Collection Development Policy and Citizen Participation Strategy


  • 2016-2018: Following a review of its Legal Deposit (LD) legislation, a comparative study of the LD programs at other national libraries and extensive internal and external consultation, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) approved a high-level Policy on Collection Development for Published Heritage.
  • The policy applies to both analog and digital content and contains sections on Legal Deposit, Purchases and Gifts, and Web Archiving.
  • In 2019, LAC produced draft supplementary instruments to address internal policy gaps. A small pilot project was conducted to solicit citizen participation (GoC PlaceSpeak online tool) in LAC policy development. LAC’s Youth Advisory Council also provided input regarding collecting options for new media.
  • One of the key drivers of this policy is to address the issue of electronic publications. The implementation of the Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) at LAC finally puts Published Heritage Branch (PHB) in a position to offer publishers a robust solution to ingest e-publications: books, music, serials, and theses. We expect that compliance with legal deposit will increase as a result of this new solution, especially for serials and music.


  • The new policy direction will have a significant impact on operations. Once approved, the resulting policy suite will inform potential changes to the Legal Deposit of Publications Regulations.
  • Key principles of the policy cascade into the PHB strategic plan and LAC’s Publisher Outreach Strategy.

Key Public Messages

  • LAC has approved an updated collection development policy to guide acquisition of published material in all formats.
  • Lower level guidance supporting the policy has been developed. Key questions regarding number of print copies and inclusion of Indigenous materials in Legal Deposit are under consideration.
  • Once finalized, the policy suite will inform potential changes to the Legal Deposit of Publications Regulations as part of revisions to the LAC Act (deadline March 2021).


Alison Bullock, Director, Published Acquisitions
Telephone: 613-292-4871

Date modified: