What’s special about the Hantsport Library? There are 78 public libraries in Nova Scotia but only four are combination school/public libraries. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? On the plus side it means one facility serves a dual purpose which is important in these times of economic restraint. Why should taxpayers have to fund a school library and a separate public library? A library is a library, right?
Except that it’s not. The school library’s purpose is to serve as a resource centre for their students while the public library’s purpose is to provide information and recreation to the general public. So for example, the general public cannot use the Hantsport Library during the school day. This means the Hantsport Library can be open to the public only after 2:30 p.m. on weekdays. Special permission was granted to enable the library to be open on Saturday mornings when the school is closed, thanks to support from the Town who pay for janitorial service and, if necessary, snow removal on the weekends.
Who runs the Library anyway? During the school day, the library is run by the School Board, their staff, their rules and policies. When the library is open to the public, it is administered by the Annapolis Valley Regional Library Board which is a separate entity and is regulated by a different government department. That is where things get tricky. In spite of some challenges, the Hantsport Library rolls along serving both students and public. The Library Board and the School Board share space, and work together as best they can as friendly housemates who understand the need to compromise and set boundaries to make this partnership work.
This month the Hantsport Library is being promoted as “Library of the Month” as part of the Annapolis Valley Regional Library’s campaign to promote its branches. RBC is sponsoring an Open House on Wednesday, January 18 from 3:00-4:30 featuring music, refreshments, and the Friends of the Hantsport Public Library are offering a book, DVD, and CD swap as well. Remarks from special guests take place at 3:30. Lots of other activities are happening at the Hantsport Library including:
· Cartooning Demo with Mark Oakley
· Preschool Storytimes
· Book Club for adults
· Free Computer Classes
More information about programs and services available at the library can be found on our website.
If you haven’t been in the Hantsport Library since you were a kid, do yourself a favour and stop by and check it out. You might be surprised how much it has changed!
---Frances Newman, Regional Librarian