Sunday, 5 April 2015

Library and Archives Canada Report on Plans and Priorities 2015-2016

The Library and Archives Canada 2015-2016 Report on Plans and Priorities has now been tabled in Parliament, along with those for many other departments and agencies.
It shows forecast spending of $93 million for 2015–2016, a reduction from $106 million from the year just ended, with a further reduction of $0.3 million planned for 2016-17.

For 2015-16 LAC is estimating full time employee equivalents (FTE) of 867 and remaining steady in 2016-17.

Minister Shelly Glover (who announced she will not stand in the next election) makes the following points in her lead off message:
  • LAC will be participating in commemorating forthcoming great moments in Canadian history. 
  • LAC will strive to make its collection more visible and easier to access.
  • LAC will implement an action plan to better identify government documents of historical interest, while continuing to acquire resource material representative of Canadian society. 
  • LAC will continue to innovate in the digital environment in order to manage, conserve and provide long-term access to its vast collection.
The follow-on message from Librarian and Archivist of Canada Guy Berthiaume ends:
I am committed to increasing our visibility and to better meeting the changing needs of Canadians, who wish to have direct and immediate access to our collection. 
Again this year the genealogy community, LAC's single largest client group, merits no mention. As last year there is no mention of newspapers. The word history occurs only four times, three of those in the Minister's message.

The aspect of LAC operations of most interest to genealogists is found under Program 2.3: Access to documentary heritage. It is explained as:
This program aims to make Canadian information resources known and available to Canadians and to anyone interested in Canada, its society or its history. By providing access, LAC contributes to creating new knowledge that will increase the understanding of Canadian society.
Last year $28.6 million and 237 FTEs were allocated to this program. In 2015-16 these increase to $29.8 million and 282 FTEs with a further increase to $30.5 million planned for the following year with no change in FTEs.

Last year's document included performance targets for this program for March 31, 2015, "75% client satisfaction with online services; 60% of clients who report being able to find what they are looking for online." This year three performance targets are specified for 31 March 2016, the first of which "Percentage increase of digital material downloaded by clients from LAC's website." is new and pending a benchmark. The second, "Percentage of service standards met for formal access to information and privacy (ATIP) requests" has a target of 95%; the third "Percentage of service standards met for digital copies" a target of 90%.

In more concrete terms what we can expect to see delivered in 2015-16 through this LAC program is:
  • Provide greater access to documentary heritage through digitization initiatives, an increase in online content and in the number of online search aids, joint exhibitions, and quality services facilitating access to information resources.
  • Enhance the visibility of the collection by holding public events in collaboration with other memory institutions that share LAC's vision.
  • Contribute to events such as the commemoration of the centenary of the First World War and the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation in 2017.
  • Continue to share content on LAC's social networks, namely through the blog, podcasts, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to reach as many clients as possible and to make the collection discoverable through a wide range of distribution channels.
  • Renew the national database, which contains over 25 million bibliographic records, so that it can leverage new technological advances and better meet the needs of clients and the Canadian library community.
  • Contribute to Canada's Action Plan on Open Government by providing open data sets, by ensuring that access restrictions to records in its collection are lifted, and by helping to develop the Government of Canada's virtual library.
We all surely look forward to successful achievement of these deliverables.

1 comment:

Dorothy Kew said...

How about bringing back the interlibrary loan program?