ensure documentary heritage management in the 21st century.

These priorities represent more than LAC's mandate alone. They also reflect the vision principles shared by departments and agencies across the Government of Canada. At the core of Blueprint 2020 there is a focus on innovation and collaboration, a concerted effort to clarify and streamline business processes, a commitment to make the best use of staff competencies, and an emphasis on effective, modern governance. It is about utilizing LAC's resources to offer a collection representative of Canadian society and the best services possible to Canadians. 

Hervé Déry
Acting Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Introduction

The Library and Archives Canada Business Plan 2013–2016 outlines the organization's strategic priorities as well as its proposed means for achieving the objectives it has set for the next three years. An evergreen document, this plan was developed in a context marked by several major changes. The 2013–2016 Business Plan is intended first and foremost as a management and communication tool for LAC's employees, partners, contributors and stakeholders interested in the institution's mandate and activities. It complements the 2013−2014 Report on Plans and Priorities.

The Business Plan is divided into four sections:

About Library and Archives Canada (LAC)

Legislative Mandate

Under the preamble of the Library and Archives of Canada Act, LAC's mandate is:

  • to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations;
  • to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada as a free and democratic society;
  • to facilitate co-operation among the various communities in Canada involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge; and
  • to serve as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.

Role of LAC within the Government of Canada

Created in 2004, LAC is an institution operating within the Department of Canadian Heritage portfolio, which is accountable to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage. LAC contributes to the priorities and government-wide initiatives such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Government of Canada Digital Office of the Future, the celebrations for Canada's 150th birthday in 2017 and the commemoration of the First World War. Its activities have been harmonized around a new internal organization model designed to deliver services to Canadians and to contribute to the specific outcomes established by the Government of Canada. LAC supports the following government outcomes: "a vibrant Canadian culture and heritage" (related to the area of Social Affairs), and "a transparent, accountable and responsive federal government" (associated with Government Affairs), for its essential role in the management of government information and in connection with Canada's Action Plan on Open Government.

LAC Program Alignment Architecture

Image showing LAC's Program Alignment Architecture.  

Library and Archives Canada Holdings

LAC preserves Canadian documentary heritage accumulated over a period of 130 years for the benefit of Canadians.

  • About 20 million books, periodicals, newspapers, microforms, literary texts and government publications
  • A total of 241,418 linear metres of government and private textual documents, as well as three million plans, maps and architectural drawings
  • Roughly 28 million photographs, 530,000 video and sound recordings, 80,000 films, 425,000 art objects and 547,000 articles of musical heritage
 

Trends and Opportunities in a Changing Environment

The priorities and activities of LAC for the 2013–2014 fiscal year and beyond are part of the implementation of its new business processes developed to take advantage of the digital information environment. Despite these rapid technological changes, the institution's core mandate remains the same: to collect and preserve the documentary heritage of Canada, make it known to Canadians and be the continuing memory of federal institutions. What has changed today is the way that LAC carries out its functions.

LAC has adopted a strategic approach to analyze and rise to the challenges that transform the documentary heritage environment. These challenges still exist and present opportunities that guide LAC's actions in a continuous improvement process and include:

Trends and Challenges

Opportunities

The dramatic growth in the volume of information resources produced and transmitted by digital technologies.
The quantity of digital information generated is such that it now doubles every two years. Users now play a more active role to create, reuse, share and publish content themselves.

LAC is refining its business processes so that they align with the modes of digital creation, use and communications. This implies the necessity of using digital technologies for acquiring, preserving and making accessible documentary heritage.

The rapid change in expectations, interests and needs of Canadians with respect to access to their heritage.
Equipped with mobile information technology, more and more Canadians consult content that interests them and is right at their fingertips.

LAC is continuing with the implementation of its service delivery model, which makes its content available by relying on a flexible, integrated model that favours digital access points and reaches the largest number of Canadians while maintaining in-person reference services.

A growing desire in organizations to foster collaboration as an operating model. 
Documentary heritage institutions, which include libraries, archives, museums and other similar organizations face common challenges due to changes brought about by the digital information age. 

LAC is continuing to collaborate with and work alongside members of the documentary heritage communities across Canada to preserve and make accessible the heritage material in our custody.
LAC is also increasing its commitment to users in order to draw on their knowledge and their active role in disseminating content.

The necessity for federal departments and agencies to innovate and increase the efficiency of their operations and to optimize the use of their resources. 
As the Clerk of the Privy Council points out in his 20th annual report, ‟Innovation in the public sector is about having the courage and space to try out new approaches and to transform insights gained from these experiments into better outcomes for citizens.″

LAC encourages an internal, open dialogue to foster a common understanding of changes that could impact the organization in the future.
LAC seeks to develop the capacity of organizational innovation through testing of the most promising innovative practices suggested by employees.

Priorities and Expected Outcomes

LAC is implementing new business processes to take advantage of the new digital information environment to better serve Canadians. This allows LAC to not only make its contents more accessible to Canadians but also to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations.  Over the coming years, LAC will concentrate its efforts and resources on the following strategic priorities:

PRIORITIES

EXPECTED OUTCOMES

1. Acquire information resources that represent Canadian society

New policies and procedures for evaluation and acquisition are in place and make it possible to develop a collection that best represents Canadian society.

Federal government departments and agencies benefit from disposition authorities and recordkeeping tools that allow them to identify and manage their information resources of business value and ultimately allow LAC to acquire government information of enduring value.

2. Improve documentary heritage preservation in analogue and digital formats

Information resources are digitized and migrated toward a sustainable format to ensure long-term access and preservation.

Long-term preservation of information resources in analogue format is supported by a strategic, structured and sustainable approach.

3.  Improve access to and distribution of content with digital technologies

Canadians can discover, consult and use LAC's information resources.

LAC's clients have direct, accessible and continuous services. 

Content held by LAC is distributed in a proactive manner so as to be open, discoverable and accessible to all.

4.  Adopt a more collaborative approach to carry out the mandate and support documentary heritage communities

In collaboration with its partners and stakeholders, LAC exchanges information, discusses common issues and challenges, and establishes collaborative arrangements to advance dialogue as well as concrete initiatives of mutual interest and benefit.

5.  Develop the infrastructure and the new competencies required to ensure documentary heritage management in the 21st century

Improved efficiency and effectiveness in carrying out LAC's mandate.

LAC employees have the necessary tools and competencies to fully develop the potential of the digital environment.

To achieve these outcomes, LAC must ensure that:

  • it is a policy-based organization;
  • its decisions are evidence-based;
  • its business practices remain sustainable in the digital age;
  • it collaborates with partners and stakeholders, while remaining open to opportunities that arise;
  • its operations are cost-effective.

Decision Making Based on Policy

To achieve these priorities, LAC develops policy instruments that provide clear guidelines based on research and evidence. Such policy instruments are vital for sound decision making that will consistently guide the implementation of new strategies and procedures put forward to modernize LAC's approaches.

Over the next few years, LAC will continue to develop a policy management framework to ensure consistent integration of the policy instruments developed for its business functions.

The policy frameworks and their policy suites include:

  • the Evaluation and Acquisition Policy Framework and its suite of policy instruments;
  • the Stewardship Policy Framework and its suite of policy instruments;
  • the Access Policy Framework and its suite of policy instruments.

1. Acquire information resources that represent Canadian society This graphic illustrates LAC's acquisition processes.  

Under the legal deposit requirements set out in the Library and  Archives of Canada Act and the Legal Deposit of Publications Regulations, publishers are required to provide LAC with copies of all works published in Canada. LAC also acquires information resources of enduring value from departments and agencies of the Government of Canada. These are political, legal and administrative documents attesting to the decisions and activities of federal government institutions.

LAC, in collaboration with its partners, acquires further information resources on a discretionary basis and through various means such as donations from Canadians and private companies, after having selected and evaluated them according to its priorities, resources and opportunities. These acquisitions are intended to complement LAC's holdings as most representative of Canadian society.

LAC has developed an approach that allows it to determine which information resources are of national interest to Canadian society and therefore should be acquired and preserved. LAC is interested in capturing documentary heritage that attests to the major events, movements, decisions and concepts central to the operation of democracy and Canadian society.

[Text version of LAC's Acquisition Mechanisms]

Expected outcomes

Actions to achieve expected outcomes

New policies and procedures for evaluation and acquisition are in place and make it possible to develop a collection that best represents Canadian society.

  • Implement the new evaluation framework for information resources that will enable LAC to identify material of national interest proactively and react promptly to acquisition opportunities.
  •  Acquired digital born content, which includes content produced on the Web.
  • Establish digital portals to serve as sites for transferring data from publishers, government departments and agencies, and partners.
  • Develop overall strategies to accelerate decision making with respect to acquisition.

Federal government departments and agencies benefit from disposition authorities and recordkeeping tools that allow them to identify and manage their information resources of business value and ultimately allow LAC to acquire government information of enduring value.

  • Collaborate with government departments and Treasury Board Secretariat to implement the Disposition and Recordkeeping Program to provide complete coverage of disposition for the 290 federal institutions subject to the Library and Archives of Canada Act.
  • Develop generic recordkeeping tools for other government agencies to assist them in identifying their information resources of enduring and business value.

 

2. Improve documentary heritage preservation in analogue and digital formats

The preservation of documentary heritage encompasses all the responsibilities contributing to the long-term safekeeping of information resources acquired in analogue or digital formats. The ultimate objective of acquiring and preserving information resources is to ensure long-term access for the benefit of Canadians now and in the future. This objective is all the more relevant since users will expect instant, direct access to documentary heritage held at LAC using the new means of electronic communication. Accordingly, one of the priorities will be to digitize information resources currently in analogue format so they are more accessible.

Expected outcomes

Actions to achieve expected outcomes

Information resources are digitized and migrated toward a sustainable format to ensure long-term access and preservation.

  • Continue to implement the LAC Audiovisual Migration Strategy, which aims to convert the content of analogue recordings (for which the format is obsolete) into a sustainable digital format.
  • Develop a digitization strategy for motion picture films.

Long-term preservation of information resources in analogue format is supported by a strategic, structured and sustainable approach.

  • Increase high-density storage capacity for analogue records to improve how they are managed.
  • Implement a long-term infrastructure strategy.

 

3.  Improve access to and distribution of content with digital technologies

LAC recognizes that the vast majority of Canadians access content of interest to them via the Internet and other information technologies. The LAC website receives nearly half a million visits each month compared to approximately 2,000 in-person visits. To fully benefit from the potential of information technology, LAC has adapted its approach to accessing its holdings. The institution is increasing its delivery of online digital services while improving in-person consultation services.

By taking this approach, LAC strives to gradually increase the amount of material available to Canadians by means of available research tools, technologies and networks. Examples of these external networks include the social platforms Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Flickr, as well as the websites of LAC's partners.

Expected outcomes

Actions to achieve expected outcomes

Canadians can discover, consult and use LAC's information resources, at the place and time and in the manner that suits them.

  • Implement a ‟digital approach by default″ to consult content in LAC's holdings.
  • Apply a systematic approach to digitize records frequently requested so clients may consult digital reproductions.

LAC's clients have direct, accessible and continuous services.

  • Set up a new reference service to better serve Canadians.
  • Create digital tool kits and upload information videos and key research tools to facilitate resource discovery.

Content held by LAC is distributed in a proactive manner so as to be open, discoverable and available to all.

  • Increase sharing of thematic content, particularly on the military, immigration, Aboriginal peoples, prime ministers and Canada's 150th birthday.
  • Implement a new descriptive approach to facilitate documentary resource discovery in a digital environment.

4. Adopt a more collaborative approach to carry out the mandate and support documentary heritage communities

LAC and other memory institutions, including libraries, archives, museums and similar organizations, are leveraging the developments in information and communications technologies to respond to the changing needs of Canadians. There are clear benefits for both LAC and other memory institutions to working together to leverage each other's strengths while respecting each other's unique mandates and obligations.

Expected outcomes

Actions to achieve expected outcomes

In collaboration with its partners and stakeholders, LAC exchanges information, discusses common issues and challenges, and establishes collaborative arrangements to advance dialogue as well as concrete initiatives of mutual interest and benefit.

  • Develop and implement a policy on collaboration to guide LAC's collaborative arrangements and other projects where resources, risks and outcomes are shared.
  • Establish an external committee to advise LAC on matters of strategic national interest.
  • Continue collaborating with the communities of practice to examine strategic issues and research questions, and to define future competencies, especially in the management of digital documentary heritage.
  • Implement a collaborative arrangement with the Canadian Museum of Civilization, soon to become the Canadian Museum of History, and move forward with other partners and stakeholders on initiatives to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.

5.  Develop the infrastructure and the new competencies required to ensure documentary heritage management in the 21st century

A technological infrastructure better suited to the new digital environment has been developed and implemented to enable LAC to carry out its mandate more efficiently and effectively. This infrastructure will simplify work organization because of the tighter interrelationships between the acquired content, the manner in which it is described, and the way Canadians access that content. This new structure will ultimately foster an organizational culture focused on efficiency and service excellence.

Expected outcomes

Actions to achieve expected outcomes

Improved efficiency and effectiveness in carrying out LAC's mandate.

  • Develop and implement a technological infrastructure that will facilitate access to documentary heritage and ensure sound, long-term management of digital resources.
  • Implement a long-term infrastructure strategy to meet the needs for space in a rigorous, responsible manner while taking the new digital reality into account.
  • Implement an integrated planning process based on an alignment of priorities, available resources and organizational capacity to achieve set objectives. Installation of a governance mechanism that will ensure continuous monitoring of progress.

LAC employees have the necessary tools and competencies to fully develop the potential of the digital environment.

  • Develop a flexible business architecture that supports all the new practices.
  • Try out the most promising innovative practices suggested by employees.
  • Set up a project management office to strengthen organizational capacity in the area of project management and provide a tool to monitor project progress.

 

Investment and Infrastructure Priorities

LAC has made significant investments over the past 15 years to build the physical infrastructure necessary to ensure the long-term preservation of documentary heritage in analogue format. In addition to the LAC Preservation Centre for which Canada and LAC are world-renowned, LAC recently opened its Nitrate Film Preservation Facility and a high-density storage facility to preserve part of its collection of published material. The organization will soon implement a strategy for the management of all of its special-use facilities (including the LAC Preservation Centre, the Nitrate Film Preservation Facility and Regional Service Centres).

LAC services and business operations increasingly depend on information technologies—and these are constantly evolving. That is why LAC must now make significant investments that will allow it to implement a digital infrastructure adapted to the 21st century. These new investments will help modernize information technology systems as well as equip LAC with new tools to carry out its mission. For example, LAC is reviewing and improving its digital storage strategy to deal with several challenges related to the long-term preservation of digital data kept in formats that are rapidly becoming obsolete. LAC will also set up new business architecture to develop digital solutions and prioritize their implementation. To advance these corporate initiatives, LAC must apply rigorous project management and investment planning.

 

Resource Allocation

LAC expenses are expected to decrease from $98.3 million in 2013−2014 to $90.2 million in 2014−2015. This decrease may be attributed primarily to the following factors:

  • Budget reductions of $3.0 million forecast for 2014−2015 in the 2012 Economic Action Plan (2012 budget).
  • Additional funding of $5.6 million in 2013−2014 for the planning of a collection storage facility equipped with a high-density shelving system.

Budget cuts tied to the 2012 Economic Action Plan will have totalled $9.6 million since 2012−2013. The reductions are:

  • $3.5 million for 2012−2013;
  • $3.1 million for 2013−2014; and
  • An estimated $3 million budget reduction for 2014−2015.  

LAC Budget Estimates for the Next Three Fiscal Years

This graphic illustrates LAC's Budget Estimates for the Next Three Fiscal Years 

2013−2014 LAC Budget Distribution based on Amounts Allocated by Expense Category

This graphic illustrates LAC's 2013-2014 budget distribution by expense category for the three categories of expenditure. 

LAC Employee Distribution Based on Organization Chart

This graphic depicts the distribution of full-time equivalent employees within the three sectors of LAC.  

Next steps

This business plan reflects a given period and will evolve according to a number of factors. The economic, social, cultural and governmental context, along with strategic and operational decisions made by senior management may influence LAC's projected activities. Although LAC expects core directions and commitments to remain stable, it will continue to adapt to the changing environment in which it now operates and will seize the opportunities that arise. The outcomes LAC wishes to achieve by implementing this business plan will require rigorous, systematic monitoring of progress using project management tools and a series of performance indicators.

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