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Report on the Review of Acquisition Processes for Collections

December 2010

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Findings and Recommendations

1. Acquisition Management Framework

The LAC collection development management framework comprises three documents: the Collection Development Framework (CDF) for 2005 to 2010, Directions for Change published in June 2006, and Strategic Choices for Realizing the LAC Vision 2006–2011.

This framework provides clear and specific guidelines for collection development. They ensure appropriate oversight of the branches responsible for developing acquisition strategies based on LAC's key directions and priorities. Moreover, the CDF incorporates the collection development directions provided in Directions for Change and Strategic Choices for Realizing the LAC Vision. Ten activities are required to support the six key directions.

However, some directions listed in Directions for Change are based on a dated vision that could encourage maintenance of the status quo concerning the acquisition of analogue materials and the traditionally strong areas of the collection. Consequently, these directions could convey an ambiguous message to the managers responsible for collection development and be considered inconsistent with those associated with the new LAC vision for acquisitions, particularly in terms of collection representativeness, digital documentary heritage and materials on Aboriginal or multicultural communities.

The collection development management framework does not address LAC acquisition limitations; in other words, LAC cannot acquire everything, given the continuous expansion of documentary media to be preserved, its human and financial resource limitations, and storage space considerations.

Having acknowledged these constraints, and to carry out its modernization project, LAC began preparing a new acquisition management framework based on three pillars of documentary heritage: acquisition, preservation and resource discovery. This framework will be built around four guiding principles for determining the value of acquisitions: significance, sufficiency, sustainability and society. In addition, roles have been defined to ensure that the strategies are implemented. Annual plans and management tools must take this new management framework into consideration.

Recommendation 1

LAC should clarify its approach in its Collection Development Framework based on its acquisition capacity limitations.

Management response

Further to consultations with partners, stakeholders and employees, LAC launched a number of targeted Modernization Innovation Initiatives that address the collection acquisition process.

As part of the second Modernization Innovation Initiative, LAC will clarify the key acquisition concepts and develop a framework for evaluation and acquisition.

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