Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Symbol of the Government of Canada

ARCHIVED - Library and Archives Canada

Warning This page has been archived.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.

Section II - Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

For 2010-2011, there is a single Library and Archives Canada strategic outcome, which encompasses everything we do for Canadians through our three business lines: acquisition, preservation, and resource discovery.

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

The operational and management priorities set out in Section I have implications for each of the three LAC core program activities as well as our internal services. This Section describes each of those program activities and the strategies, key initiatives, and expected results we intend to achieve in 2010-2011 in line with the corporate priorities described in Section I. It shows the resources that our organizations plans to dedicate to each program activity, the performance indicators and targets, as well as the benefits that Canadians can expect to gain from our efforts.

The table below shows the broad relationships between our three business lines and the existing framework of program activities.

Current LAC Program Activities LAC business lines
Acquisition Preservation Resource Discovery
Program Activity 1.1 - Managing the disposition of the Government of Canada records of continuing value Co-lead Contribute Contribute
Program Activity 1.2 - Managing the documentary heritage of interest to Canada Co-lead Lead Co-lead
Program Activity 1.3 - Making the documentary heritage known and accessible for use Contribute Contribute Co-lead
Program Activity 1.4 - Internal Services Support for all three LAC business lines

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

Graphic presentation of program activity 1.1


This program activity captures the Library and Archives Canada leadership roles and services in relation to Government of Canada recordkeeping, including activities related to document retention and disposal. The primary ongoing functional roles align with our responsibility for acquisition and contribute to our preservation and resource discovery business lines. Those roles involve:

  • Supporting the Treasury Board Secretariat in the development of policies and tools that enable federal institutions to fulfill their recordkeeping obligations and that enable Treasury Board and those federal institutions to track adherence to those obligations;
  • Developing partnerships with federal institutions and issuing Records Disposition Authorities for records that a federal institution must transfer to LAC;
  • Offering federal institutions the advice, tools, and training that enable them to manage their information resources effectively and aid them to meet their recordkeeping obligations;
  • Supporting departments in eliminating legacy documents that are no longer being managed; and
  • Administering the Regional Service Centres across Canada that hold documents of business and archival value.

Program Activity: Managing the disposition of the Government of Canada records of continuing value.
Human Resources (FTEs) and Planned Spending ($ thousands)
2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending
162 6,915.6 162 6,807.2 162 6,807.2
Note: Please refer to the Expenditure Profile for explanations on spending trends.

Program Activity Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets
Relevant Government of Canada information is managed by Government of Canada institutions in a manner that is coherent and demonstrates accountability to support the rights, obligations, and privileges of Canadians Proportion of institutions that receive or maintain ratings of "acceptable" or "strong" in the Information Management report card 40 %

Planning Highlights

Operational Priorities

  • Implement a sound recordkeeping capacity among federal institutions to support their accountability and to preserve their continuing memory.
  • Implement the Documentary Heritage Management Framework.

This program activity demonstrates the kind of comprehensive analysis and integration that modernization is bringing to all three LAC business lines and across all program activities. The LAC approach to the new government recordkeeping regime implicitly reflects all four guiding principles of the Documentary Heritage Management Framework (significance, sufficiency, sustainability, society). Action under this program activity will take place through the ongoing activities listed above and through support for the implementation of the new government-wide recordkeeping regime.

  • During 2010-2011, our training and awareness-building activities will increase understanding of the new recordkeeping regime and support effective implementation of its requirements by departments and agencies.
  • The first phase of the LAC Trusted Digital Repository (TDR) will become operational on April 1, 2010. With the TDR, we will be able to acquire electronic materials directly from government departments and other creators. Our holdings of government records in digital formats will expand to meet the requirements of the new recordkeeping regime.

LAC's Trusted Digital Repository Initiative

Digital records come in many formats and are based on many technologies. The challenge for LAC and other memory institutions is to acquire and manage digital records from many sources and in diverse formats-and to do so in ways that make those records accessible over the long term, even as technologies continue to change. That challenge extends to ensuring that clients can be sure that each digital record they access is authentic and unchanged since it was acquired.

The establishment and operation by LAC of a Trusted Digital Repository (TDR) is a response to that challenge. A TDR provides a framework, system, and tools to manage reliable, long-term access to digital resources, starting for LAC with Government of Canada records and electronic publications received under legal deposit. It is organized to address challenges such as the volatile nature of digital objects and ongoing changes in the information technologies used to create and access them.

LAC is putting the elements in place to serve as a TDR and is working with partners in government and outside such as Canadian libraries, archives, museums, and public institutions to create a network of TDRs. TDR development by LAC and these partners is grounded in internationally established models. It is positioning them to receive digital material from creators from all sectors of society in efficient, automated ways.

What does this mean for Canadians?

  • LAC can ensure that despite technological obsolescence, Canadians will have perpetual access to their digital documentary heritage.
  • LAC can be more proactive in engaging content creators and providers in the digital realm.
  • Researchers will have enhanced access to a richer resource of digital assets and can have confidence in the integrity and authenticity of the documents.

Benefits for Canadians

  • Implementation of the new recordkeeping regime across the Government of Canada will allow Canadians to exercise their rights as citizens to have access to government records of business or archival value.
  • A focus on retaining only records of business or archival value and the use of digital tools will facilitate preservation and resource discovery of the records that are retained, enabling timely responses to access to information and privacy requests under Program Activity 1.3.
  • The commitment to store only records of ongoing business or archival value will enable federal institutions, including LAC, to control document storage conditions and costs.

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

Graphic presentation of Program Activity 1.2


This program activity includes or influences all three business lines of Library and Archives Canada. As currently structured in the Program Activity Architecture and based on traditional LAC roles, the program activity involves a range of contributions as shown below.


  • LAC is the steward of a collection of published and unpublished materials in a variety of formats acquired through legal deposit, agreements with government institutions, and selected private materials purchased or received by donation.
  • Our acquisition activities extend to items such as personal and political documents of national importance, theses from Canadian universities and portraits for the Portrait Gallery of Canada program.
  • Acquisition strategies seek to build a relevant collection that includes items reflecting many social, economic, political, and other aspects of life in a country with significant linguistic and cultural diversity.


  • We manage materials entering the collection to ensure their long-term preservation and accessibility through policies, procedures, and programs including storage, conservation, restoration, and copying.
  • Our preservation activities are tailored to the needs and priorities arising from a diverse collection in formats such as motion pictures, sound recordings, books, manuscripts, maps, philatelic items, documentary art, and photographs.
  • We represent a centre of preservation expertise and advice in Canada, backed up by operation of critical infrastructure needed for preservation of an extremely varied collection.


  • Effective description of items in the collection enables us to enhance Canadians' access to and understanding of those items, in ways that meet their needs and preferences.
  • This program activity includes key functions such as description, organization, and indexing. Our products, such as databases and catalogues, are tools that enable people to find what they want in the collection, whether they are searching in person or online.
  • Our description responsibilities include the creation of standard bibliographic and metadata descriptions and standardized archival classifications and descriptions that we and other Canadian memory institutions, such as specialized libraries and provincial archives, use.

Program Activity: Managing the documentary heritage of interest to Canada.
Human Resources (FTEs) and Planned Spending ($ thousands)
2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending
492 64,370.2 492 62,286.0 492 44,058.7
Note: Please refer to the Expenditure Profile for explanations on spending trends.

Program Activity Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets
The management of the LAC collection is improved to enhance long-term access and to better reflect the Canadian experience. Effectiveness of the Collection Management Strategy as measured by: the extent of development and implementation of a more strategic approach to our acquisition. 100 % of the acquisitions excluding legislated acquisitions
Indicators and targets are being modernized to focus on acquisition goals, (such as the volume of documentary heritage acquired), on preservation goals, (such as the percentage of the collection in acceptable storage conditions or at risk) and on resource discovery goals, (such as the percentage of the collection with adequate descriptions and the extent to which clients are able to find what they want.)

Canada's Economic Action Plan (CEAP)
Canada's Economic Action Plan allocated $3 million to Library and Archives Canada ($1.4 million in 2009-2010; and $1.6 million in 2010-2011). This funding is supporting renovations and improvements to LAC preservation and processing laboratories.

LAC Preservation Centre

Renovations are taking place to several preservation and digitization laboratories in our Preservation Centre to respond to the preservation needs of digital media as well as to address our analogue media preservation needs. The improvements range from the replacement of air conditioning systems to updating the electrical system. An improved telecommunications system is being installed to meet digital media requirements. Other modifications are enabling us to make better structure use of existing laboratories and to consolidate space. The work will enhance laboratory spaces for multiple preservation purposes allowing for increased flexibility and efficiencies to position us to deal with new opportunities with partners and to adapt to future requirements and needs.

Place de la Cité

We are adapting several archival processing laboratories in our Place de la Cité facility to improve their mechanical and security systems. The modernization of these laboratories includes modifying the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in order to maintain the environmental levels required under international archival standards. The security systems will be enhanced so that top-secret level government records can be received and processed. To date, LAC has been unable to accept top-secret level records for permanent storage resulting in a backlog.

Planning Highlights

Operational Priorities

  • Implement the Documentary Heritage Management Framework

While ongoing activities continue during 2010-2011, we will further define and implement the directions set out in the Documentary Heritage Management Framework as they relate to this program activity. In particular, the program activity will be modernized through the creation of a model that ensures the acquisition of the most relevant materials, that guarantees the preservation of both digital and analogue documents, and that helps to make our continuing memory accessible, both now and in the future. Modernization acknowledges that these three business lines are interconnected, and that all program activities must be integrated in order to achieve their optimum potential.

  • Acquisition is largely about finding the most meaningful documentary heritage in a world of abundant information. Modernization will take on the challenge by developing an acquisition strategy that allows the institution to develop an integrated, representative, and collaborative collection of documentary heritage. The strategy will be based on the four guiding principles described in Section I: significance, sufficiency, sustainability, and society. It will ask the following questions: Does the material best represent the development of Canadian society and its identities, cultures, values, and experiences? Does the material allow LAC to fulfill its mandate by contributing to the adequate quantity and quality of a collection? Does LAC have the capacity to preserve it and make it accessible over time? And does the material reflect, serve, and benefit Canadian society?
  • Library and Archives Canada holds a vast collection of materials in a wide variety of formats. The combination of legacy materials in traditional formats as well as new and emerging media has put acute pressure on LAC's existing capacity to preserve it. It challenges our current organizational model, our skills, and our infrastructure. The development of the Documentary Heritage Management Framework ensures that preservation is a key element in acquisition decisions, it supports digitization as a standard preservation practice, and it enables LAC to play a key role in preservation at the national level, in consultation with stakeholders. Modernization will ensure the sustainability of Canada's documentary heritage.
  • Citizens now expect to find information easily, immediately, and autonomously. Their behaviour and expectations reflect the prominence and reach of increasingly sophisticated and democratic search engines and social networks. With so many users tagging and describing their own material, it is vital that LAC improves the visibility and usability of its resources on the Web by focusing on user-generated descriptions as well as traditional ones. Through Modernization, the descriptive aspect of resource discovery will increase the presence, visibility, and relevance of LAC's collection. The access side of resource discovery is discussed in Program Activity 1.3.

During 2010-2011, much of our work will draw on the results of a set of "Pathfinder projects" implemented in 2009-2010. Those projects test the practical application of the four guiding principles for documentary heritage decision making at LAC (significance, sufficiency, sustainability, and society).

For example, one Pathfinder explores the use of digital technology to preserve and improve access to archived newspapers. Another Pathfinder considers the development of an integrated collection development/management plan for all Aboriginal information resources across all acquisition streams. A third Pathfinder involves work with stakeholders to improve the completeness, accuracy, and currency of National Union Catalogues for library and archival materials. The results of these and other initiatives will guide us in moving forward. The Pathfinder projects also serve as mitigation measures to avoid risks that Modernization may raise over time.

  • The new acquisition orientation instrument will guide acquisition strategies and decisions beginning in 2010-2011 in line with the four guiding principles of significance, sufficiency, sustainability, and society.
  • A new preservation orientation instrument will guide strategies and decisions related to all preservation functions during 2010-2011. It also will support improved resource discovery.

Another element of work under this program activity will be our continued emphasis on building the digital capacity for preservation and access. We will also continue some infrastructure initiatives that will enhance our preservation capacity.

  • With the launch of the first phase of LAC's Trusted Digital Repository (TDR), as described under Program Activity 1.1, publishers will be able to submit electronic material to LAC online for long-term preservation and access to that material. We also will consult with stakeholders on plans for future TDR phases.
  • Our ongoing commitment to digitizing items in our collection will continue. For example, the second year of a five-year audio-visual strategy will bring us closer to our goal of copying up to 130,000 hours of audio and video material in the collection from obsolete audio-visual formats to digital file formats.
  • A new Collection Storage Facility will house the preservation collection and the newspaper collection in the environmental conditions these fragile items require and enable us to use modern storage practices. The new facility will improve our efficiency as we vacate five different buildings.
  • Completion of our Nitrate Preservation Facility will provide a safe and specialized preservation environment required for nitrate-based films and photo negatives, as recommended by the Auditor General.

Benefits for Canadians

  • As we define and implement the Documentary Heritage Management Framework and pursue the key strategies and initiatives described under this program activity, the collection will increasingly reflect the diverse Canadian experience and respond to Canadians' broad variety of interests and needs in terms of documentary heritage.
  • Canadians will enjoy online access to an expanded amount of items in the collection; whether those are items we have digitized or are new digital items that we acquire.
  • Canada's audio-visual heritage will be better preserved and more accessible to Canadians.
  • Acquisition and preservation of Canadian documentary heritage will be better integrated and managed more efficiently with clear strategies to identify and address the highest priorities facing that heritage.

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

Graphic presentation of Program Activity 1.3


Everything in the LAC collection is intended for use by those interested in Canada, whether onsite, through collaboration with partners, or online through LAC's website []. Activities under this program seek to meet the needs of users who want to find information easily, quickly, and autonomously. It includes a diverse range of functions.

  • Based on the needs of a diverse clientele, including researchers and other memory institutions across Canada and internationally, LAC offers information and consultation services, research services, and lends items from the collection. These services are accessible onsite or by telephone, mail, e-mail, and Internet. One of the largest such areas of support relates to genealogical research by Canadians and people with family roots in Canada.
  • LAC makes archival documents of the Government of Canada accessible to clients for research purposes. LAC also meets clients' needs under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.
  • LAC develops and offers public programs to provide insights into and context for items in the collection, enabling a deeper understanding of Canada and its stories. The programs include exhibitions and publications, as well as the work of the Portrait Gallery of Canada program. These programs encourage understanding, learning, creativity, and they are a celebration of Canadian history and cultural expression through Canada's documentary heritage.
  • LAC coordinates the library services in federal departments and agencies and facilitates access to information. LAC encourages the use of consistent and government-wide solutions to the operational challenges facing libraries.
  • LAC also provides financial support to Canadian archives and related organizations to build their preservation and resource discovery capacities through the National Archives Development Program (NADP).

Program Activity: Making the documentary heritage known and accessible for use.
Human Resources (FTEs) and Planned Spending ($ thousands)
2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending
225 19,483.0 225 19,432.4 225 19,432.4
Note: Please refer to the Expenditure Profile for explanations on spending trends.

Program Activity Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets
Canadians are aware of LAC as an authoritative and innovative source for content and expertise related to Canada's documentary heritage.
  • Level of client satisfaction with responses to their inquiries
  • Percentage of clients who report being able to find what they are looking for
75-80 % of clients who contact us online, by mail or through exhibitions are satisfied with their responses.

Website 55-60 %
Indicators and targets are being modernized to focus on resource discovery goals as demonstrated through the revised performance indicators

Planning Highlights

Operational Priorities

  • Implement the Documentary Heritage Management Framework

While ongoing activities continue during 2010-2011, we will further define and implement the directions set out in the Documentary Heritage Management Framework as they relate to this program activity. In particular, modernization will update both the descriptive aspect of resource discovery, and access itself, by increasing the presence, visibility, and relevance of Canada's documentary heritage to current and potential clients. While resource discovery lies at the core of this program activity, both acquisition and preservation strategies are also integrated into the modernized approach to "making known."

  • Client focus is the key to this program activity, making resource discovery a vital function in modernizing LAC. We will develop a framework for resource discovery that includes a new approach to description (described under Program Activity 1.2), as well as a number of interdependent projects designed to improve the visibility of our resources and facilitate effective service delivery.
  • Building on the new approach to description under modernization described under Program Activity 1.2, we will move LAC descriptions (known technically as "metadata") from paper to the Web, expose data to search engines and better understand and engage user communities.
  • LAC will gain an enhanced capacity to share our holdings with Canadians and improve their access to documentary heritage materials about Canada by modernizing our approach to public programming, information and consultation services, research resources, digitization, federal library services, and those activities that support the resource discovery capacities of other memory institutions. Taken together, they will encourage understanding and learning of Canada's realities, history, diversity, and cultural expression as mirrored in our documentary heritage.

During 2010-2011, we will make progress on Modernization or through actions consistent with it under this program activity in many ways.

  • We will begin to implement a resource discovery framework during 2010-2011 with the aim of delivering client-centred services. Work will include a review of our service delivery model, enhanced national reach for LAC through innovative use of new media and increased delivery of services through collaboration and partnering.
  • A new service strategy and related components will be implemented, and over a multi-year schedule, services will be redesigned based on the direction set out in the Documentary Heritage Management Framework, ensuring appropriate tracking and reporting on service results and outcomes.
  • In 2010-2011, Library and Archives Canada will pursue implementation of the Portrait Gallery of Canada program's three-year planning strategy, with the objective to bring the national portrait collection to Canadians across the country through travelling exhibitions and online and public programming activities. Key initiatives will include two travelling exhibitions to national venues (Karsh: Image Maker developed in partnership with Canada Science and Technology Museum and Beyond Likeness: Contemporary Canadian Portraits), two Portraits in the Street installations, and an exhibition of the Four Indian Kings-the earliest known oil portraits of Aboriginal people in North America, marking the tercentennial of their historic visit to London in 1710.
  • An Assistant Deputy Minister Task Force on the Future of Federal Library Service will support the development of a pan-government approach to managing published information in support of departmental and government objectives.

Benefits for Canadians

  • More Canadians will have improved access to our collection, whether online, through other digital delivery forms or through LAC collaboration with partners.
  • Canadians will receive services that are aligned with their identified needs and that are cost effective.
  • Analysis of client feedback will enable us to improve service and responsiveness to client needs.

Program Activity 1.4 - Internal Services

Graphic presentation of program activity 1.4


Internal services make fundamental contributions to the achievement of the three LAC business lines set out in Section I and through all three program activities described previously in this section. They ensure compliance with Government of Canada legislation, regulations, and policies. In 2009, LAC was reorganized to support Modernization with impacts on internal services. Key internal service organizations now are:

  • The Office of the Librarian and Archivist of Canada (including Internal Audit and the Chief Financial Officer)
  • Corporate Management (including Finance and Accommodations, Human Resources and Organizational Innovation, Information Technology, and the Strategic Office)
  • Office of the Corporate Secretary (including Corporate Security Services)
  • Communications Office
  • Web Services

Program Activity: Internal Services.
Human Resources (FTEs) and Planned Spending ($ thousands)
2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending
230 29,516.4 230 29,460.2 230 29,460.2
Note: Please refer to the Expenditure Profile for explanations on spending trends.

Planning Highlights

Management Priorities

  • Manage the change within LAC needed to support our modernization through the Documentary Heritage Management Framework.

Internal services groups such as human resources, information technology and Web services, infrastructure, communications and other corporate support functions are specifically identified as "enablers" or as "enabling sectors." They ensure that LAC has the people, infrastructure, technologies, and supports for progress under the other program activities.

While the ongoing activities of the enabling sectors will continue during 2010-2011, this program activity will be the focal point for the development and implementation of strategies to support Modernization of enabling activities. This will include:

  • Better coordination of internal services roles with LAC programs and the use of service standards and service agreements will support Modernization. This will lead to initiatives such as a long-term capital plan for LAC and the most effective use of information technology and Web service resources.
  • We will develop and pursue talent management strategies to ensure that we have the skilled expertise needed to carry out our responsibilities in workplaces that are likely to evolve with Modernization.
  • We intend to ensure that we meet government-wide commitments and standards for accountability in areas such as finance, planning, and reporting through enhanced corporate approaches to critical processes, development of tools for LAC managers to use to meet their accountability obligations and the identification of ways to gain economies of scale in LAC operations.

Benefits for Canadians

  • Facilitation of programs and services that meet the needs and interests of Canadians.
  • Effective, efficient management of LAC activities.