Greater Victoria Public Library
Our Impact Why We Exist
GVPL is more than a place to check out a book, it is a place to socialize, learn, create and share knowledge. Even people who do not regularly use the library agree that our entire community needs, and benefits from, a public library. As modern technologies give rise to unprecedented change and exciting opportunities, we need the library more than ever to make sure no one is left behind.
Our strategic priorities :
- Inspire the joy of discovery through programs, collections and training opportunities.
- Create great library space to meet unique user needs, online and in person.
- Engage passionate supporters to advocate, donate and participate.
- Lead the way to lifelong learning through partnerships and outreach.
Our Story What We Do
Libraries are key partners in building better communities and supporting life-long learning. While technology is transforming much of the work we do, we continue to bring people and ideas together, just as we have always done. Public libraries are the primary source of reading and early literacy for children and their parents. Numerous studies have shown that early exposure to reading is more important to a child's success in school than family income or education level. Listening to books in storytimes, singing along in toddler programs or simply playing in the spaces surrounded by books all have a significant positive impact on the literacy skills of children.
GVPL accommodates a growing multitude of needs. As library buildings become increasingly important in the community as a ‘third space’ or community living room, we provide safe, welcoming and well-maintained branches for the public and staff. Our branches provide group study areas and inspiring program space; flexible spaces including meeting rooms for community groups, computers and desks for transitioning job-seekers or home-based business owners; and safe spaces for youth to connect and study.
GVPL is the go-to destination for lifelong learning in our community. We offer a wide range of free programs for all ages from puppet shows to job searching workshops, genealogy programs to Google searches. More than 70,000 people attended a library program in 2014!
Our Programs How We Do It
GVPL is one of the busiest libraries in the country. Your library card provides free access to a wide range of library materials in all formats: books, e-books, CDs, DVDs, laptops, cultural and recreation passes and e-readers. In fact we lend more than, six million items each year! We also provide access to amazing online content and resources. GVPL helps bridge the “digital divide” by providing free WiFi and more than 200 public computer terminals with access to the Internet. Use of our digital resources increased by 115% last year as more and more people use the Library to access online databases, downloadable music and digitial books. In addition, our staff offer instructional classes and informal help, as well as provide special equipment for those with disabilities.
GVPL is a gathering place available to everyone. Visit any of our branches and you will see how many people use our spaces every day as a community living room: a place to socialize and learn for tots and teens, parents and seniors; a room to escape from the demands of daily life; and an opportunity to gain skills and knowledge and, for many, a path to a better life. For many homeless adults, the Library offers a place in which to build their skills, knowledge and confidence to help them reintegrate into the community.
If you can’t come to the library, the library will come to you. For almost 30 years, GVPL has offered a free visiting library service that provides a weekly delivery of books, magazines and other library materials to more than 300 seniors and other people confined to their home due to illness or frailty. We also make outreach visits to local community groups, including the Victoria Immigrant & Refugee Society, StrongStart Centres, Mustard Seed Food Bank and many more organizations, to introduce people to the library and meet them where they are. By working closely with our local partners, we can help build a healthy, strong community for everyone.
What You Can Do
We are a vital part of your community and we need your support. While the library receives municipal and provincial funding for operations, we rely the generous support of individuals to help provide exceptional collections, vibrant library spaces and community-driven programs and services. Your donation helps provide outstanding library services that reach people where they live, work and play.
Vibrant Library Spaces: A library is more than a place to check out a book – it is a community meeting space, a virtual office, a play zone and a sanctuary for knowledge seekers. Your support helps us refresh and renew our spaces to better meet changing community needs.
Community-Driven Programs and Services: Your support helps us expand our programs and services to instill a love of reading in kids, help people navigate the online world, welcome newcomers and support job seekers. There are lifelong learning opportunities for every age and stage of life at the library.
Exceptional Collections: Our collections are constantly growing and changing to keep pace with new technologies and the needs of our patrons. GVPL lends more than six million books, magazines, DVDs and other items each year. Your support helps us keep up with the growing demand for print and digital collections.