Did You Know - Fast Facts

  • There are 243 public library facilities in more than 200 BC communities.
  • 71 locally appointed library boards manage and direct the public libraries of BC.
  • BC public libraries are primarily funded by the municipalities they operate in. The provincial government funds approximately 7.4 per cent of libraries annual operating budgets.
  • Total provincial funding for BC public libraries and library associations totaled $13.7 million, a decrease of 22 per cent from previous years.
  • Over 51 million items were borrowed from BC public libraries in 2008.
  • Public libraries serve over 2.65 million people in the province and 61 per cent of the BC population has library cards.
  • In 2008, BC public libraries welcomed over 27 million people through their doors.
  • Public libraries employ almost 4000 staff across BC – this does not include the thousands of volunteers who freely give their time to work at the libraries.
  • BC public libraries contributed approximately $195 million to the BC economy in 2008 through annual spending.
  • Websites of BC public libraries experienced almost 17.4 million hits.
  • Licensed online databases were used almost a million times.
  • Approximately 1 million people attended free library programs.
BC public libraries are essential parts of our communities.
  • They connect us to our past, inform our present and inspire our future.
  • They build our communities through education, entertainment and enrichment.
  • They encourage literacy, lifelong learning and enjoyment of reading.
  • They help drive the BC economy by offering free information and services to job-seekers and business owners.
  • They support informed decision-making with free and open access to library services, materials and programs.
  • They are an impartial gathering place, removing the barriers associated with education, technology, culture, economics and physical disadvantage.