BCLA Perspectives

Reaching out to Places of Worship

Richmond’s No. 5 Road in East Richmond is popularly referred to as “highway to heaven” due to the presence of many faith-based organizations along that road. With the expansion of the library’s Community Services Librarians Team, Richmond Public Library is now actively engaging with Mosques, Islamic Schools and other Islamic Groups, Sikh and Buddhist Temples, Multicultural Churches as well as Cultural Centres. Members of these places of worship have welcomed the library warmly into their spaces and are taking the lead on many programs resulting from our new partnerships. For example, we made a connection with the Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy, who encouraged us to organize a library pop-up table on Parent-Teacher Interview Night to share library resources with Muslim students and their families. We were also invited to attend the Puran Massi/Full Moon Event at the Nanaksar Gurdwara Gursikh Temple where we actively engaged with 97 worshippers. We are learning that the barriers these communities experience include language, financial and lack of awareness to library services.