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Lifelong learning at GVPL receives $45,000 boost from Friends of the Library

June 13, 2019

Victoria, BC – The Friends of the Greater Victoria Public Library announced last night at their Annual General Meeting that the volunteer group will provide the library with $45,000 of funding this year.

Of the funds, $23,000 is designated to support digital literacy: $10,000 will enhance high-demand digital collections like ebooks and e-audiobooks, and $13,000 will help fund a new creative technology space planned for the Esquimalt Branch, set to be relocated in the Esquimalt Town Square development in 2020. The planned space will include digital equipment that encourages creativity, collaboration and storytelling.

“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 volunteer-run 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.”

“This generous donation from the Friends will help GVPL strengthen the lifelong learning opportunities the library offers,” said Maureen Sawa, GVPL CEO. “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 to enhance GVPL’s collection of Indigenous materials including a set for book clubs of the title Glass Beads by Dawn Dumont, the inaugural title of the One eRead Canada program.
  • $17,000 to support the BC Summer Reading Club, a program to encourage kids 12 and under to read every day over the summer and to build a love of reading.

“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 Friends have contributed more than $878,000 to the Greater Victoria Public Library since 1999.


Media Contact
Jessica Woollard, Communications Officer, Greater Victoria Public Library
Office: 250-940-4875 ext. 346   Mobile: 778-679-7228  or [email protected]

About Greater Victoria Public Library
Greater Victoria Public Library builds community and supports literacy and lifelong learning by providing free access to information, space, tools and expertise. GVPL provides services and collections in 12 libraries and online at to more than 380,000 residents in 10 municipalities. The library is your place to connect, discover and imagine.


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