On June 17, 2020 the BC Public Library Partners, represented by Babs Kelly (BCLTA), Elizabeth Tracy (ABCPLD), Annette DeFaveri (BCLA) and Kevin Milsip (BCLC) made presentations to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. Committee Chair MLA Bob D’Eith commented on the passion of the presentations and the importance of public libraries across BC.
Audio and written transcripts of the presentations are available on this page near the bottom right hand corner. The audio recording the Partner presentations begins at about 11:10am.
Huge thanks to all the BC public library boards and supporters who made submissions to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services regarding provincial funding for public libraries
The BC Public Library Partner response to the 2020 Budget
Distributed February 25, 2020
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 public schools (k-12), health care and 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 2019.
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 work together 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:
- For library grant levels to be restored along with an increase for inflation covering the past 10 years
- For reliable and sustainable annual increases to library funding
- For the Minister to champion the unique role public libraries play in their communities to other Ministries and to 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 their 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
- BC Library Trustees Association (BCLTA)
- British Columbia Library Association (BCLA)
- Association of BC Public Library Directors (ABCPLD)
- BC Libraries Cooperative (BCLC)
Join us in continuing our funding campaign as we head into the 2021 budget consultations, meetings with Ministers and MLAs throughout the province, and continue to build a network of support with local and regional governments.
Continue your influence on provincial government budget discussions. Keep BC public libraries on top of mind for MLAs and Ministers. Tell them that investing in BC public libraries is investing in BC communities and a better life for everyone.
We recommend you send your advocacy letters to:
- Your local MLA
- Minister Rob Fleming: EDUC.Minister@gov.bc.ca
- Finance Minister Carole James: FIN.Minister@gov.bc.ca
- CC the BC Public Library Partners
The following will help you prepare your message:
BCLTA June Bulletin: “Elevator Speech”, submitted by Jim Jenkinson, Trustee, Invermere and District Public Library
BC Public Libraries Summit Value and Investment Report (BC Public Libraries Summit, May 11, 2019)
Please work with your library board chair and library director when preparing your message and contact your associations for more information, buttons, and updates. We are all working together to support a cohesive shared message that will amplify our concerns and our ask.
BC Public Library Partners with Minister Fleming, May 10th, 2019
(L-R) Mike Gagel, BCLTA, Sharon Herbert, BC Libraries Cooperative, Chris Middlemas, BC Library Association, Annette DeFaveri, BC Library Association, Elizabeth Tracy, Association of BC Public Library Directors, Minister Fleming, Shirley Lew, BC Library Association, Kevin Millsip, BC Libraries Cooperative, and Scott Hargrove, Association of BC Public Library Directors.