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Richmond Public Library getting provincial funding

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:07 PDT, Wed May 18, 2022

Richmond Public Library is receiving more than $100,000 as part of a one-time provincial investment that will see a total of $8 million go to local libraries.

The funding is intended to address costs associated with the pandemic, support emergency response and planning, and adapt services for recovery. It is being distributed between 71 public libraries, six library federations, and three library service partners.

“Libraries deliver programs and services to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds,” says Richmond–Steveston MLA Kelly Greene. “The COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Funding will support Richmond libraries in recovering from the pandemic and continuing to offer services that Richmond residents depend on.”

Richmond Public Library is receiving $113,028.36. Libraries can use the funds to enhance services 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.

“Richmond Public Library plays a vital role in promoting literacy, sharing arts and culture, helping people access technology, and provides space for community programming, as well as functions as a community hub for families and organizations,” says Richmond South Centre Henry Yao. “I’m grateful for Richmond Public Library's great work prior to and during the pandemic, and this funding will support their work in keeping communities connected and engaged.”

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.

“Libraries provide a safe space for many people in our communities—whether to escape the rain or access community resources,” says Richmond–Queensborough MLA Aman Singh. “Through providing additional funding for libraries across the province, we’re helping them adapt and address the needs of communities.”

According to a B.C. government news release, people used digital resources from B.C. public libraries almost 16 million times in 2020, a 47 per cent increase over the previous year.

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