Libraries Make Us Happier, Smarter, and Stronger—Together


Photos Courtesy © Vancouver Public Library Foundation

“We rely on the Library to create a feeling of belonging and community for our daughter. She comes to VPL 3-4 times a week”—Justin, VPL Central Library Patron

The spaces, stories, and connections that libraries provide have enriched communities for centuries. And today, despite the endless stream of information and entertainment available to most of us through digital media, libraries play a vital role in ensuring that everyone, regardless of their background, has access to spaces, content, and programs that offer inspiration, hope, and possibility. Libraries lift us up, enabling us to reach our fullest potential, as individuals and together.

Vancouver has needed its library more than ever in recent years, and thanks to the support of library donors, VPL was able to adapt quickly to the changes thrust on our community by COVID-19. As the pandemic closed branches, donor support allowed VPL to quickly expand its offerings of eBooks, streaming services and other online resources to meet a surge in digital library use. Beloved programs rapidly went virtual, offering families chances to connect and support their children’s learning even when they had to stay at home, providing teens with a safe social outlet during lockdowns, and sparking dialogue among people from every walk of life through online author events and virtual programs that explored themes of equity, inclusion, truth, and reconciliation. When branches reopened, donors to VPL Foundation provided funds needed to build safe, fun spaces for children to learn and play in—welcoming young families to gather once again.

© Photos Courtesy of Vancouver Public Library Foundation

In December 2020, for the first time ever, VPL reached out to cardholders for help responding to the unprecedented challenges our community faced. The response was overwhelming. Hundreds of library users, some of whom were facing difficulties of their own, made donations to the VPL Foundation. Along with the donations came words of gratitude and stories of the positive impact the library had made on the lives of those who used it.

As Vancouver’s libraries strive to meet the growing and changing needs of the community it serves, library users continue to come together to show their support for one another, for our city, and for the values that we share as Canadians by giving back to VPL. The Vancouver Public Library and Foundation Board and staff are grateful to be part of a community that believes, and that demonstrates with its actions, that we are stronger together.

My kids and I use the library so much. I am beyond grateful that we have such a wonderful resource in my community. All of my kids are always so happy to go to the library, and they always bring home their weight in books! —Winnie and kids, use Renfrew branch

There’s something special about a public library that makes you feel part of a community…especially during a time of uncertainty, it’s important to make sure that our neighbours, our friends, and our colleagues have access to information. —Natasha, uses Central branch

I am an educator, a writer, and an avid reader. I believe that we can make the world a better place through education—and that is what the library does! VPL gives a voice to people who represent diverse points of view through workshops and public readings. I also borrow dozens of books in French and English every year. I am convinced libraries change lives for the better. —Lyne, uses Central branch

If you’d like to learn more about how donor support makes Vancouver a smarter, happier, and more equitable city, please visit

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Vancouver Public Library (VPL) was founded in 1887 and is the third largest public library system in Canada. Across its 21 locations, VPL is the most-visited major urban library per capita in the country.​The Vancouver Public Library Foundation is proud to support the Library’s successful history of providing services, programs and resources to children, families and adults throughout the City. 


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