Parliamentary libraries are specialized environments, requiring dedicated and unique resources to support their client-centered reference service. Staff add value to collections and information sources using their knowledge and understanding of the local parliamentary context. Examples provided from Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador highlight the customized products and tools developed by these libraries to meet the needs of parliamentary library clients.
Heather Close and Andrea Hyde
Continue reading “Specialized Resources for Parliamentary Libraries”
Two of Canada’s three northern territories use a Consensus government model in their legislative assemblies. Some of the unique features of this system are visible in how their parliamentary libraries are situated and used. In this article, the authors outline how parliamentarians and other clients in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut access the libraries’ resources in a way that reflects the openness and the cooperation associated with this method of governance.
Gerry Burla and Riel Gallant
Continue reading “Legislative Libraries in a Consensus Government: Familiarity within the Distinct”
When you have questions, the Library of Parliament’s research librarians can help you find answers. As a part of the Library’s Parliamentary Information and Research Service (PIRS), some of these research librarians are embedded in its multidisciplinary sections while others are based in the Library’s five branches. In this article, the authors trace the emergence of research librarians back to the early days of widespread Internet use, explain how their role has evolved, and offer examples of how they collaborate with the library’s analysts to provide information products and training. They conclude by noting this organizational structure provides librarians with opportunities to develop expertise in a given subject area and provides analysts with the support they need to serve individual parliamentarians and parliamentary committees and associations.
Michael Dewing and Meghan Laidlaw
Continue reading “Research Librarians at the Library of Parliament”
Parliamentary libraries are stewards of objectivity and truth for their clients; they were combatting fake news long before that term hit the headlines. In this article, the author explores the concept of fake news, outlines how parliamentary libraries across the country have undertaken initiatives designed to educate their clients and the public about disinformation, and lists some of the procedures researchers in these libraries have adopted to ensure they provide objective and non-partisan information for their communities.
Continue reading “Parliamentary Libraries, Trusted Allies in the Fight Against Fake News”
Legislative and parliamentary libraries have come a long way from their humble (and sometimes informal) beginnings. In this article, the authors trace their history, outline their roles and functions, discuss some challenges they face, and look to future development. While each legislative and parliamentary library is unique, reflecting local needs and histories, they also share common responsibilities to parliamentarians and legislative staff as they do the work of parliamentary democracy. The authors note how the founding of the Association of Parliamentary Libraries in Canada/L’Association des bibliothécaires parlementaires du Canada (APLIC/ABPAC) has permitted the country’s parliamentary libraries to work together to identify and share best practices. They conclude by suggesting that these libraries will continue to monitor trends, evolve and adapt to new technology as they look to the future.
Continue reading “Legislative and Parliamentary Libraries in Canada: Two Hundred Years of Service, Support and Information”
In an age when information is at your finger tips, when answers to a query are a quick Google search away, and when the number of print publications and the need for physical copies of books is in decline, should we be asking the question: whither the library?
In this theme issue on parliamentary libraries, the Canadian Parliamentary Review provides some answers, and finds that while their role has shifted over the years, parliamentary libraries remain an important resource for the people and institutions they serve.
Continue reading “A Focus on Parliamentary Libraries”
Although I never knew him, every day when I walk through the main hallway of Province House in Nova Scotia, I can greet my great-great-grandfather James McDonald. He served as the federal Minister of Justice and features prominently in a composite photograph commemorating the 1878 installation of the Marquis of Lorne as Governor General of Canada. In another room, he’s featured with another of my great-great-grandfathers, Samuel Leonard Shannon.
James McDonald was born in Bridgeville, Pictou County, Nova Scotia in 1828 to a poor Scottish farming family. In beginning his legal career, James articled under the very conservative Martin Isaac Wilkins. He must have held his mentor in high regard; not only did he change his political stripes, but he also married Wilkins’ stepdaughter. Moreover, he disregarded highland Scot tradition and named his first-born son after his father-in-law instead of his father. James successfully stood for election in 1863 as a Liberal Conservative and was appointed the Railway Commissioner in Charles Tupper’s government. James fought for the government to build a railway from Truro to Pictou; he did win that fight, but only after he became the financial secretary in 1864 and appropriated the necessary funds.
Continue reading “Greetings Grandpa and Grandpa”