Welcome to The Association of Parliamentary Libraries in Canada (APLIC)

The Association of Parliamentary Libraries in Canada was founded in 1975.

The principal objectives of the Association are to improve parliamentary library service in Canada, foster communication among members concerning matters of mutual interest, identify issues requiring research, and encourage cooperation with related parliamentary officials and organizations.

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.

Building Knowledge

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.

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.

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.

About Our Members

Member Vignettes
  • A Rich History Serving the Province and its Legislature
    Ontario

    The Legislative Library of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario is the descendant of the parliamentary libraries of the province of Upper Canada (1792-1841) and of the united Province of Canada (1841-1867). In 1867 the Ontario Legislature established a new Legislative Library, which was recognized in the Standing Orders of the House. The Library has been administered by the Speaker (1867-1899), the Treasurer (1899-1921), the Minister of Education (1921-1964), the Provincial Secretary (1964-1972), and the Minister of Government Services (1972-1976). In April 1976, upon the recommendation of the Ontario Commission on the Legislature, it became a division of the Office of the Assembly under the authority of the Speaker once again.

  • Ledge Talks
    Northwest Territories

    The Legislative Library launched Ledge Talks: The Knowledge Series in July 2012. Modelled on the famous “Ted Talks”, The Knowledge Series showcases current ideas, science, traditional knowledge, and issues relevant to the Northwest Territories and beyond. The talks serve as a forum for a wide variety of speakers and provide an opportunity for learning beyond one’s normal work and life surroundings.

    Ledge Talks also showcases research done by the many Government of the Northwest Territories employees who, often with collaborating partners, are making substantial contributions to the world’s understanding of the North.

    The 30-minute presentations, which are followed by a question period, are held in the Great Hall of the Legislative Assembly building and are about knowledge, not politics and about issues, not government programs. The talks are webcast and also videotaped and posted on the Legislative Library’s website.

  • The Best Defended Library in Canada
    Alberta

    From 1923 until 1967, two brass cannons sat on the balcony of the Alberta Legislature Library. Originally cast in 1810 in England, the cannons were thought to have been brought to British North America in 1846. In 1848, the Hudson’s Bay Company shipped the cannons to Fort Edmonton. They formed part of the armament of the Fort until the Fort was dismantled in 1915. A report by the librarian to the Speaker, dated February 2, 1924, noted the Government of Alberta had been successful in securing two brass cannons from the Hudson’s Bay Company. The cannons had remained in the possession of its last Factor William Livock until 1923. For 44 years, the cannons guarded the southern approach to the Legislature Building from the library balcony. The cannons were transferred to the Alberta Provincial Museum (now the Royal Alberta Museum) when it was built in 1967 to celebrate Canada’s centennial.

  • Inuit and the North
    Nunavut

    Along with collecting all house documents for the Legislative Assembly and Government of Nunavut departmental publications, the Legislative Library of Nunavut maintains one of Canada’s most comprehensive collections of books, journals, and multimedia that focus on Inuit and the North.

  • 175th Anniversary
    New Brunswick

    The New Brunswick Legislative Library is celebrating its 175th this year. The Joint Committee of the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly established the New Brunswick Legislative Library in 1841. Throughout the years the library has not only served elected members, legislative staff, as well as government staff, but also served as a public library before there was a public library system in New Brunswick. In 1954 the Central Library Services was set up. The Legislative Library transferred its fiction and popular non-fiction books to it, and in 1955, after 95 years, the Legislative Library ceased to be the circulation library for Fredericton.

  • A Long History of Service
    Saskatchewan

    Saskatchewan’s Legislative Library is by far the oldest library in the province. Its predecessor, the North-West Government Library, had its beginnings in 1876 when Lieutenant Governor David Laird and his staff arrived in Fort Livingstone to establish territorial government in the vast area of Northwest Canada. As part of his baggage, which along with his food and furniture was transported across the prairies by cart from Winnipeg, came a small collection of books – chiefly law texts and public documents. Although the formal term “library” should probably not be applied until the mid‑1880s, it was a working collection which moved with the administration. (Excerpted from The Legislative Library of Saskatchewan: A History, by Christine MacDonald, Regina: Saskatchewan Legislative Library, 1986, page 1).

  • Did you know?
    Nova Scotia

    The Nova Scotia Legislative Library’s reading room used to be the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. In 1862 it was converted into the Legislative Library. At that time, considerable renovations were completed, including the removal of the jury benches, spectator balcony and stairs, witness docket, judges’ dais, spectator benches, and doors to the jury box and spectator balcony. Some of the more interesting court cases heard in this room are Joseph Howe’s libel trial in 1835, which helped to establish freedom of the press in Canada, and the trial of the Saladin pirates in 1844.

  • The Librarian’s Piano
    Newfoundland and Labrador

    In 1932, the Dominion of Newfoundland was in considerable debt, unemployment was high and the Liberal government was plagued by scandal. On April 4th, 1932, a political rally turned into a riot at the legislature - the Colonial Building. Windows were broken out and the building was eventually ransacked. The Legislative Librarian at the time maintained a small apartment, or rooms, in the basement of the building and her space was not immune to the rioters. From the Daily News report...

    ...By this time the youths in the crowd had made pretty good headway, with what apparently they thought was their job, of smashing all the windows in the building, the doors also, and the window sashes. Stones and pickets out of the park fence were used. Vandalism ran rampant. The rooms occupied by Miss Morris, Librarian of the Legislative Library, were ransacked. Her piano was taken out of her room to the park, where it was completely wrecked. Her private papers and books were destroyed, and the fittings completely wrecked. 

  • The Red River Library
    Manitoba

    The Library of the Red River Settlement is a special collection of 350 volumes still remaining from the library that served the Selkirk Settlers. Officially founded in 1848, the Red River Settlement Library traces its origins to the beginnings of the Settlement when in 1812 Lord Selkirk provided several books to be used by the settlers as they established homes in the Red River Settlement. Historical inventories indicate a collection of over 2500 volumes which included practical reference works in the fields of agriculture, history and law as well as biographical works and novels.

  • 100 Years
    British Columbia

    On September 15, 2015 the Legislative Library of BC marked 100 years of providing service to the Legislative assembly. The library was originally deemed the “provincial library” with a mandate to serve all of British Columbia. In 1918 a travelling library program was developed to send small collections of books to communities throughout the province. The Legislative Library now primarily serves MLAs, their staff, the Officers of the House, legislative support staff, provincial government employees as well as the public while the legislature is not sitting. The Legislative Library now contains a broad collection, including the largest number of BC government publications available anywhere.

  • The collection
    Québec

    The collection is focused primarily on law, political science, public administration, history and economics. It includes most Quebec and Canadian government publications, an extensive selection of Quebec newspapers and selected Canadian newspapers, periodicals and thematic news files. The collection also includes rare and valuable books, such as the Library’s treasured Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau Collection.

    The Library also maintains the archives of the National Assembly and of parliamentarians, individuals and organizations related to the history, development and workings of Quebec’s parliamentary institutions and parliamentarianism.

  • The Fire of 1916, Ottawa
    Library of Parliament

    On February 3, 1916, the Library of Parliament was saved from the fire that destroyed the original Centre Block and permanently changed the character of Parliament Hill. While the origin of the fire is still unknown, it is often noted that the Library was saved from destruction thanks to the quick closing of its iron doors and favorable wind direction.  To mark the centennial anniversary of the fire, an exhibit entitled Resilience:  The Fire of 1916 was installed onsite and albums of historical imagery and illustrations, as well as a video were posted online.