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2017-2022 2017-2022

Library of
Parliament

Strategic

Outlook

relevance relevance
agility agility
a healthy workplace a healthy workplace

Parliamentary Librarian’s Message

Over the next five years, our technological and physical environment will change. But our raison d’être remains to provide information for and about Parliament that people can trust. From that place of stability, we bring a strong determination to offer excellent service and to respond to the evolving needs of Parliament.

As Canada’s confederation took shape in 1867, the organization that would become the Library of Parliament was already maintaining a collection for Senators and Members of Parliament to consult. Fifty years ago we launched our research service, which now supports the work of nearly 450 parliamentarians, 45 committees and a dozen associations. Twenty years ago, we were given the responsibility of helping to inform those who wish to learn about Canada’s national legislature, including 350,000 visitors who tour Parliament’s Centre Block each year.

The context in which we provide information for and about Parliament is always evolving. To meet the needs of our users in the years ahead, it will be essential to keep an eye on the future and adapt to its opportunities and challenges. Excellence in our daily operations is imperative, and to sustain that excellence over time, we will have to direct a portion of our energies and resources toward innovation.

That is why it will be important to maintain a work environment that promotes thoughtful risk-taking and experimentation. This includes defining objectives and setting plans that reflect lessons learned along the way, building on our strengths, systematically evaluating results as part of our business processes, and letting go of things that are no longer essential. To get it right, we will need the feedback of our users, the collaboration of our partners, and the participation of a healthy, engaged workforce.

Strategic Outlook 2017–2022 presents the priorities that will guide the Library as it fulfills its mandate over the next five years. It also highlights some of the initiatives that we have identified to move the organization forward. Emphasis is placed on increasing the Library’s agility in the face of change, and on maintaining a healthy workplace for our employees. This will enable us to continue to provide responsive and relevant service to Parliament.

Our Environment

When the historic Centre Block closes in 2018 for rehabilitation, a reconfiguration of the parliamentary precinct will challenge the Library to adapt its physical presence. As mobile technology continues to drive the way that parliamentarians and the public consume and manage information, we will need to adjust our digital presence too. Increased demand for Library services from an expanded and highly engaged clientele is also expected to continue over the next five years.

Increased demand for research and reference

The Library’s core user-base grew by about 10% when 30 ridings were added to the federal electoral map for the November 2015 election. During the first six months of the new Parliament, 97% of parliamentarians’ offices made use of our research or reference services. A 25% increase in requests during the first year of the Parliament suggests that the increased demand for research and reference services is ongoing.

Centre Block rehabilitation

In 2018, the Centre Block will close for rehabilitation, a project that is expected to last 10 years. During this period, the Main Library building will be closed. The House of Commons will relocate to the West Block, and the Senate will be housed over half a kilometre away, beside the Rideau Canal. Access to Parliament Hill will be limited where construction work is underway. This will affect the experience of visitors, including the 350,000 who take guided tours of the Centre Block each year.

The mobile work environment

Parliamentarians and their staff increasingly rely on mobile devices and the Internet for quick access to decision-ready information that they can easily reuse and freely distribute. Enabled by recent technological infrastructure changes, the mobile work environment is expected to become increasingly serviceable for users over the coming years. Parliamentary partners will continue to improve information accessibility with the mobile user in mind.

Considerations for collections

In the networked world, a library’s strength lies in providing user access to the quality information that lies beyond what is freely available using search engines like Google. Licensing high-calibre research databases and datasets is expensive, and annual cost increases for these resources can run higher than the regular inflation rate. Limited budgets and the value of the Canadian dollar are factors affecting the Library of Parliament’s collections capacity in any given year.

Legislative amendments affecting the Library

In June 2017, Parliament adopted legislative amendments that removed administrative responsibility for the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) from the Library of Parliament. When the amendments come into force, the PBO will report directly to Parliament, and the Library and the PBO will cooperate to avoid unnecessary duplication of resources and services provided to parliamentarians and parliamentary committees.

Our Priorities

To respond to changes that will shape our operating environment over the coming years, the Library’s continuous improvement efforts will centre on three priorities: how we tailor products and services to our users’ experience, how we build the capacity to adapt quickly and creatively to meet users’ needs, and how we take care of the principal resource on which our service excellence depends – our people.

Relevance

Provide the right products and services to parliamentarians and the public, in formats that are readily available and easy to use

The Library will respond to the increasing volume and complexity of parliamentary research, reference and analysis requests.

The Library will add new resources and update its recruitment and training strategies to improve our ability to address emerging trends and deliver information and analysis in new formats.

We will support Parliament’s increased international engagement, and continue to work with Senate and House of Commons partners to support parliamentary committees as they increasingly use new digital tools and platforms to communicate with the public.

We will do our part to ensure that the legislative provisions enacted to separate the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) from the Library are carried out. As directed by the legislation, we will take all reasonable steps to cooperate with an autonomous PBO, so that parliamentarians and parliamentary committees continue to receive research and analysis services efficiently and effectively.

The Library will ensure continuity of service to parliamentarians and the public during rehabilitation of the Centre Block and other heritage buildings.

Within the Long Term Vision and Plan for the parliamentary precinct, the Library will ensure that in-person services remain readily available when the Centre Block closes for rehabilitation. We will open new library branches in conjunction with the relocation of the Senate and the House of Commons. Collections from the Main Library will be moved to alternative facilities, and new delivery models will help ensure that parliamentary users continue to have high levels of service and access to content.

In collaboration with our partners, we will ensure that visitors to Parliament continue to have a high-quality experience.

Through outreach, we will ensure that parliamentarians and other users remain aware of Library resources and services and how to access them during the closure of our Main Library building.

The Library will use innovative technologies to improve the user experience and make information and resources more accessible in the mobile work environment.

As we adjust our physical service points in response to the changing footprint of the parliamentary precinct, we will modernize existing library branches to enhance the in-person experience and adapt to changing access and consultation requirements. We will apply new technologies and service delivery models in engaging spaces where users can access a wide range of Library products and services.

We will renew Library content on the Parliament of Canada website, improving its functionality and mobile responsiveness. We will also integrate and hone our social media activity, introduce innovative tools to help users access our electronic resources, and strengthen the ways in which we connect users to our collections via the web.

To enhance ongoing public access to Parliament, we will use virtual reality and multimedia technologies to deliver educational content featuring the art, architecture, people and functions of Parliament and to showcase the Centre Block during its closure for rehabilitation. We will also modernize the parliamentary tour reservation and ticketing system, introducing self-serve online bookings that allow visitors to manage their arrival times and avoid lineups.

Agility

Anticipate change, support innovation and optimize resources to meet the evolving needs of those we serve

The Library will foster innovation to provide optimal solutions for the emerging needs and priorities of parliamentarians and the public.

The Library will continue to dedicate a portion of its annual budget to projects that enhance and transform services to meet the evolving needs of users. We will adopt new management tools and practices to facilitate innovation and intelligent risk-taking, and we will place special focus on applying user-centred design. We will also continue to improve feedback mechanisms and will ensure that feedback is recorded and acted upon.

To improve service and gain operational efficiencies, we will explore new partnerships with other knowledge organizations. For example, we will consider developing collaborative collections – including through group purchasing and resources sharing – with institutions that have similar users and information needs.

We will also continue to seek opportunities to collaborate with our Senate and House of Commons partners to optimize the services and support provided to parliamentarians, parliamentary committees and associations.

The Library will integrate new systems, applications and standards of practice into its structure to advance effective management of information.

Using new and existing digital tools and platforms, we will continue to enhance user access to Library information and resources. We will apply data standards where appropriate, in order to make information easier to find, reuse or combine.

We will redesign our repository of curated information on parliamentary history, people and events to improve its functionality and to ensure that users will be able to export data reports to various formats.

We will continue to increase digital content and datasets in the collection. These are important for users who want to access our material directly and for the creation of new research products and services. This initiative will require the continued modernization of our collection development and management functions. In addition, we will review how digital assets, such as videos, are managed, in order to improve how we deliver them to users.

In line with our information management policy framework, we will expand the functions of our institutional repository to ensure rigorous management of the Library’s corporate records throughout their life cycle. Policies and guidelines, classification schemes, and retention and disposition schedules will be reviewed, and staff will be trained to identify key records and to understand their responsibilities with respect to records management and information accessibility.

We will also replace outdated human resources, financial and forecasting systems that can no longer be maintained. We will implement a new system with enhanced data management, increased reporting and analytics capabilities, and improved information delivery tools that will support strategic and proactive management of the Library’s human resources.

A Healthy Workplace

Foster an inclusive and respectful work environment where employees are motivated and equipped to provide excellent service

The Library will promote a safe and healthy work environment for its employees.

With partners in the House of Commons administration, the Library will raise awareness of our Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) and the confidential short-term counselling and support services that are available to employees. We will also offer regular information sessions to Library employees on a variety of self-care themes, including the maintenance of work–life balance.

Library managers will be given information, training and tools to help them promote a healthy and safe workplace for employees. We will support managers and their teams with business process review initiatives that can help achieve efficiencies while addressing workload imbalances.

We will provide training and support for a renewed workplace diversity and employment equity policy, as well as for our existing values and ethics policy and our prevention of harassment policy. We will also continue to coordinate our efforts with those of our partners in the Senate and the House of Commons to ensure that all employees enjoy a work environment that is free of harassment and discrimination.

The Library will recruit, develop and retain a diverse workforce capable of providing excellent service in an evolving technological and knowledge environment.

The Library will invest in recruitment, training and tools that respond to current business imperatives and emerging requirements.

We will implement a renewed competency framework, which prioritizes adaptability, a focus on clients, and integrity. The renewed framework will inform all human resources management activities, including recruitment and staffing, performance management, learning and development, and succession planning.

The Library will also introduce a learning framework that helps us to align training and development activities with our business objectives and to maintain our ability to deliver high-quality results for the people we serve. Mentoring initiatives, communities of practice and other strategies will continue to be developed and supported, in order to transfer the knowledge and values of veteran staff to a new generation, while capturing the creativity, innovation and energy that new talent brings to the organization.

Our Services

The Library’s continuous improvement efforts flow from its ongoing commitment to deliver excellent service to parliamentarians and the public. Whether they are providing customized research for legislators or classroom materials for teachers, our employees work hard to ensure that Library information, research and analysis are always reliable, impartial and tailored to the needs of those we serve.

Customized Research

Library analysts respond to requests from individual parliamentarians and their staff with reliable, confidential research and analysis on any public policy topic. They also provide research and analysis support for parliamentary committees and associations. In addition, Library staff help parliamentary users find documents or check facts quickly, online, by phone or in person.

Curated Information

Research librarians and media-monitoring experts curate news and other relevant resources that are of interest to parliamentarians and their staff, evaluating, gathering and delivering the information and resources that best support their work.

Library Collections

The Library develops its specialized collection with parliamentary users in mind. Parliamentarians and their staff can access our e-collections from their offices or mobile devices. They can also request print titles and other items to support their work on Parliament Hill or in their constituencies. The Library also collects, curates, preserves and ensures access to historical information about Parliament.

Library Branches

The Library’s branches provide parliamentary users with comfortable areas for reading or researching. Our on-site research librarians can help parliamentarians and their staff plan research and use our collections.

Learning Opportunities

The Library offers seminars for parliamentarians and their staff on public policy, legislation and other topics. We provide them with online and in-person training related to Library resources and general orientation to Library services.

Public Information Service

The Library’s information service fields general queries about the Parliament of Canada. Our staff answer questions about the role, history and work of Parliament, provide access to documents such as sessional papers, and direct Canadians to parliamentary offices and resources.

Public Outreach

The Library helps welcome visitors to Parliament with a variety of services, including guided tours. Our educational tools and programs support teachers across the country. Interactive websites and informative publications help young Canadians and the general public understand and engage with Parliament.

Business Support Services

The Library supports its managers and frontline staff with internal services provided by finance, human resources, IT and publication professionals, who coordinate Library policies and procedures with counterparts in the Senate and House of Commons administrations as appropriate, and ensure that the organization upholds the highest standards of public sector  governance.

About the Library

Vision

To be Parliament’s preferred and trusted source of information and knowledge

Mission

The Library of Parliament contributes to Canadian parliamentary democracy by creating, managing and delivering authoritative, reliable and relevant information and knowledge for Parliament

Strategic Outcome

An informed and accessible Parliament

Values

Impartiality

We ensure impartiality by providing objective information and services without regard to political affiliation.

Trust

We engender trust by providing reliable information and services in a manner responsive to the needs of our clients, while at all times promoting mutual respect and ethical conduct.

Excellence

We achieve excellence in all aspects of our operations by delivering relevant and authoritative information as well as innovative and professional services.

Organizational Structure

Speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons

Vested with the direction and control of the Library of Parliament in accordance with the Parliament of Canada Act

Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament

Composed of Senators and Members of Parliament responsible for advising the Speakers on the operations of the Library

Library of Parliament

Parliamentary Librarian

Exercises control and management of the Library and has the status of a Deputy Head, reporting to the two Speakers

Service Areas
Parliamentary Information and Research Service

Provides parliamentarians with news, reference, research and analysis services and oversees the Library’s public education programs and seminars for parliamentarians and their staff; acts as steward for the Parliamentary Poet Laureate

Information and Document Resource Service

Builds, manages, preserves and optimizes access to the Library’s resources and collections; compiles and disseminates historical information about Parliament and parliamentarians

Business Support Services

Provides business support and services to the Library of Parliament

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