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Departmental Performance Report

Library and Archives Canada

The original version was signed by
The Honourable James Moore, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Table of Contents

Minister's Message

Section I: Departmental Overview

Section II: Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

Section III: Supplementary Information

Minister's Message

Photo of the Honourable James Moore, P.C, M.P. Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

The Government of Canada is committed to building a country in which all citizens have the chance to participate in our cultural and economic life. Our Government recognizes the importance of arts and culture in reaching this goal. The agencies and organizations in the Canadian Heritage Portfolio, such as Library and Archives Canada (LAC), are working toward this goal of providing us with opportunities to celebrate and share our rich historical, cultural, artistic, and social heritage.

During 2008–2009, LAC made substantial progress toward becoming a knowledge institution that responds to the interests of Canadians in the 21st century. In a time when Canadians turn to the Internet more and more to find information, the LAC website has become a prime destination for those interested in topics such as genealogy and Canada's democracy. In addition, LAC continued to support our Government's commitment to accountability by ensuring that significant documents produced by the federal government are preserved and made accessible.

As co-host of the World Library and Information Congress that took place in Quebec City in 2008, LAC had the opportunity to share expertise and ideas with thousands of delegates from around the globe on issues related to the management of digital documents. Thanks to partnerships with American and Irish institutions, LAC has made it possible for Canadians to discover sources of documentary heritage of interest to them, but preserved outside of Canada. In collaboration with the United States National Archives and Records Administration, LAC presented the exhibition 1783: Subject or Citizen? The Treaty of Paris, giving the public an opportunity to see the documents that forged present-day North America. The National Archives of Ireland and LAC have established links between Canadian and Irish communities in facilitating access to the Irish census data, which allows many Canadians to trace their personal history to their roots.

As Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, I am pleased to present the 2008–2009 Departmental Performance Report of Library and Archives Canada. This report provides a detailed account of LAC's accomplishments and demonstrates the ways in which it supports the priorities of our Government. I would like to highlight the efforts that LAC staff have made throughout the year to strengthen the bonds that unite us as Canadians and to contribute to our collective feeling of pride.


The Honourable James Moore, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Section I: Departmental Overview

Raison d'être

The preamble of the Library and Archives of Canada Act states that the mandate of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is:

  • to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations;
  • to serve as 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 in Canada co-operation among the communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge; and
  • to serve as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.


The Library and Archives of Canada Act establishes an ambitious, wide-ranging mandate related to acquiring, preserving and making known Canada's collective memory. Through a continuing multi-year process, we have been consolidating and focusing our efforts on the core activities most relevant to our mandate and to the interests of Canadians. Consistent with government-wide priorities, we are reviewing our processes and rethinking our practices to get the best results from our resources.

There are three main sources for the material in our collections, regardless of format. First, Government of Canada departments and agencies transfer to LAC their documents and records of anticipated business or historic value. Second, the legislated requirements of Legal Deposit obligate publishers to provide LAC with copies of material published in Canada. Third, LAC receives various donations, purchases other items and collects more material from the Internet.

To make it easier for Canadians to discover the collections, LAC describes holdings in accordance with national and international standards, which we help to develop and maintain. We are constantly exploring ways to make information resources more accessible. Regardless of format, LAC manages the care of our collections to preserve our collective memory for future generations.

Our responsibilities for the management of Government of Canada digital, paper and other records support government accountability and decision making. They enable Canadians to explore government actions of the past, while our eight Regional Service Centres (formerly Federal Records Centres) manage records in all media on behalf of more than 90 federal government organizations across the country. More broadly, we lead the examination of government recordkeeping issues and identify possible improvements to help meet government priorities and to make federal records more accessible.

Library and Archives Canada: Building Canada's Collective Memory and Making It Accessible to Canadians

  • 22 million books, periodicals, newspapers, microfilms, literary texts and government publications
  • 167,000 metres of government and private textual records
  • 3 million architectural drawings, maps and plans
  • 25 million photographs
  • 351,000 hours of film, video and sound recordings
  • Canada's portrait collection, which includes 21,000 works of art and thousands of caricatures
  • 555,000 musical items
  • 365,500 items from the documentary art collection, including watercolours, sketches, miniatures and oil paintings
  • 1 million items from the philatelic collection
  • More than a billion megabytes of digital content

Source: Library and Archives Canada

We make our collections known in many ways. The Library and Archives Canada website has become a major destination for Canadians and people interested in Canada. Our staff members organize exhibitions and learning events that take place in LAC facilities and at partner sites across Canada. We help users understand how our collections and resources are organized and assist them in their searches (see Figures 1 to 3 on the next page related to LAC services). As necessary, we safeguard the rights attached to holdings, such as copyrights and privacy protection. LAC Access to Information responsibilities often involve reviews of archival records from all Government of Canada departments and agencies, personnel records of former civilian and military government employees, as well as LAC operational records.

LAC works in partnership with libraries and archival institutions across the country. We share items and help other Canadian libraries and archives to share resources. This is complemented by our coordination of federal departmental library services. Our National Archival Development Program supports archives across Canada as they contribute to Canada's collective memory.

A Steady Shift to More Online LAC Services to Canadians

Figure 1: Requests from Canadians that LAC answered through traditional services (reference, ATIP, consultation)

Figure 1 showing requests from Canadians that LAC answered through traditional services (reference, ATIP, consultation)


Figure 2: Number of page views on the LAC website (in millions)

Figure 2 showing the number of page views on the LAC website (in millions)



Services to Government

Figure 3: Number of services to government department

Figure 3 showing the number of services to government department


Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture

This chart shows our program activity architecture (PAA). It illustrates our major activities and the key elements of each that enable us to work towards our main objective. LAC holdings and responsibilities (managing the disposition of the Government of Canada records, managing the documentary heritage of interest to Canada and making the documentary heritage known and accessible to Canadians) enhance knowledge of and foster public engagement in Canada's history and cultural heritage. This links its PAA mainly to a Government of Canada priority called "Social Affairs" and more specifically to the component "A vibrant Canadian culture and heritage."

Figure 4: LAC Program Activity Architecture

Figure showing LAC's Program Activity Architecture

Note: Federal Records Centers are now called Regional Service Centers
Source: Library and Archives Canada


LAC is also related to other Government of Canada priorities; effective recordkeeping is an essential administrative and business foundation within government to achieve results for Canadians and also implicitly supports the Government of Canada priority "Government Affairs." Our responsibilities for the management of Government of Canada records support government accountability, decision making and a fair and accessible Canadian legal and judicial system.

Summary of Performance

2008-09 Financial Resources ($ thousands)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
$175,671.0 $172,657.8 $126,592.5

2008-09 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
1,143 1,152 9

Performance Summary Table

Strategic Outcome: Current and future generations of Canadians have access to their documentary heritage
Performance Indicators Targets 2008-09 Performance
Narrative (preservation, growth of the collection, accessibility) Not at this level for 2008–09 Synopsis of progress is presented in the discussion on the contribution of priorities to the strategic outcome

($ thousands)
Program Activity 2007-08
2008-09 Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes
1.1 Managing the disposition of the Government of Canada records of continuing value $13,588.0 $12,002.0 $11,954.0 $13,654.2 $13,938.8

Government Affairs


Social Affairs

A vibrant Canadian culture and heritage

1.2 Managing the documentary heritage of interest to Canada $68,910.9 $77,166.0 $95,554.0 $83,773.2 $68,776.8
1.3 Making the documentary heritage known and accessible for use $39,957.1 $68,434.0 $68,163.0 $75,230.4 $43,876.9
Total $122,456.0 $157,602.0 $175,671.0 $172,657.8 $126,592.5  

Note: Effective recordkeeping is an essential government administrative and business foundation for service to Canadians. It supports ministerial and managerial accountability within Canada's democratic process. Therefore, Program Activity 1.1 also implicitly supports the Government of Canada priority area "Government Affairs."

Decisions related to three major building projects account for $42.4 million of the $46.1 million variance between Total Authorities and Actual Spending. Two projects under Program Activity 1.2 (a new collection storage facility and a new preservation facility to safeguard Canada's cellulose nitrate-based documentary heritage such as film, photos and negatives) have been approved, but $5.8 million of funding was shifted to 2009–2010 and $6.8 million to 2010–2011 when construction will actually occur. Under Program Activity 1.3, $29.8 million of funding for the construction of a building to house the public programming and exhibitions of the Portrait Gallery of Canada was frozen in November 2008 when the government decided not to pursue the project further.

For more details, please refer to the Financial Performance Summary for 2008-2009 on LAC web site.

Contribution of Priorities to the Strategic Outcome

The priorities set out in the Report on Plans and Priorities for 2008–2009 were the five Strategic Choices that had defined organization-wide management and resource use decisions since 2006. We are now assessing our Strategic Choices through a formative evaluation. This exercise will provide a sound assessment of LAC performance on the success against the high-level outcomes associated with the Strategic Choices. The results of the evaluation will be available and presented in the 2009–2010 DPR. For the 2008–2009 report, we have listed the results from the program activities mapped against each of the Strategic Choices to support the progress made toward reaching LAC's strategic outcomes.

Strategic Choices Type Status / Linkages to Program Activities
1. LAC will adjust all aspects of its activities to adapt to the needs and benefit from the opportunities of the digital information environment Previously committed

Program Activity 1.1

  • A finalized Government of Canada Recordkeeping Directive addresses the shift to digital information in government (e.g., functional specifications and guidance on archiving emails)

Program Activity 1.2

  • New strategies in place or being finalized guide our capture and management of Canada's digital documentary heritage
  • We invested in adding substantial digital content to the collections (e.g., archiving websites, enabling the automated deposit of digital items, large-scale digitizing of existing items in print, audiovisual and other formats)
  • We tested the use of high-traffic interactive websites (YouTube and Flickr) that enable visitors to add information on material that we post, improving resource discovery for all users
  • We continued supports, leadership and coordination to help all Canadian documentary heritage partners as they acquire, manage and make known documentary heritage in digital formats

Program Activity 1.3

  • Most new LAC exhibitions were either on our website or had online components
  • LAC Web traffic for genealogy purposes rose to approximately 144 million page views from 132 million in 2007–08
  • Expanded online resources help educators and other users explore and make better use of the collection

Program Activity 1.4

  • We began a more integrated approach to managing our information technology investments and activities through an approach based on specific portfolios within LAC
  • We identified gaps we need to address in order to approach our IT needs in a strategic, integrated way at a corporate level
2. LAC will increase the relevance and accessibility of LAC collections and expertise to Canadians outside the National Capital Region Previously committed

Note: Actions under Strategic Choice 1 that expand and enhance LAC's collections, tools and resources online also contribute to progress on this Strategic Choice

Program Activity 1.2

  • Collection activity addressed demonstrated areas of interest among Canadians (e.g., expansion of online records for genealogy use)
  • Continued implementation of our AMICAN information management system now enables online searches of more of our collections for Canadians, wherever they are, including through some Regional Service Centres

Program Activity 1.3

  • Expanded genealogy online resources and databases generated significantly more LAC website traffic
  • The Learning Centre reached over 3,500 teachers across Canada and the portal had 11,000 visits per month. More than 2,000 students used military service files for the Lest We Forget program and nearly 500,000 children participated in the 2008 TD Summer Reading Club
3. LAC will focus its role in Government of Canada information management on the development of effective recordkeeping Previously committed

Program Activity 1.1

  • The new government-wide Recordkeeping Directive and supporting tools are ready to be implemented to improve management of government information
  • Our "Clearing the Path" project disposed of 15,000 containers of government records of non-archival value for $178,000 in annual savings, freeing up space and making other records more accessible
  • More clearly defined responsibilities are reinforcing distinct LAC and departmental information management responsibilities and focusing LAC spending on documents within our mandate
4. LAC will make systematic use of collaborative arrangements and will increasingly deliver on its mandate through or with others Previously committed

Program Activity 1.1

  • Progress on the modernized Government of Canada recordkeeping regime has been driven by productive partnerships and commitment of more than 20 departments

Program Activity 1.2

  • Collaboration with diverse partners has clarified what must be done to digitize Canada's existing documentary heritage and capture the growing amount of new digital material
  • Provide leadership and support for both LAC's Trusted Digital Repository initiative consistent and integrated approaches for organizations to collect and preserve digital items

Program Activity 1.3

  • Collaboration with other departments was essential to meeting Access to Information and Privacy targets and progress on federal library services
  • Many LAC exhibitions involved collaboration with partners such as the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, the National Archives of Ireland and institutions across Canada
5. LAC will ensure that citizen/client research and evaluation results are built into management decision making Previously committed

Program Activity 1.3

  • Our Services Advisory Board continued to identify service improvement opportunities
  • Our overall client satisfaction rate for 2008–09 was 79%, although satisfaction with our Web services was 66%, pointing to areas for analysis and improvement

Program Activity 1.4

  • Development of public opinion expertise and research plans, followed by LAC application of findings about user interests and views

Building on Experience to Drive Change Further in LAC

In 2008, Library and Archives Canada began work on operationalizing the key components necessary for the institution to meet its strategic objectives as articulated in our Act and in the Strategic Choices. We began by exploring initiatives which have provided the foundation for the modernization of the institution and the three key areas of LAC responsibility.

Acquisition and Documentation: We began the initial work of considering how best to guide, coordinate and articulate choices about what LAC should focus on acquiring for the collection, given our unique mandate and accountabilities in the digital environment context. This includes assessing how we can collaborate with other knowledge institutions on acquisition efforts. It also includes determining how to take into account the ongoing resource implications for LAC of any acquisition over time, such as preservation and collection management costs.

Preservation: We began the initial work of reconsidering our preservation activities and priorities, including the ongoing management of digital content. Given the scope and scale of our current collection and our commitment to make it more accessible to users, we have begun to assess how to balance our acquisition and preservation options, given criteria such as documentary value and the ongoing costs of preservation and accessibility.

Resource Discovery: We have begun the initial work towards improving how users find items in LAC's collection easily and intuitively, as well as enabling them to discover additional resources of interest. We also have begun to think about how to open new avenues for collaboration, so that users and partners can provide information about items and their context that will be relevant to other users.

We also identified two critical internal issues for attention that have to be addressed to generate the best possible results. First, we have begun to consider how we can work with our professional staff to help them manage the expected fundamental shifts in their work ahead. Second, we have begun to consider how to approach modernizing functions in areas such as human resources, policy development and information technology that are essential enablers for us to achieve results.

While all of this work was at early stages by the end of 2008-2009, it points to important change ahead for LAC. We intend to take into consideration the new thinking generated by this modernization exercise in assessing all our 2008-2009 results and ongoing strategies.

Risk Analysis

Library and Archives Canada operates in a rapidly changing environment. LAC planning and priority-setting draws on comprehensive risk analysis. In the 2008–2009 Report on Plans and Priorities, we identified five risks of ongoing relevance throughout LAC program activities. They took into account issues such as preservation of digital and analogue documentary heritage in a digital environment, financial pressures and risks related to the technologies we use or we plan to introduce, the infrastructure we operate and the skilled human resources on which we rely to deliver results for Canadians.

Our risks reflect realities such as the expectations of Canadians that they should be able to gain access to the LAC collection online, no matter what its original format was, even as demand continues in our traditional service channels. More information, including government information, is now born digital, such as websites or emails, while the array of non-digital items we collect or could add also continues to grow, which creates challenges for all of our collection development, documentation and preservation activities. We have been working with colleagues across Canada, across government and across the globe to find effective approaches to these challenges and to mitigate our risks. As we have renewed our workforce, we have been seeking employees and managers who can work and manage in this evolving, complex environment, thereby combining new and traditional competencies with the ability to bring continued innovation to the institution to address the leadership and capacity challenges of the 21st century.

LAC managers have addressed our priorities and addressed risks to best respond to the challenges of a digital information world in normal program operations. For example, we have addressed financial sustainability risks and risks associated with our infrastructure by taking a harder look at our storage of government records. In particular, we have taken steps to focus our storage resources solely on records of archival value. This is both reducing LAC costs and our need to acquire and manage storage space. Similarly our audit and evaluation processes are enabling us to identify and mitigate specific risks.

The Library community came to the city of Québec

In August 2008, Library and Archives Canada co-hosted with Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec the 74th General Conference and Council of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), which was held in Québec. Approximately 3,000 delegates from 100 countries took part in the World Library and Information Congress, the leading worldwide event in its field.

At the conference, an international group of representatives from national libraries was formed to discuss issues related to file format registries and their role in digital preservation. The objective of the Unified Digital Registry Working Group is to develop an automated tool to make file format data globally accessible enabling efficient metadata recording. Since we operate in an environment of large scale digital collections using diverse format profiles, this tool will advance the digital preservation agenda.

Expenditure Profile

The chart below depicts LAC's spending trend over a six-year period (three years of actual spending and three years of planned spending).

Figure 5: Spending Trend

Figure showing the department spending trend


The higher level of spending over four years beginning in 2007–2008 is due to temporary funding for specific projects as described below. Upon conclusion of these projects, spending will decrease by $26 million reflecting approximately LAC's permanent funding level.

  • Over three years beginning in 2007–2008, $21.7 million will have been invested in replacing obsolete systems and providing the capacity for managing electronic publications and digital records of the Government of Canada;
  • In 2008–2009, LAC received approval for the construction of a preservation facility that will safeguard Canada's cellulose nitrate-based documentary heritage (photographs and films). We anticipate spending $12.5 million in 2009–2010 and an additional $1.5 million the following year; and
  • Planned spending also includes $24.1 million through 2010–2011 to increase LAC's collection storage capacity.1

These projects advance LAC's mandate to safeguard Canada's documentary heritage. LAC continues to ensure the availability of preservation capacity to meet the needs of Canada's collection.

1 Note that these funding levels are subject to change. Further details will be provided in the next RPP and DPR.

Voted and Statutory Items
($ thousands)
Vote # or Statutory Item (S) Truncated Vote or Statutory Wording 2006-07
45 Operating expenditures $94,906.0 $111,035.2 $145,749.0 $114,184.6
(S) Contributions to employee benefit plans $11,057.0 $11,331.7 $11,853.0 $12,339.1
(S) Spending of proceeds from the disposal of surplus Crown Assets $203.0 $89.1 - $68.8
Total $106,166 $122,456.0 $157,602.0 $126,592.5

For details on financial variances, please refer to the Financial Performance Summary for 2008-2009 on LAC web site.

Section II – Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

This section presents the LAC program activities under our single strategic outcome as well as the results we achieved in 20082009. It shows the resources that LAC spent for each program activity and describes the institution's performance in relation to the Major Areas of Attention that were set out in the Report on Plans and Priorities. It also describes benefits for Canadians, analyzes performance and indicates lessons learned.

Our Strategic Outcome

Current and future generations of Canadians have access to their
documentary heritage

This single strategic outcome focuses all Library and Archives Canada strategies, actions and resource uses. It is supported through work under three operational program activities plus an internal services program activity.

LAC's reporting exercise

For this report, LAC reports in two complementary manners.

Tables of Expected Results, Performance Indicators and Targets reflect the finalized wording for 2008–2009 in the LAC Management, Resources and Results Structure (MRRS). Because those commitments were mostly narrative and not quantitative, we have reported them through the Performance Analysis section of the report. However, we have chosen to use the same tables to report on LAC's performance measures presented in the RPP for all sub-activities and indicate clearly their performance status with a short list of accomplishments for each of them. This way, the reader will be able to find a clear link between the RPP and this report and understand LAC performance at a higher level.

Program Activity 1.1 – Managing the disposition of the Government of Canada records of continuing value

Graphic presentation of program activity 1.1


LAC leads in the development and implementation of Government of Canada information management and recordkeeping policies and services.

2008-09 Financial Resources
($ thousands)
2008-09 Human Resources
Planned Actual Difference
$11,954.0 $13,654.2 $13,938.8 173 178 5

For details on financial variances, please refer to the Financial Performance Summary for 2008-2009 on LAC web site.

Access to Government of Canada archival and historical records Narrative (to meet the needs of clients, acquisition and preservation of the GOC documents) Not set at the Program Activity level for 2008–09

Area of Major Attention: Continue to develop the ongoing government records program and Record Disposition Agreements with federal institutions Performance Status: Met All
Twelve record disposition authorities issued to departments, including three large ones

A new Government of Canada Recordkeeping Directive was finalized for a June 2009 launch

Area of Major Attention: Assessment projects to improve government recordkeeping Performance Status: Met All
Fifteen recordkeeping assessment projects were completed

Results were instrumental in identifying tools and supports for successful implementation of the Recordkeeping Directive

Area of Major Attention: Implement the New Storage Model (NSM) for government records Performance Status: Met All
NSM action plan is being implemented (five-year project with the implementation within schedule)
Area of Major Attention: Move forward on the Accessibility Initiative Performance Status: Met All
Three thousand more linear metres of non-archival documents were removed by continuing the "Clearing the Path" initiative to reduce LAC storage pressures and guide the development of new Records Disposition Authorities, application guides and future advice to the Government of Canada

New strategies and tools in place for improved accessibility under the accessibility action plan

Benefits for Canadians
The identification and proper management of Government of Canada documents of either archival or ongoing business value mean those documents can be found more easily when needed. Our Clearing the Path initiative generated an ongoing annual savings as we focus only on documents of ongoing business and archival value.

Performance Analysis
Every year, Government of Canada departments and agencies generate large numbers of records in digital, printed and other formats. Improved management of these records is critical to improved accountability and decision making. Since 2006, LAC has helped shape a new government-wide recordkeeping regime, in collaboration with the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) and 20 other partner departments and agencies. This new recordkeeping regime will be applied to more than 200 departments and agencies throughout the Government of Canada. This will establish a sound records management framework and enhance the accountability that Canadians expect.

During the year, a new Recordkeeping Directive was finalized for introduction by the TBS in June 2009, supported by new documentation standards and recordkeeping requirements. Assessment projects enabled the identification of issues that are being addressed in the design and implementation of the new recordkeeping regime. Tools and guidelines were designed to support departments over the five-year implementation process for the new regime (such as how to manage email and how to identify records of business or continuing value) and training was developed, tested and delivered to early participating departments.

During the year, we sharpened the management and resourcing of our recordkeeping functions within our legislated mandate. This led us to realign the work on a projected New Storage Model for government records and a decision to focus our storage services only on records within our mandate, effective April 1, 2009. Departments will be responsible for storing their records until they can identify those with archival value for transfer to LAC for preservation. By working towards a National Master Standing Offer for the needed business records storage services, we began a process to assist departments with their responsibilities. The second year of the Clearing the Path project led to the disposal of 15,000 containers of non-archival or unmanaged legacy records. This project has already helped to address costly pressures on our storage capacity and improved access to archival records.

Transfer of Large Photograph Collection from DND to LAC

LAC has acquired an important historical collection of photographic negatives from the Department of National Defence (DND), currently managed by the Canadian Forces Joint Imagery Centre (CFJIC) and the National Defence Image Library.

The collection consists of approximately 900,000 photographic images created by DND from circa 1914 to 2000 and covers a wide range of DND activities in Canada and abroad. It complements the current collection of approximately 700,000 images, which LAC acquired previously from DND.

Upon realizing that the current storage facility was inadequate and that significant deterioration of the negatives had occurred, staff from the CFJIC requested that the collection be transferred to LAC where state-of-the-art storage and conservation facilities could safeguard it. The physical transfer of the collection was completed at the end of September 2008.

A team of archivists and other professional staff at LAC worked hard to complete the transfer as quickly and efficiently as possible, so that the public and researchers have access to this collection, which documents a large part of Canadian military history.

Photo of a Canadian soldier handing biscuits to a child, ca. 1944

Pte. Alex Livingstone Handing Biscuits to an Italian Child, ca. 1944 (ZK-552).
"Italian Children soon learned that hand-outs of biscuits from Canadian cook-houses weren't hard to get and acted accordingly. These children are getting their daily ration from Pte. Alex Livingstone, of Reserve Mines, Cape Breton, NS".

Picture showing Canadian Infantry going ashore in Normandy, ca 1944;

Canadian Infantry Going Ashore in Normandy, ca. June 1944, (ZK-1083-5) Photographer Lt. G. K. Bell.

Picture showing a Canadian NCO "frisking" German captives, ca. June 1944.

Canadian NCO 'frisking' German Captives, ca. June 1944, (ZK-1083-7) Photographer Lt. G. K. Bell.


More generally, data from our Performance Management Framework indicate that we achieved our ongoing operational goals related to managing the disposition of all federal government records. We acquired 680 groups of records from departments (approximately 3,000 metres of shelving space and made more than 10,000 records more accessible by providing detailed, online descriptions. We responded to more than 2.1 million inquiries from information managers across the public service for access to files in our Regional Service Centres or for records advice, information and training.

Lessons Learned
Consultations with departments and the results of our assessment projects shaped the final drafts of the Recordkeeping Directive. We have learned that we need to develop more efficient forms of recordkeeping training, such as video and Web-based training to support cost-effective implementation of the Directive. We have also identified and begun to address factors that lengthened and made more complex the completion of Records Disposition Authorities between other departments and LAC. As indicated above, our decision on the New Storage Model process drew on our understanding of the costs and risks incurred when we go beyond our mandate.

Program Activity 1.2 – Managing the documentary heritage of interest to Canada

Graphic presentation of program activity 1.2


LAC acquires documentary heritage material for the collection in many ways. LAC staff describe and manage this material to ensure its long-term preservation and accessibility.

2008-09 Financial Resources
($ thousands)
2008-09 Human Resources
Planned Actual Difference
$95,554.0 $83,773.2 $68,776.8 628 637 9

For details on financial variances, please refer to the Financial Performance Summary for 2008-2009 on LAC web site.

The management of the LAC collections is improved to enhance long-term access and to better reflect the Canadian experience Collection Content Strategy identifies priorities (for 2008–09 only) Not set at the Program Activity level for 2008–09

Area of Major Attention: Develop strategies for preserving documentary heritage Performance Status: Met All
Develop a Canadian Digital Information Strategy

Strategy approved, final report to be published in September 2009

Survey commissioned on the state of and challenges facing digital preservation in Canada

Work with partners on a proposal for "The Canada Project," to focus on how LAC could support the project as it goes forward

Partnership with The Generations Network for digitization and access to federal records of interest to genealogy

Digitization and preservation will move forward under the Modernization exercise

Web Archiving Strategy

Web archiving processes and tools are in place

The strategy is being reviewed under the Modernization exercise

Develop and Implement a Resource Discovery Strategy

Draft strategy developed for internal discussion

Pilot projects are under way (e.g., ArchivesCanada and AtoM)

LAC Collection Content Strategy

Acquisition priorities established up to 2010 and are being reviewed under the Modernization exercise

Audiovisual Preservation

A three-phase strategy based on risk assessment is completed and implemented that clarifies preservation priorities

Area of Major Attention: Collecting documentary heritage in digital form Performance Status: Mostly Met
Trusted Digital Repository (TDR) Project

Policies, guidelines, standards and supports have been developed

Digital transfers have begun

The long-term plan is progressing on schedule


On track for:

  • Release of the Collection Management System
  • Implementation of the Information Holdings Management System, beginning with two sites
  • Progress on circulation module for published materials, an interlibrary loan module and client self-registration
  • A full set of genealogical resources added to the LAC Web search functions available to Canadians
  • Use of a single Contact Information Management system for client-related information for all systems
Mass Digitization

Strategic internal digitization plan began and 2.4 million images were digitized, well beyond target of 1 million images

Through a partnership with Canadian Century Research Institute and Statistics Canada, an additional 1.8 million images were produced

Digital Archival Records Capacity Development

Significant progress against backlog

Strategies and processes for addressing digital documentary heritage acquisition, preservation and access were completed

Benefits for Canadians
We are increasingly focused on acquiring and preserving the kinds of documentary heritage material most necessary for our collections to be as representative of Canada as possible, such as items relating to Aboriginal people and visible minorities, all with the most efficient use of our resources. LAC develops national standards that documentary heritage organizations across Canada use to describe items, creating consistent ways for Canadians to find those items more easily. Our commitment to digitizing items is ensuring access for current and future generations of Canadians to that heritage, regardless of technological change.

Photo of a map of the seacoast of Newfoundland between St. Laurence and Point May, 1765. LAC, R12788

A Chart of the Sea-Coast of Newfoundland and Between St. Laurence & Point May, 1765. Library and Archives Canada, R12788. Purchased with the assistance of a Movable Cultural Property grant accorded by the Department of Canadian Heritage under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act and with the contribution of the Friends of Library and Archives Canada.

Performance Analysis
We made significant progress on strategic and innovative approaches to how we build and manage the collections during 2008–2009 through measures such as a Collection Content Strategy. These measures are enabling us to set priorities in how we preserve what we have, including through our active commitment to digitizing material such as items at risk. By placing some items from our collections online on websites such as YouTube and Flickr, we are expanding access beyond our traditional clients, enabling the public to comment, and attracting new clients to our website to learn more.

LAC continued the multi-year development project to establish a network of Trusted Digital Repositories across Canada. They will form an infrastructure, with support services, to enable Canada's digital documentary heritage to be identified, collected, managed, preserved and accessed. We also made progress on AMICAN, a single, modernized information management system. Its implementation will benefit LAC and the Canadians who want to make use of our collections more easily.

We also made progress on work related to our responsibilities in areas such as government electronic records requirements, Web archiving and electronic Legal Deposit. Associated with these areas are new policies, including digital collection development, digital preservation and guidelines for website selection that are in place, as well as many others that were in development by the end of 2008–2009.

At the same time, we continued many ongoing responsibilities. In 2008–2009, data from our Performance Management Framework indicates that we exceeded our targets for acquisitions in digital format: 33,756 new publications (an increase of 35.4 percent over 2007–2008), due to an unusual number of more than 20,000 new digital theses; and 13 new archival "fonds" or collections (a 6.6 percent increase over the previous year).

In our effort to better reflect the Canadian experience, LAC either reached or exceeded the targets set for aboriginal and multicultural acquisitions, by acquiring 1,372 new publications and five new archival fonds with aboriginal content as well as 2,004 new publications and eight archival fonds with multicultural content.

Photo of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Natural Resources Gary Lunn visiting LAC on August 26, 2008. Minister Lunn unveiled a circumpolar geological map.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Natural Resources Gary Lunn visited LAC on August 26, 2008. Minister Lunn unveiled a circumpolar geological map.

This is the first printed map of the Northern hemisphere from the Arctic pole to 60 degrees north latitude, which was originally published in 1595. This copy is the second state of the 1613 French edition.

Photo: Office of the Prime Minister

Our description of holdings is critical to easier access to our collection. In 2008–2009, LAC created 70,413 bibliographic descriptions, exceeding our target by 8 percent. Of the descriptions created, 40,291 include subject access through the addition of information describing the content of the material, such as bilingual standardized subject terminology, subject keywords or abstracts, all of which help clients find information relevant to their needs. Our assessment found that 92 percent of the descriptive records for archival fonds and collections are completely arranged and appropriately described, while 79 percent of new government records are classified and described with finding aids.

Safeguarding the entire LAC collection ensures long-term access. While we determined that 55 percent of our collections are housed in acceptable preservation condition, we must increase our preservation capacity for the rest. One way of doing this is through copying and digitization, as we did with 1,444 hours of most-at-risk sound and video recordings and 70 motion pictures. In addition, another 111,177 items were conserved: 25 percent of them to mitigate further deterioration or damage to documents for long-term access and 75 percent of them to reduce risks to items during current access, such as digitization, services to the public and interpretive programs.

Better Access to the Collection Using Social Web

The Flickr/YouTube project had three primary objectives:

  • To test new ways to improve online access to Canada's documentary heritage
  • To explore how users interact with digital collections in environments that encourage the contribution of comments and tags
  • To foster dialogue and increase interaction with Canada's digital documentary heritage

There were over 19,200 views of the Flickr album in a period of 24 weeks or an average of 800 views each week. In the first four weeks after the LAC YouTube album was launched in March 2009, it received over 240 channel views and over 500 video views. Web traffic to LAC's related collection (The Shamrock and the Maple Leaf) rose 140 percent in terms of visits per day and visitors began to tag its content.

Lessons Learned
We and our partners have learned that it will take substantial ongoing collaboration and new investment from both private and public sectors to keep up with the challenges of managing Canada's rapidly growing digital documentary heritage. LAC will have to approach this in ways that align with our legislated mandate and resources. Our experience in acquiring digital material and digitizing existing items in our collections is demonstrating the importance of information technology infrastructure and support and the need to keep our commitments in line with our IT capacity. We can see the need to move beyond our traditional approaches to collection management in areas such as the item description processes that we designed in a very different collection environment.

Program Activity 1.3 – Making the documentary heritage known and accessible for use

Graphic presentation of program activity 1.3


LAC provides information and services to facilitate access to the collection and pursues initiatives to make known and interpret Canada's documentary heritage. LAC also provides information resources and standards for use by Canada's library and archival community.

2008-09 Financial Resources
($ thousands)
2008-09 Human Resources
Planned Actual Difference
$68,163.0 $75,230.4 $43,876.9 342 337 -5

For details on financial variances, please refer to the Financial Performance Summary for 2008-2009 on LAC web site.

Clients use the documentary heritage for personal enrichment, lifelong learning and to produce works of value to Canada Narrative Not set at the Program Activity level for 2008–09

Area of Major Attention: Supporting client access to our collection Performance Status: Mostly Met
General / Access to Information and Privacy Act Request Management

New software implemented to support management of Access to Information and Privacy Act services, while an internal audit of Privacy activities also guided an action plan for improvements

Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada graded our ATIP services at 4.5 out of 5

Began testing a possible liaison function at our Regional Service Centres for more timely and effective service

Plans in place to deal with demands arising from the Federal Accountability Act

LAC Services Advisory Board

Existing measurement tools and Services Advisory Board input continued to provide LAC with client-centered service improvements

2008–09 to 2010–11 Strategic Program Plan

Strategic Programming Plan was developed and is being reviewed under the Modernization exercise

LAC Genealogy Strategy

With support of partners, databases of genealogical importance (e.g., censuses, passenger lists, immigrants from China) were added

Page views on the LAC website rose by 62% over 2007–08, driven by the demand for genealogy materials

Strong demand for in-person services and support to people doing family research

Initiative for Equitable Library Access

Served as the lead federal agency for this initiative and consulted with stakeholders leading to a possible rebalancing of roles

Began developing accessible service standards

Began developing requirements for the electronic clearinghouse to produce versions of published works in electronic text, digital audio and Braille

Area of Major Attention: New partnership between LAC and federal libraries Performance Status: Met All
A renewed secretariat in LAC for federal libraries coordination was developed and began work

Working group was established to standardize purchasing electronic resource material for Government of Canada libraries

Area of Major Attention: National Archival Development Program (NADP) Performance Status: Met All
NADP baseline measures data collected and analyzed for all indicators of its Performance Measurement Plan

Evaluation results were being addressed

Area of Major Attention: Portrait Gallery of Canada (PGC) Performance Status: Met All
LAC implemented the government's directions on the PGC project concerning an alternative approach to providing access to Canada's portrait collection

Evaluation carried out (e.g., F.H. Varley: Portraits into the Light, the Vault Tour program, Portraits in the Streets Alfresco, and Portraits on the Ice) demonstrated strong public support and interest

Benefits for Canadians
Many more Canadians are making use of increasingly easy access to the LAC collections and resources as we launch more online exhibitions, including through the Portrait Gallery of Canada program, and expand resources for users. Canadians are benefitting from LAC's commitment to respond to client and citizen interest, particularly in genealogy and for education purposes, and to provide timely responses to Access to Information and Privacy requests.

Performance Analysis
LAC has developed and implemented strategies designed to focus our services on designated priorities that best reflect the interests of Canadians. While the government's decision not to proceed with selecting a location for the Portrait Gallery of Canada drew public attention, LAC implemented a revised strategy and limited the impact on the 2008–2009 results. Most of our programming and services proceeded much as planned.

Our Performance Management Framework data demonstrates the scope of our programs and services. In 2008–2009, 16 percent more Canadians than in the previous year requested photocopies of documents or consulted original material on site. There was a 26.6 percent growth of on-site visitors to the Canadian Genealogy Centre (CGC) and an increase of 75 percent in page views of our genealogy website during 2007–2008. We have found increased client self-sufficiency in using our products and services, demonstrated by a declining use of our reference services.

Figure 6: Page views of the Canadian Genealogy website (in thousands)
Figure 6 illustrates the number of page views on the Canadian Genealogy website (in thousands)


Figure 7: Number of on-site services offered at the Canadian Genealogy Centre

Figure 7 illustrates the number of on-site services offered at the Canadian Genealogy Centre


During 2008–2009, LAC extended its reach among teacher groups, with 3,500 teachers across Canada attending 10 workshops featuring curriculum-based educational resources. Almost half a million Canadian children participated in the 2008 TD Summer Reading Program, reading close to two million books. LAC partnered with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and the Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa to hold a dialogue on the past, present and future of Nunavut, which was attended by 350 people. We also partnered with the Varley Art Gallery of Markham and the Canadian Museum of Nature to present the exhibition F.H. Varley: Portraits into the Light, which attracted over 16,000 visitors. Our Family Portraits: immigration and identity held jointly with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and immigrant associations, Portraits on the Ice with the National Capital Commission and other portraits programs and activities were accessible to an estimated one million or more people, including those taking part in such events as Winterlude in the National Capital Region and Québec City's 400th anniversary.

The importance of programs and services involving material of relevance to particular groups appears to be demonstrated by data for 2008–2009. While the percentage of people at our events and exhibitions who self-identified as members of a visible minority was below our 13 percent target, LAC exceeded its 4 percent target set for Aboriginal visitors because of individuals doing research in support of residential school settlements and ongoing land claim litigation. We also actively promoted Project Naming in Inuit communities to gain their assistance in identifying the Inuit pictured in a number of photographs from the LAC collection. In this example, our effort to encourage participants to provide us with information we do not have has been successful.

Figure 8: Percentage of clients satisfied with the response to their inquiry

Figure 8 illustrates the percentage of clients satisfied with the response to their inquiry


Since 2007–2008, LAC has closely monitored client satisfaction of its services through three regular internal surveys based on type of service delivery.2 The 2008–2009 results show that some 90 percent of the people using a survey tool on our website appreciate our material and would revisit the website; however, our overall Web satisfaction rates are below 70 percent, which we accept as a need to investigate. Clients dealing with us at a distance (not in-person or using the Web) rate their satisfaction slightly lower than our 80 percent target, which we believe is partly due to a backlog in responses that needs to be addressed.

Lessons Learned
The National Archival Development Program is experiencing a slight decrease in applications. We determined that the archival community is encountering application and reporting burdens that we expect to address in the revision of the NADP Terms and Conditions.

The Services Advisory Board continued to provide LAC with input from stakeholders and sister institutions that we used in designing programs and services. The success of that process reflects our commitment to provide access to decision makers and expert support people and this has guided us as we transform our services.

2 For clients who visit the LAC website, those who access certain pages are randomly selected (1 in 250) and offered an opportunity to complete a brief questionnaire. On site, clients are asked to answer a questionnaire on two days out of each month about services they received. And finally, during one week each month, all LAC responses sent to clients who had previously asked a question or requested a service include a questionnaire with a self-addressed, stamped return envelope. By these three means, completed and returned questionnaires are analyzed on a quarterly basis. Client satisfaction is defined in terms of the percentage who answer that they are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" using a five-point scale of satisfaction consistent with Common Measurement Tools used across government. Comments and suggestions provided as part of the questionnaires are analyzed to determine if further action is needed. This methodology gives LAC sound data to assess client satisfaction and improve its services.

Program Activity 1.4 – Internal Services

Graphic presentation of program activity 1.4


Internal services are "enablers" that are critically important to overall LAC strategies. The items below relate to commitments noted in Section IV of the Report on Plans and Priorities as well as other significant actions. No financial information is available for internal services alone; they are integrated into all LAC main program activities. The importance of these activities in assisting LAC to achieve institutional-wide goals merits formal representation in this report.

Area of Major Attention: Public opinion research capacity Performance Status: Met All
Client Research and Analysis unit was created to advise, consult, design research methodology, implement field consultations, report on findings and present to senior management

Consulted with LAC clients, implemented a client research working group to review and advise on proposed research, and developed a detailed research plan, which is continuously updated

Area of Major Attention: Information technology Performance Status: Met All
Client Portfolio Management organizational function created and Portfolio Management, consistent with government approach, promoted to prioritize and select IT-related projects. IT activities are better integrated with the business lines
Area of Major Attention: Corporate performance Performance Status: Mostly Met
Preliminary work began to strengthen LAC performance measurement through a senior management working group and LAC champion, as well as development of an action plan to improve results-based management accountability frameworks at the program activity level
Area of Major Attention: Human resources Performance Status: Mostly Met
Action Plan fully implemented to address issues identified in the 2005 Public Service Employment Survey for LAC

Projected human resources planning training among managers was replaced in the shift to integrated business and HR planning with a template, guide and information sessions

Activities identified for 2008–09 in the Employment Equity Action Plan 2007–10 were implemented to support increased workforce diversity

Human resources planning integrated with business planning and a Result Management Accountability Framework was put in place as part of the commitment to improve the LAC performance measurement framework

Area of Major Attention, not included in RPP: Real property Performance Status: Met All
Construction of a new Nitrate Preservation Facility approved for 2009–10 as part of LAC long-term infrastructure strategy

plans for a new Collection Storage Facility is on schedule

Area of Major Attention, not included in RPP: Information management Performance Status: Met All
LAC information management strategy developed and approved in line with Management Accountability Framework commitment

Benefits for Canadians
Effective management of internal services enables LAC to act more effectively towards the achievement of our mandate under all program activities. For example, the Client Research and Analysis unit has provided LAC with the data to better understand target markets and to fine-tune programs and service offerings to better meet the needs of Canadians. Our progress on information technology improvements means that we focus our resources on the initiatives that generate results for the Canadians wanting to explore and use our collections. We undertake these in a cost-effective manner so as to ensure the optimal use of LAC resources. Our progress on human resource issues is aligning the skills and expertise of our staff with the changing needs and expectations of the Canadians who are interested in Canada's documentary heritage. Improved corporate performance and real property activities ensure that LAC is focused on achieving the best possible results with available resources.

Performance Analysis
Internal services priorities reflected the importance of enablers to all other LAC commitments. One of the most critical was the initial set of steps in reorienting how we approach and manage information technology, away from an individual project-driven approach to one that is much more corporate and strategic in orientation. Evidence suggests this will be a longer process than first thought. In addition, LAC recognized the need to focus on an information management (IM) infrastructure. Our human resources priorities continued to address issues identified through the 2005 Public Service Employee Survey and to help achieve government-wide HR directions with a focus on reducing concerns about harassment in the workplace and integrated human resources and business planning. Client Research and Analysis responded to LAC clients by conducting qualitative and quantitative research enhancing the decision-making capacity to support LAC programs and initiatives. A research plan was developed and is continually refreshed to ensure LAC research priorities are met.

We began to address LAC's need for a stronger performance measurement framework. That process remains challenging given the difficulty of identifying appropriate data across all LAC program activities, although we anticipate that revisions to our Program Activity Architecture will help address this. Our real property commitments centred on implementing the LAC long-term strategy to put the preservation capacity in place necessary to safeguard Canada's documentary heritage and to manage vital government records. This includes a new Nitrate Preservation facility to ensure that old motion pictures and film stock are cared for in the proper environment. We also made progress on longer-term plans for a new collection storage facility.

Lessons Learned
With so many individual information technology initiatives launched over the years combined with rapid change in the IT field, we determined that more time is needed to understand what we have fully in order to guide our planning for what we want IT to become in LAC. This work is beginning in 2009–2010. Our progress on improved corporate performance management is influenced by the need to manage a culture shift from a primary focus on professional excellence in specific fields to one that also identifies and acts on a measurable institution-wide commitment to strategic results.

Section III – Supplementary Information

Financial Highlights

The financial highlights presented with the Departmental Performance Report are intended to serve as a general overview of LAC's financial position and operations. Financial statements are prepared in accordance with accrual accounting principles. The unaudited supplementary information presented in the financial tables in other sections of this report was prepared on a modified cash basis of accounting in order to be consistent with appropriations-based reporting. The organization's financial statements for 2008-2009 can be found on LAC's website.

($ thousands)
Condensed Statement of Financial Position
At End of Year (March 31, 2009)
% Change 2009 2008
Total Assets 9.6% 39,503 36,050
Total 9.6% 39,503 36,050
Total Liabilities 8.8% 43,352 39,856
Total Equity 1.1% (3,849) (3,806)
Total 9.6% 39,503 36,050

($ thousands)
Condensed Statement of Financial Position
At End of Year (March 31, 2009)
% Change 2009 2008
Total Expenses 4.2% 172,369 165,402
Total Revenues 3.6% 558 579
Net Cost of Operations 4.2% 171,811 164,823

Figure 9: Assets by Type

Figure 9 illustrates LAC financial assets by type


Total assets were $39.503 million at the end of 2008-09, as increase of $3.453 million (9.6 percent) versus last year's total assets. Capital assets continue to be the largest asset component, representing 99 percent of assets.

Figure 10: Liabilities by Type

Figure 10 illustrates LAC liabilities by type


Total liabilities were $43.352 million at the end of 2008-09, an increase of $3.496 million (8.8 percent) versus last year's total liabilities. Employee severance benefits and accounts payable continue to be the largest components of liabilities.

Figure 11: Expenses by Type

Figure 11 illustrates LAC expenses by type



Total expenses were $172.369 million at the end of 2008-09, an increase of $6.967 million (4.2 percent) versus last year's total expenses. The major expense area is salary and employee benefits, which represents 56 percent of total expenses.

List of Supplementary Information Tables

  • Sources of Respendable and Non-Respendable Revenue
  • User Fees/External Fees
  • Green Procurement
  • Internal Audits and Evaluations

All electronic supplementary information tables found in the 2008-09 Departmental Performance Report can be found on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's website at: