$20 Million in 2020 Campaign Update

As launched at the 2019 BC Library Conference and the May 11th Summit, the BC Public Library Partners encouraged trustees, staff, and community supporters to join with us in for a $20M in 2020 Campaign calling for the provincial government to address the provincial funding gap for BC public libraries.

We thank everyone for their tremendous support of and response to the campaign.

The provincial government provides approximately $14 million in funding for public libraries. Leading up to the 2020 Budget announcement the Partners called for an increase of $6 million that would go directly to the operating grants for BC public libraries. This increase would begin to address past funding cuts.

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:  

  1. For library grant levels to be restored along with an increase for inflation covering the past 10 years
  2. For reliable and sustainable annual increases to library funding
  3. 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)

Video made possible with support from the Fraser Valley Regional Library

Call to Action!

Please share our response to the 2020 Provincial Budget and 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:

The following will help you prepare your message:

BC Public Library Partners: Response to the 2020 Provincial Budget

BC Public Libraries and the UBCM 2019 Convention and Trade Show Report from the BC Public Library Partners 

BCLTA June Bulletin: “Elevator Speech”, submitted by Jim Jenkinson, Trustee,  Invermere and District Public Library

BC Public Library Partners Backgrounder: Provincial Public Library Funding in British Columbia

BC Public Libraries Summit Value and Investment Report (BC Public Libraries Summit, May 11, 2019)

BC Public Library Partners 2020 Budget Consultations: Letter Template

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.

2021 Provincial Budget Consultations

The following is from Susan Sourial, Committee Clerk, Parliamentary Committees Office, Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.

On behalf of the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, I am writing to provide an important update with respect to the Committee’s annual budget consultation.

As you may know, the Committee invites British Columbians to share their priorities and ideas for the next provincial budget during a public consultation. The Budget Transparency and Accountability Act requires the Minister of Finance to release a budget consultation paper, which is referred to the Committee, by September 15, and for the Committee to report on the results of the consultation with recommendations by November 15. 

While this consultation has typically taken place in the fall, last year, the Committee held the consultation in the summer. Following a review of this change, the Committee will again be holding the budget consultation in the summer. Accordingly, the Minister of Finance is expected to release the budget consultation paper no later than June 1, with the consultation taking place during the month of June. The Committee is expected to issue its report by early August.

As in previous years, the Committee will be visiting communities across the province to meet with British Columbians, as well as providing opportunities to make written, audio and video submissions and complete an online survey. Further details about the consultation, including the public hearing schedule, registration and participation options, will be released later this spring.

Would you kindly share this update with your networks?

For further information on the budget consultation and the work of the Committee generally, please visit the Committee’s website,www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/finance, or contact the Parliamentary Committee’s Office at 250-356-2933 (or toll-free in BC 1-877-428-8337).

Advocacy Letters

Below are the letters we received in 2019 from public library boards, mayors, Friends of the Library groups, and community members.

MLAs, Mayors and Local Government

Local Government UBCM Resolution Support

Public Libraries and Community Members

In the News!

Grand Forks Gazette, Have your say on library funding, by Cari Lynn Gawletz, Director of the Grand Forks & District Public Library. June 16, 2019.

The Daily Courier, More cash sought for libraries, public education, by Steve MacNaull. June 12, 2019.

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.