Revitalized and full of hidden gems, Yarmouth is hosting the 2018 LBANS/NSLA annual conference. A mere three-hour drive from Halifax, the town has undergone an extensive facelift which has led to the blossoming of new or renewed businesses. There are now restaurants offering global cuisine well beyond Yarmouth’s fine fish and chips and lobster rolls.
The region is far enough away from Halifax that it has a very independent spirit and can-do attitude, infused by a cultural mix of Mi’qmaq, Acadian, Métis, Mayflower descendants, African Nova Scotians, New England planters and English Loyalists. Immigrants have made their mark, highlighted by Middle-Eastern, Asian, Latin-American and East Indian additions to the cultural mosaic.
Within the very walkable downtown core, there are many gastronomic choices (in no particular order) such as Murray Manor Creperie, Perky Owl Coffee Inc., The Shanty Café, Gaia Global Kitchen, Old World Bakery & Deli, Bread and Olive, Sip Café, Rudder’s Restaurant and Brew Pub, RC’s Restaurant & Pub, Jake’s Family Diner, The Red Shed, Tim Hortons, Greco, Dairy Queen, and Gale’s Eatery. A little further down the road, one can enjoy 468 Restaurant, Mern’s, The Dinner Plate, Marco’s Grill & Pasta House, and McDonald’s. For a quick ice cream, expresso, sushi, or bubble tea one can visit Iceworks Dairy and Expresso Bar, a stone’s throw from Western Counties Regional Library headquarters. You can also do your own scouting to discover your own eatery not noted here or those a little further afield.
For lovers of craft brewing, there is Heritage Brewing Company, 250 Main Street offering 15 taps of craft brew and cider, and Rudder’s Restaurant and Brew Pub. Just down Highway 103 in Tusket is a gem of a brewery called Tusket Falls Brewing Co.
Of course, most of you will be attending the conference at the hospitable Rodd Grand Hotel and Conference Centre next door to Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Library and Western Counties Regional Library Headquarters, 405 Main St. The theme is Be Bold! With keynote speaker Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard of East Preston setting the tone, the conference sets out to address many of the challenges libraries face when implementing the changes necessary to meet library user and community needs. The program consists of workshops and presentations to encourage library employees and board members to think outside the box and work through their reservations and fears as they move towards a stronger future for libraries. From the pre-conference sessions on re-envisioning library service and cultural humility to conference sessions covering queering your library or managing small spaces, the conference offers guidance, ideas and insight into being bold as an institution.
Of course, there are some lighter, thought-provoking sessions on the menu such as Kluskap Legends, Oral Histories and our Cultural Memory Timeline, and Form a Queue and Enter at Platform 9 ¾: Celebrating Harry Potter in Your Library.
For spouses not attending the conference, but visiting the region, there are walking tours, harbour tours, tours of the Tusket Islands, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Western Branch, W. Lawrence Sweeney Fisheries Museum, Firefighters Museum of Nova Scotia, Yarmouth County Museum and Archives, Cape Forchu Lighthouse, Le Village historique acadien de la Nouvelle-Écosse, Pubnico wind farm, Wedgeport Sport Tuna Fishing Museum, Sandford Draw Bridge, many craft shops, art galleries, walking and hiking trails, golf courses, beautiful beaches, Frenchy’s, and places of interest.
So mark the dates down for the conference, Sept. 28-30, at the Rodd Grand Hotel and Conference Centre in Yarmouth. For all the details visit the conference website at westerncounties.ca/nsla/nsla.html