As diverse as the jurisdictions they serve, Canada's parliamentary libraries today are as much about connections as collections. Traditionally housed in beautiful historic settings, these libraries have evolved as premier information centres that provide easy access to specialized resources not only for political representatives, but also for the public in some cases.
In today's online world, where people access huge amounts of data, parliamentary libraries specialize in turning that information into knowledge for parliamentarians to use in the chamber, in committee or when meeting with constituents. Libraries handle requests via the Internet, fax or automated inquiry system and, using wireless technology, can deliver answers within minutes, wherever their clients may be. Plus, they offer seminars on current topics, training in the use of electronic sources, and permanent collections of government and legislative publications, available on paper and electronically.
Partners in Democracy
Parliamentary libraries share a common mission, specifically to support the democratic process by providing all parliamentarians with confidential, non-partisan information services to support informed debate and effective law-making. As well, they also help to engage citizens in the democratic process through direct access to online information, educational materials and through support to targeted public outreach programs such as teachers' institutes and model parliaments.
Connected across Canada
Parliamentary libraries are linked by their membership in the Association of Parliamentary Libraries in Canada (APLIC). The Association provides a forum that supports members' day-to-day needs and highlights best practices and expertise. Linked through the network, parliamentary libraries ensure a collaborative gateway to our nation's legislative information.