Library users in Digby, Shelburne and Yarmouth counties should notice a big difference in how they access their public library.

A consortium of eight of the nine regional libraries have created a new online service called “Same Page”. Same Page provides access to almost a million items, including eBooks, magazines, audiobooks, learning materials, and much more. Library users are able to manage their accounts better, request materials, keep track of their reading, and find suggestions on what to read next.

“This was in direct response to public demand for a new library experience with as few barriers as possible,” explains Eric Stackhouse, Chair of the Same Page consortium. “Our vision is for all Nova Scotians to have equal opportunity to connect to library resources through a universal library card.”

The eight regional libraries represent library users outside of Halifax Regional Municipality, over 50 percent of the population. This approach is in keeping with the overall tradition of Nova Scotia Public Library service, to offer the best and most cost-effective service through cooperation and efficiency. Same Page was made possible through funding from the Province of Nova Scotia’s Culture Innovation Fund.

Work started in 2019 to simplify borrowing rules, eliminate overdue fees, combine collections, and develop a library card that can be used anywhere in the eight library regions. Working in close cooperation with the Nova Scotia Provincial Library, our government partner in library service, the Same Page project was kept on track and on budget despite pandemic-related delays.

To begin using Same Page, simply go to www.westerncounties.ca or www.samepagens.ca and choose the regional library where you live. Your current library card will continue to work, but over time, people will be provided with a new Same Page branded card that will allow access any of the eight regional library systems. There is no cost for a library card, and as always, your public library is free to use.