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Library and Archives Canada Business Plan 2008 - 2011

Strategies and Key Actions

1. LAC will adjust all aspects of its activities to adapt to the needs and benefit from the opportunities of the digital information environment

We are working to deliver the following high-level results under this strategic choice:

  • Digital documentary heritage is acquired and preserved for future generations;
  • In their homes, offices or anywhere in the world, Canadians have more timely and convenient access to their documentary heritage;
  • LAC makes efficient and effective use of IT in all of its business activities.

Overview of Our Strategies and Some Key Actions

We have begun to extend our efforts and increase our investments in acquiring and preserving Canada's digital documentary heritage, and in making use of digital technologies-both to improve access and awareness and to rethink our business processes and operations, including those surrounding access and preservation activities. This is substantially driven by the needs and interests of users. It is a focus of our work with a wide range of partners to create and implement a Canadian Digital Information Strategy.

This objective includes the development of a comprehensive digital asset framework to support fully automated ingest, preservation and access to digital documentary heritage. We are increasing our rate of digital acquisition to deal effectively with the annual production of documentary heritage. As part of this, LAC is moving with partners to build a national network of Trusted Digital Repositories, beginning with our own action to establish a "Virtual Loading Dock" for the deposit of electronic publications and documents.

Supporting our efforts to develop a government-wide E-records strategy, we will develop functional specifications for digital recordkeeping in government. We will be complementing this with a Web-archiving strategy to capture federal and provincial/territorial government websites.

LAC is working to provide integrated access to its collection through a website that is easy to use, dynamic and interactive. LAC will expand efforts to digitize items from its collection for use and for preservation, which will ensure much more documentary heritage available on our website, through collaborative initiatives, such as: the Canada Project, Alouette Canada and Canadiana.org. This will be supported by new access technologies opportunities and standards that will support our provision to Canadians and other users of online end-to-end transactions with LAC.

LAC has begun to systematically rethink the services we deliver, both to content creators and to content users, and the way in which we do business in order to respond to the demands and maximize opportunities of the digital environment-and this will continue to evolve.

This strategic choice will enable us to mitigate the risks associated with the preservation of Canada's digital documentary heritage. It will also be a means of allocating resources in line with achieving financial sustainability and will guide long-term accommodation infrastructure choices.

Rebalancing:

While LAC has already made significant steps towards the stewardship of digital information and the use of digital technologies in our business, this choice will require us to rebalance our capacity to deal with digital and digitized collections and favour continuing investment in communication ingest and access via our website. It will also favour re-engineering of business processes to take advantage of digital solutions.

2. LAC will increase the relevance and accessibility of LAC collection and expertise to Canadians outside the National Capital Region

We are working to deliver the following high-level result under this strategic choice:

  • Canadians outside the NCR have improved access to LAC programs and services relevant to their needs.

Overview of Our Strategies and Some Key Actions

In order to make the documentary heritage of Canada known to Canadians everywhere, LAC developed a Public Programming Strategy. This strategy requires us to continually seek to understand our current and potential clientele to identify their particular needs and interests. It includes attention to our multi-year genealogy strategy and our new Learning Centre, and to Portrait Gallery of Canada touring exhibitions.

Drawing on strategies described under the Strategic Choice 1, we intend to increase the relevance and accessibility of LAC collections by increasing digital access and content and by working with organizations who share custody of the documentary heritage. Part of this will include targeted strategies aimed at specific groups such as genealogists, multicultural communities and teachers. LAC will make use of the expertise of our staff both to improve access and to develop more content relevant to Canadians in all regions.

A strategy and action plan for LAC's national database networks program, including the National Union Catalogue and Archives Canada, are being developed and will be implemented in collaboration with partners or stakeholders.

LAC is providing leadership, expertise, and coordination in the development of national or international resource description standards, including RDA: Description and Access and the Rules for Archival Description (RAD).

To address the inequity of access to information for Canadians with print disabilities, LAC will develop and cost a strategy for implementing nation-wide partnerships, activities and services to meet the long-term library and information access needs of Canadians with print disabilities, through its Initiative for Equitable Library Access (IELA). IELA will work in collaboration with stakeholders over its three-year term to create the conditions for sustainable and equitable library access for Canadians with print disabilities.

Rebalancing:

LAC will need to examine how best to provide existing programming in the National Capital Region while reaching out to new audiences in communities across Canada.

3. LAC will focus its role in Government of Canada information management on the development of effective recordkeeping

We are working to deliver the following high-level result under this strategic choice:

  • Government of Canada institutions demonstrate the capacity to create, use and preserve records of longterm value as reliable evidence of business decisions, activities and transactions.

Overview of Our Strategies and Some Key Actions

The capacity of federal agencies to operate effectively is affected by their challenges in all areas of managing records of business value. LAC will therefore focus our role in government information management on the development of a Recordkeeping Regulatory Regime that will help build a business culture that encourages best practices in recordkeeping throughout the federal government. Building this business culture will be supported by a sound regulatory infrastructure with a Recordkeeping Directive and Delegation Authority Instrument and by defined roles and responsibilities for recordkeeping-related learning, training and development.

We will also assist our partners across the Government of Canada to ensure the accessibility of their records of on-going business value. This will include the development of a records disposition plan for government departments and agencies and a new records storage model.

These strategies, when implemented, will facilitate accountability and stewardship in the creation, use, management and preservation of records as vital business assets and knowledge resources to support effective decision-making, policy development, and the delivery of programs and services to Canadians. They also will enable us to mitigate the risks associated with responding to the government agenda and new projects.

The clarified emphasis on recordkeeping will help to better define long-term LAC accommodation infrastructure needs, which will support our financial sustainability.

Rebalancing:

LAC will continue to work on information management in government by focusing on recordkeeping and revisiting its storage model for federal records.

4. LAC will make systematic use of collaborative arrangements and will increasingly deliver on its mandate through or with others

We are working to deliver the following high-level result under this strategic choice:

  • The LAC program is more efficiently and effectively delivered through extensive use of partnerships with others

Overview of Our Strategies and Some Key Actions

LAC cannot continue to work independently and expect to deliver on our mandate. Under this strategic choice, we will begin to emulate successful organizations who work collaboratively and through partnerships to capitalize on their individual strengths and capacities. Only by working together can we gain from economies of scale, improve service levels, make the most efficient use of our information and communications technologies, and maximize our professional expertise.

The key to becoming a successful collaborator will be the LAC partnership policy and framework. Implementing this strategic choice will be a major shift in our approach to our mandate and the way we contribute to a national collection. It will be supported by developing the necessary capacity and infrastructure to negotiate and manage a wide range of partnerships, for example, in areas such as public programming and genealogy.

This strategic choice will enable us to mitigate all our significant risks as it will enable a more appropriate sharing of costs and benefits among partners, with impacts on infrastructure, finances and human resources. It will also provide an approach to addressing the risks related to the preservation of Canada's digital documentary heritage through sharing responsibilities.

Rebalancing:

The adoption of a strategic approach to partnership programming and having a more systematic approach to collaborative agreements will result in proactive working and developing individual proposals.

5. LAC will ensure citizen/client research and evaluation results are built into management decision-making

We are working to deliver the following high-level results under this strategic choice:

  • Canadians' need for documentary heritage is understood and acted on in the planning and delivery of the LAC mandate;
  • An integrated LAC approach provides federal departments the seamless access to products and service they require.

Overview of Our Strategies and Some Key Actions

As LAC moves beyond providing well-established services to a traditional clientele, the institution requires a user research and evaluation capacity. This capacity will be established through a new centre of expertise for public opinion research, expanded capacity for data management and marketing intelligence as well as client segmentation analysis and a LAC research plan. We will achieve improved statistical reporting on the use of the LAC website and Web access to its collection, programs and services.

The quantitative and qualitative evidence provided by such research will be a key contributor to effective decision-making. User research and evaluation will be critical in enabling LAC to identify Canadians' changing needs and to serve new markets, as well as to meet our accountability requirements as a federal department.

This strategic choice will enable us to mitigate most significant LAC risks as it will ensure that choices are being made on the basis of clear guidance from target audiences.

Rebalancing:

Formal assessments of citizen or federal departmental needs and evaluations of user satisfaction will guide management choices and resource allocation.

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