Library professionals from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland are gathering to celebrate achievements and share ways to advance life-long learning. Acadia University in Wolfville is hosting the Atlantic Provinces Library Association annual conference from today, May 22 to Friday, May 25. The theme for this year’s conference is Discovering Hidden Treasures. Speakers and delegates will share stories and best practices with sessions on technology, advocacy, people, spaces and library collections. There will also be author readings and panels. “This conference is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the professional library community while sharing and collaborating on new and innovative ways for our four provinces to work together towards advancing life-long learning in the Atlantic region,” said David Wilson, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. Bill Greenlaw, executive director of the department’s archives, museums and libraries division, is today’s keynote speaker. He will present on the developments of the department’s new division that includes the Nova Scotia provincial libraries, museums and archives. “I look forward to showcasing the great work our libraries are doing around collaboration and innovation and being able to discuss the importance of libraries and archives with the regional delegates,” said Mr. Greenlaw. “The association is poised to shed light on the many ways libraries serve real people with real needs,” said Atlantic Provinces Library Association president Jocelyne Thompson. “So much of the excitement around the conference involves sharing our knowledge and bringing ideas that will enable us to better serve our users back in our own communities.” Atlantic Provinces Library Association is one of the oldest library organizations in North America. Its mandate is to promote library and information service, serve regional library interests and co-operate with other library associations and organizations. For a schedule of conference events and information on the association, visit www.APLA.ca .
The humanitarian pause was announced by the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia and the United States Secretary of State on behalf of the coalition, said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA) Valerie Amos, expressing hope that that reports of agreement to the halt in fighting by the Houthis are accurate.“Given the deteriorating humanitarian situation on the ground in Yemen with hundreds of thousands of vulnerable civilians trapped in the middle of fighting and unable to access lifesaving aid it is essential that this pause materialise,” Ms. Amos added. If the pause in fighting, scheduled to commence on 12 May, is implemented by all parties to the conflict it will enable the UN and partners to scale up operations.“We could deliver more emergency food rations, provide medical care for the sick and injured and ensure clean water supplies for homes and hospitals. We need security guarantees and logistical support to enable us to do this,” she added. Ms. Amos called on all those engaged in the conflict to stop the fighting and bombing and give the people of Yemen respite. “It is vital that all parties respect their obligations to protect civilians under International Humanitarian law. A pause to allow aid in and people to flee to safety would be a lifeline,” she said. In a separate statement from the WFP, its country director in Yemen, Purnima Kashyap, called the delivery of fuel and supplies a “breakthrough” that will allow us to reach hundreds of thousands of people in need of urgent food assistance. “More fuel and food shipments are expected in the next few days,” she added. WFP has reached more than 1 million people in Yemen in the past three weeks amid growing conflict that has increased hunger. Before the upsurge in fighting in Yemen began in March, WFP was regularly assisting nearly four million vulnerable people in the country. The agency says it needs one million litres of fuel per month in Yemen and around $43 million each month to reach its target of feeding some 2.5 million people over the next three months.In 2014, a WFP food security survey found that 10.6 million people – 41 percent of the population – were food insecure with more than five million people severely food insecure – in need of food assistance. The current conflict will exacerbate the precarious food security situation because the country imports more than 90 percent of its food needs.