2019-2022 Three-Year Plan: Annual Report 2019-2020

IMPORTANT: Progress reports on the 2019-2022 Three-Year Plan, which were originally published every three months, are now issued twice a year. The indicators, however, remain the same.

Refer to the Three-year plan 2019-2022 for a full explanation of LAC's commitments.

1st year, cumulative results

Eight indicators are reported mid-year, while 22 indicators are reported annually.

1. Engaged citizens. Accessible holdings

Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) goal is to improve access to its collection and increase opportunities for the public to enhance its holdings.

1.1 Number of user contributions in the Co-Lab crowdsourcing tool

Target: 1,500

Q4: 570
Q3: 802
Q2: 94
Q1: 330
Total: 1,796

In 2019–2020, Co-Lab users made 1,796 contributions to transcribe, describe, translate or tag the content of the images from challenges posted online.

Two challenges were launched during the last quarter. The first challenge was released on International Women’s Day and included 146 images of Women lightkeepers, heroes by the sea. The second challenge focused on the Diary of François-Hyacinthe Séguin. The diary describes and critiques daily life in the 1830s in the municipality of Terrebonne, Quebec.

1.2 Number of images digitized via DigiLab

Target: 30,000

Q4: 1,323
Q3: 15,725
Q2: 3,094
Q1: 8,033
Total: 28,175

DigiLab users digitized 28,175 images in 2019–2020. The number of images digitized depends on both the amount and the size of DigiLab user projects. The number of visits declined in March 2020 as a result of the closure of 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa because of the COVID 19 pandemic.

2.1 Number of participants who attended exhibitions and events delivered by LAC or in collaboration with other organizations

Target: 100,000

Q4: 11,132
Q3: 45,763
Q2: 77,008
Q1: 50,148
Total: 184,899

184,899 participants attended exhibitions and events presented by LAC or in conjunction with other organizations during the year.

The number of participants dropped during the fourth quarter because of the closure of museums in March. Moreover, some of these organizations were unable to send their client-traffic data to LAC.

2.2 Extent to which public programming included a variety of activities that promoted cultural diversity and Indigenous history

In 2019–2020, LAC organized eight events in its Ottawa facilities to promote cultural diversity and Indigenous history.

To promote cultural diversity, LAC participated in the launch of Desmond Cole’s book The Skin We're In. LAC also used social media to inform and raise subscriber awareness about cultural diversity, sharing stories about important Canadians, including two notable African-Canadian women, Portia White, the first singer to win international acclaim and Jean Augustine, one of the first in the House of Commons.

In addition, to promote Indigenous history, LAC also worked with communities and the Treasury Board Secretariat to create a video on the importance of identifying and naming the Indigenous people in photos from its collection. This video was screened at a conference focusing on citizen-government collaboration and is now available for everyone. Furthermore, LAC uploaded the podcast Episode 59 – Tom Longboat is Cogwagee is Everything, which recounts the life of a long-distance runner who made his mark on Canadian history. Two Co-Lab challenges related to Indigenous history were also launched: George Mully: moments in Indigenous communities and Correspondence regarding First Nations veterans returning after the First World War.

3.1 Number of transactions at LAC’s service points in Ottawa, Halifax, Winnipeg and Vancouver, through all service channels

Target: 80,000

Q4: 17,549
Q3: 20,234
Q2: 25,850
Q1: 20,785
Total: 84,418

Although the number of transactions dropped following the closure of its service points in March, LAC surpassed its annual target by completing 84,418 transactions in its service points, exceeding the total for 2018–2019 (81,399 transactions).

3.2 Number of visitors to the LAC website

Target: 2,000,000

Q4: 659,749
Q3: 802,696
Q2: 617,754
Q1: 698,483
Total: 2,778,682

There were 2,778,682 unique visitors who accessed LAC’s website in 2019–2020.

An analysis of the most popular pages found that genealogical research was the main interest of those who visited LAC’s website, with a strong preference for censuses and First World War personnel records.

3.3 Number of images digitized from LAC’s collection

Target: 3,500,000

Q4: 796,213
Q3: 843,269
Q2: 1,052,126
Q1: 815,698
Total: 3,506,854

In 2019–2020, 3,506,854 images were digitized from LAC’s collection. Sixty percent (60%) of these images were digitized in response to client requests. The balance of the digitized content focused on Indigenous, military and government documentary heritage.

4.1 Level of client satisfaction for web and in-person services

This indicator was not measured in 2019–2020. LAC is assessing options to measure client satisfaction considering the impact of COVID-19.

4.2 Level of satisfaction with events from participants and partners

This indicator was not measured in 2019–2020. A survey had been planned for March 2020, but it had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Adaptable organization. Sustainable collection

LAC’s goal is to grow its collection and implement measures to preserve it for future generations.

1.1 Percentage of federal institutions transferring their records annually

LAC met its target of 15%, with 15% of federal institutions transferring their records to LAC in 2019–2020.

1.2 Percentage of active publishers transferring publications annually

Seventy percent (70%) of active publishers transferred their publications to LAC in 2019–2020. This result does not meet the 82% target, but LAC devoted some of its efforts to implementing a new heritage management system introduced at the beginning of the year.

2.1 Extent to which LAC, with GC partners, has successfully developed and implemented a tool to enable the transfer of digital government records

LAC worked on a pilot project with four departments to create a tool for transferring federal government records of enduring value to LAC from electronic document repositories (GCDocs). The implementation of this tool will ultimately enable departments to comply with the LAC directive on transferring all born-digital government records as of 2017.

The pilot project met the established budget and timelines, leveraged retention schedules and some existing functions, and adhered to the Standard on Metadata for transferring digital archival records. The project will continue in 2020–2021, building on lessons learned. It will focus on transferring actual archival records (instead of data samples), to improve the tool and the transfer procedure.

3.1 Extent to which a digital asset management system (DAMS) is implemented for the acquisition and preservation of digital publications and digital government records

LAC tested DAMS implementation with 40 publishing houses, and it successfully acquired e-theses. LAC is preparing to test monograph acquisition in 2020–2021. LAC has also successfully tested a mechanism to automatically transfer government documents from GCDocs.

3.2 Extent to which a new archival information system is implemented

A Request for Information was successfully completed with the support of Public Services and Procurement Canada. The information obtained and internal consultations helped in preparing a draft Statement of Requirements needed to submit a Request for Proposal in 2020–2021.

4.1 Update on the transition and renewal of LAC’s services for moving to the LAC-OPL joint facility

While the design for the joint facility with Ottawa Public Library (OPL) was unveiled with great fanfare in January 2020, LAC has worked on several fronts throughout the year to ensure enhanced services and a smooth transition when the new facility opens its doors to the public in late 2024. Among other things, LAC has reviewed current trends and best practices in cultural and knowledge institutions around the world. LAC has also estimated how many visitors are expected, so it can plan the site layout and the services offered.

LAC has also implemented consultation mechanisms to respond to the needs of current and future clients. A consultation session was organized with LAC’s Youth Advisory Council to discuss the entrance and information sites. Staff from LAC were also closely involved in the final stages of the design process, and they provided advice and recommendations. Four working groups were created (reference and genealogy, public programming, visitor orientation, and consulting the collection) to create a client-centred vision and service offering.

LAC has also made progress on the operations transition plan. Moreover, the digitization of the reference collection was launched with search tools and staff tools.

4.2 Update on the preparation and move of LAC’s collection to the new preservation facility, and other related collection moves

LAC met 100% of its annual objectives related to the scanning and cataloguing of the collection that will be moved to the future preservation facility. These activities were carried out at the Archives Centre in Renfrew and the Preservation Centre in Gatineau. In 2020–2021, efforts will focus on the Collections Storage Facility in Gatineau.

5.1 Extent to which LAC supports employee professional development

In 2019, 66% of employees felt that LAC contributed to their professional development, compared with 57% of employees in the federal public service as a whole who answered this question in the annual Public Service Employee Survey. For LAC, this was an increase of three percentage points compared with the 2018 results.

3. Collaborative efforts. Magnified results.

LAC’s goal is to seek out and support collective solutions for a more cohesive and impactful documentary heritage community at home and abroad.

1.1 Extent to which LAC collaborates with its partners to increase access to heritage material

Nine agreements were signed this year with LAC partners. The agreement with Ottawa Public Library to build a new joint facility will undoubtedly have the greatest impact on facilitating access to documentary heritage over the coming years.

LAC has loaned items from its collection for display at six events and 13 museum exhibitions: 11 across Canada and one each in the United States and Belgium.

LAC worked with a group of academic and special-purpose libraries to identify federal print publications with a limited number of available copies, to maintain access to these publications in the future.

LAC and its partners also collaborated on social media by sharing their posts, thereby broadening their scope and reaching a wider audience. This was the case, for instance, on Book Lovers Day to promote open data from LAC’s rare book collection, and when LAC shared images of the Second World War from its collection.

2.1 Number of Canadian representatives elected to international committees

Fourteen elected Canadian representatives participated actively in various international documentary-heritage committees. The target for this year was 10 representatives.

These committees included the International Council on Archives (ICA), the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) and the Réseau francophone numérique (RFN).

2.2 Nationwide reach of the Documentary Heritage Communities Program (DHCP)

LAC announced the funding of 47 projects in 2019–2020 through the DHCP. There were 19 new recipient organizations.

Since the program began in 2015, 145 organizations have received funding to carry out their projects.

3.1 Update on the implementation of LAC’s Indigenous Heritage Action Plan

In 2019–2020, LAC started 27 of 28 actions, to varying degrees, set out in the Indigenous Heritage Action Plan. These included implementing awareness activities for LAC employees to foster understanding of Indigenous history; recruiting 13 Indigenous employees in key positions to carry out initiatives related to Indigenous heritage; and reviewing the terminology used to describe records in LAC’s collection, to enhance access and ensure a culturally appropriate and respectful approach toward Indigenous communities. LAC has also allocated $2.3 million in funding to 31 Indigenous-led organizations for projects showcasing Indigenous documentary heritage.

4.1 Number of engagements with external academic, cultural and memory institutions

Target: 50

Q4: 37
Q3: 69
Q2: 32
Q1: 42
Total: 180

LAC has undertaken 180 collaboration projects with academic, cultural and memory institutions during the year, largely exceeding its target of 50 projects.

For example, LAC representatives shared their expertise in courses offered by Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. LAC’s Youth Advisory Council also met a number of times during the year, to help LAC understand how young people view, access and identify with Canada’s documentary heritage.

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