Protect, preserve, promote, and support quality public library service in Nova Scotia.

Operation and funding

In Nova Scotia regional library boards provide services which are in each case centrally administered throughout the whole of a geographic area and determined to have sufficiently large population to support good library service. According to the Libraries Act a regional library exists when one or more cities, towns, or municipalities enters into agreement with each other and with the Minister of Education for the establishment and operation of a regional public library.

The first regional library in Nova Scotia was established under the Act in 1949. By 1972 a structure of eleven regional libraries covering the whole province was in place. By 1981 all sixty-six municipalities in the province belonged to one of the eleven regional libraries. Due to municipal restructuring in 1995-96 the number of municipalities has changed as well the number of regional libraries. Nova Scotia now has nine regional libraries, which are the basic institutions that form the public library system in Nova Scotia. They operate 77 branch libraries and several mobile branches throughout the province. Each region has geographic boundaries, recognized by a provincial-municipal agreement, contracting authority to engage staff, acquire physical property and develop collections. These established institutions have their own histories and have developed a wide variety of expertise, from literacy programs to innovative delivery services to remote locations and users.

Regionally raised funds, municipal taxes and grants from the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Culture support the regional libraries.

Summary of the Task Force Process and recommendations

After considerable public concern the Minister of Education appointed a library funding task force in late 2007. Membership included LBANS, the Dept of Education, Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and Library Boards. A report was presented to the Minister in August of 2008. It outlined a new funding formula that focused on 3 key areas:

  • bringing all public library book and materials collections up to an internationally recognized standard
  • fair cost of living increases for library workers
  • took into account inflationary costs based on the consumer price index

The report also allowed for libraries to experiement with new innovations; ensuring that all Nova Scotians would have access to equitable library service.

The report was tabled in the Legislature by the new government in late 2009. To date, however, the Task Force Report has not been implemented. You can view the Task Force Report below.

Nova Scotia Libraries Act
Nova Scotia Libraries Act Funding Regulations
Library Funding Task Force Report
Nova Scotia Library Standards