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Library and Archives Canada Business Plan 2007 - 2010

Our Ongoing Activities

The Strategic Framework recognizes that LAC has many ongoing activities that will continue and evolve as we move forward on the five strategic choices described later in this section.

LAC continues to select and acquire items in a wide variety of formats to add to our unparalleled collection of materials of relevance to the story of Canada. Those formats include published materials, photographs, electronic publications, maps and documentary art such as posters and paintings of people and places. Some acquisitions result from legislated Legal Deposit requirements that require Canadian publishers to provide copies of items published in Canada. Others are acquired from Government of Canada departments and agencies and through purchase or donation.

We catalogue and describe these holdings in accordance with international standards to make it easier for people to find items. LAC's leadership role in cataloguing and describing materials for the Canadian archival and library communities makes access to the LAC and other collections across Canada simpler and consistent no matter where an item in a collection may be.

By managing the care of our collection, we ensure it is preserved for future generations. Our use of risk management approaches enables us to make the best use of LAC storage facilities as well as our staff expertise in applying preservation treatments and techniques.

The collection is enhanced by our role as the permanent repository of Government of Canada records of business or historic value for reference by the public. We ensure that records are available in response to public requests and to support departmental and government-wide decision-making. We also examine broad records issues of government and advise on improvements to help meet government priorities.

Our mandate within this framework centers on recordkeeping and accessibility. We are working towards establishing recordkeeping as a regulatory regime of accountability and stewardship within government in which records are created, used, kept and preserved as vital business assets and knowledge resources to support effective decision-making and achieve results for Canadians. A commitment to accessibility informs all LAC work on policies, strategies and methodologies to make government records more accessible to users.

Government recordkeeping is also the focus of work at LAC federal records centres in eight cities, where records in all media are managed on behalf of over 90 federal government departments and agencies. This extends from taking in records of continuing value from government institutions, including personnel records, storing and protecting them and retrieving those required for reference or research. As part of this, we segregate archival and historical records that are designated for permanent preservation, and eliminate the others when no longer required.

We seek to make our entire collection known in many ways to Canadians and people interested in Canada. For example, our client services help users understand how our collection and resources are organized and assist them to find items of interest and relevance. As necessary, we safeguard the rights attached to all holdings. This can involve providing rights clearances, investigating copyrights or ensuring privacy protection. It includes dealing with more than 20,000 requests annually that spur reviews of archival records, of personnel records of former civilian and military government employees, and LAC's operational records.

Library and Archives Canada reaches out to Canadians through exhibitions, learning opportunities, public programming and a rich website, including those within the Portrait Gallery Program initiative. In the National Capital Region, LAC stages this programming at our Ottawa and Gatineau locations and at partner venues. Canadians living elsewhere make contact with Canada's documentary heritage through our ever-expanding website, travelling exhibitions and special events, many involving collaboration with diverse partners.

LAC makes our collections available through resource-sharing services that include inter-agency borrowing/lending, document delivery and collaborative reference, as well as our work in partnership with the Canadian library community on the infrastructure that supports resource sharing. Within the federal government, this is matched by our coordination of the library services of federal departments and agencies to achieve excellence and to encourage the effective management of human and financial resources.

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