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

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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.


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!


Tour report: APSEA

APSEA Tour – October 31st, 2014 @ 11:45

On Halloween, thirteen SIMsters visited the Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority (APSEA). It was a crowded tour, but quite informative! The APSEA Library generously gave its time to allow us to see their work and ask questions.

This special library is located on South Street in Halifax, and serves children and youth who are hard of hearing, deaf, deafblind, blind or visually impaired. It is an interprovincial agency between the four Atlantic provinces, and the library supplements the curriculum and educational needs of these youth by providing material such as large print books, Twin Vision books, and Braille translations.

Twin Vision book from APSEA
A Twin Vision book – printed text on one side, Braille on the opposing page

Our tour guide, Samantha Neukomm, led us through the library, which is broken up into sections by format and intended audience. Because the library is meant to support the curriculum, books and material are limited to what’s being taught in the classrooms, but we saw copies of The Hunger Games and other popular fiction titles as well. The library was also a blast from the past for any of us who used to have Dewey Decimal in our school libraries. Unlike the Library of Congress system found in academic libraries, APSEA uses good ol’ Dewey. During the tour of the library, Sam emphasized the need to weed continually to keep room for current books. The library is also unique because of its storage room, where APSEA supplies teachers and students with supplies that they will need, free of charge.

APSEA translates Braille textbooks on location, and it turns out that the twist from the end of Book of Eli isn’t quite so feasible after all. One Braille textbook could be up to 40 spiral bound volumes long! During the tour, Sam was also kind enough to show us some of the cataloguing process. APSEA doesn’t use MARC records, which means that the catalogue is unique, and the importance of having a controlled vocabulary while cataloguing is even more critical. Currently, APSEA is working with a software developer towards creating a more integrated catalogue.

Thanks to everyone who came out and helped make this another successful tour of the SLA!

Tour: Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority (APSEA)

We’re proud to announce our first tour of the 2014-2015 academic year! On Friday, October 31st, we’ll be visiting the Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority (APSEA). The mandate of APSEA is to support the educational needs of deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, blind, or visually impaired. It’s bound to be an educational and incredibly interesting tour.

  • When: Friday, October 31st, @ 11:30
  • Where: Meet in the Rowe Lobby, and we’ll walk there together.