Return on Investment

The BC provincial government provides essential funds for province-wide cooperative programs and services. The past year has been economically challenging for the BC government. Public libraries received only 78 per cent of their annual provincial funding for 2009/2010. While this represents a reduction, libraries of BC are pleased that the provincial government continues to recognize the integral role public libraries play in community development and literacy.
Unfortunately, last year’s reduction of provincial aid led to the end of group purchasing of electronic databases, Books for BC Babies and the phasing out of AskAway services. These were all cost-effective programs that saved BC public libraries, and the communities they operate in, money. Without provincial aid services including open access, reciprocal borrowing, interlibrary loans, online union catalogue and BC OneCard will cease to exist.
BC public libraries save taxpayer money through collaboration.
Libraries in BC have developed an effective model for collaboration. Six library federations coordinate regionally focused library services. They work together, sharing resources and creating efficiencies to provide the best return on each tax-payer dollar invested. Continued provincial support is needed to maintain collaborative services including:
  • Open Access.
  • Online Union Catalogue.
  • Interlibrary Loans.
  • BC OneCard.
BC public libraries are essential to BC’s economic recovery.
Now more than ever, BC public libraries are helping British Columbians find their way in a large and increasingly complex world by connecting them with employment resources, providing them with access to affordable means of entertainment, and assisting them in acquiring skills that will allow them to compete in the current economy.
BC public libraries are busier than ever.
They are information and community centres where people learn, engage, discover and connect. BC public libraries foster a culture of learning by providing free programs and services to people of all ages. In 2008:
  • Over 27 million in-person visits were made to BC public libraries.
  • 51.2 million items were borrowed.
  • British Columbians visited library websites over 17.4 million times.
  • Licensed online databases were used almost a million times.
  • 2.5 million public access library workstation sessions took place.
  • Approximately 1 million people attended free library programs.