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DPR 2005-2006
Library and Archives Canada

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Analysis of Program

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

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

Through the issuance of Records Disposition Authorities, the development of record keeping advice, tools and guidance, and the provision of Federal Records Centre services for departments of the government of Canada, LAC enables and facilitates the management of information within federal agencies and ensures that government's archival and historical records are identified and appropriately preserved.

Financial Resources:







Human Resources (FTE = Full Time Equivalent)




170 FTEs

169 FTEs

(1) FTE

Our broad legislated mandate "to serve as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions" is defined specifically by Section 12 and 13 of the Library and Archives of Canada Act. Those sections relate to our responsibilities, and those of departments and agencies, related to the disposal of government and ministerial records.

Many documents and records that federal departments, agencies and Ministers generate in their current operations have long-term significance for legal, policy, historical and other reasons. In an era of increased emphasis on accountability and significant interest in reviewing records to assess decisions and actions, it is important that records of potential archival value be kept and managed in ways that enable them to be searched when needed. At the same time, the cost of cataloguing, organizing and storing these kinds of materials in appropriate conditions makes it reasonable to permit the destruction of materials with no archival value.

During 2005-2006, we continued to act on our core responsibilities under this program activity, which centre on our responsibilities related to Government of Canada recordkeeping as well as our work with the community of people who manage and deliver services through federal department and agency libraries.

More information on our core, ongoing responsibilities in this area as well as related issues, tools and services is available at:

We will enable a business-based approach to information management across federal government departments and agencies by collaborating with the Government of Canada's IM community to establish a government-wide IM program linked to the government's business objectives and accountabilities.

We, along with other partner departments and agencies, have made progress on this commitment. It reflects an increased awareness across the Government of Canada of the importance of records management – and the need to have information systems in place that manage an environment in which records are more often created electronically than on paper.

A key element of our contribution to this commitment was a decision to concentrate on our core responsibilities related to record keeping. This will enable us to play a strong, clear role in helping the federal community move forward in supporting the Government's business objectives.

As one of the three lead agencies responsible for managing Government of Canada information (with the Chief Information Officer Branch of Treasury Board Secretariat and Public Works and Government Services Canada), this focus on our record keeping role informed our contribution to the redrafting of the government-wide IM policy (the Management of Government Information Policy) and the development of a new IM accountability framework (the IM Program).

The new policy and framework will ensure that the Government of Canada manages information to support government programs and service delivery, supports transparency and collaboration across organizations, provides for informed decision making in government operations and preserves information of enduring or historical value.

For more information:

We will enable optimal government use and management of information throughout its life cycle:

  • by completing a Government of Canada-wide function-based classification system and developing records management metadata.
  • by establishing, a strategy to ensure that electronic information is effectively managed throughout its life cycle with enterprise-wide systems, and ensuring that electronic systems are the Government of Canada's preferred means of creating, using and managing information.

While these were set out as two separate priorities in the Report on Plans and Priorities, we took an integrated approach to them that combined collaborative work with other departments and agencies to accelerate the use of electronic records across the government with work on tools and supports that help federal departments and agencies carry out their records management responsibilities better and more consistently.

For example, we made progress on the Business Activity Structure and Classification System (BASCS), which provides a consistent way for departments and agencies to classify records for the first time. This will be particularly useful for achieving consistency in the classification of administrative records across the government and will evolve as resources permit. During the year, we developed, validated and tested BASCS models for records related to information management, information technology, security and audit and evaluation. BASCS has been designed to work within whatever information management system a department uses. This includes the Records, Documents and Information Management System (RDIMS), which is the government-preferred system.

We also created a Records Management Metadata Standard (RMMS), which sets out how records and the information they contain should be classified. We expect it to lead to more consistent organization and recording for later reporting and tracking purposes. RMMS was endorsed by Treasury Board Secretariat and was tested operationally, first by Transport Canada and then by the Canadian International Development Agency and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada with a first focus on classifying and organizing executive correspondence.

For more information on BASCS:

We will provide valued, cost-effective information management services to the Government of Canada by developing a new model for storing Government of Canada records of business value in all media.

Early in the fiscal year we set out a process that would have led to a model for storing government records. However, keeping in mind our specific responsibilities under Sections 12 and 13 of the Library and Archives of Canada Act, we decided to defer action while we took a closer look at a more-focused approach that would limit our storage responsibilities, and the related substantial costs, to those documents that meet the legislated test of value. This would achieve a more cost-effective approach that would be reinforced by our other efforts to support greater consistency in how departments and agencies classify and catalogue their paper and electronic records.

We will provide valued, cost-effective information management services to the Government of Canada by developing and implementing the initial phase of a strategy to increase the capacity of federal libraries to provide high-quality information services.

As committed, we completed the initial phase of a three-year strategy for the Government of Canada's federal libraries, "Maximizing Information for Knowledge, Competitiveness and Innovation: Canada's Federal Libraries in the 21st Century". That set the stage for work under the strategy that will enable federal libraries to provide the best possible and most cost-effective library services for the Government of Canada. The strategy development and related cooperation has already helped to guide the work of the Council of Federal Libraries Consortium, which, via the Consortium's Strategic Plan 2005-2006, focuses on enabling federal libraries to work together to obtain lower prices from vendors for a wider range of information products and services.

For more information:

Council of Federal Libraries:

Council of Federal Libraries Consortium:

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

The building of a national documentary resource for all aspects of the study of Canada is fundamental to the mandate of the Library and Archives of Canada. The Library and Archives Canada collection consists 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. To access the contents of collections, they must be described. Description can take many forms and provide various layers of access but is governed by nationally and internationally accepted codes of practice. At the same time, holdings are also described to meet Canadians' expectations for timely and equitable access. Once materials enter the LAC collection they are managed to ensure their long-term preservation and accessibility through policies, procedures and various programs including storage, conservation, and preservation and copying. To fulfill its role as a permanent repository of the government records and publications, Library and Archives Canada enters into agreements with government institutions to ensure that documents of historical and archival value are eventually transferred to LAC.

Financial Resources:







Note: The total Planned Spending includes $22,939,000 re-profiled into future years.

Human Resources (FTE = Full Time Equivalent)




695 FTEs

665 FTEs

(30) FTEs

Among the high profile Library and Archives of Canada roles are those related to building the collection of Canada's documentary heritage, ensuring its proper care and organization. These roles centre on the activities described above and encompass duties that are carried out by LAC staff members with specialized expertise.

A changing documentary environment has affected these roles and our overall strategies. In addition to our ongoing efforts to bring together Canada's published heritage in print form and its archival heritage on traditional media such as paper, photographic negatives and film, we now face the challenge of building and managing the new documentary heritage in electronic formats such as geomatic databases, digital photographs, e-publications and websites.

Complementing these efforts is our commitment to improve our management of our collections. Much of our material was being stored in settings with inadequate physical environments, where the condition of the collection was likely to deteriorate. With specific financial support, we have begun to address this challenge and initiated the drafting for an Infrastructure Strategy. Another part of our transformation has included work to develop and implement an approach to classifying and cataloguing our entire collection, which will provide a single window for people to explore this priceless collection.

During 2005-2006, we continued to act on our core responsibilities under this program activity.

In addition, we took action on eight strategic issues.

We will ensure that Canada's documentary heritage is acquired and preserved by developing an acquisition strategy in the context of collaborative partnerships with other institutions across Canada.

Just before the beginning of the 2005-2006 fiscal year, we introduced a new Collection Development Framework. It setsa policy direction for LAC and collection development priorities for the 2005-2010 periods.

The Framework recognizes the need to work in consultation with partners and with other institutions that also seek to preserve documentary heritage in Canada such as provincial archives and libraries, and universities. During 2005-2006, we worked with those partners through a particular emphasis on one aspect of the Framework – digital information – as we collectively began to define and develop a Canadian Digital Information Strategy (CDIS).

CDIS would aim to ensure that Canada has a vibrant and enduring body of Canadian digital content to carry into the future and to build upon over time. An initial meeting in October 2005 attracted 150 people from organizations that produce digital content, including archives and libraries, the education sector and other areas. Participants agreed on the need for CDIS and identified key issues to be considered in its development. This set the stage for further work and consultation in 2006-2007.

To move forward in our own operations, we introduced a new Digital Collection Development Policy in February 2006, as part of the Collection Development Framework. This policy is guiding our Digital Collection Catalytic Initiative, through which we are putting the infrastructure in place for digital acquisition (such as the selection and acquisition of Canadian e-publications and websites for our collection), digitization projects, digital content management and preservation, and digital resource discovery and access.

More information on the Collection Development Framework is available at:

More information on work to date related to the Canadian Digital Information Strategy is available at:

More information on the Digital Collection Development Policy is available at:

We will ensure that Canada's documentary heritage is acquired and preserved by extending legal deposit to electronic publications and maps.

We expected that regulations would be finalized and approved for the legal deposit of electronic publications and maps. The regulatory process was delayed due to the dissolution of Parliament between November 2005 and February 2006 but we anticipate the extension of Legal Deposit to take place in 2007. In the interim LAC has continued the work of well over a decade in archiving e-publications and websites through publisher-by-publisher negotiation without the benefit of the proposed legislation.

More information on Legal Deposit is available at:

We will ensure that Canada's documentary heritage is acquired and preserved.

  • by addressing the challenges of acquiring, managing and preserving digital collections;
  • by putting in place processes to archive Web sites of interest to Canada.

These were set out as two separate priorities for 2005-2006, but they both demonstrate our commitment to expand and manage an increasingly digital collection and implement the Collection Development Framework. As mentioned above, we have already archived more than 20,000 e-publications. We also experimented with the selective archiving of websites of interest such as those set up for the Commission of Inquiry into the Sponsorship Program and Advertising Activities under Mr. Justice John Gomery and those of political parties during the 2006 general election campaign. The degree of interest in these archives indicated how important this direction will be for LAC.

An important direction in our digital work was our completion of a "web harvest" of the "gc.ca" domain, which holds all federal government-related websites. As we refined the harvesting to improve results, we collected 1,459 websites as a start for future similar efforts.

We also tested an online system that enables departments and agencies to transfer electronic records to us. We expect that this, along with the supporting description, management and access to digital publications could streamline the processes and systems for transferring records from departments to LAC.

We will ensure that Canada's documentary heritage is acquired and preserved by addressing the Auditor General of Canada's recommendations:

  • for protecting government records of archival and historical value
  • for the care of Canada's documentary heritage collection by developing strategies and a collection management framework, implementing mechanisms to obtain comprehensive information on the nature and condition of the collection, and beginning to develop a risk management framework.

The Library and Archives of Canada Act responds to the November 2003 recommendations of the Auditor General by specifying that government or ministerial records of historical or archival value shall be transferred to the Librarian and Archivist of Canada. It also allows the Librarian and Archivist of Canada to require the transfer of government records that he or she believes are at risk of serious damage or destruction. A primary vehicle for implementing these legislated requirements is our new Records Disposition Authority Control System (RDACS) combined with risk-based approaches to the disposition of business records by departments and agencies.

During 2005-2006, we made progress on RDACS by adding a functionality that allows archivists to monitor the terms and conditions of agreements with departments for the transfer of archival records. During the year, we also issued nine Records Disposition Authorities, up from eight in 2004-2005, and received 22,320 containers of archival material from government and private donors.

The full text of the Auditor General's report is available at:

Information on RDACS is available at and information on RDAs is included in:

We anticipated acting on these recommendations over at least a three-year period. During 2005-2006, we made progress on this commitment in a variety of ways. For example, we completed the move of unique and valuable materials in our Literary Manuscript and Music Collections that were at risk from the substandard space at our 395 Wellington Street facility in Ottawa to our state-of-the-art preservation facility in Gatineau. We also custom-housed and containerized vulnerable material to ensure better control and preservation of these items.

We also developed tools to allow us to make risk-managed decisions more consistently, such as two decision trees, one to guide collection space management and accommodation planning choices, and the other to support work for enabling current and long-term access to the LAC collection. We made some progress towards creating an environmental monitoring framework for our collection. To date, we have completed an inventory of existing monitoring equipment while also purchasing some new equipment. We have also trained key staff on aspects of environmental monitoring and on the use and calibration of equipment. The development of an overarching framework is moving more slowly than expected because our collection care staff is involved in many LAC priorities such as AMICAN development and collection moves.

We will enhance the management and delivery of content in our collection by developing a framework for using metadata, elements of descriptive information about archival and bibliographic resources, as a new approach for enhanced user access to our collection.

In developing the Metadata Framework for Resource Discovery during 2005-2006, we set out to build a single approach to describing the contents of the LAC collection in a standardized way so that users can find more easily what they are looking for. The Framework itself is a set of guiding principles for the creation and management of metadata at LAC. It sets an overall strategic direction within which we can develop LAC policies, practices and plans related to describing our collection.

By March 2006, we finalized a draft of the Framework and distributed it for consultation to internal and external stakeholders to get their input on the proposed approach. When finalized later in 2006, we will post it on our website as we begin work on practical steps to implement this strategic tool. The Framework will help us to improve our strategic planning and corporate decision-making, provide a communication vehicle and enhance our leadership role in metadata standards within the Government of Canada as well as nationally and internationally. It will also have a more widespread impact, since the resource descriptions that LAC creates for our own collection of Canadiana publications are distributed to libraries across Canada and to other national and international databases where they communicate our holdings and provide support to other Canadian libraries and library users across Canada.

We will enhance the management and delivery of content in our collection by designing the next generation system called AMICAN, which will present the holdings of Library and Archives Canada in a single database, handle digital objects, and provide seamless access to the collection.

This priority reflects our decision to create a single system (AMICAN) that will eventually integrate and expand the information available that we now have on the database that the former National Library of Canada used (AMICUS) and that used by the former National Archives of Canada (MIKAN). We recognized that this would be a long-term process that would depend in part on the availability of resources.

During 2005-2006, among many other improvements and advances, we moved most relevant databases of our archival holdings to an integrated archival description system. We tested the first phase of a "federated search" function in a field trial that offers simultaneous searching of a number of databases describing our published and unpublished collections along with a new user interface for archival descriptions. The design was completed for a single corporate repository for client contact information as well as the design and development of the prototype for a new care of collections control module that integrates information related to LAC holdings.

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

All materials that become part of the LAC collection are intended for use by those interested in Canada. LAC provides information and services including consultation, research and lending, across multiple channels to facilitate access to the documentary heritage to a wide variety of clients. It also establishes activities, such as the learning program and encourages or organizes activities such as exhibitions, publications and performances, to make known and interpret the documentary heritage. LAC also provides information resources and standards such as the national catalogue and supports the infrastructure necessary to ensure its accessibility to those interested in Canada.

Financial Resources:







Note: The total Planned Spending includes $30,344,000 re-profiled into future years.

Human Resources (FTE = Full Time Equivalent)




287 FTEs

294 FTEs

7 FTEs

The ongoing work under this program activity relates to the efforts of the Library and Archives of Canada staff that develops and delivers the programs and services that enable Canadians and people in other countries who are interested in Canada's documentary heritage to have access to our collections and resources. Some of this involves the delivery of programs that focus attention on particular elements of Canadiana and that help people to understand Canadian stories – through our facilities and, increasingly, through the use of the internet. These programs are supported by the people in LAC reference services who assist users in finding the items in our collections that are of most interest and relevance, supported by an expanding range of self-service tools.

More information on our core, ongoing responsibilities in this area as well as related information and services is available at:

In addition, we took action on five strategic issues related to enhancing the programs and services that we provide.

We will improve service to Canadians by implementing re-designed client services, strengthening service performance measurement, and providing seamless, efficient, multi-channel access to Canada's documentary heritage.

We provide a wide range of services that enable individual Canadians and institutions with an interest in Canada's documentary heritage to gain access to our collection and resources. For 2005-2006, we committed to transforming and modernizing client service, which we did in many ways. In-person access to our services was made easier, with ongoing renovations to our building at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa, which will be completed in 2006-07, and the introduction of wireless internet access and self-serve digital copying at that location.

Our redesigned website brought together the former websites of the National Library of Canada and the National Archives. People can now search the entire site at once, including archival descriptions and Web pages. The addition of a "Services to the Public" section, including"Services to New Users", presents clear and user-friendly information about our reference services.

We also began implementation of a Query Management System, through which we now track requests from users. It enables us to manage response times to requests and better understand our users and their needs.

We will improve service to Canadians by improving processes for providing access to government records.

We took action after our internal task force on Access to Government Information Services made recommendations that it believed would improve Library and Archives Canada performance in providing access to government records within the 30-day mandated target for that service. Amalgamating units and developing a new procedures manual helped us to eliminate the backlog of requests that we had under the Access to Information Act. We also began to build on that success by developing risk management approaches to our file review processes.

We will enhance Canadians' knowledge and understanding of their documentary heritage by delivering innovative programming to meet the diverse information needs of Canadians

We have a continuing commitment to programming that puts Canadians in touch with our documentary heritage. During 2005-2006, we acted on that commitment by developing a program strategy that articulates a vision, defines key objectives, proposes initial areas of program focus and sets out a planning process to guide program development and management.

Canadians benefited from our actions, such as the launch of new resources for Canadians, including putting the 1911 Census online. A new partnership for online programming was initiated with the National Archives of Ireland. We also developed and delivered innovative online programming such as websites including:

Virtual Silver Screen http://www.collectionscanada.ca/silverscreen/index.html

Cool Canada http://www.collectionscanada.ca/cool/index-e.html

Life of a Rock Star, which was an international prizewinner

and new virtual exhibits including:

Canada's UFOs http://www.collectionscanada.ca/ufo/index-e.html

Through a lens http://www.collectionscanada.ca/dieppe/index-e.html

Bon Appétit http://www.collectionscanada.ca/cuisine/index-e.html

A new three-year agreement with the Toronto Dominion Financial Group renewed the TD Summer Reading Club, which is offered in more than 400 Canadian public libraries to children ages 12 and under to encourage them to read. During the summer of 2005, nearly two million books were read by 200,000 children in this program.

A complete LAC public program list for 2005-2006 is available through our "What's on" Archives Calendar at:

More information on the TD Summer Reading Club is available at:

We will enhance Canadians' knowledge and understanding of their documentary heritage by renewing Library and Archives Canada's grants and contributions program for assisting in the development of Canada's archival system.

We received Treasury Board approval for the National Archival Development Program (NADP) after working with the archival community on the new program. It provides financial assistance to Canadian archives and related organizations to increase their capacity to preserve and make accessible unique archival materials about Canada and Canadians.

LAC delivered training on the program and worked with the archival community to define NADP performance measures in February 2006, which was soon followed by the first call for applications in March.

More information on NADP is available at:

We will develop and implement programs of the Portrait Gallery of Canada to enhance the display of the collection by maintaining and enhancing the Gallery's awareness activities and collection development, and its presence on LAC's website, and by developing needed program supports, such as education and visitor services.

We made significant progress in 2005-2006 in building national awareness and partnership, both through strategic partnerships and in developing Canada's portrait holdings. For instance, a partnership with The Rooms, the major cultural space in St. John's, led to a highly successful public unveiling and exhibition of two recently-acquired 17th century portraits of Newfoundland historical figure Admiral Sir John Berry and his wife.

More information on the Portrait Gallery of Canada is available at:


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