What do you want from a public library in the twenty-first century? Nova Scotia’s provincial librarian, Jennifer Evans, will host a series of town hall meetings between Wednesday, April 12 and early June to answer that question. “Libraries fill a critical need in our communities and it has been some time since we asked people for their opinions,” said Ms. Evans. “We are hoping for a lot of interest and a lot of good ideas from people right across the province.” Ms. Evans is also hoping to hear from people who do not visit libraries. The consultations will focus on the benefits of public libraries, what the perfect public library would be like, and how the participants would promote the public library to others. An online version of the survey will be available at the Provincial Library website at www.library.ns.ca . The feedback will be reviewed and developed into a report, in time for the Provincial Library’s strategic planning sessions which are scheduled for late June. The report will be available on the website and through public libraries. “Libraries and the communities they serve are changing and we need to keep up,” said Ms. Evans. She cited the recent availability of free online versions of the World Book encyclopaedia and Chilton automotive manuals as examples of how library collections in Nova Scotia are evolving. The scheduled dates and locations of the town hall meetings are as follows: Wednesday, April 12 — Westville Library, 2020 Queen St.,6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.Wednesday, April 19 — NSCC Bridgewater, Room C112, 75 High St., 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.Wednesday, May 3 — Windsor Library, 195 Albert St., 7:30 p.m.- 8:p.m.Thursday, May 4 — Yarmouth Library, 405 Main St., 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.Monday, May 8 — Truro Library, 754 Prince St., 6:30 p.m. -8:30 p.m.Wednesday, May 10 — Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre, 24 Philpott St., 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.Thursday, May 11 — McConnell Library, 50 Falmouth St., Sydney 6:30 p.m. -8:30 p.m.Tuesday, May 16 — Four Fathers Library, 21 Acadia St., Amherst 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.Tuesday, June 6 — Alderney Gate Library, 60 Alderney Dr., Dartmouth 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. There are 77 regional libraries and seven mobile libraries in Nova Scotia, managed by nine regional library boards. Libraries also operate in universities, colleges, schools and other institutions but they are not part of the public library system or this consultation process. The province contributed $10.7 million to the operation of regional libraries across Nova Scotia in 2005-06. The government added another $1 million to library funding in an April 4 announcement.