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Sending on behalf of Laura Emery...

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Hello Everyone,

Eastern Counties Regional Library is one of nine regional library systems in our Province and we are currently investigating the Open Library concept with the intent to benefit all libraries in Nova Scotia. Two of my colleagues and I will be visiting Aarhus and Northern Denmark from June 19-26, 2019 to visit and learn about libraries where extended staff-less hours are part of regular library operations.

We plan to visit libraries in Aarhus, Aalborg, Vesthimmerlands, Frederikshavn, and Thisted. We will observe how this service model works, and discuss with library staff their opinions about and perhaps some advice on implementing Open Libraries.

ECRL is in the process of implementing an Open Library Pilot Project in Guysborough, Nova Scotia. This is the fifth Open Library in Canada, the first one in Atlantic Canada, and the one in the most rural location that we are aware of. In Guysborough, there are less than
1000 people living in the town itself, but the library serves a larger rural area with a population of about 3000 people.

Cyril Ward Memorial Library in Guysborough, Nova Scotia:  
https:[log in to unmask],-61.5007093,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x4b5ceb824e03f253:0xded6401f8669b849!8m2!3d45.3894331!4d-61.4985206

ECRL decided to investigate the Open Library concept because it seems to have the greatest potential to significantly improve service in our low population region. ECRL has ten library branches, across three counties in rural Nova Scotia. The total population is about 34,000 people, with a total area of about 9100 km2; the average population density is about 3.7 people per km2. The largest town in our region, Port Hawkesbury, has a population of about 3400 people. The issue we hope to address with the Open Library approach is that many people find it difficult to visit one of our libraries due to our limited staffed hours.

ECRL received grant funding for this investigation into the Open Library service model from the Library Boards Association of Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Library Association from the NSLA Professional Support & Development Fund, and the Atlantic Provinces Library Association from the APLA Memorial Trust. ECRL is also contributing funds for this research trip.

On behalf of myself and ECRL I would like to thank APLA and APLA members for their support. I would like to invite APLA members to send me any questions they have or issues they would like us to ask about in Denmark. Please join us in this research effort by taking a few moments to consider what we all need to know about this new (self) service model so that if it is more widely implemented it can be done so in a manner that truly benefits Libraries and Nova Scotians.

Questions, suggestions or thoughts can be sent to [log in to unmask] or I can be reached by phone 902.631.4403.

Thank you for your time,

Laura Emery
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Laura Emery
CEO/Chief Librarian
Eastern Counties Regional Library
390 Murray Street
Mulgrave NS B0E 2G0
Tel: 902.747.2597 ext.222 Fax: 902.747.2500
Cell: 902.631.4403
www.ecrl.library.ns.ca

"My mission: to help build the future of public library service in Nova Scotia."

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