The Friends of the Greater Victoria Public Library will give the library $45,000.
Of the donation, $23,000 is earmarked for digital literacy, with $10,000 to be used in enhancing digital ebooks and audiobook collections. $13,000 will help fund a new creative technology space planned for the Esquimalt Branch, which is due to move to the Esquimalt Town Square development, in 2020.
“The new Esquimalt tech space will let ordinary members of the public convert their photos, documents, slides, VHS, vinyl records or audio cassettes into digital formats. This will help them preserve vital information as well as tell their stories in creative ways,” said Irwin Henderson, president of the Friends of GVPL. “We hope that the Friends’ contribution will be matched by other donors in the community who see what a boon this will be to individuals, families, social groups and small businesses.”
Maureen Sawa, GVPL CEO reacted to the news by saying, “This generous donation from the Friends will help GVPL strengthen the lifelong learning opportunities the library offers.”
“As technologies evolve, so too must our programs and services. This new creative technology space will ensure we are keeping up with advancements, bridging the digital divide, and helping people access tools to develop rapidly changing 21st century skills.”
In addition to funding for digital literacy, the Friends donated a further $22,000 to GVPL. $5,000 will be used to enhance the GVPL’s collection of Indigenous materials, including a set of books by Dawn Dumont called Glass Beads.
The rest of the money – $17,000 – will be go towards the BC Summer Reading Club, a program to encourage childre, aged 12 and under, to read every day over the summer.
“The Friends’ volunteer efforts provide funding that helps GVPL enhance its collections, programs and services for the enjoyment and education of our community members,” said GVPL board chair Deborah Begoray. “These volunteers are exceptional supporters of the library.”
The volunteer group has contributed more than $878,000 to the Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) since 1999.