2016–17 Departmental Results Report

Library and Archives Canada, 2017
Catalogue No. SB1-12E-PDF
ISSN 2560-9092

Other format available for download
PDF version (499 KB)

On this page

Minister's Message

The Honourable Mélanie Joly

We are currently in the midst of a unique year: Canada 150. The organizations in the Canadian Heritage Portfolio—including Library and Archives Canada (LAC)—have spared no effort in 2016–17 to let Canadians across the country take part in the celebrations. Through their activities and projects, these organizations have invited us to reflect on the path we have travelled so far and to appreciate all we have achieved. They have also allowed us to look toward the future with confidence as we strive to make Canada successful in the digital era.

The celebrations for Canada 150 offer an unprecedented opportunity to reflect on what makes us Canadian. As the guardian of our distant past and witness of our recent history, LAC has initiated a host of projects to help Canadians know themselves better.

For instance, #OnThisDay capsules are published on social media every day to highlight milestones in our shared history. In addition, three exhibitions are currently providing direct access to LAC’s outstanding collection. The first, at the LAC building, urges all of us to ask the question “Canada: Who Do We Think We Are?” The second unveils the Treasures from LAC at the Canadian Museum of History. The third, “Foundations: The Words That Shaped Canada”, at the Library of Parliament, showcases texts and words that are of great importance in the history of Canada.

As Minister of Canadian Heritage, I am proud to present the 2016–17 Departmental Results Report for LAC. The report will let you discover how LAC demonstrated innovation in fulfilling its mission, and in promoting our culture and our two official languages—while also making 2017 an unforgettable year.

The Honourable Mélanie Joly

Librarian and Archivist of Canada’s message

Guy Berthiaume

For Library and Archives Canada (LAC), 2017 is a pivotal year; one in which we made a firm intention to encourage Canadians to take full advantage of our rich documentary resources, and in which we let them know that our range of services and our collection far exceed the traditional image of what a library or an archive provides.

We wanted to highlight the fact that as a memory institution, LAC is both a centre for preservation and a creative workshop. We also wanted to demonstrate that the role our organization plays in the creative ecosystem cannot be reduced to its simple functions of acquisition and preservation.

LAC is present at the start of the creative chain, providing inspiration and material to artists of all disciplines, not only to writers and poets, but also to painters, musicians, videographers, theatre directors and other creative people, to name a few.

To effectively fulfill its mission, LAC has sought to implement new ways of reaching and serving its publics. With the objective of being closer to where our clients are, we moved our locations on the East and West coasts of Canada to more popular sites: the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax, and the Vancouver Public Library. And, of course, to ensure access in all of Canada’s households, we digitized and posted online an additional 9 million images from our collection. This initiative has not gone unnoticed: our website received 114 million visits, putting us among the top 10 most frequently visited Government of Canada websites.

The results reported by LAC in this 2016–17 Departmental Results Report would not have been attained without the collaboration, and I would even say the complicity, of many organizations in all fields. In addition to partners in the private sector—foundations and businesses—and those in the academic community, I would like to highlight the outstanding support that we received in this anniversary year from our sister institutions within the Canadian Heritage Portfolio, particularly the national museums. I am grateful to them for having recognized the relevance of our work, and I fully share with them pride in a job well done.

Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Results at a glance

Funds used

$114,500,638
Actual expenditures

Personnel

903
Actual Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs)

Results highlights

  1. In 2016–17, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) collaborated more than ever with partners in the public and private sectors. There were numerous co-operation agreements for joint exhibitions and events, service offerings in shared spaces, and acquiring, digitizing and providing access to Canada’s documentary heritage.
  2. LAC digitized 9 million images in 2016–17. Key projects focused on the Canadian Expeditionary Force, Indigenous peoples and Expo 67. As of March 31, 2017, LAC had digitized and posted on its website 65% of the 640,000 service records of the Canadian Expeditionary Force from the First World War. In addition, the DigiLab was established to enable users to digitize, contextualize and share items from LAC’s collection that are of interest for their research, work or community.
  3. To ensure that its clients continue to receive effective in-person services and benefit from increased access to LAC collections, the organization has renewed its service offering in Halifax and Vancouver. Memoranda of understanding have been signed with the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax and with the Vancouver Public Library to use their spaces to provide services to the public beginning in 2017–18.

For more information on LAC’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the “Results: what we achieved” section of this report.

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d’être

As set out in the Library and Archives of Canada Act, the raison d’être of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) 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 communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge in Canada; and
  • to serve as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.

Mandate and role

LAC’s mandate to manage Canada’s documentary heritage rests on three pillars:

1. Acquiring and processing documentary heritage

LAC is responsible for acquiring documentary heritage that is of historic value to Canadian society. Its acquisition process is based on the following mechanisms:

  • The Legal Deposit of Publications Regulations and the Library and Archives of Canada Act require that publishers provide copies of their works identified by LAC;
  • The acquisition of documents of archival and historical value from Government of Canada departments and agencies. These documents attest to the decisions and activities of federal government institutions;
  • The acquisition of documents of archival and historical value that are representative of Canadian society through various means such as donations, purchases and web archiving.

2. Preserving documentary heritage

LAC is responsible for preserving its collection to ensure that it stands the test of time and remains accessible to future generations. This responsibility rests on the expertise of its employees who specialize in preservation, on its processes of migration and digitization of content, and on the quality of LAC’s infrastructure.

3.   Providing access to Canada’s documentary heritage

LAC’s responsibilities regarding access consist of facilitating searches and consultation of its collection so as to inform and enhance the knowledge of those who consult it. LAC provides access to its documentary resources by:

  • providing the public with digital content and online services;
  • providing on-site services in Ottawa (395 Wellington Street), Halifax, Winnipeg and Vancouver; and
  • contributing to exhibitions that enable the public to discover LAC collections across Canada and abroad.

For more general information about the department, see the “Supplementary information” section of this report.

Operating context and key risks

Operating context

Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) fields of activity—library science, archival science and recordkeeping—have been marked for several years by digital technology issues and opportunities. In this environment, partnerships abound and allow for an exchange of knowledge and the coordination of efforts. In 2016–17, LAC entered into numerous agreements with its partners to hold exhibitions and joint events, provide services in shared spaces, ensure greater coordination of acquisitions and digitization of Canada’s documentary heritage, increase its promotion, and share knowledge with experts in the field. LAC also supports heritage organizations through its contributions program.

Drawing inspiration from the mandate letter of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, LAC is participating in celebrations around the 150th anniversary of Confederation and supports the government’s efforts to promote this important event. For example, LAC is producing 365 vignettes for #OnThisDay ... in Canada’s History! These daily items, posted online throughout 2017, highlight defining moments in our history over the last 150 years. LAC is also presenting the exhibition Canada: Who Do We Think We Are?, which will be open to the public from June 5, 2017, until March 1, 2018, at 395 Wellington Street. LAC’s unique and longstanding role as Canada’s official “memory” is an underlying theme.

Taking account of the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, LAC has collaborated with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to preserve and highlight the value of First Nations, Métis and Inuit languages and cultures. LAC has, among other things, broadened the scope of Project Naming to Inuit communities in the Northwest Territories, Northern Quebec (Nunavik) and Labrador and to the other two Indigenous groups in Canada: First Nations and Métis. This initiative allows for photographs of these communities in LAC’s collection to be identified and contextualized.

The government has also made openness and transparency its priorities. To contribute to the Open Government initiative, LAC is making its collection accessible to the greatest possible number of Canadians and systematically removing access restrictions on federal government records. In light of the government’s increased emphasis on accountability and on results-based management, LAC monitors its objectives closely and reports on its progress regularly and transparently. Every quarter, LAC’s website publicly reports on the progress of its commitments set out in the Three-Year Plan 2016–19, as well as on the related activities, targets and deliverables.

Key risks

LAC has developed a risk profile for 2015–18 that identifies strategic and corporate risks, assesses potential impacts, and determines measures to reduce these risks. LAC’s corporate risk profile and the 2016–17 Report on Plans and Priorities identify strategic risks that may have a direct impact on the fulfillment of its mandate. The following section provides a description of key risks and their respective contexts. The planned mitigation strategies and progress made on each one are set out in the table below.

1. Risk that Canadian documentary heritage of national interest is not acquired

Given the ever-increasing quantity of information created through new technologies and the speed at which this information can disappear, LAC runs the risk of not acquiring all Canadian documentary heritage of national interest.

2. Risk that documentary heritage is not preserved for current and future generations

LAC must ensure the integrity and long-term accessibility of information resources acquired. The integrity of the material can be compromised by a variety of external risk factors, such as deterioration over time and with use, and obsolescence, of technologies used to consult certain formats. The loss of technical expertise and the lack of adequate storage space are internal risk factors.

3. Risk that documentary heritage is not accessible to Canadians

Despite technological advances and Canadians’ desire to access online content, much of LAC’s collection is on paper or in other analogue media. The time and effort needed to digitize it so it is discoverable, and then to make it available online, are such that LAC must target its efforts to digitize content and make it available.

Key risks

Risks Mitigating strategy and effectiveness Link to the department’s Programs Link to mandate letter commitments or to government-wide and departmental priorities
1. Risk that Canadian documentary heritage of national interest is not acquired
  • Develop a National Acquisition Strategy with partners in the documentary heritage community
    The National Acquisition Strategy was developed with partners in the documentary community in the spring of 2016.
  • Acquire digital content through web archiving and through the implementation of strategies designed to facilitate the transfer of digital material to LAC
    In 2016–17, LAC harvested 5.1 terabytes from websites. LAC also conducted validation work for the transfer and archiving of electronic government documents on the GCDOCS digital records management system.
Program 2.1 Open and transparent government
LAC priorities 1 and 2
2. Risk that documentary heritage is not preserved for current and future generations
  • Maintain the necessary infrastructure and expertise to ensure the long-term preservation of holdings
    LAC has made great progress in the implementation of its long-term infrastructure strategy. The construction of a preservation facility (Gatineau 2) is proceeding on schedule.
  • Continue to digitize LAC’s holdings by using the institution's full capacity and by leveraging its partners’ capacity to further preserve digital content
    LAC digitized 9 million images in 2016–17.
  • Continue to migrate the most at-risk analogue information resources to digital formats
    Migration of the most at-risk audiovisual material is at 83.5% of its 10-year goal, which is expected to be achieved by March 31, 2019.
  • In partnership with Shared Services Canada (SSC), continue to increase digital data management and storage capacity
    With the collaboration of SSC, LAC has increased bandwidth of its Internet connection by 150% to increase the transfer rate of digitized documents.
  • Maintain collaboration and encourage information sharing with preservation experts from other documentary heritage institutions
    LAC employees attended specialized conferences and took an active part in consultations with experts in the field.
Program 2.2 An open and transparent government
LAC priorities 1 and 2
3. Risk that documentary heritage is not accessible to Canadians
  • Increase access to documentary heritage by partnering with others to advance digitization projects aimed at publishing online the most frequently requested content
    Digitization projects were undertaken with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and British publisher Adam Matthew. See Program 2.3 for further details.
  • Work with partners in the documentary heritage community to increase the visibility of LAC's collection
    LAC took part in numerous exhibitions in collaboration with the documentary heritage community. See Program 2.3 for further details.
  • Continue to deliver in-person services by means of on-site consultation and long-distance assistance
    LAC continued to provide in-person services at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa, as well as in Winnipeg, Halifax, and Vancouver.
  • Continue to share content on social networks (blogs, podcasts, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) to make the collection discoverable through a wide range of distribution channels
    LAC increased the visibility of its collection on social media. See Program 2.3 for further details.
  • Design new online resources (including databases, guides and digital content) and update existing resources
    LAC designed “Remembrance Day: An Essential Media Guide”, which includes original stories, as well as other resources that can be used to find photos, rare documents, period songs and archival films.
  • Continue with the renewal of the AMICUS database, a catalogue that contains the information resources of hundreds of libraries across Canada
    LAC entered into an agreement in March 2017 with the non-profit co-operative Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) to replace AMICUS.
Program 2.3 An open and transparent government
LAC priorities 1, 3 and 4

Results: what we achieved

Programs

Program 1.1: Development of disposition authorizations

Description

To support effective recordkeeping within federal institutions, LAC provides them with disposition authorizations. These authorizations specify which records must be transferred to LAC at the end of their useful life, based on their historical interest. The creating institution may dispose of other documents at the end of their retention period.

Results

LAC has undertaken steps to ensure that all institutions subject to the Library and Archives of Canada Act have full disposition coverage by March 2018. At the end of the 2016–17 fiscal year, 78% of Government of Canada institutions had complete and up-to-date disposition coverage. Based on current estimates, LAC will reach its target of achieving full and up-to-date disposition coverage for 100% of departments subject to the Library and Archives of Canada Act by March 31, 2018.

Results achieved

Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016–17 Actual results 2015–16 Actual results 2014–15 Actual results
A regulatory regime is established across the Government of Canada so that government information may be managed and disposed of appropriately Percentage of federal government institutions supported by complete and up-to-date records disposition coverage 70% March 31, 2017 78% 64% 30%

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned spending
2016–17
Total authorities available for use
2016–17
Actual spending (authorities used)
2016–17
Difference (actual minus planned)
2,399,766 2,399,766 3,435,702 3,698,370 1,298,604

The variance between the planned spending of $2.4 million and the total authorizations available for use of $3.4 million is because of adjustments to the spending plan following a reorganization in LAC’s Operations Sector that affected programs 1.1, 1.2, 2.1 and 2.3. The variance between the total authorizations available for use and the actual spending is not significant.

Human resources (full-time equivalents or FTEs)

2016–17
Planned
2016–17
Actual
2016–17
Difference (actual minus planned)
25 41 16

The variance between the number of planned and actual FTEs is because of the transfer of employees from one branch to another following a reorganization within LAC’s Operations Sector, which affected programs 1.1, 1.2, 2.1 and 2.3. The effect of these transfers is not significant since the overall number of FTEs has barely changed.

Program 1.2: Collaboration in the management of government records

Description

Working collaboratively with central agencies, federal departments and agencies, and other partners, LAC plays a key role in developing standards, tools and best practices for information management and recordkeeping. LAC helps federal institutions to manage their information by:

  • providing advice on recordkeeping and records management to central agencies, other federal institutions and intergovernmental committees;
  • delivering training and awareness sessions to federal public servants, in seminars and forums on recordkeeping;
  • establishing networks in the government’s information management community;
  • coordinating initiatives that support the efforts of federal libraries and their respective departments.

Results

To support the management and transfer of government electronic records, LAC has begun working on a proof-of-concept transfer and archiving system for government electronic records. The project resulted from collaboration between LAC and key Government of Canada stakeholders involved in the implementation of the GCDOCS electronic records management system.

In addition to providing daily support in applying disposition and recordkeeping authorizations, LAC co-hosted, along with the Treasury Board Secretariat, two learning events on information management. Sixty percent of Government of Canada institutions attended the Recordkeeping Day and the Government of Canada Information Management Symposium.

Internationally, LAC collaborated on developing information management standards, specifically working with the ISO/TC 46/SC 11 archives/records management committee.

Results achieved

Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016–17 Actual results 2015–16 Actual results 2014–15 Actual results
Increased capacity and level of readiness to manage Government of Canada’s information effectively Percentage of federal government institutions that took part in disposition activities in compliance with their disposition instruments 60% March 31, 2017 60% 63% 75%

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2016–17 Main Estimates 2016–17 Planned spending 2016–17 Total authorities available for use 2016–17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
5,363,344 5,363,344 4,695,177 3,788,193 (1,575,151)

The variance between the planned spending of $5.4 million and the total authorizations available for use of $4.7 million is because of adjustments to the spending plan following a reorganization in LAC’s Operations Sector that affected programs 1.1, 1.2, 2.1 and 2.3. The variance between the total authorizations available for use of $4.7 million and the actual spending of $3.8 million is because of savings following the closing of the Pacific and Atlantic regional service centres, as part of the implementation of the long-term infrastructure strategy.

Human resources (full-time equivalents or FTEs)

2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
67 44 (23)

The variance between the number of planned and actual FTEs is because of the transfer of employees from one branch to another, following a reorganization within LAC’s Operations Sector, which affected programs 1.1, 1.2, 2.1 and 2.3. The effect of these transfers is not significant since the overall number of FTEs has barely changed. The small decline noted in this program is because of departures related to the closing of the Pacific and Atlantic regional service centres, as part of the implementation of the long-term infrastructure strategy.

Program 2.1: Documentation of Canadian society

Description

One of the main pillars of LAC’s mandate is to assess and acquire documentary heritage that is representative of Canadian society and will be available for current and future generations. LAC’s collections consist of published and unpublished information resources in a variety of media and formats, both analogue and digital.

This program includes all activities designed to evaluate, acquire and process the documentary heritage of Canada. LAC strives to guarantee the authenticity of this heritage and the relevance of its collection.

LAC’s acquisitions are governed by legislation in the following ways:

  • Under the Legal Deposit of Publications Regulations and the Library and Archives of Canada Act, Canadian publishers must provide LAC with copies of publications specified by LAC.
  • Under the Library and Archives of Canada Act, the government’s information records with historical value must be transferred to LAC once their retention period has expired.

LAC is also mandated to acquire documents of historical interest created by persons, non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to create a collection that is representative of Canadian society.

Results

Between April and June 2016, LAC developed, with its partners in the documentary community, a national acquisition strategy to facilitate the coordination of acquisitions across the country. A working group on collaborative acquisitions, which will ultimately involve all members of the Canadian archival system, was established to implement this strategy.

Based on the fundamentals and priorities of its 2016–19 Acquisition Strategy, LAC acquired 137 private archival holdings in 2016–17, as well as 142,810 publications. In addition, LAC completed an evaluation of regulations related to legal deposit and plans to develop a policy to guide the development of the published collection.

LAC has continued to make public its recent acquisitions every quarter on its website. Furthermore, certain acquisitions were made public on its social media accounts. These two approaches enable Canadians to be informed of LAC’s latest acquisitions in the field of archives and publications. LAC has also taken steps to obtain authorization to acquire the records of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, former Prime Minister of Canada.

LAC has archived over 1,000 websites, representing more than 100 million digital files. In  2016–17, the websites archived by LAC were primarily focused on the forest fires in Alberta and Saskatchewan, on the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, on the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and on Indigenous realities.

Results achieved

Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016–17 Actual results 2015–16 Actual results 2014–15 Actual results
Library and Archives Canada effectively acquires documentary heritage Percentage of responses provided to individuals and donor organizations within service standards 95% March 31, 2017 95% 95% Not available

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned spending
2016–17
Total authorities available for use
2016–17
Actual spending (authorities used)
2016–17
Difference (actual minus planned)
13,095,854 13,095,854 11,371,405 10,919,085 (2,176,769)

The variance between the planned spending of $13.1 million and the total authorizations available for use of $11.4 million is because of adjustments to the spending plan following a reorganization in LAC’s Operations Sector that affected programs 1.1, 1.2, 2.1 and 2.3. The variance between the total authorizations available for use and the actual spending is not significant.

Human resources (full-time equivalents or FTEs)

2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
142 113 (29)

The variance between the number of planned and actual FTEs is because of the transfer of employees from one branch to another, following a reorganization within LAC’s Operations Sector, which affected programs 1.1, 1.2, 2.1 and 2.3. The effect of these transfers is not significant since the overall number of FTEs has barely changed.

Program 2.2: Preservation of documentary heritage

Description

LAC manages a vast collection of materials in varied formats, both digital and analogue, to ensure their long-term preservation and availability. Special-purpose storage facilities under LAC’s control, including the Preservation Centre, the Nitrate Film Preservation Facility and the high-density storage facility, provide optimal conditions to prevent the deterioration of documents and ensure their physical integrity, authenticity and long-term availability.

Preservation activities include several categories: those related to the physical management of the collection, such as circulation and storage; those concerned with restoration and conservation, to help prevent the deterioration of documents and to repair damage; and, finally, those associated with reproduction and replacement copies, to ensure the preservation and availability of fragile documents. Innovative strategies have been implemented to maintain access to digital records and ensure that the content is protected, through media transfer and proper storage.

Results

In 2016–17, LAC made significant progress toward implementing its long-term infrastructure strategy, to meet future needs regarding preservation space. LAC continued to plan construction of a new facility dedicated to the preservation of archival records (Gatineau 2). As of March 31, 2017, the project was progressing on schedule and on budget. In addition, LAC managed the six buildings dedicated to the preservation of archival holdings that had previously been administered by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). The Burnaby and Dartmouth regional service centres, dedicated to the storage of archival records, were closed as part of the long-term infrastructure strategy aimed at optimizing space.

LAC has made progress in developing its digital management platform. In 2016–17, LAC continued to develop a methodology for assessing the risks of losing digital heritage through obsolete formats and media, and outdated storage conditions. An inventory of private archives was completed, and the inventory of government records is ongoing.

In 2016–17, LAC preserved an additional 1.33 petabytes (Pb)* of digital data. This is a 9% reduction compared with last year, as a result of equipment failure and system upgrading by Shared Services Canada. LAC progressed in its 10-year migration strategy for audiovisual recordings, which aims to transfer 180,000 hours of at-risk audiovisual material to durable digital formats. As of March 31, 2017, 83.5% of the highest at-risk recordings had been migrated. LAC is therefore on track to meet the timelines of its 10-year strategy, which began in 2009.

Results achieved

Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016–17 Actual results 2015–16 Actual results 2014–15 Actual results
The LAC collection is safeguarded for current and future generations Percentage of at-risk audiovisual material migrated from an obsolete format to a widely used digital format 80% March 31, 2017 83.5% 67% 44%
The LAC collection is safeguarded for current and future generations Annual percentage of increase of new digital files preserved (includes both born-digital and digitized documents) 20% March 31, 2017 76% of target was achieved * 43% 129%

* The target was not totally achieved because of a lack of storage space and some technical issues. 1.33 Pb of digital files were preserved in 2016–17 while the target was 1.75 Pb.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned spending
2016–17
Total authorities available for use
2016–17
Actual spending (authorities used)
2016–17
Difference (actual minus planned)
41,608,310 41,608,310 41,001,527 35,770,236 (5,838,074)

The variance between the planned spending of $41.6 million and the total authorizations available for use of $41.0 million is not significant. The variance between the total authorizations available for use of $41.0 million and the actual spending of $35.8 million is because of a deferred payment to fund the implementation of LAC’s long-term infrastructure strategy.

Human resources (full-time equivalents or FTEs)

2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
142 165 23

The variance between the number of planned and actual FTEs is because of the hiring of personnel to meet growing needs in digitization for preservation purposes.

Program 2.3: Access to documentary heritage

Description

This program is designed to make Canada’s documentary heritage known and available to Canadians, to promote a better understanding of Canadian society. It includes activities to digitize, describe, organize, index and interlink this documentary heritage, to facilitate access. The digital content, the databases, the catalogue indexes and the associated tools help users to find the documentary resources for which LAC is responsible.

The program also includes activities that help to make documentary heritage available. LAC provides a wide range of users with information and with consultation, reproduction and lending services. These services can be accessed in a number of ways: in person, by phone, by mail, by email or online.

LAC also contributes to making Canada’s documentary heritage known by providing access to records under its control through public programs and partnerships. The Documentary Heritage Communities Program (DHCP) provides funding to promote preservation, accessibility and the promotion of local documentary heritage.

Finally, LAC helps to make government records available in accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act by providing, among other things, information in the personnel files of former public servants and members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Results

LAC continued to promote access to its collection by increasing the amount of online content both on its website and on social media. In 2016–17, LAC digitized 9,287,106 images, which focused mainly on the First World War, Indigenous realities and Expo 67. As of March 31, 2017, LAC had digitized and posted on its website 416,749 of the 640,000 service records for the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the First World War. All 640,000 records are expected to be posted online by the end of 2018.

In June 2016, LAC and its partners adopted a national digitization strategy to coordinate efforts to digitize the collections of Canadian memory institutions. A national interinstitutional steering committee was established to ensure that digitization initiatives were developed. In the fall of 2016, the committee developed a three-year action plan setting out the general activities that will guide its work over the next three years.

In response to Canada's Action Plan on Open Government 2016–18, LAC has made over 8 million pages of government records available through block review, which enables access restrictions to be lifted. LAC has also contributed to the Government of Canada’s Open Government Portal by uploading 45 datasets to it.

In addition to promoting online access, LAC has made significant progress in planning the revitalization of its in-person service offerings in Halifax and Vancouver. LAC signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax and with the Vancouver Public Library to use these spaces to offer services to the public as of 2017–18.

With respect to innovation, LAC has led three initiatives that encourage citizen collaboration to enrich the collection and promote access. The DigiLab was set up at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa to enable users to digitize and contextualize LAC collections. All digitized records are subsequently posted online and made accessible to the general public.

Thanks to popular enthusiasm for collaborative work, the Coltman Report, a 521-page manuscript about conflicts on Indigenous lands in British North America, was transcribed by the public within a month. Lastly, Project Naming, our photo identification project, was expanded to include Inuit communities in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, Northern Quebec (Nunavik) and Labrador, and the two other Indigenous groups in Canada: the First Nations and Métis. Since 2002, approximately 8,000 images have been digitized, and almost 2,000 people, activities and locations have been identified thanks to information provided by participants.

In 2016–17, LAC increased the visibility of its collection by holding about 60 events and exhibitions in several Canadian cities. LAC also worked with its partners to display its collection to a wider public:

  • In partnership with the Dalnavert Museum and Visitors’ Centre in Winnipeg, LAC presented the “Sir John A. Macdonald: Rare and Intriguing Treasures” from the Vaults of Library and Archives Canada exhibition;
  • In collaboration with the Library of Parliament, to mark the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, LAC contributed to the “Foundations: The Words That Shaped Canada” exhibition;
  • In collaboration with UNESCO, LAC held the “Hiding in Plain Sight: Discovering the Métis Nation” exhibition;
  • The “Alter Ego: Comics and Canadian Identity” exhibition was presented at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa.

Public programming also contributed to the revitalization of LAC’s building on Wellington Street. A number of prominent events were held there, including conferences, seminars and musical performances:

  • Taking It to the Streets: Summit on the Value of Libraries, Archives and Museums in a Changing World;
  • Yiddish in the New Millennium;
  • Smart Cities: Imagining the Future National Capital Region.

The TD Summer Reading Club set a record: 700,000 children signed up for the program’s activities. The aim of the Reading Club is to encourage children to acquire and maintain reading skills during the summer, while highlighting Canadian stories, authors and illustrators. The program is supported by TD Bank Group in partnership with the Toronto Public Library.

To improve the searchability of Canada’s published heritage and to enhance awareness of Canada’s rich documentary heritage, LAC has proceeded with the implementation of the replacement plan for the AMICUS database, a catalogue that contains the information resources of hundreds of libraries across Canada. A contract was signed on March 23, 2017, with the non-profit co-operative Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), the world’s largest online resource for discovering library materials. The new system will be implemented over a two-year period. AMICUS will be available in the meantime.

The Documentary Heritage Communities Program (DHCP) continued in 2016–17. $1.5 million was distributed to 40 projects proposed by archive centres, libraries and organizations dedicated to heritage preservation. This financial assistance enables recipient organizations to preserve, make accessible and promote local documentary heritage.

Results achieved

Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016–17 Actual results 2015–16 Actual results 2014–15 Actual results
Improved access to Canada’s documentary heritage Amount of material downloaded by clients on LAC's website 100 million files March 31, 2017 90,461,030 11,481,954 Not available

The variance between the 2015–16 and 2016–17 results is because of a different methodology to measure the number of downloads. The number of downloads now includes only downloads (images, PDF documents and audio and video files) made by customers rather than all downloads generated by automated web archiving and indexing systems.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned spending
2016–17
Total authorities available for use
2016–17
Actual spending (authorities used)
2016–17
Difference (actual minus planned)
27,024,039 27,024,039 34,071,149 32,694,622 5,670,584

The variance between the planned spending of $27 million and the total authorizations available for use of $34.1 million is because of adjustments to the spending plan following a reorganization in LAC’s Operations Sector that affected programs 1.1, 1.2, 2.1 and 2.3. The variance between the total authorizations available for use of $34.1 million and the actual spending of $32.7 million is because of savings obtained due to the time needed to establish a contractual agreement for a new library management service.

Human resources (full-time equivalents or FTEs)

2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
275 328 53

The variance between the number of planned and actual FTEs is because of the transfer of employees from one branch to another, following a reorganization within LAC’s Operations Sector, which involved programs 1.1, 1.2, 2.1 and 2.3. The effect of these transfers is not significant since the overall number of FTEs has barely changed. The small increase noted in this program is because of the hiring of personnel to meet growing needs related to access. Information on Library and Archives Canada’s programs is available on the TBS InfoBase.

Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the delivery model. The 10 service categories 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; and Acquisition Services.

Results

In terms of developing policies that guide LAC’s operations, a renewed policy framework with respect to access has been published, and a directive on Web accessibility has been implemented. LAC has also continued to develop a directive aimed at making private archives and organisational records available, as well as a directive to make government records available; the latter is part of the vision of open government.  

In the winter of 2017, LAC adopted the project management governance framework. This framework allows for the governance, formalization and documentation of decision making on projects. It will also serve to ensure a standardized follow-up of projects, adapted to the risk and complexity of each project.

LAC continued its efforts in terms of engagement and professional development as part of the government-wide Destination 2020 initiative. Since March 2017, the Take Me with You initiative has taken effect. It encourages all employees to ask their managers and colleagues to take them along to meetings related to their areas of interest, their professional development goals and the files they are working on.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned spending
2016–17
Total authorities available for use
2016–17
Actual spending (authorities used)
2016–17
Difference (actual minus planned)
27,367,254 27,367,254 28,275,495 27,630,132 262,878

Human resources (full-time equivalents or FTEs)

2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
223 212 (11)

Analysis of trends in spending and human resources

Actual expenditures

Figure 1. Departmental spending trend

Departmental spending trend, see text version below
Figure 1: Departmental spending trend – text version

Fiscal year

Total

Voted

Statutory

Sunset programs – anticipated

2014–2015 102,593,650 91,474,158 11,119,492 0
2015–2016 91,451,612 81,211,485 10,240,127 0
2016–2017 114,500,638 104,371,649 10,128,989 0
2017–2018 115,219,215 104,899,917 10,319,298 0
2018–2019 111,532,726 101,213,428 10,319,298 0
2019–2020 145,716,804 135,397,506 10,319,298 0

The chart above shows the total spending trend of Library and Archives Canada, in dollars, over a six-year period from 2014–15 to 2019–20 (three fiscal years of actual spending and three fiscal years of planned spending). 

The increased spending as of 2016–17 is because of the transfer of funds from Public Services and Procurement Canada to support the custodianship of the special-purpose storage facilities, in connection with the long-term infrastructure strategy. This enables LAC to administer its real property portfolio.

The increase in spending in 2019–20 is because of payments made before construction of the new preservation facility (Gatineau 2) is completed.

Budgetary performance summary for Programs and Internal Services (dollars)

Programs and Internal Services 2016–17 Main Estimates 2016–17 Planned spending 2017–18 Planned spending 2018–19 Planned spending 2016–17 Total authorizations available for use 2016–17 Actual spending (authorizations used) 2015–16 Actual spending (authorizations used) 2014–15 Actual spending (authorizations used)
Program 1.1: Development of disposition authorizations 2,399,766 2,399,766 2,399,766 2,399,766 3,435,702 3,698,370 2,636,780 3,423,217
Program 1.2: Collaboration in the management of government records 5,363,344 5,363,344 5,363,344 5,363,344 4,695,177 3,788,193 4,797,139 9,392,789
Program 2.1: Documentation of Canadian society 13,095,854 13,095,854 13,095,854 13,095,854 11,371,405 10,919,085 13,525,770 12,908,868
Program 2.2: Preservation of documentary heritage 41,608,310 41,608,310 41,733,878 38,047,389 41,001,527 35,770,236 13,905,973 18,580,815
Program 2.3: Access to documentary heritage 27,024,039 27,024,039 27,024,039 27,024,039 34,071,149 32,694,622 25,694,772 33,220,247
Subtotal 81,728,203 81,728,203 81,853,771 78,167,282 86,444,080 79,383,943 53,126,516 64,709,930
Internal Services 27,367,254 27,367,254 27,367,254 27,367,254 28,275,495 27,630,132 30,891,178 25,067,714
Total 116,858,567 116,858,567 116,984,135 113,297,646 122,850,455 114,500,638 91,451,612 102,593,650

In 2016–17, the variance of $6.0 million between the planned spending of $116.9 million in the 2016–17 Report on Plans and Priorities and the total authorizations of $122.9 million is primarily attributable to the additional funding received during the fiscal year, including:

  • a transfer from the Treasury Board Secretariat for operating and capital budget carry-forwards from 2015–16 to 2016–17; and
  • transfers from various government agencies to develop and achieve, in co-operation with them, horizontal initiatives that promote access to data and information. 

In addition, the variance of $8.3 million between the total authorizations of $122.8 million and the actual spending of $114.5 million can be explained by the following factors:

  • an amount carried forward to fund the implementation of LAC’s long-term infrastructure strategy – Preservation of documentary heritage (Program 2.2);
  • savings obtained because of the time needed to establish a contractual agreement for an integrated library management system – Access to documentary heritage (Program 2.3);
  • an amount carried forward in anticipation of potential pressures as a result of the renewal of collective agreements; and
  • frozen allotments that cannot be spent, such as the additional amount required to cover benefits related to payroll, as well as a reduction announced in Budget 2016 regarding professional services, travel and advertising.

Actual human resources

Human resources summary for Programs and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)

Programs and Internal Services 2014–15 Actual 2015–16 Actual 2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2017–18 Planned 2017–18 Actual
Program 1.1: Development of disposition authorizations 36 28 25 41 39 39
Program 1.2: 1.2: Collaboration in the management of government records 77 59 67 44 44 44
Program 2.1: Documentation of Canadian society 125 143 142 113 112 112
Program 2.2: Preservation of documentary heritage 172 148 142 165 131 131
Program 2.3: Access to documentary heritage 360 311 275 328 340 340
Subtotal 770 689 651 691 666 666
Internal Services 181 224 223 212 241 241
Total 951 913 874 903 907 907

The variances between the number of planned full-time equivalents and actual full-time equivalents in 2016–17 are mainly attributable to the following factors:

  • the reorganization of LAC’s Operations Sector transferred employees from one branch to another within programs 1.1, 1.2, 2.1 and 2.3;
  • the departures because of the closing of regional service centres in the Pacific and the Atlantic regions, as part of the long-term infrastructure strategy (Program 1.2); and
  • the hiring of personnel to meet growing needs in digitization and access (programs 2.2 and 2.3).

Expenditures by vote

For information on Library and Archives Canada’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2017.

Alignment of spending with the whole-of-government framework

Alignment of 2016-17 actual spending with the whole-of-government framework (dollars)

Program Spending area Government of Canada activity 2016–17 Actual spending
1.1 Development of disposition authorizations Government Affairs A transparent, accountable and responsive federal government 3,698,370
1.2 Collaboration in the management of government records Government Affairs A transparent, accountable and responsive federal government 3,788,193
2.1 Documentation of Canadian society Social Affairs A vibrant Canadian culture and heritage 10,919,085
2.2 Preservation of documentary heritage Social Affairs A vibrant Canadian culture and heritage 35,770,236
2.3 Access to documentary heritage Social Affairs A vibrant Canadian culture and heritage 32,694,622

Total spending by spending area (dollars)

Spending area Total planned spending Total actual spending
Economic affairs 0 0
Social affairs 81,728,203 79,383,943
International affairs 0 0
Government affairs 7,763,110 7,486,563

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Financial statements

Library and Archives Canada’s unaudited financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2017 are available on Library and Archives Canada’s website.

Financial statements highlights

The highlights presented in this section are taken from LAC's financial statements and are prepared on a full accrual basis. These financial statements have been prepared using Government of Canada accounting policies, which are based on Canadian public sector accounting standards.

The variance between the figures provided in other sections of this report, which were prepared on an expenditure basis, and the figures that follow, which were prepared on an accrual basis, relates to accrual entries such as the recognition of services without charge received from other government departments and the acquisition of capital assets and related amortization expenses, as well as to accrued liability adjustments.

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2017 (dollars)

Financial information 2016–17 Planned results 2016–17 Actual 2015–16 Actual Difference (2016–17 actual minus 2016–17 planned) Difference (2016–17 actual minus 2015–16 actual)
Total expenses 142,929,645 128,349,329 137,092,008 (14,580,316) (8,742,679)
Total revenues 238,000 393,949 1,369,701 155,949 (975,752)
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 142,691,645 127,955,380 135,722,307 (14,736,265) (7,766,927)

The difference in total expenses is largely because of the transfer of custody and consolidation of the special-purpose storage facilities of Library and Archives Canada. This change in LAC’s activities is reflected mainly in a decrease in expenses related to common services provided without charge by Public Services and Procurement Canada for accommodations and by an increase in expenses related to payment in lieu of taxes, to maintenance and repairs, and for professional and special services.

The actual revenues gap between 2015-16 and 2016-17 is explained by the conclusion of the Interdepartmental Memorandum of Understanding between LAC and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Its purpose was to provide the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada with all government documents held by LAC relating to Indigenous Residential Schools. Revenues accounted for this purpose cover expenses incurred by LAC during the first nine months of 2015-16.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as at March 31, 2017 (dollars)

Financial Information 2016–17 2015–16 * Difference (2016–17 minus 2015–16)
Total net liabilities 19,805,178 19,222,055 583,123
Total net financial assets 13,572,309 10,039,065 3,533,244
Departmental net debt 6,232,869 9,182,990 (2,950,121)
Total non financial assets 85,735,029 40,027,160 45,707,869
Departmental net financial position 79,502,160 30,844,170 48,657,990

The increase in net financial assets is mainly because of an increase in the amount to be received from the Treasury, and an increase in accounts receivable and advances.

The increase in net non-financial assets is mainly because of the transfer of custody of LAC’s special-purpose storage facilities. Indeed, following this transfer of custody, the net book value of more than $41 million for the land and facilities in question was transferred from Public Services and Procurement Canada to LAC.

Supplementary information

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister: The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Institutional head: Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Ministerial portfolio: Department of Canadian Heritage

Enabling instrument: Library and Archives of Canada Act, S.C. 2004, c. 11

Year of incorporation / commencement: 2004

Reporting framework

Library and Archives Canada’s Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture of record for 2016–17 are shown below:

1. Strategic Outcome: Government information is managed to support government accountability

  • 1.1. Program: Development of disposition authorizations
  • 1.2. Program: Collaboration in the management of government records

2. Strategic Outcome: Canada's documentary heritage is preserved and accessible to current and future generations

  • 2.1. Program: Documentation of Canadian society
  • 2.2. Program: Preservation of documentary heritage
  • 2.3. Program: Access to documentary heritage

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on Library and Archives Canada’s website:

  • Internal audits and evaluations
  • User fees, regulatory charges and external fees
  • Status report on transformational and major Crown projects
  • Response to parliamentary committees and external audits
  • Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions,rals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Library and Archives Canada

550 De la Cité Boulevard
Gatineau, Quebec  K1A 0N4
Telephone: 613-996-5115
Telephone (toll-free): 1-866-578-7777
TTY: 613-992-6969 or 1-866-299-1699
Facsimile: 613-995-6274
www.bac-lac.gc.ca

395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0N4
Telephone: 613-996-5115  
Facsimile: 613-995-6274
www.bac-lac.gc.ca

Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
Core Responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Core Responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan (Plan ministériel)
Provides information on the plans and expected performance of appropriated departments over a three year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
A Departmental Result represents the change or changes that the department seeks to influence. A Departmental Result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.
Departmental Result Indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a Departmental Result.
Departmental Results Framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
Consists of the department’s Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.
Departmental Results Report (Rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
Provides information on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
Evaluation (évaluation)
In the Government of Canada, the systematic and neutral collection and analysis of evidence to judge merit, worth or value. Evaluation informs decision making, improvements, innovation and accountability. Evaluations typically focus on programs, policies and priorities and examine questions related to relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. Depending on user needs, however, evaluations can also examine other units, themes and issues, including alternatives to existing interventions. Evaluations generally employ social science research methods.
full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2017–18 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada's Strength; and Security and Opportunity.
horizontal initiatives (initiative horizontale)
An initiative where two or more federal organizations, through an approved funding agreement, work toward achieving clearly defined shared outcomes, and which has been designated (for example, by Cabinet or a central agency) as a horizontal initiative for managing and reporting purposes.
Management, resources and results structure (Structure de la gestion, des ressources et des résultats)
A comprehensive framework that consists of an organization’s inventory of programs, resources, results, performance indicators and governance information. Programs and results are depicted in their hierarchical relationship to each other and to the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute. The Management, Resources and Results Structure is developed from the Program Alignment Architecture.
non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs) and Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs), planned spending refers to those amounts that receive Treasury Board approval by February 1. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditures presented in the Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their RPPs and DPRs.

plans (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
priorities (priorité)
Plans or projects that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Strategic Outcome(s).
program (programme)
A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and to achieve intended results and that are treated as a budgetary unit.
Program alignment architecture ( architecture d’alignement des programmes)
A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.
results (résultat)
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.
statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
Strategic outcome (résultat stratégique)
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.
sunset program (programme temporisé)
A time-limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.
target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.
Date modified: