MID-ISLAND – New Democrat MLAs Josie Osborne and Adam Walker say that people will 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, B.C.’s public libraries have been a cornerstone of our communities, lifting our hearts, minds and spirits,” said Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “I am thrilled to see this important investment to support libraries to expand digital collections province-wide and to upgrade the spaces and services that benefit us all.”
Vancouver Island Regional Library is receiving $180,195.79 in funding.
“Libraries are essential physical and digital spaces for sharing, storytelling, and education,” said Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. “This investment will support libraries to recover from the pandemic and to enhance the quality programs and resources that they provide.”
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.