Palaces for the People

Empowering Communities

October 18 – 20, 2019 • White Point Beach Resort

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A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people.

It is a never failing spring in the desert.

Andrew CarnegiePhilanthropist
Hosted By

South Shore Public Libraries

South Shore Public Libraries is pleased to be hosting the 2019 Nova Scotia Library Association/Library Boards of Nova Scotia annual conference: Palaces For the People – Empowering Communities.

Whether your library is a grand historic edifice or a popup in the local strip mall it is, at its essence, a physical place. Reading, community building, sharing and existing, all of it happens in that space. Libraries across the province are reimagining their space not as a warehouse, but as the beating heart of the community.

Passionate about libraries? Join us at White Point Beach Resort for a weekend of professional development, social connections and fun at this year’s NSLA/LBANS Conference.

SSPL Website

We welcome everyone, all the time, without prejudice.
I can't think of any other public space that does that.

Troy MyersChief Librarian, South Shore Public Libraries

Keynote Speakers

George Elliot Clarke

George Elliott Clarke is a revered artist in song, drama, fiction, screenplay, essays, and poetry. Now teaching African-Canadian literature at the University of Toronto,

Clarke was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, near the Black Loyalist community of Three Mile Plains, in 1960. A graduate of the University of Waterloo (B.A., Hons., 1984), Dalhousie University (M.A., 1989) and Queen’s University (Ph.D., 1993), he is now the inaugural E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto. An Assistant Professor of English and Canadian Studies at Duke University, North Carolina (1994-99), Clarke also served as the Seagrams Visiting Chair in Canadian Studies at McGill University (1998-99), and as a Noted Scholar at the University of British Columbia (2002) and as a Visiting Scholar at Mount Allison University (2005), and as the William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professor in Canadian Studies at Harvard University (2013-14). He has also worked as a research, editor, social worker, parliamentary aide, and newspaper columnist. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, but he also owns land in Nova Scotia.

His many honours include the Portia White Prize for Artistic Achievement (1998), Governor-General’s Award for Poetry (2001), the National Magazine Gold Medal for Poetry (2001), the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award (2004), the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship Prize (2005), the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction (2006), the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (2009), appointment to the Order of Nova Scotia (2006), appointment to the Order of Canada at the rank of Officer (2008), and eight honorary doctorates. He completed a three-year term as the City of Toronto’s Poet Laureate and Parliamentary Poet Laureate.

Dave Meslin

Multi-partisan and fiercely optimistic, Meslin’s presentations focus on how we can overcome cynicism and create a culture of participation. His unassuming presence, creativity and sense of humour keep audiences enthralled. Meslin encourages those present to find what was important to them and become engaged in the process of promoting change by creative participation.

Meslin’s TED talk “The Antidote to Apathy” has been viewed over 1.7 million times and translated into 37 languages. Dave’s resume of non-profit start-ups also includes the Toronto Public Space Committee, the Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto, City Idol, Spacing Magazine, Unlock Democracy Canada, the Downtown De-Fence Project, Dazzling Notice Awards, and DandyHorse Magazine. While he feels most comfortable working with small grassroots non-profits, Meslin has also donned a suit and tie and worked as an Executive Assistant at both City Hall and Queen’s Park

Dave latest book, Teardown: Rebuilding Democracy from the Ground Up, came out in May with great reviews.

From environmental activism to public space advocacy to the ongoing campaign for electoral reform, Dave Meslin has been both out on the street in marches and in the back rooms drawing up policy. With Teardown he reminds us that the future of our species doesn’t need to look like a train wreck. That we’re capable of so much more.

It’s time to raise our expectations: of the system, of each other and of ourselves. Only then can we re-imagine a new democracy, unrecognizable from today’s political mess. This book is a recipe for change. A cure for cynicism. A war on apathy.

Mayann Francis

The Honourable Doctor Mayann Francis, ONS was appointed to the Faculty of Management, School of Public Administration as the first Distinguished Public Service Fellow in fall of 2015.

Dr. Francis served as Lieutenant Governor for the province of Nova Scotia, from 2006-2012. She was the first African Nova Scotian and second woman to be appointed as the vice regal representative.

She is the recipient of six honourary degrees and an Honorary Diploma.

Dr. Francis graduated from St. Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Master’s in Public Administration from New York University. In addition to her list of credentials, Dr. Francis can add author. Nimbus Publishing published her first children’s book, “Mayann’s Train Ride” in October 2015, which was translated into French in 2018.

Her memoir, Mayann Francis, An Honourable Life, was released in June 2019.

Vernon Oickle

Vernon Oickle is an international award winning journalist, editor and writer with 33 years experience working in newspapers. He is the author of more than 20 books, including Red Sky at Night and bestselling series, One Crow. Vernon and his wife Nancy have two sons, Kellen and Colby. He continues to reside in Liverpool where he was born and raised.

Cheryl Stenström

Cheryl Stenström began her career in public libraries in 1993, and has since worked as a reference librarian in a large urban library, a talking book producer, a public library consultant and public library CEO. After graduating from Queensland University of Technology’s PhD program in 2012, she began teaching full time at San Jose State University’s iSchool. She also continues to work as a Library Consultant, primarily in the area of organizational management, working with organizations such as the University of British Columbia, the Saskatoon Public Library, the Downey Unified School District, and the Surry Public Library.

Dr. Stenstrom’s research interests are focused on social influence and decision making in the political arena, particularly as it affects funding for libraries. She’s a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s iSchool and lives in Mahone Bay, NS.

Let’s Empower the People Together

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