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Wednesday, June 9 • 9:30am - 10:30am
Moving the Library Outside to Achieve Social Change

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Over the past few years, Halifax Public Libraries has launched two outdoor libraries. Dartmouth North Public Library opened the first outdoor library in the region by turning a wall out the library into sliding glass doors to an outside deck. The incorporation of the outdoor space resulted in a dramatic increase in space to house the growing population that uses the library. Free WiFi, opportunities for people of all ages to play, and outdoor spaces for the community to linger has made a profound difference to Dartmouth North, a neighbourhood where most people live in apartments without access to beautiful outdoor spaces.  This past year, in response to congestion within the Keshen Goodman Public Library, a second outdoor library was opened, equipped with hammocks, an outdoor stage and plenty of space for all. 
In this session join Halifax Public Libraries Chief Librarian & CEO, Åsa Kachan, and Landscape Architect Sue Sirrs, explore the importance of outdoor space in improving general well-being, the particular opportunity that comes from integrating libraries and outdoor spaces for users of all ages, and participate in an interactive exercise to create the perfect outdoor library for your community.


Åsa Kachan

Chief Librarian & CEO, Halifax Public Libraries
Åsa Kachan is the Chief Librarian & CEO of Halifax Public Libraries, where she oversees 400 staff working across 14 branch and beyond.

Sue Sirrs

Landscape Architect, Halifax Public Libraries
Sue Sirrs is a Landscape Architect who has worked on a range of projects, including the recent design of two outdoor libraries at Halifax Public Libraries at the Dartmouth North and Keshen Goodman branches.

avatar for Maggie Neilson (She/Her)

Maggie Neilson (She/Her)

Academic Librarian, Vaughan Memorial Library, Acadia University
Maggie Neilson (she/her) is an Academic Librarian at Acadia University and Coordinator of EDI initiatives, supports, and resources in the Vaughan Memorial Library.

Wednesday June 9, 2021 9:30am - 10:30am ADT
Stream: McIntosh