Nova Scotians of all ages can join in a variety of events being held throughout the province to mark Canadian Library Week, Oct. 17-24.
Activities include Read to Me! jamborees — intended to get more parents and caregivers to read to their children; outreach programs designed to show more people what resources their public library has available; and promotion of online resources.
This year, for the first time, Canadians across the country will observe Canadian Library Week at the same time. The theme for the national event is Lifelong Libraries: Discover Us.
“Public libraries are repositories of knowledge, heritage and culture, and an enabler of learning, creativity and imagination,” said Education Minister Jamie Muir. “Libraries are the institutions in our society that literally offer something for everyone.”
Nova Scotians made more than 5.7-million trips to local libraries last year, borrowing about 6.9-million books, talking books, DVDs and other items. This is an 18 per cent increase in library visits since 2002.
“As a new grandparent, an educator, and a person who enjoys reading, I appreciate the positive impact libraries can have on a person’s learning and on their life,” said Mr. Muir. “Drop by your local library this week and discover all it has to offer.”
Public libraries play an important role in promoting literacy and lifelong learning.
“Libraries of the 21st century are dynamic centres of lifelong learning, continuously responding to the ever changing world of information,” said Jennifer Evans, Nova Scotia’s provincial librarian.
“The public library welcomes people of all ages and all walks of life. The free library card is an incredible value — use it to discover the many powerful library resources at your fingertips in Nova Scotia,” she said.
Ms. Evans points to the recent acquisition of World Book Online by Nova Scotia public libraries as a prime example of how libraries are evolving. Anyone with a Nova Scotia public library card can access the online encyclopaedia, and many other databases and online resources, regardless of whether they are in a library, at home, in a Community Access Program (CAP) site, or at work.
World Book Online is available on public library websites. A list of local public libraries can be found online at publiclibraries.ns.ca .
The Nova Scotia public library system currently has nine regional public libraries with a network of branches and bookmobiles to provide a variety of services to all Nova Scotians. Regional libraries are funded jointly by the government of Nova Scotia and participating municipal councils.