Provincial funding for public libraries

Public Libraries and Library Federations established under the authority of the Library Act are eligible for provincial funding. The Province provides funding to public libraries to support:

  • Equitable access to information, programs, and services across the province
  • Greater collaboration between libraries
  • Information technology infrastructure, such as library catalogues and websites
  • Province-wide programs such as BC OneCard, interlibrary loans, and the BC Summer Reading Club

Provincial annual grants

All British Columbia public libraries, established under the authority of the Library Act, may be eligible for an annual Per Capita Operating grant. This population-based grant helps libraries off-set the cost of operations.

The Literacy and Equity grant supports the promotion of literacy and life-long learning within B.C. public libraries. Libraries may use these funds to:

  • Expand their collections and services to support literacy in their community; or
  • Work in collaboration with other public libraries or library federations on related projects.

The BC OneCard grant enables libraries to expand library service to BC residents through participation in the BC OneCard program. The BC OneCard program ensures that active patrons of any public library in BC may use their card wherever they travel within the province

The Resource Sharing grant helps offset the costs public libraries incur for shipping out their library materials to other B.C. public libraries. The grant uses a piece rate for materials lent through various interlibrary loan programs during the last calendar year.


Local government funding

Every public library system receives at least one form of local government funding, while some libraries may receive funding from both a regional district and a municipality.

Public library accountability framework 

The Public Library Accountability Framework consists of three reports: the Annual Survey, the Provincial Public Library Grant Report, and the Statement of Financial Information. All public libraries in B.C. that receive provincial grant funding must adhere to this framework.