What We Do

Much of the work of the Provincial Library happens behind the scenes — unseen by the public but vital to the delivery of library services across the province.

Centralized Services for Libraries


The Provincial Library provides technical support for public libraries across the province, primarily in regions outside of HRM. These services include:

  • Hosting and maintaining the core computer system that supports daily library operations, and the library catalogue interface
  • Managing vendor relationships for the provision of Internet to all public library locations
  • Managing public library wireless connectivity
  • Training, consultation and helpdesk support for libraries that use central systems and services
  • Facilitating the implementation of technology projects or services among libraries and within the provincial government
  • Managing the Public Library Data Collection that provides province-wide statistics for Nova Scotia’s libraries


The Provincial Library enables access to every resource held in the catalogues of the regional library boards outside of the Halifax region. Every year, this includes cataloguing and providing descriptive access to more than 20,000 books, eBooks, audiobooks, DVDs, CDs and other items, in several languages. The Provincial Library ensures that catalogue records meet national and international standards and are maintained according to established procedures.

Canada Post Electronic Shipping Tool

Nova Scotia’s public libraries distribute materials at substantially reduced rates through the use of the Canada Post Electronic Shipping Tool. The Provincial Library administers this service and provides technical support and maintenance.

Digital Media Collection

The Nova Scotia Public Libraries’ Digital Media Downloads website lets Nova Scotians outside of Halifax check out thousands of eBooks and audiobooks and download them to a computer, e-reader or mobile device. It’s convenient, easy to use and free. The collection is maintained by the Provincial Library.

Visit the Digital Media Downloads website.



The Provincial Library plays a lead role in promoting public libraries. This includes attending library conferences, trade shows and community events to raise awareness of library services. In October 2014 we had the opportunity to document the goings-on in libraries for Canadian Library Month. Explore the images in Flickr and videos on our YouTube channel.




Borrow Anywhere Return Anywhere (BARA)

This program is all about convenience, complete province-wide library access and working together to give Nova Scotians the ultimate library experience. As the name suggests,  your Nova Scotia library card allows you to borrow materials from any library, and return them to any library across the province, free of charge.

The Borrow Anywhere Return Anywhere program involves all public, university and college libraries in Nova Scotia.  More than 36,000 items are processed annually under the program.

Visit the Libraries Nova Scotia website for more information.

Summer Reading Program

In public libraries throughout Nova Scotia and across Canada, the TD Bank Summer Reading Club aims to engage children in the joy of reading during the summer months.

The Provincial Library leads Nova Scotia’s participation in this program by coordinating with the regional libraries, distributing program materials, collecting and reporting statistics, and promoting the program across the province. Last year, more than 17,000 youth participated.


Working with Community Partners

The Provincial Library connects Nova Scotia’s public libraries with community partners to deliver province-wide programs and enhance library services.

For community partners who want to work with libraries and reach people across the province, the Provincial Library is a central contact point that provides leadership, project management and coordination with libraries.

Bringing libraries and community partners together has led to exciting initiatives that have engaged Nova Scotians around topics such as health and wellness, social concerns and life-long learning.

Learn about our work with community partners.