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
Report on activities 2011/12
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.
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.
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.