The Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library is one of nine regional public libraries across Nova Scotia. The regional library system was created through provincial legislation, the Public Libraries Act. Each regional library is governed by an independent library board. Funding is provided by the Province of Nova Scotia, through the Provincial Library (Communities, Culture & Heritage Department) and by each municipal unit in the Antigonish – Pictou area. The Library Board is also mandated to raise at least three percent of its overall operating budget. The actual library facilities are owned and maintained by the municipal units while staffing, collections, and services are provided by the board.
The Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library Board has ten members. Each of the eight municipal councils appoints one elected official to the Board and the Minister of Communities, Culture & Heritage appoints two community volunteers. The Board is responsible for setting policy, setting and overseeing the operating budget, ensuring a financial audit is completed annually, and for hiring the Chief Librarian. The Chief Librarian, who must have a graduate degree in Library and Information Science, acts as secretary to the Board and ensures the region is operated and developed according to policy.
The Board has an annual budget of over 1.6 million dollars, employs 59 full and part-time staff and over 30 casual positions, many of which are youth. There are seven branch libraries, one rural access site, a books by mail service, outreach services, and an extensive virtual library.
The Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library Board is proud of its community driven approach to services, understanding the library is only as successful as the community in which it operates. Beyond traditional library services the Board assists municipalities and communities with web development, oversees the development of the Adopt-a-Library Literacy Program (hosting an RCMP Officer within its operations), creates innovative and award-winning digital content, manages the Community Access Program in the two counties, and much more. The Board is also pleased to promote the written word through such initiatives as the Writer in Residence.