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ARCHIVED - RPP 2006-2007
Library and Archives Canada

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As a member of the Canadian Heritage Portfolio, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) plays a vital role in the cultural and civic life of Canadians.

Library and Archives Canada's overarching objective is to preserve Canada's documentary heritage and to make it known and accessible. LAC's extensive multimedia collections, gathered over 130 years, form one of Canada's key knowledge resources. It builds on the collections of the former National Archives and the former National Library. LAC is currently transforming itself into a prime learning destination, offering Canadians a single window into our unique documentary heritage and a rich collection of research holdings. LAC will continue to seek ways to meet the modern accessibility needs of all Canadians.

The Report on Plans and Priorities for 2006-2007 details Library and Archives Canada's vision and goals for the year. It demonstrates the important role LAC plays with other members of the Canadian Heritage Portfolio to ensure the development and promotion of Canadian culture, heritage and inclusion.

Beverley J. Oda

Message from the Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) was created in 2004 as Canada's newest knowledge institution. Our 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) sets out our agenda for the second year of a three-year plan to establish a single organization that will respond to the needs of Canada as a successful knowledge society  -  a year of moving to the integration of new approaches and new tools throughout our operations. As we progress, LAC's clients will benefit from our transformation through the utilization of new client oriented systems, streamlined work processes, access to integrated and planned models for the preservation of our entire collection and integrated reference and consultation areas.

At the same time, we are determined to become a truly digital institution. That commitment will drive our work with partners on a Canadian Digital Information Strategy to support the management, preservation and access to digital information. Our actions will enable us to maintain and preserve Canada's digital information, such as websites, just as we already do with items such as books, documents and maps. They will be reinforced by our new legislated responsibility for the legal deposit of electronic publications. These actions will both make more digital content available for Canadians and preserve access to digital content into the future.

Another key objective is to work with partners to address the Government of Canada's information management (IM) challenges. The goal is already clear: the right information, coherent and current, at the right time, at the right place, in the right format to enable decision-making, quality service delivery and to support transparent, accountable, effective and efficient government. To reach that goal, we will continue to champion the pivotal role of IM in meeting government outcomes and continuous improvement. We will continue to work with federal departments and agencies to provide tools, advice and guidance that will improve management of information, with a focus on supporting implementation of the electronic record as the preferred record of business, and to improve access by federal public servants to published information. In addition, we will take action within our existing responsibilities for directing the disposition process for records of federal institutions to ensure transfer of the archival record to LAC.

Library and Archives Canada has a compelling vision of what we can achieve for Canada. During 2006-2007, a resource review will help us assess existing resources in line with our legal mandate, our priorities and identified gaps. A key element of this will be an assessment of our long-term infrastructure capacity to ensure that one of the most valuable assets of the Canadian people  -  our collection  -  is safeguarded and remains accessible for future generations.

Together, the many actions set out in this RPP are part of a larger strategy of transformation that will continue to position our organization to become a prime learning destination, an institution with national presence and greater capacity to serve Canadians of all ages, cultures and regions, and a lead institution in information management within the Government of Canada.

Ian E. Wilson

Management Representation Statement

I submit for tabling in Parliament, the 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) for

Library and Archives Canada

This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide to the Preparation of 2006-2007 Part III of the Estimates: Report on Plans and Priorities.

  • It adheres to the specific reporting requirements outlined in the Treasury Board Secretariat guidance;
  • It is based on the 2007-2008 Program Activity Architecture approved by Treasuy Board;
  • It provides a basis of accountability for the results achieved with the resources and authorities entrusted to it; and
  • It reports finances based on approved planned spending numbers from the Treasury Board Secretariat.

Ian E. Wilson
Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Mandate of Library and Archives Canada

The preamble of our enabling legislation, the Library and Archives of Canada Act, states that the mandate of Library and Archives Canada 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 cooperation 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 introduced a new legal concept "documentary heritage", which includes publications and records in all media related to Canada. The Act strengthens the mandate of the institution to preserve this documentary heritage by providing for electronic publications and future new media to be included in legal deposit, for archiving Web sites of interest to Canada, and for the transfer of any government records deemed to be at risk. The legislation also provides an explicit mandate to make Canada's documentary heritage known and understood by Canadians and those interested in Canada.

The financial and human resources of Library and Archives Canada are presented below and the next section shows some of the extent of our collection.

Financial Resources
($ thousands)(Total Main Estimates)







Human Resources




1,165 FTEs

1,164 FTEs

1,164 FTEs

Changes from Previous Reports on Plans and Priorities

The three strategic outcomes and nine activities in our previous reports on plans and priorities were based on the organizational structure resulting from the amalgamation of the National Library of Canada and National Archives of Canada in forming the new Library and Archives Canada. While this approach reflects our internal organization, our experience has suggested that we can report more meaningfully to Parliament and Canadians with a single strategic outcome and three activities.

Beginning with this Report on Plans and Priorities, we have substantially reduced the number of reportable projects and tasks that we previously called priorities, but which were actually lower-level activities. By focusing on our three main activities, this report gives Canadians a clearer picture of what Library and Archives Canada seeks to achieve.

Library and Archives Canada - Program Activity and Architecture 2006

Library and Archives Canada - Program Activity and Architecture Crosswalk

Planning Overview

Parliament created Library and Archives Canada in 2004 recognizing that knowledge and Canada's documentary heritage take many forms today and that a new kind of knowledge institution was necessary to reach the goals set out in the Library and Archives of Canada Act. The Government of Canada followed that legislative achievement with temporary funding (ending in 2005-2006) to support the initial stage of the transformation to create the kind of organization that Parliament intended. This is taking place in an increasingly digital information environment, in which we face the need to acquire, preserve, describe and manage electronic materials created in many different formats, requiring us to maintain many different kinds of technology. At the same time, we have identified some important challenges that we must address to deliver the results set out in this plan, achieve our mandate and respond to issues in current operations.

Complete our transformation process

The end of our special transformation funding in March 2006 sets the stage for implementation within our ongoing operations. At this stage, implementation will be driven by visible and hands-on leadership from managers and senior management.

Focus on our users

We will need to draw on the results of consultations on our new directions. Our stakeholders told us that we must work collaboratively to achieve our mandate, be more strategic in our programs and in fulfilling our national role, be more proactive in preserving Canada's documentary heritage and be more creative in delivery. An Ipsos-Reid poll determined that 28% of Canadians have heard of Library and Archives Canada, which gives us a baseline to work from, especially as 95% of Canadians felt it was important to preserve our documentary heritage for now and for future generations.

Towards a Canadian digital information strategy

Managing digital information poses one of the most pressing collective challenges faced by LAC and our partners and stakeholders, generating significant issues pertaining to production, collection, preservation and access. As a step toward assuming national leadership in this area, LAC convened an exploratory meeting of some 52 Canadian organizations in October 2005 to consider whether Canada would benefit from a national digital information strategy. Unanimously agreeing on the need for such a strategy, the group asked Library and Archives Canada to take the lead. Participants were clear that a strategy must address making more digital content available for Canadians (through digitization and increased "born digital" production) and preserving access to digital content into the future. LAC plans to convene issue-based discussions across the country in the spring of 2006, culminating in a national symposium in the fall, to achieve broad consensus on the scope and parameters of a national digital information strategy.

Facilitate the management of government information

We share responsibility with the Treasury Board Secretariat/Chief Information Officer Branch and with Public Works and Government Services Canada for leading an Information Management (IM) program within the Government of Canada. As this program evolves, it will have to help to ensure that information is understood and embraced as a critical asset and enabler of government business and service to Canadians and lead to enterprise-wide systems to facilitate the management of information. A particularly critical challenge will be to implement systems to manage the growth of electronic information (e.g., data, documents and publications).

Advance our long-term accommodation infrastructure strategy

Even with significant progress in the last year, our accommodation infrastructure capacity is still insufficient to deal with a constantly-growing collection. We are reaching our capacity to accept new acquisitions in certain areas (e.g., textual government records) and many of our buildings do not meet standards for preserving our documents.

Manage risk for effective stewardship of our collection

While risk management applies to all areas of decision-making, it holds particular importance to Library and Archives Canada's documentary heritage collection. We have stewardship responsibility for the largest, complex, most valuable, unique and in some cases most fragile information assets within the federal government. LAC's collection is one of the richest cultural collections in the country. While this has always been a core part of our mandate, the rapidly changing environment demands critical investments to acquire and manage the explosion of electronic resources such as electronic records, books, audiovisual resources and other digital materials.

Enhance our information technology (IT) infrastructure

IT is a critical enabler for Library and Archives Canada. We require a secure and reliable IT infrastructure with sufficient capacity to keep pace with the needs and expectations of our clients. This infrastructure must be designed to provide the flexibility and scalability to handle the increased complexity of collection information and to continue the trend towards digital access.

Secure sustainable human and financial resources

We are developing a sustainability strategy for our human and financial resources, by starting with a review of available resources. It will identify opportunities and funding gaps, given our mandate and responsibilities that we will be able to pursue with our partners. We already anticipate challenges in terms of information technology, the growth of our collection, infrastructure and the management of government information. We also know that we need strategic human resource planning to ensure that our staff continues to be able to serve Canadians well.

Be prepared to respond to new government initiatives

The government may undertake new initiatives that will have implications for LAC. In particular, the emphasis on enhanced accountability in government is likely to underline the importance of improved information management and our responsibility for maintaining government records that are no longer needed for current operations. We will have to find resources or strategies to address expanded workloads if the scope of Access to Information legislation is expanded to Crown corporations and other organizations or if commitments to resolve Indian Residential School claims involve increased demands on LAC resources.

Plan for Human Resource Needs

LAC recognizes important human resource issues. Many of our employees fill highly-specialized roles that draw on a combination of education and experience. In many cases, the demographics of our workforce indicate that we will need to prepare for the coming retirements of many of these employees. We are developing a succession plan for the organization that we expect to implement and monitor to ensure that we continue to have skilled people to carry out our responsibilities.

Summary of Priorities

The following chart lists the priorities of Library and Archives Canada for the next three years. They do not represent every initiative in the organization, but are strategic issues that are vital to accomplishing our strategic outcomes and fulfilling our mandate.

The Management Board of Library and Archives Canada will closely monitor actions under these priorities, recognizing that success depends upon our capacity to innovate to meet Canadians' information needs, to implement a robust information technology architecture and systems, and our long-term accommodation infrastructure strategy. Our capacity to deliver on our mandate will also be largely dependant on the strength of our human, financial and technical resources. Successful achievement of our priorities will enable us to make a difference in the lives of Canadians, who continue to have growing appetites for learning, knowing, understanding and appreciating more about their country, their society, their families and themselves.

As requested by the Treasury Board Secretariat, the priorities are categorized as "New" (introduced for this part of the planning period); or "Ongoing" (no end date); or "Previously Committed" (with an established end date). More detail on these priorities can be found in the following section.

Priorities 2006-2007 to 2008-2009