NDP MLAs say people in Burnaby will see improvements from new funding for local library

BURNABY – New Democrat MLAs Katrina Chen, Janet Routledge, Anne Kang and Raj Chouhan 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.

“Libraries offer a safe space for many people in the community who may not have access to technology and internet,” says Katrina Chen, MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed. “With this funding, libraries can build upon their work, and deliver things like 24-hour access to internet, and more ways to connect within our communities.”

Burnaby Public Library is receiving $122,926.93 in funding.

“Libraries are an important part of our community, and they must be able to adapt to continue delivering services people want and need,” says Janet Routledge, MLA for Burnaby North. “That is why our government is investing in the Burnaby Public Library, so we can support their recovery from the pandemic and provide upgrades and community training opportunities.”

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.

“Our government recognizes the ways in which libraries have stepped up to support underserved communities during the pandemic,” says Anne Kang, MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake. “Building resilient communities means addressing gaps in services highlighted by the pandemic, so we can ensure that no British Columbian is left behind.”

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.

“From online programs to digital training, libraries have worked hard to adapt to the challenges brought by the pandemic,” says Raj Chouhan, MLA for Burnaby-Edmonds. “The Covid-19 Relief and Recovery Funding will allow libraries to continue this work, and strengthen their services in our communities.”

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.

Learn More: https://news.gov.bc.ca/26818