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Sherbrooke Library could get more resources with St. Mary’s collaboration

By Jacob Moore Apr 24, 2024 | 5:45 PM

The Sherbrooke Library in St. Mary’s just got an upgrade.

The eastern counties library association just signed an agreement with the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s that ensures the future of library.

The agreement would help the library serve the needs of its specific community, she says.

Laura Emery, chief executive officer of Eastern Counties Regional Library, says this agreement is an important tool.

“[It] always ensures that — regardless of who’s working for the municipality, or who’s working with Eastern Counties, or who’s elected to council — the two organizations are always working together effectively,” says Emery.

There are nine regional library systems in Nova Scotia. The Eastern Counties Regional Library represents multiple libraries in Guysborough, Inverness and Richmond counties. However, this memorandum of understanding relates to the Sherbrooke Library in St. Mary’s.

The agreement briefly outlines how the municipality and the library can work together to be “more intentional and strategic about collaboration and communication.” This would help benefit both the municipality and the library and maintain their working relationship, the document says.

Both the municipality and the library worked on the agreement with the help of a legal consultant, Davis Pier, who as appointed by the provincial government.

Before this agreement, there wasn’t anything formal between the library region and the municipality except incorporation articles from more than 50 years ago.

She says library services have changed so much since then, and even more so since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The current agreement is more tailored to the specific needs of St. Mary’s.

“I think that is a wonderful thing to have when you work at a charity,” says Emery. “For many, many years, it was always worrying about funding and so much struggle, and we’re in this better place collectively.”

Alongside the agreement, the municipality of St. Mary’s agreed to help pay to keep libraries open longer.

Other than that, Emery says it’s early too early to know how else the municipality and the library region may work together.

Council is pleased that we are taking this next step to have a written agreement and plan that will support how the Municipality and the Eastern Counties Regional Library will work together to better facilitate communication and planning,” writes St. Mary’s Warden Greg Weir in a news release.

“The new agreement supports initiatives to work on service improvements and helps provide a format for us to stay responsive to public needs.”