Facts and stats

As part of the Provincial Public Library Accountability Framework, all 71 B.C. public libraries report their annual statistics through the provincial Annual Survey of B.C.’s Public Libraries.

The data collected through the Annual Survey enables data-informed decision making about public library funding, policy and operations at the provincial and local level.

Libraries may want to use their annual data to make important decisions about which resources to buy, programs to offer, and much more. Survey results from 2002 onwards are publicly available through the BC Data Catalogue.

Snapshot of B.C.’s public library system (2015-2020)

  • 71 Public libraries, 249 service locations and 6 Federations, serving 99% of B.C.’s population
  • 2.2 million active cardholders
  • 10 million items available in physical format
  • 45 million physical items borrowed per year
  • 60 million annual library visits (in-person and virtual)
  • 140 thousand items lent through provincial interlibrary loan programs per year
  • 74 thousand library programs per year
  • 1.7 million people attending library programs per year

2020 Highlights

  • 47% increase in digital checkouts over 2019
  • 8,700 new virtual library program