You are here:»»sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay Branch
sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay Branch2021-12-10T14:59:51+00:00

sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ JAMES BAY BRANCH

Visiting the library FAQs.
Monday12:00 pm5:00 pm
Tuesday12:00 pm5:00 pm
Wednesday12:00 pm5:00 pm
Thursday12:00 pm5:00 pm
Friday12:00 pm5:00 pm
Saturday12:00 pm5:00 pm
Return items 24/7.

sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay Branch, 385 Menzies Street, Victoria, BC  V8V 0C2

The sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay Branch is the newest branch in the GVPL system, officially opening to the public in 2018. Pronounced s-hweng hw-ung tongue-oo-hw, sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ is the Lekwungen name for James Bay, a name selected by the City of Victoria through their “Name That Library” campaign and in consultation with the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.

Listen to the pronunciation by Songhees Nation Elder Dr. Elmer Seniemten George.

From opening day, the residents of James Bay have made the library their own: families visit the branch as part of their routines; writers use the study rooms to work on their books; artists seek out material for inspiration; and readers love having brand new books to take home. The community feels at home in this space with its high ceilings and natural light. Our patrons can enjoy multiple seating options including a laptop bar and bistro tables. The study room and community meeting room can be booked online.

sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay is located behind the B.C. Parliament Buildings, steps from cafés and shops, the Inner Harbour and Victoria’s famous waterfront on Dallas Road. In recognition of the James Bay community’s culture of creativity, sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay houses GVPL’s special collection of art easels you can borrow to paint in plein air or anywhere your imagination takes you.

Branch Features

  • Special areas reserved for kids and teens
  • Public computers
  • Mobile charging stations
  • Touchdown workstation

Branch Information

District Coordinator: Matthew Bingham

Branch Supervisor: Martin Brooks

Parking: Street parking by meter and underground parking

Bus Routes: #2  BC Transit

More Information

In addition to naming the branch, City Council also named the two meeting rooms: the Dr. Elmer Seniemten George M.S.M. Community Room (pronounced Sen-eem-ten) and the Mifflin Wistar Gibbs Study Room (pronounced Wis-ter).

About Dr. Elmer Seniemten George

Dr. Elmer Seniemten George is a Songhees Elder, who is one of the few remaining fluent speakers of Lekwungen, a dialect of the Northern Straits Salish Peoples. He stewards the survival not only of the language, but also of the traditional teachings and culture embedded in the words. In 2016, Elder Elmer Seniemten George received an honorary degree from Royal Roads University. In 2017, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) from the Governor General of Canada for his work with Elder John Elliott in translating the Douglas Treaties of the mid-1850s into the SENĆOŦEN First Nations languages. This work has shed light on the lack of understanding that existed when the treaties were first signed and has provided a foundation for reconciliation. The Songhees and Esquimalt Nations submitted Dr. Elmer Seniemten George’s name for consideration in the City of Victoria’s Name That Library campaign.

About Mifflin Wistar Gibbs

Mifflin Wistar Gibbs was a James Bay resident and local merchant who served as a Victoria City Councillor from 1866 to 1869. In 2016, the City of Victoria declared November 19 “Mifflin Wistar Gibbs Day” in honour of Gibbs becoming the first black person elected to public office in British Columbia the same day in 1866. The BC Black History Awareness Society and members of the community submitted his name for consideration in the City of Victoria’s Name That Library campaign.

Upcoming Programs & Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.
There are no upcoming events at this time.
There are no upcoming events at this time.

Library cards are free

They’re your passport to connect, discover and imagine.


Peek-a-boo! Here’s a quote to brighten your day:

“When in doubt, go to the library.” – Hermione Granger