October is Library Month in B.C.

Last month, the Ministry of Education provided $500,000 to Postmedia’s Raise-A-Reader campaign

Minister of Education Mike Bernier and the Greater Victoria Public  Library (GVPL) welcomed the legislature’s first Pop-Up library at the B.C. Parliament Buildings last week to help  proclaim October 2015 as Library Month in British Columbia and Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, as School Library Day.

Reading and literacy are keys to success in life and that’s why they are both key parts of B.C.’s new curriculum that will be phased into classrooms over the next three years.

A Pop-Up library is a temporary installation that libraries use to promote literacy beyond their branches.

At the Parliament Buildings, the GVPL showcased books from local authors and brought along its bike-mobile, the perfect transport for Pop-Up events.

Using the mobile checkout system, guests registered for library cards and signed out books. The GVPL also shared its innovative approaches to literacy services and collections. Tablets, e-books and curated Books-to-Go bags help even the busiest person take time for reading.

As part of Library Month, the British Columbia Teacher-Librarians Association is hosting the ninth anniversary of the Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) challenge. On Oct. 26, all British Columbians are invited to drop everything, put down their work and turn off computer screens so they can read a book, magazine or newspaper for 20 minutes.

Last month, the Ministry of Education provided $500,000 to Postmedia’s Raise-A-Reader campaign. Working with Decoda Literacy Solutions, B.C.’s only provincewide literacy organization, the campaign supports community-based literacy organizations throughout the province.

Annette Defavari, executive director, BC Library Association says, “Library Month is important for all libraries including post-secondary, public, school and special libraries. Library Month is an opportunity to recognize the work libraries do to serve and build their communities, to provide overarching access to information, to promote literacy to people of all ages and backgrounds, and to encourage innovation by being the creative and collaborative hubs in our society.”

Since 2002, the Province has invested more than $206 million in public libraries. B.C.’s libraries are partners in fostering lifelong learning and connect British Columbians to their communities and the world.

British Columbia’s first public library opened in 1891. Since then, they have served as community hubs providing access to information, programs and services for B.C. residents.

Public library system snapshot:

* 246 library locations.

* Nearly 16 million items available.

* Nearly 58 million visits to libraries and their websites each year.

* About 57 million items borrowed each year.

* 1.3 million B.C. residents attended a library program in 2013.