VICTORIA - Since 1911, B.C. libraries have evolved from travelling trucks filled with crates of books to the technology-savvy community hubs of today.
However, one thing has not changed. B.C. libraries have always been a central place for family learning, opening up doors of opportunity for knowledge and adventure.
Education Minister George Abbott joined Grade 1 students from Torquay Elementary in Victoria today to read them his favourite story in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the B.C. Library Association (BCLA). Children's librarian and BCLA president-elect, Christopher Kevlahan, took a different approach, using puppets to engage the young students in the fun of books and reading.?
The Torquay students took this opportunity to celebrate their annual "Read Day" with the minister. The students arrived at the event accompanied by their favourite stuffed animals and dressed in their finest pyjamas, ready for story time.
Every year, thousands of librarians, library staff, volunteers and library boards give their time to ensure all British Columbians have access to knowledge through public libraries.
Quick Facts about libraries in B.C.:
- In recognition of the 100th Anniversary of B.C. libraries, government has partnered with the BCLA to publish The Library Book: A History of Service to British Columbia by Dave Obee.
- 2.6 million people in B.C. use public libraries on a regular basis.
- Visits to public libraries topped 50 million for the first time ever in 2009.
- B.C. has 243 public library facilities in more than 200 communities.
- In B.C., more than 80,000 children and teens participate in reading club programs offered by public libraries each year.
- The Province is investing nearly $14 million this year in public libraries.
- Overall, the Province has invested nearly $150 million in public libraries since 2001.
- Many library electronic services can be accessed from anywhere you can connect to the Internet.
- If you lined up all the materials in B.C.'s libraries, they would stretch from downtown Vancouver to Castlegar in the Kootenays (13 million items, approximately 391 kilometres).
For more information about the B.C. Library Association, visit: www.bcla.bc.ca
For more information on libraries in British Columbia, check out: www.bced.gov.bc.ca/pls/
For more information on literacy in British Columbia, visit: www.readnowbc.ca
Public Affairs Bureau
Ministry of Education