Dear BCLA members and list subscribers,

On February 18th, Minister Carole James delivered the 2020 Provincial budget.

By all accounts, it is a “safe budget” as there were no major surprises and few increased funding commitments beyond items previously signaled by the Province. Increased funding was announced for K-12, health care as well as a number of capital projects. Public libraries are not receiving any less funding in the upcoming budget, which is welcome news.

However, given that provincial funding was capped at $14 million per year for the past decade, the BC Public Library Partners are disappointed that the funding will not be increased to $20 million in 2020.  Funding for libraries for the coming fiscal year is anticipated to remain at last year’s level of $14 million.

Our collective work to close the provincial funding gap for BC public libraries raised the profile of the important role libraries play in our communities. Thank you to the municipal and local government representatives who carried the $20M in 2020 message to Minister Fleming at the Union of BC Municipalities Convention in September.

The BC Public Library Partners are committed to working with library supporters around BC to continue to advocate to the provincial government for an increase to operational funding for public libraries and to ensure equity of services in our communities. Investing in BC public libraries is investing in BC communities and a better life for everyone.

The BC Public Library Partners continue to advocate for all BC public libraries. When we meet with Minister Fleming and other government representatives over the coming months, we will continue to ask for 3 key items:

    • Library grant levels restored, along with an increase for inflation covering the past 10 years;
    • Reliable, sustainable annual increases for library funding moving forward;
    • That the Minister champion the unique role public libraries play in their communities to other Ministries and facilitate inter-ministerial conversations to support the work of public libraries.

Working together with all of you is how we will make our message and our impact felt by the Provincial Government. The BC Public Library Partners thank their members for the support in advocating for BC’s public libraries over the past year. We will continue to keep you updated as we work for public libraries.

The BC Public Library Partners

British Columbia Library Association (BCLA)
BC Library Trustees Association (BCLTA)
Association of BC Public Library Directors (ABCPLD)
BC Libraries Cooperative (BCLC/ COOP)