Halifax Public Libraries

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Halifax Public Libraries
Established April 1, 1996 (merger)
Location Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia
Branches 14
Items collected business directories, phone books, maps, government publications, books, periodicals, genealogy, local history,
Size ~1,164,600 items
Access and use
Circulation 4,709,496 (2013-14)[1]
Population served 414,400
Other information
Director Asa Kachan, CEO[2]
Website Halifax Public Libraries

Halifax Public Libraries is a Canadian public library system serving residents of Nova Scotia's Halifax Regional Municipality.

The organization was created in 1996 through a merger of the former municipal libraries with the City of Halifax, City of Dartmouth, and the Municipality of the County of Halifax. Halifax Public Libraries currently operates 14 branches and various home delivery services.


Spring Garden Road Memorial Public Library

Former branches[edit]


Halifax Mechanics' Institute was one of a series of Mechanics' Institutes that were set up around the world after becoming popular in Britain. It housed a subscription library that allowed members who paid a fee to borrow books. The Mechanic's Institutes libraries eventually became public libraries when the establishment of free libraries occurred.[3] One of the members of the Mechanics' Institute about 1835 was Samuel Cunard.[4]

Some talks about a new municipally-funded library in 1901 were unsuccessful.[5]

In 1948, Halifax had “a single over-crowded, under-equipped room at the end of a corridor” [6] located in the City Hall building. The conditions and poor services of the Citizens' Free Library room even failed in comparison to much smaller towns in Nova Scotia, such as Amherst.[7]

The Halifax Memorial Library "was born out of a true spirit of collaboration and of steadfast persistence from a variety of service clubs and citizens' groups active" in 1945 immediately after World War II.[7] The first sod was turned on 21 April 1949, in time to celebrate the city’s 200th anniversary.[8] The former central library opened in 1951 as a memorial to the war dead.[7] It was expanded in 1974. It closed permanently on 30 August 2014 and was replaced by the Halifax Central Library across the street.[7]

The Halifax Central can trace its roots to a feasibility study written in 1987. In 2008, the HRM Council approved funding in principle to support construction of a Central Library and seven years later, the new library opened its doors.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Performance Highlights and Trends 2013-2014" (PDF). Halifax Public Libraries. 
  2. ^ "Asa Kachan new CEO of Halifax Public Libraries". CBC News. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  3. ^ Harris, Michael. History Of Libraries In The Western World. 4th ed. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1995, p. 153.
  4. ^ Langley 2006, p. 61
  5. ^ Crowdis, D.K.: Brief History of Agitation for the Halifax Memorial Library
  6. ^ The Halifax Mail-Star: "From Here On?", 15 Jan 1948
  7. ^ a b c d halifaxpubliclibraries.ca: "A living memorial: History"
  8. ^ halifaxcentrallibrary.ca: "Background and History"
  9. ^ halifaxcentrallibrary.ca: "Timeline"


  • Langley, John G. (2006). Steam Lion: A biography of Samuel Cunard. Halifax, NS: Nimbus Publishing Ltd. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Coordinates: 44°38′39.5″N 63°34′28.3″W / 44.644306°N 63.574528°W / 44.644306; -63.574528