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Library and Archives Canada Business Plan 2007 - 2010

Our Five Strategic Choices

The Strategic Framework also identifies five strategic choices that will enable us to realize key elements of Directions for Change and will influence how we achieve the goals set out in our Program Activity Architecture. They incorporate LAC efforts to mitigate the risks identified earlier in this plan. While the five choices vary in nature and complexity, each requires a significant rebalancing of the way we carry out our business over time - and a rethinking of many activities. The detailed agendas to move forward on these five choices are set out later in this business plan.

Our goals are to be:

  • much better-known among Canadians as we reach out actively to people and communities of all kinds, reflecting their interests and the importance of telling Canada's many stories;
  • even more strategic in our operations as we draw on networks and make capital investments that generate the best possible contributions to the achievement of our mandate, ones that allow us to serve as the trusted repository for Canada's documentary heritage and a valued cultural leader and internationally-recognized innovator; and
  • a key supporter of the strongest possible accountability in government and a more vibrant Canadian democracy as we align our government records roles with the needs of citizens, parliamentarians and government managers and leaders.

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

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

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

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

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

A few highlights of what we will do:

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 will 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.

This objective will require the development of a comprehensive digital asset framework that will support fully automated ingest, preservation and access to digital documentary heritage. We will increase our rate of digital acquisition to deal effectively with the annual production of documentary heritage; we will develop functional specifications for digital recordkeeping in government. LAC will also begin working with partners to build a national network of Trusted Digital Repositories.

LAC will work towards integrated access to our collection by means of a website that is easy to use, dynamic and interactive. LAC will digitize for use and for preservation and will steadily build the volume of documentary heritage available on our website. LAC will 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.

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.

Rebalance:

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 ongoing investment in communication and access via our website. It will also favour reengineering of business processes to take advantage of digital solutions.

High Level Results:

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

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

In order to make the documentary heritage of Canada known, LAC will focus on activities that demonstrate the relevance and increase the accessibility of our collections to Canadians beyond the NCR. This shift in service horizon will build on a market segmentation of current and potential clienteles to identify particular needs and interests. LAC will increase the relevance and accessibility of our collections by increasing digital access and content and by working both with organizations who share custody of the documentary heritage and with targeted communities such as genealogists, multicultural communities and teachers. LAC will make use of the expertise of our staff both to improve access and to develop content relevant to Canadians in all regions.

Rebalance:

LAC will actively work to make our collection and expertise accessible in the regions; this will involve examining the kinds of programming that best meet the needs of Canadians and how they can be delivered. LAC will review the role of federal record centres in making our collection accessible.

High Level Result:

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

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

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 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. We will also assist the Government of Canada in ensuring the accessibility of its records of ongoing business value.

This strategic choice will enable us to mitigate the risks associated with responding to the government agenda and new projects, as this is likely to be a major continuing focus for government. As well, a clarified emphasis on recordkeeping will help to better define long-term accommodation infrastructure needs, in keeping with the related commitment to financial sustainability.

Rebalance:

LAC will move from a general concern with information management in government to focus attention on the need by departments to identify records of business value. We will also revisit our storage model for federal records.

High Level Result:

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

How we will move ahead:

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

If LAC continues to work alone as often as we have in the past, we will fail to deliver on our mandate. More significantly LAC can benefit from the synergy and more effective results of working with or through others. The model for this new way of doing business is evident on the Web. Distributed networks permit a variety of institutions to make contributions based on their strength and capacity. By working together, institutions can realize economies of scale, improve service levels and maximize investments in information and communications technologies and in professional expertise.

In order to achieve this strategic choice, LAC will have to realize a major cultural change. We will shift attitudes from a focus on "doing" to a focus on collaborating or enabling. We will need to develop the necessary capacity and infrastructure to negotiate and manage a wide range of partnerships. LAC will actively seek opportunities to deliver on our mandate by working with or through others.

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.

Rebalance:

LAC will move from being opportunistic to being more strategic, long-term and sustainable in our partnership practices. We will systematically and comprehensively use collaborative arrangements as a means of delivering on our mandate.

High Level Result:

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

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

As LAC moves beyond providing well established services to a traditional clientele, the institution requires a user research and evaluation capacity. 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 and more comprehensive learning from the evaluation of actions previously taken.

Rebalance:

LAC will shift decision making by managers to include formal assessments of citizen or federal departmental needs and evaluations of user satisfaction.

High Level Results:

  • 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.

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