Reading a good book, doing homework, researching a paper or surfing the web are all good reasons to visit the library.
Programs and Services
Here are just a few things you can do at a public library:
- Access free Internet or Wi-Fi
- Look-up resources in either digital or print collections
- Get expert assistance from librarians who are professionally trained to help you find what you’re looking for
- Find programs and support for:
- Life-long learning – everything from early learning to technology programs for seniors
- Finding a job or career development
- Newcomers getting settled in the province
- Engage with others on topics of interest
- Join reading clubs and share your love of reading
- Find local information and resources about the community
- Use BC OneCard and Interlibrary Loan to get resources outside of your community
Other programs and services include:
- BC OneCard: B.C. public library cardholders can borrow materials at any other public library in the province
- Resource Sharing/Interlibrary Loan: Request and borrow materials from other libraries or institutions
- National Network for Equitable Library Service: Access to library materials for individuals with print or visual impairments
- BC Summer Reading Club: A lifelong love of reading is fostered through special summer reading programs
Library Fast Facts
B.C.’s first public library opened in 1891 – since then, they’ve served as community hubs providing access to information, programs and services for British Columbians.
Here's a snapshot of the public library system:
- 247 service points
- 10.4 Million items available in physical format
- 5.3 Million items available in digital format
- Nearly 61.6 million visits to libraries and their websites in 2016
- Total circulation of 59 million items in 2016
- 1.7 million B.C. residents attended a library program in 2016
- Over 73,573 library programs available
- Over 90,000 children registered in the 2016 Summer Reading Club Program
- 3,589 computers for public use in B.C. libraries
Library data: Find out more about your public library:
Governance: Public libraries are governed by the Library Act – the purpose of this legislation is to:
- Provides for the establishment and operation of municipal libraries, regional library districts and library federations
- Encourage the extension and use of public library service throughout B.C.
- Enables the delivery of public library service in the province
- Supports improvements in public library service
- Describes how local library boards and library directors are appointed
Types of libraries: In B.C., there are 71 public libraries. There are four types of public libraries: municipal libraries, regional library districts, public library associations and integrated public library systems. Each library has a board that is responsible for policy development, strategic direction, governance, hiring and finance.
There are also 6 Library Federations – a group of library boards within the same jurisdiction that share similar goals and have an agreement to work together.