Establishing a Public Library

If you are considering establishing a new public library, advice and guidance is available through the Libraries Branch.

A library can be established in two ways:

Municipal Library: 

  1. A municipality has the power to establish a library under section 3 of the Library Act.
  2. A municipality may withdraw from a regional district library and establish a stand alone municipality under section 29 of the Act.
  3. A public library association may become a municipal library.

Regional District Library:

  1. Municipalities and regional district electoral areas may join together to create a regional library district under section 14 of the Library Act.
  2. A public library association may join a regional district library.

Public Library Association:

The Library Act no longer allows the creation of public library associations.

  1. If an existing public library association wishes to become either a municipal library or join a regional district library, your Library Board should contact Libraries Branch for more information.
  2. If a public library association board is considering converting to either a municipal or regional district library, the original Certificate of Incorporation is required. These certificates can be provided by BC Registries and Online Services.  
    • Requests can be submitted by email to if your library has a BC Online Account set up. Otherwise a search will have to be submitted through regular mail with the applicable search fees.  
  3. When requesting a certificate BC Registries and Online Services recommends providing the following:
    • Legal name
    • Incorporation date
    • Incorporation certificate number
  4. Public Library Associations can find the necessary historical information on this document.