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Beyond books: Halifax libraries lends instruments, sports equipment, memory kits and more

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In 2024, there is much more to public libraries than just lending books.

“When people think of public libraries they most likely think of first of the wonderful books they can borrow, the warm and engaging staff that they meet, and all the events and programs they can do,” said Erin Morice with the Halifax Public Libraries in an interview with CTV’s Crystal Garrett on Thursday.

Libraries around Atlantic Canada have been evolving and now keep collections of items beyond books that people can borrow

“As the needs of our communities have changed, we’ve responded by introducing these unique collections beyond books,” said Morice.

At the Halifax Public Libraries, people are now able to borrow a wide range of items like instruments, sport equipment, and even radon detectors.

The Halifax Public Libraries also offer memory kits in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia.

“The memory kits were created for people living with dementia, and the people in their lives who are supporting them and working with them. So it contains a bunch of different activities which were created for folks living with dementia,” said Morice.

“So there might be different puzzles, word games, interactive books, and singalong DVD’s, as well as information about how to communicate and work with people with dementia.”

The library also offers a variety of autism tool kits containing items ranging from fidget items to sensory items like weighted lap pads or communication tools.

One of the surprisingly popular items at the library is the therapy lamps, which help people get Vitamin D during the darker times.

Having items like that available at the library gives people a chance to try items out before they invest in one themselves.

“That is one of the great things about all the public libraries in Atlantic Canada is that we offer this variety of items so that you can test them out before you buy. So all you need is your free library card from your local library then it opens the door to all these wonderful different things you can explore,” said Morice.

While the items range depending on what library you visit, each has their own set of items hoping to make life a little easier for people.

Anyone curious of what items are available at their local library, Morice says Halifax Public Libraries has a list available on their website.

With files from CTV's Crystal Garrett.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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