News from Nova Scotia

Cape Breton Regional Library

Tara MacNeil

The most current issue of the Cape Breton Regional Library newsletter is available online.

KnitFit Community Knit-a-thon Set for February 25, 2012

Chris Thomson

Knitting needles and crochet hooks will be flying again Saturday, February 25, at the McConnell Library and Baddeck Library branches, as crafters come together to participate in the fifth KnitFit Community Knit-a-thon.  At this annual charity event, anyone who wants to lend their time and skill to knit or crochet warm and wooly items for a local charity can join us for all or part of the day. 

The Knit-a-thon is also a fundraiser for children’s programs at CBRL.  Participants gather pledges to raise much-needed funds to support children’s programs at CBRL, such as the summer reading program, teen and tween programs, and children’s programs across the region.   Pledge sheets are available at all CBRL branches and on our website.  If you can’t knit or crochet, you can contribute by sponsoring a friend or one of the participants at the event.

Boxes are now located at all branches to accept donations of yarn, tools, and patterns.  At the Knit-a-thon, there is usually a lot of donated yarn to choose from for use during the day or to take home to make items for charity.  Many people bring in the items they have been working on over the previous year, too, so we end up with hundreds of hats, mitts, scarves, sweaters, and more to donate to a local charity. 

This year, the fruits of our labour will go to the Salvation Army “Clothe-a-Family” Campaign in both Cape Breton and Victoria Counties.  Some items that we received before Christmas were donated to Loaves and Fishes for their Christmas parcels.

Generous local food sponsors will provide refreshments and lunch.  So come to the McConnell Library or the Baddeck Library, between 10:00am and 5:00pm on February 25, 2012, for a fun day creating warm winter items for Cape Breton families, to support us, or just to watch!

Dalhousie University Libraries

Tina Usmiani

Dalhousie Libraries Welcome New University Librarian

The Dalhousie University Libraries are pleased to welcome Donna Bourne-Tyson as our new University Librarian. Ms. Bourne-Tyson assumes her new position effective November 1, 2011. She comes to Dal from Mount Saint Vincent University where she has been University Librarian since 2005.

Donna has led successful initiatives in the areas of open access, institutional data preservation, learning communities, user-driven e-book acquisitions, the re-imagining of library spaces, and information literacy. She has been recognized for creating a collaborative, inclusive work environment and a culture of service innovation.  

Dalhousie President Tom Traves noted: “Her knowledge of copyright issues will be valuable in informing the strategy of the university as we proceed further into electronic resources. Donna is recognized regionally and nationally in the university library community and we look forward to working with her to expand the reach and effectiveness of the information resources at Dalhousie as we go forward.” 

Donna has served in leadership roles with professional associations, including terms as president of three provincial or divisional library associations. She has presented frequently at various national and regional events and conferences. Donna is a founding member of Libraries Nova Scotia, a partnership of all public and academic libraries in the province. She is an alumna of Dalhousie’s Master of Library and Information Studies program.

We welcome Donna and look forward to working with her!

Halifax Public Libraries

Halifax Central Library Official Groundbreaking Event

On Monday, November 7, residents of the Halifax Regional Municipality got one step closer to a new library. The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence; the Honourable John MacDonnell, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations; and His Worship Peter Kelly, HRM; officially broke ground on the Halifax Central Library.

Elder Emmett Peters from the Mi’kmaq community opened the event with a prayer, followed by drumming and singing in Mi’kmaq by Nathan Sack. Philip Moscovitch, the Master of Ceremonies and chair of the Halifax Regional Library Board, then made some opening remarks and invited the elected officials to speak.

“Our government is proud to invest in infrastructure projects that create jobs, strengthen communities, and contribute to the local economy,” said Minister MacKay. “We are very pleased to support the Halifax Central Library. Thanks to a lot of hard work over the last two years, this new state-of-the-art facility will enrich the lives of local families for many years to come.”

“Libraries continue to be important public institutions that inspire learning and knowledge, and empower people,” said Minister MacDonell. “Our new Halifax Central Library will be a landmark for downtown and a great public space for the community to gather. It will attract visitors from all parts of the region and will help make life better for Nova Scotia families.”

“The people of HRM have shared the dream of a new Central Library for a long time,” said Mayor Kelly. “I am honoured to participate here today as we take one more step toward making it a reality.”

Minister MacKay, Minister MacDonell and Mayor Kelly then unveiled the most recent rendering of the Halifax Central Library and donned some safety gear to take a tour of the site. About 100 people attended the event and had a piece of cake, which was also decorated with the most recent rendering of the library.

Minister MacKay, Minister MacDonell, Mayor Kelly and Halifax Public Libraries CEO Judith Hare in front of the most recent rendering of the Halifax Central Library

Elder Emmett Peters

Nathan Sack drumming & singing

Minister MacKay, Minister MacDonell, Mayor Kelly and Terry Gallagher, manager of Infrastructure & Facility Development for HRM prepare to take a tour of the site

M.C. Philip Moscovitch, chair of the Halifax Regional Library Board


Lest We Forget National Media Launch in Halifax

Halifax Public Libraries launched a national workshop series called Lest We Forget at the Spring Garden Road Memorial Public Library on November 9. Lest We Forget is collaborative project between Library and Archives Canada, the Canadian Urban Libraries Council and the Canadian War Museum.

Dr. Daniel J. Caron, Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada, travelled from Ottawa to launch the series, which this year is being expanded to include four new public library systems, Halifax, London, Richmond and Calgary. Dr. Caron spoke about the significance of expanding the program and the importance of deepening students’ understanding of Remembrance Week. Nova Scotia / Nunavut Command president Jean Marie Deveaux also talked about the value of Lest We Forget.

Special guests in attendance included Halifax Public Libraries’ CEO Judith Hare, who was also representing the Canadian Urban Libraries Council; MP Peter Stoffer; Councillor Jennifer Watts; Cecilia Muir, Assistant Deputy Minister, Resource Discovery; veterans, including members of the Nova Scotia / Nunavut Command Colour Party; and thirty Grade 10 students from Sacred heart High School. Halifax Regional Library Board chair Philip Moscovitch was the master of ceremonies.

Directly following the formal launch, Halifax Public Libraries’ staff members Cindy Campbell and Joanne McCarthy gave a detailed presentation to prepare the students for their research. The students then worked on research projects using digitized military records of Nova Scotian soldiers, doctors and nurses who served in World War I or who were killed in action in World War II.

Lest We Forget workshops will take place at libraries and schools across Canada, allowing military history come alive and increasing access to these important primary source documents. The program was developed to increase access to and understanding of the military service records of Canadians. More than 5,000 military service files are available digitally through Library and Archives Canada. For more information, visit

Zone Commander Bob Evans (Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command); Dr. Daniel J. Caron, Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada; Jean Marie Deveaux, president Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command; Philip Moscovitch, chair of the Halifax Regional Library Board; Judith Hare, CEO Halifax Public Libraries and representative of the Canadian Urban Libraries Council; and MP Peter Stoffer

Colour Party members

Students from Sacred Heart School study military records at Spring Garden Road Memorial Public Library


J.D. Shatford Library Patron Wins Games @ The Library Award

The J.D. Shatford Library was thrilled to present one of its patrons with this year’s Games @ The Library prize. Elaine Murray of both Tantallon and J. D. Shatford Public Libraries presented Robin Phillips with the award. According to Ms. Murray, Ms. Phillips “was delighted and said thank you to APLA and the library for the prize.”




Western Counties Regional Library

Ian White

Library Plays Active Role in Workplace Wellness Network

Organizations and businesses in Yarmouth County have come together to form the province’s first county workplace wellness network, designed to improve both physical and mental wellness in the workplace.

“The whole process has been very motivating,” says Western Counties Regional Library Public Relations Manager Ian White. White represents the library on the network. “To meet with representatives from other organizations and discover the wellness initiatives taking place is inspiring and helps you bring new things to your workplace.”

The push to form a network came from a meeting in the spring of 2010 at Burridge Campus, NSCC, set up by Peter McCracken, Physical Activity Capacity Coordinator with Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation Nova Scotia, and Tracy Burgess, Community Health Promotion Coordinator with the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

People, businesses and organizations in Yarmouth County who have an interest in workplace wellness were invited to connect, share and learn with others at the quarterly networking meetings, Burgess says.  Some initial support for the network is being provided by Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation Nova Scotia and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

“We would like to see networks in other counties grow and develop in the coming years,” Burgess explains.

In the meantime, Yarmouth County is providing the blueprint for other counties to follow.

“The newly created network will serve as a structure to facilitate communication among workplaces, promoting the importance of using a comprehensive approach in creating healthy workplaces,” says Burgess.

The network includes a wide range of organizations including South West Health, Macdonald Chisholm Trask Insurance, NSCC, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Yarmouth Recreation, the Municipality of the District of Argyle, and Simply for Life.

“Anyone is welcome to join the network. It’s an informal group that shares information through a website and meets four times a year,” says White. The website can be found here.

Read more about it here:

Library Card Month Revitalized Through New Ideas

A new twist to Library Card Month and strong sponsorship helped make October a successful membership campaign for Western Counties Regional Library.

“We had 374 people sign up as new members of Western Counties Regional Library,” said Public Relations Manager Ian White.

The boost in membership means that 33 per cent of the people living in Digby, Shelburne and Yarmouth counties have a library card, 19,749 out of 59,303 people. That is the highest percentage among any regional library system in Nova Scotia.

Read more about it here: