Tour Report: Pier 21

Pier21_5On February 24, Carrie-Ann Smith (Chief, Audience Engagement) at Pier 21 generously gave her time to give us a tour of Pier 21.

Highlights include:

  • The Pier 21 Story: new renovated exhibition
  • Canadian Immigration Story
  • Personal stories of immigrants
  • The Library
  • Recreated trunks to show what immigrants brought with them to Canada
  • Walk through a recreation of the inside of a train

Thank you to Carrie-Ann from Pier 21 for taking the time out of her day to answer our questions, and thank you to those who came for this amazing tour.

You can find admission prices, current exhibits, and more on the Pier 21 website:




Tour: Pier 21

Good afternoon friends with niche interests!

Us good people at the SLA have planned a tour of Halifax’s Pier 21 Tomorrow (the 24th) from 1-2:30pm.

The tour will consist of the Scotiabank Family History Center and a few of their new exhibits. It is free of charge.

Anyone who wants to come should plan ahead to bus or carpool. The 7 leaves Robie street at 1235 and can get you there be 1250.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Workshop Report: Searching Health Sciences Databases

Robin Parker & Melissa Helwig 2015On November 24th at Noon Robin Parker and Melissa Helwig generously donated their time to give us an overview of Health resources and searching within them. Melissa and Robin will be teaching a full course on the subject in Winter 2016. There were snacks!Students, 2015, Photo by Michelle Boychuk

Highlights include:

  • the 5S/6S pyramid
  • which background questions to ask yourself and the client during a reference interview and the importance of asking them
  • Foregound questions: more specific
    • PICO, PIOx or PICOT (Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcomes)
  • Where to search (Point of Care, Citation DBs, Hybryd DBs, Other)
  • Hands on search in PubMED

They have provided us with the slides used during this presentation. You can find those here:

Contact information:

Panorama, 2015, Photo by Michelle Boychuk

And finally, here are the slides!

Thank you so much Melissa and Robin for taking the time to share your knowledge with us!


Workshop: Searching Health Sciences Databases

Hey everybody! On Tuesday, November 24, SLA will be hosting an hour-long workshop with Melissa Helwig and Robin Parker. This workshop will be a crash course for those interested in learning more about effectively searching specific Health Sciences Literature and Information Sources.

  • When: November 24th @ 12 – 1pm
  • Where: Room 4001 in Rowe

We look forward to seeing you there!

Tour Report: Nova Scotia Legislative Library

David generously gave his time to show us the Legislative Library and all it has to offer. The legislative library is open to members of the public during regular daytime hours. For the general public, some materials may be borrowed through interlibrary loan at a public library, but there are exceptions that have to be used in-house: reference books, legislative materials, and very fragile texts.

Legislative Library

(Image from

Much of the information gathered in the library is to serve the Members of the Legislative Assembly and their caucus staff, but there is lots of interesting information for the public to browse. You can search the catalogue online ( to find materials. Some of the more notable collections in the Legislative Library are the first edition works by Thomas Chandler Haliburton, the Nova Scotia Journals of the House of Assembly (dating back to 1758!), and the Army Lists from 1759 to 1901.

David also took the time to show us another part of the collection that is housed across the street in another building. These materials are not as commonly circulated, nor do they easily fit into the collection in the library. There are also rare collections that are housed in another building across the street from the Legislative building.

Thank you to David from the Nova Scotia Legislative Library for taking the time out of his day to answer our questions, and thank you to those who came for this wonderful tour.

End of Year!

Congratulations to everyone for finishing up another year! We wish all the best to our graduating class, and are looking forward to a new year, new faces, and new libraries to explore. Enjoy the summer, and we’ll see you in September.

Tour Report: Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women

Crystal and Maggie graciously gave their time to show us the small library curated by the Council.

A panorama of holdings
A panorama of holdings

The Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women aggregates all kinds of information relating to women, from memoirs to handbooks to info-graphics. Their major areas of focus are employment, earnings, leadership and education, for which they have created handy info-graphic fact sheets, which incorporate the newest statistics available! These fact sheets were only a few of the many, many informational pamphlets that the Council produces and circulates.

So many useful pamphlets!
So many useful pamphlets
Fact sheets with up-to-date statistics

Beyond providing a varied collection of resources Crystal spoke of the other tasks that the Council participates in, such as gathering information for policymakers and clipping women-related stories out of newspapers for publications.

Boxes of newspaper clippings
Boxes of newspaper clippings

Ultimately, much of the information gathering is done to support the Advisory Council itself, which is made up of six to twelve women who are committed to bettering the status of women within their respective communities.

Thanks to the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women for taking the time out of their day to answer our questions, and thanks to those who came for making this tour lovely!


Workshop: Law and Medicine Report and Slides


SLA was thrilled to host a workshop today on searching Law and Medical databases. Paul McKenna, Robin Parker, and Melissa Helwig gave us a crash course with resources like CanLII and PubMed.


We’ve been provided with the slides from their presentations, so whether you missed the session or need refreshing on the different types of legal resources to use, you can download them from here:
Medicine: Tips Tricks in Health Sciences

Law: Searching Legal Databases 101