New Democrat MLAs Bowinn Ma and Susie Chant say that people would see improvements at their local public libraries, including expanded digital collections and internet access, upgraded spaces and programming, and improved air circulation thanks to new COVID-19 relief and recovery funding for libraries.
“Throughout the pandemic we all learned just how important libraries are to our community,” said Bowinn Ma, MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale. “They are unique, welcoming places that have evolved with the needs of the communities they serve to provide services that so many people rely on. We are fortunate to have two wonderful libraries in North Vancouver and I’m happy to know that this funding will help libraries enhance their services and fill in the gaps that were created by the pandemic.”
Public libraries in North Vancouver are receiving funding as follows:
North Vancouver District Public Library, $82,896.44
North Vancouver City Library, $74,824.61
“During the pandemic, our libraries demonstrated creativity, determination and outstanding commitment to our communities,” said Susie Chant, MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour. “The libraries had a system in place where books could be ‘ordered for pick up’, and made sure we all had access to books, materials and equipment. I am so grateful to have such a wonderful resource available to all of us! This relief funding will ensure that libraries in our community will continue to be able to offer improved access to their resources, services and programs.”
A total of $8 million in COVID-19 relief and recovery funding is being distributed between 71 public libraries, six library federations and three library service partners in B.C.
Libraries can use this new funding to enhance services for people and fill gaps created by the pandemic. This may include adapting their physical spaces, delivering computer and virtual technology training, and developing programs that help people build deeper social and community connections.
This investment builds on a one-time $3 million investment in public libraries in 2020, to expand digital services and computer access during the pandemic. Government also provides $14 million in annual funding toward operating costs at B.C.’s public libraries.