50 Reasons We Love J.D. Shatford Memorial Public Library

J.D. Shatford Memorial Public Library (J.D.S) is celebrating 50 years in Hubbards this December.

We are gathering stories and memories from community members to create a community storybook that will live in the Library. (Share yours here.)

Here are 50 of our favourites, so far.

1. Early years.

"I have lived in the Hubbards area more than 70 years. I worked at the Library doing the children's program in the 1970s where we tried to duplicate Tutankhamen's treasures (haha). The Librarians here today have more amazing children's programs. Children are excited to return every week."

- Christine Ostling

2. An escape.

"As a child, I always loved to read and write. Sometimes as an escape from trouble at home. I'd walk 2km to Shatford Library and escape into my world of print. Still a great memory!"

3. From passion to purpose.

"Having a library in this community has instilled a love of reading and learning in my life...I am currently employed with the Halifax Regional Centre for Education working with elementary and junior high students as library support staff. I love having conversations about books, the library in general ,and of course connecting with students who just want a place to fit it. I feel like I am living the dream."


4. Mucking and Gucking.

"Ever since she was old enough to attend Muck and Guck, my now 4-year-old has been the “Queen of Muck and Guck”. She embraces the crafts wholeheartedly, sometimes covered head to toe in paint or slime. We look forward to the craft time at the Library!"


5. Family visits.

"My family moved to Hubbards in 1994 when I was 3 years old and I soon became a regular patron at J.D.S. My parents always brought me to the children's programs, my favourite's being any sort of Storytime because I loved books and being read to so much!"


6. New home.

"When I moved from Sackville to Hubbards, the Library was a great place to go and use the computers and just feel better about the move—and staff is awesome."


7. Hubbards' 200th.

My favourite J.D. Shatford Memorial Public Library memory is...

"The wonderful party held at the Library for our village of Hubbards' 200th birthday! Displays and celebration were memorable."


8. Popcorn!

"Who will ever forget the popcorn being served at the "home village" movies at our Shatford Library!"


9. Reference.

"Back then, we had a reference section, as students would come in to get help with homework. At that time, with a lack of internet, people were looking for information. A lot of your work was researching things for people by using encyclopedias and such."

-Cathy Jennex, Branch Operations Supervisor

Read Cathy's full story here.

10. Dedicated staff.

"We naturally have a personal stake in making our community better. Patrons (who we're not related to or don't know personally) quickly become acquaintances, so we get to know them very well, which enables us to anticipate their needs and delight them with suggestions or recommendations, or even door-to-door deliveries."

-Jo Beckett, staff member

11. Puppet shows and projectors.

“For a small branch, we do a lot of programs. Some of my favourites are the puppet shows—especially when we do a puppet petting zoo. It’s so enjoyable to watch the children interact with the puppets. And we’re probably the last branch that still shows 16mm films because of popular demand. The parents like it because it brings them back to their childhood, and the kids like the watching the projector sometimes more than the film itself.”

-Colleen Johnson, staff member

12. Reading contest.

"The year the Library opened, a friend and I had a reading contest. We had to read as many books as possible, cover to cover, and only non-fiction! We both hit 120 books."


13. Visits with Blaze.

My favourite J.D. Shatford Memorial Public Library memory is...

"Bringing Blaze with me to get my held audiobooks. Your patrons and staff are always so inviting and kind. I appreciate that, and Blaze loves it."


14. Pumpkin smashing.

My favourite J.D. Shatford Memorial Public Library memory is...

"The pumpkin smashing program. Loads of fun for all ages."


15. A surprise from staff.

"When my son was a toddler, he was very excited to see a school bus...when we visited the Library, staff had found a book all about school buses to surprise him."


16. Summertime fun

"In the summertime, it’s so much busier with all the vacationers who come into town. The place really livens up. There's so much activity with The Shore Club, cottage rentals, artistic festivals, and The Barn market." 

-Cathy Jennex, Branch Operations Supervisor

Read Cathy's full story here.

17. Lasting friendships.

“Friendly, kind, and helpful” are just a few words that Charlotte and Robbie MacKeigan use to describe the staff at J.D.S. Outside of the summer months, they still visit the Library in Hubbards because of the relationship they have built with staff there. “At Christmas, we take them each a bag of homemade “Nuts and Bolts” that I make”, says Charlotte.

-Charlotte & Robbie MacKeigan

18. Family connections.

Charlotte MacKeigan’s connection to the Library goes beyond borrowing books and family visits. Jefferson Davis Shatford, the Library's namesake, was Charlotte’s great-uncle. Dedicated to “the service of the community,” the Library was made possible by the generous donation of the J.D. Shatford Memorial Trust.

-Charlotte MacKeigan

19. It saved me.

"I spent many evenings and weekends at the library due to an unstable home life and often tell people it saved me. It was my escape. On a Friday night I would be one of the few teenagers that spent their evening at the library, sad when they announced it was closing in 5 minutes and would be back on Saturday morning."


20. New adventures.

My favourite J.D. Shatford Memorial Public Library memory is...

"When I first brought our son to your pre-school activity on a Friday morning back in 1998. Every time I walk in the door now, I remember both his and my anticipation about having new adventures. (And we loved the puppet shows!)"


21.Branching out.

"Many of our programs give a way for new residents and families to get to know people in the community."

-Cathy Jennex, Branch Operations Supervisor

Read Cathy's full story here.

22. A community treasure.

"It’s a treasure for this community. A new family just moved in on my street. I was talking to a young woman on the street with twin boys who were just starting school. One of the main reasons that they chose Hubbards was the Library. For a community this size, it is really incredible to have a library."

-Robin Phillips, former staff member (1980s & 90s)

23. Connecting people through history.

"We had information about the St. Margaret's Bay Training School for the Merchant Marines that was there during WWII. People came from all over the world who had been to that school, from all over the years. We had a sign-up sheet so they could get in contact with others."

-Robin Phillips, former staff member (1980s & 90s)

24. Genealogy moments.

"We had a lot of genealogical material. People came from all over to look things up. One day, a lady exclaimed out loud. She'd realized she had a sister. She came in a year later, and she had made contact and found her in California."

-Robin Phillips, former staff member (1980s & 90s)

25. Dungeons & Dragons and friends.

"We started a Dungeons and Dragons group. I remember, there was a 5th grader who was a voracious reader and somewhat isolated. Two of the high school kids helped us start the D & D group on Friday nights and the 5th grader joined. We just required that they wrote their own imaginative scripts. The original high schoolers and that 5th grader played D&D together all the way through his high school and university schooling."

-Robin Phillips, former staff member (1980s & 90s)

26. Always in my memory.

My favourite J.D. Shatford Memorial Public Library memory is...

"Puppet shows in the 1980s on Saturday mornings. Always in my memory at J.D. Shatford."

-Jo Hare

27. Steady staff.

"We don’t have a lot of staff turnover at this branch. And I think that’s an indication of what a good place it is to work. It indicates how much people love it."

-Cathy Jennex, Branch Operations Supervisor

Read Cathy's full story here.

28. Book launch.

"On October 14, 2006, the Library hosted the launch of my new book in the Silver series, The Secret at Silver Maples. Thank you!"

-Joan Cleveland

The Secret at Silver Maples

29. Mommy and Me.

"Really appreciate going to Mommy and Me on Tuesdays with my newborn and meeting new moms in the area."


30. Cherished memories.

"Some of my most cherished memories involve J.D.S. as a child and as an adult, as I was lucky enough to be hired as a Clerk when I was 17, and stayed there until I was 25. Even though I work at a different branch now, I still refer to J.D.S as "My Library" because it's where I grew up, where I worked, and where I still wish I worked from time to time! It is hands down the best Library in the system because of how small it is and how close the employees are to each other and to the patrons who visit—not only for the services we provide but for the sense of family and home this little branch contains. I love this Library with my whole heart and I'm proud to be a part of its history in my small and quiet way."


31. Building the Library.

"I applied for the job on the new Library site, and got it because I had worked in construction the previous summer and had dome experience. I was 18 years old. I worked for Acadian Construction from Bridgewater who had the contract. My job was a general labourer doing any thing that needed to be done. I remember mixing a lot of concrete."

-Stephen Gilbert

32. Proud to tell the story.

"There was of course lots of excitement in the area about the new Library, previous to that all we had was bookmobiles, which growing up I used a lot . I am very proud of the fact that I helped build this Library, and I tell everyone the story."

-Stephen Gilbert

33. Hub of the Community

"It is a very social community space. It’s well-loved in the community. It’s a place where people come to see other people. In some ways, it's really the hub of the community and has been for a long time.

-Cathy Jennex, Branch Operations Supervisor

Read Cathy's full story here.

34. A source of education and entertainment.

" I use their computers and try to participate in their programs. I borrow their audiobooks, movies, and books regularly. The people who work here are kind, considerate, patient and helpful...and usually find me everything I ask for. It is my main source of entertainment and education."

-Christine Ostling

35. A budding book club.

"We had a local professional actress, Jackie Slater, who’d retired, and she started a play reading group that would meet. Then, it morphed into a book club. We would read lots of fiction and it was a really good book club. I think the same group is still meeting, elsewhere, 30 years later."

-Robin Phillips, former staff member (1980s & 90s)

36. Avid readers.

A family of avid readers, the MacKeigans estimate between the five family members, they checked out upwards of 60 books a week. Charlotte asked her children, now with families of their own, to share memories of visiting J.D.S as children: “We sure did borrow a lot of books!”

-Charlotte & Robbie MacKeigan

37. Hello, computers.

When computers were added in 1998, the branch went from having about six bays of reference materials to—over time—now having only two shelves. People are coming in to use the computers for research, activities, and entertainment.

-Cathy Jennex, Branch Operations Supervisor.

Read Cathy's full story here.

38. YA reads.

"As an adolescent I would load up on Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys series until I had read them all. Eventually I graduated to The Thorn Birds....it seemed so taboo back then."


39. Community appreciation.

“With the proposed budget cuts in the Spring of 1976, it was brought home to the borrowers how much they appreciated the library and its books.”    

-Halifax County Regional Library Annual Report, 1976

40. Record high use.

"We saw record high use this year with 38,357 loans (9% increase over 1983).

-Halifax County Regional Library Annual Report, 1984

41. Reaching far and wide.

"Four years ago, library service to Hubbards consisted of one moderately successful Bookmobile stop. Since the J.D. Shatford Memorial Library was opened in December 1969, a total of 1,290 people from Hubbards and the surrounding area, as far away as the Head of St. Margaret's Bay, have joined the library."

-Municipality of the County of Halifax Regional Library Annual Report, 1972

42. Books for rainy days.

"Summer visitors to the Hubbards area used the library extensively again in 1973. One can imagine how welcome books are, especially during weeks of rain, such as we experienced early this summer!"

-Municipality of the County of Halifax Regional Library Annual Report, 1973

43. Charmed and impressed.

"Librarians and Library Consultants from outside Nova Scotia, visited the library in considerable numbers (our reputation is spreading) and seemed to be both charmed and impressed by the library building and book collection."

-Municipality of the County of Halifax Regional Library Annual Report, 1973

44. Bestsellers and CD-Roms.

"It has a collection of 17,309 volumes serving all ages. These items incllude reference materials, children's materials, adult fiction, and non-fiction books. The Library subscribes to a book-lease program which provides it with copies of bestsellers as soon as they are published. A second CD-ROM workstation will be in place by January, 1995 for a total of 6 databases providing full-text articles in health, social science, and Canadian current affairs."

-J.D. Shatford Memorial Library Report, 1994

45. Lovely Library.

"The Hubbards community still continues to take an interest in its lovely Library. The Lionettes use the library for meetings, and the young people of Hubbards did several film showings during the early months of 1975."

-Municipality of the County of Halifax Regional Library Annual Report, 1975

46. The most attractive library branch.

"The most attractive library branch, built in-the-round, was constructed by the J.D. Shatford Memorial Trust at no capital cost to the Municipality."

Municipality of the County of Halifax Regional Library Annual Report, 1969

47. One part-time staff member.

"1969: J.D.S. Memorial Library opened its doors for 14 hours per week. It contained 3,000 volumes and employed one part-time staff member."

-J.D. Shatford Memorial Library Report, 1994

48. Opening Open House.

"On December 9th, the public was invited to an Open House to inaugurate library services from this new branch. Your Board acted as hosts and the turnout of interested visitors was most gratifying."

-Municipality of the County of Halifax Regional Library Annual Report, 1969

49. Moving forward.

"We are going to keep moving forward and seeing what the community wants from us. I think it's important to keep in touch and see what their needs are."

-Cathy Jennex, Branch Operations Supervisor.

Read Cathy's full story here.

50. Celebrating 50 years.

On Saturday, December 7, the community will gather from 11:00am-2:00pm to celebrate J.D.S.' 50th birthday! Check back soon for a photo gallery.