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The path from knowing what we want to be as an institution, to being that institution is deeply influenced by the drivers in our environment. Those are factors such as the views and expectations of Canadians and all our stakeholders, the situations facing current and potential partners, changing government priorities and requirements and evolution in the information environment that we have to track and address. Identifying and analyzing those drivers thoroughly enables us to determine how best to use our resources and how to play the most effective roles possible to deliver on our mandate and achieve the results we want, given our strategic outcome.
In our analysis, we identified five particularly important drivers for change in our environment.
1. A World of Digital Information
With extensive collections in many media such as sound recordings, films and documentary art, LAC has always faced the challenges of building and caring for a diverse collection that now has to include digital means of recording information. As the major home for the Canada's documentary heritage, LAC is now alert to collecting and caring for Canadian websites, electronic publications and other documents that will never appear on paper. We have already begun to implement the new infrastructure needed to guarantee the survival of this electronic information through initiatives such as the legal deposit of electronic publications, our AMICAN work that is creating a single system to manage our holdings and a search capacity from our website that enables Canadians to search our collection.
2. Canadians' Changing Interests and Realities
One obvious impact of this new digital world is the way the Internet has transformed how Canadians find, use and share information. More and more Canadians, not just professional researchers, want access to our collection, particularly with the growth of interest in topics such as family histories. Canadians want online access to the information in their national collection. Change in the needs and interests of Canadians is being driven by demographic change and a more diverse and inclusive society, as a collection that mirrors Canada's development has to evolve to mirror the changing face of Canada. We are acting on these opportunities through initiatives such as our upcoming Genealogy Strategy, public programming focused on specific communities and improved services for Canadians to search our collection online.
3. A Networked World
One more impact of the growth of digital technologies is how it enables networks to be built and operated. This creates great opportunities for LAC because Canada's documentary heritage exists in cultural institutions across Canada and in other countries - not just in our own facilities. New tools and new thinking are creating opportunities to enable LAC to work in partnership with others to achieve shared goals, putting Canadians in touch with their heritage, no matter where they are or the heritage items are located. This attention to building and using networks also reflects the government-wide commitment to engaging stakeholders, citizens and other levels of government in the development of policy, programs and service delivery. We are acting on these opportunities through initiatives such as our work with stakeholders to create a common Canadian Digital Information Strategy as well as much of our public programs and services.
4. Becoming a Window on Canadian Democracy
As Canada's national record-keeper, Library and Archives Canada has specific responsibilities related to Government of Canada documents of business value. Canadians are increasingly interested in these documents as shown by a rising volume of Access to Information requests and increased interest in exploring government documents linked to past decisions. At the same time, federal departments and agencies are recognizing that their recordkeeping practices need to improve to meet current public and parliamentary expectations.
5. Accountability for Resources and Results
Canadian public administration has undergone a significant shift over the past decade to emphasize clear results and accountability for spending. The Government of Canada is reassessing programs to focus on core federal roles and to ensure that spending is controlled and efficient. LAC, like all departments and agencies, has to reassess the effectiveness of our business processes, develop mechanisms to reallocate resources from low to high priorities and ensure that spending is directed to measurable and realistic outcomes. This is particularly important as we address the many challenges of caring for our collection and ensuring its security. It is influencing profoundly our capital investment choices.