VICTORIA – The B.C. government is proclaiming October 2012 as Library Month in British Columbia, Education Minister Don McRae announced at the recent Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention.
The idea for a month dedicated to library and information services in Canada was developed by library partners across the country. The purpose is to help raise public awareness of the valuable role that libraries play in the lives of Canadians and the communities in which they live. The theme of this year’s Library Month across Canada, is “Libraries Connect”.
Throughout B.C., local libraries will have a variety of special events and activities to help celebrate Library Month in British Columbia. Check with your local library for details about what is happening in your area.
“Libraries and librarians across B.C. are a vital source of information,” says Don McRae, Minister of Education, “that provide access to ideas, tools and resources for people of all ages. They connect British Columbians with each other and the world around them. They also connect families and one of the things I love most about libraries is the time I spend in them with my young daughters.”
Annette DeFaveri, executive director, British Columbia Library Association, stated, “Libraries transform lives, enrich communities and define our society.”
* There are 71 public library systems in B.C. with 243 library locations serving 360 communities.
* Fifty per cent of British Columbians regularly use their public library.
* Last year, circulation by B.C. public libraries topped 57 million.
* B.C. public libraries reported a record number of visits in 2011, with over 31 million in-person visits (up 48 per cent since 2007). Virtual visits to public library websites reached nearly 26 million in 2011, a 133 per cent jump since 2007.
* Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested more than $1.5 billion in literacy and literacy-related projects and programs, including pre-literacy and early learning programs.
* To further enhance literacy in K-12 schools, Maureen Dockendorf was recently appointed B.C.’s new superintendent of reading.
* Government has also dedicated $10.7 million this year to strengthen early reading strategies and practices for kindergarten to Grade 3 students throughout all school districts.