On May 26, 2021 the library will be performing system maintenance that will affect public access to some library card services. The process is expected to take most of the day but in the event we are able to restore services earlier, we will post a message on our website’s home page notifying you that the systems are back online.

On May 26 you will still be able to:

  • Use the self-checkouts to check material out
  • Search for items in the catalogue
  • Use a public computer, print, scan and photocopy

You will not be able to:

  • log in to your library account (Bibliocommons catalogue)
  • renew items using your library account or the Telephone Renewals system
  • Place holds or access updated holds or renewals information
  • Use online resources that require you to enter your library card and PIN

Once the migration process is complete, the system will be updated with any items checked out while the system was down.

We apologize for the inconvenience. If you have an urgent question or issue, please contact us at AskUs@nwpl.ca.

Please join us this Fall for the return of New West Cooks in a new online format!

Starting in October, we’ll meet on the first Wednesday of the month at 10:30 am until noon.  Once a month we’ll meet to discuss food, cookbooks, and recipes on a common theme.  Please bring a cookbook of your choice or 2-3 recipes to discuss with the other participants.  The recipes you choose to share can be success stories, recipes that weren’t so successful, or ones that you’re hoping to try out.

For more information on each meeting, please click the links below:

October 7 – Soups and Stews

November 4 – Comfort Foods

December 2 – Festive Feasts

Registration is required. Please email AskUs@nwpl.ca with the subject line “New West Cooks” and provide your name and email address, and which of the monthly meetings you’d like to attend. You are welcome to sign-up for all three sessions, or only the ones that interest you.

Meetings will be held online via Zoom. You do not need a Zoom account to join. As the program date nears, registered participants will be sent a secure link to join the meeting. For anyone who has never used Zoom before, we will also host a practice meeting before the discussion date so you can be sure your setup is going to work.

Library users can enjoy a return to in-person borrowing as New Westminster Public Library announces a planned reopening of its Uptown Main Branch, Tuesday, August 4.

“After several months of closure we are looking forward to welcoming our community back to their library” says Julie Spurrell, Chief Librarian. “Our Board, Staff and City partners have all worked extremely hard to ensure our community has access to Library services while doing everything we can to make it safe for them to do so.”

The Main Branch will re-open seven days a week, with slightly modified hours. The first hour of Monday to Saturday will be reserved for seniors, the vulnerable and first responders.

On entry, customers can expect some changes to the library’s interior reflective of the City’s continuing commitment to safeguard the health of staff and the community against transmission of COVID-19. As well as safety, priority has been given for access to collections, information assistance, and for those with little or no access to computers and the internet, access to computer stations.

Plexiglass barriers have been installed throughout various service points, public Internet stations have been spread out, and some furniture has either been removed or re-arranged to ensure safe passage throughout the various service areas.  There will be limits on how many customers can enter the building at one time and everyone will be encouraged to maintain physical distancing and keep their visits as short as possible. Though not required, and in the interest of safety all visitors to the library will be encouraged to wear face masks.

The library has also worked on the development of an interior signage plan that will not only remind the community about the ways they can use the library safely, but also provide guidance to entrances, exits, stairwells, washroom and elevators.

The reopening of the Queensborough Branch will follow this Fall along with the opening of the Queensborough Community Centre.

Further details about the library’s future hours, available services, and what to expect on arrival will be available on the library’s website at www.nwpl.ca beginning July 17.

Each year the New Westminster Public Library chooses titles to purchase in book club sets – multiple copies of the same title so all book club members can read it at the same time. The library runs its own monthly book club and also makes sets available to any book club that wishes to use them.

For 2020/2021, we want your input to help us choose titles we purchase as book club sets. You can join us at New West City Reads, or read the books with your own book club. After reading about the choices below, (links take you to NWPL catalogue descriptions), cast your vote in our online survey for your 6 favourites.

Access the Online Survey Here

(open until July 15 only)

  • Circling the Sun by Paula McLain: “Set against the majestic landscape of early-twentieth-century Africa, this powerful tale reveals the extraordinary adventures of a woman before her time, the exhilaration of freedom and its cost, and the tenacity of the human spirit.”
  • Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: “As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day.”
  • Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance: Hillbilly Elegy “tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.”
  • Loving Frank by Nancy Horan: In this historical fiction about Frank Lloyd Wright’s affair, the author “weaves little-known facts into a compelling narrative, vividly portraying the conflicts and struggles of a woman forced to choose between the roles of mother, wife, lover, and intellectual.”
  • Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller: A survivalist father kidnaps his daughter and convinces her they are the only two people left on earth.
  • Moccasin Square Gardens by Richard Van Camp: “These stories are filled with in-laws, outlaws and common-laws. Get ready for illegal wrestling moves, pinky promises, a doctored casino, extraterrestrials, love, lust and prayers for peace.”
  • Crow Winter by Karen McBride: “What would you do if you found yourself in contact with the trickster demigod that you heard stories about growing up? What would you do if you found out that you could contact the Spiritual world, and cross between through memories and dreams?”
  • Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Coles: “A blistering Newfoundland Gothic for the twenty-first century, a wholly original, bracing, and timely portrait of a place in the throes of enormous change, where two women confront the traumas of their past in an attempt to overcome the present and to pick up a future.”
  • Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta: “A rich and unforgettable portrait of growing up between worlds, Frying Plantain shows how, in one charged moment, friendship and love can turn to enmity and hate, well-meaning protection can become control, and teasing play can turn to something much darker.”
  • Educated by Tara Westover: “Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag.”
  • Aria by Nazanine Hozar: “This extraordinary, gripping debut is a rags-to-riches-to-revolution tale about an orphan girl’s coming-of-age in Iran – an Iranian Doctor Zhivago.”
  • Bina by Anakana Schofield: “My name is Bina and I’m a very busy woman. That’s Bye-na, not Beena. I don’t know who Beena is but I expect she’s having a happy life. And I don’t know who you are, or the state of your life. But if you’ve come this way to listen to me, your life will undoubtedly get worse. I’m here to warn you …”
  • Dead Wake by Erik Larson: The sinking of the Lusitania “is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era.”
  • Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswell: ” A lively, sexy, and thought-provoking East-meets-West story about community, friendship, and women’s lives at all ages.”
  • Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller: “A thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer’s enduring masterwork, The Iliad.”
  • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer: “Drawing on her life as an Indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings–asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass–offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices.”
  • This Place: 150 Years Retold: A graphic novel anthology, “beautifully illustrated, these stories are an emotional and enlightening journey through magic realism, serial killings, psychic battles, and time travel. See how Indigenous peoples have survived a post-apocalyptic world since Contact.”
  • Recursion by Blake Crouch: “Investigating a suicide, New York City police officer Barry Sutton finds a connection to the outbreak of a memory-altering disease and a controversial neuroscientist working to preserve precious memories.”
  • Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann: “1920s Oklahoma. The richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma after oil was discovered beneath their land. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off.”
  • The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin: “A lone human ambassador is sent to the icebound planet of Winter, a world without sexual prejudice, where the inhabitants’ gender is fluid. His goal is to facilitate Winter’s inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the strange, intriguing culture he encounters…”


Join us for our August meeting of the New West City Reads Online!

We know that many of you prefer to read your eBooks in Overdrive. We’ve heard you and we are thrilled to make our August book (no meeting in July) available through Overdrive.

Please vote on the possible selections for our next meeting. Because they are eBooks, we are thrilled that we can offer some brand new titles (no need to wait for paperbacks).

Without further ado, here are the five potential books for our August meeting. Click through the links to read more about each title.

  1. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

“Poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is a sweeping and shattering portrait of a family, and a testament to the redemptive power of storytelling. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity”

  1. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswall

“A lively, sexy, and thought-provoking East-meets-West story about community, friendship, and women’s lives at all ages.”

  1. Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

This novel “explores the ways an unplanned pregnancy changes two families. Woodson’s nuanced voice evokes the complexities of race, class, religion, and sexuality in fluid prose and a series of telling details. This is a wise, powerful, and compassionate novel.”

  1. Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

“A thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer’s enduring masterwork, The Iliad.”

  1. The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett

“The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities.”


Click here to vote on August’s title!


ZOOM MEETING WILL BE ON August 20 AT 7:00 AND August 21 AT 10:30.

To take part in the meeting, you must register by emailing AskUs@nwpl.ca . Please indicate your name, and which session you would like to register for. When you register you’ll also gain access to the eBook. We will purchase copies depending on registration numbers, so please register early.

If you need help accessing Overdrive (also known as Library2Go or Libby), please drop us a line by email (AskUs@nwpl.ca) or phone (604-527-4660). We’ll be happy to assist you!

Happy reading!

Please join us for our June online book club!

Thanks to those who participated in our poll, we will be reading The Whale Chaser by Tony Ardizzone.

You can access the book through Freading on our website or search for it on the Freading app on your phone or tablet. If you’d like to read the paired non-fiction book, it is The Whaling People of the West Coast of Vancouver Island and Cape Flattery by Eugene Arima and Allan Hoover (this is optional but may help provide some context to the novel).

Our discussion for the book(s) will be held on June 25 at 7:00 p.m. and June 26 and 10:30 a.m. If you’d like to join us, please email AskUs@nwpl.ca and let us know your name and which session you’d like to come to. The meeting will be held by Zoom, and closer to the date, registered participants will be sent a secure link to join the meeting. For anyone who has never used Zoom before, we will also host a practice meeting before the discussion date so you can be sure your setup is going to work.

Happy reading!

The New Westminster Public Library will be continuing the gradual reintroduction of services throughout the remainder of 2020. This will be guided first and foremost with the safety of staff and residents as a top priority. The gradual reintroduction of services are specifically being guided by New Westminster City Council and Public Library Board priorities, while also informed by BC’s Restart Plan, WorkSafe BC Regulations, and with consideration for the regional Public Library sector as a whole.

In May the library was successfully able to expand Wi-Fi access to its outdoor plaza, launch its Library Takeout service and continue work to move a number of programs online. The library is now concentrating on the restart of general circulation activity with the opening of the book return at the Uptown Main Branch in early June. The regular holds service will then be reactivated shortly after, which will also be managed using the appointment-based Library Takeout service.

As materials are returned customers will notice their accounts will not be updated for up to a week, until those materials come out of a mandatory 72-hour quarantine. The library will continue to waive any and all fines related to overdue materials for the foreseeable future as a result.

Library staff continue to return from a number of COVID-19 related assignments throughout the City, and are acquainting themselves with the systems and procedures necessary to safely handle and move various types of material that will once again be circulating. Staff are also working to develop procedures that will allow customers to return to the library for in-person services, with library hours initially taking place Tuesday to Saturday, and expanding thereafter.

Restarting services at Queensborough will be dependent on the reopening of the Queensborough Community Centre, something Parks and Recreation staff are working hard to consider in line with their own safety requirements and directives.

While in-person programs and access to meeting rooms will remain suspended for the foreseeable future at both branches, the following is a general outline of proposed service re-introductions planned to take place throughout the remainder of the year.

June – July

  • Book return at the Main Branch opens June 9
  • Summer Reading Club 2020 launched June 16
  • Appointment-based holds service reactivated via Library takeout June 16
  • Online technology demos and coaching launch June 16
  • Plexiglass and other protective safety measures installed
  • Online programs for children and teens continue
  • Library Takeout service continues

August – September

  • Technology Device loans reactivated (chromebooks, ereaders etc.)
  • Appointment-based access to the Main Branch introduced (ex. children’s picture book room, information services, study space, and internet computers)
  • Online adult, teen and children’s programming continue
  • Library Takeout service continues

Fall, 2020

  • Access opened to both the Main and Queensborough branches
  • Online  programs continue to expand
  • Library Takeout service continues

It’s our sincere hope that we can increasingly welcome customers back into the various spaces and services at the library as the year unfolds. This of course will be dependent on the status of COVID-19 through time, staff availability and our ability to resource the planned reintroduction of services through time.

Questions can be forwarded to us via our email address AskUs@nwpl.ca or by phone, Tuesday to Saturday 604-527-4666.


Join us for our June meeting of the Online New West City Reads!

With a surge in eBook reading (for obvious reasons!), we recognized the need to keep up our monthly book club, and meet in a virtual space.

Each month, we make a selection from four possible books or pairs of books to read. Readers vote, and the winning title(s) is announced shortly after. We spend the month reading (in splendid isolation) and meet via Zoom.

Without further ado, here are the potential books for our June meeting. The focus is on books that had a strong link to Canadian stories. Click through the links to read more about each title. The secondary title is optional for readers.

  1. N’in D’la Owey Innklan by Bonita Lawrence

Celebrated Mi’kmaq author, Bonita Lawrence, uses five centuries of interconnected history between the Mi’kmaq people of Atlantic Canada and London, England. This is an historical novel in a series of vignettes, with some intellectual commentary.

French and Indian Wars in Maine by Michael Dekker

Sometime allies in the French and Indian wars, French settlers and Mi’kmaq communities shared a brutal history fighting against the British. This book tracks the time between 1675 and 1759, as all groups fought to defend their land claims.


  1. The Whale Chaser by Tony Ardizzone

A son of Italian immigrants flees his family and country’s expectations to end up in Tofino where he finds his calling as a whale guide in the company of an Ahousaht man.

The Whaling People of the West Coast of Vancouver Island and Cape Flattery by Eugene Arima and Alan Hoover

An intimate account of the traditional ways of the First Nations groups from the Pacific Northwest that hunt whales, drawn from the narratives of 12 First Nations elders.


  1. Little Fortress by Laisha Rosnau

This is a true story of Italian nobles exiled by the rise of fascism, as they resettle in the Okanagan Valley. The historical fiction part is investigating how the family draws into itself; a microcosm of friendship, trust, betrayal, and love.

In Search of Kings by Tony De Bolfo

The author searches for the truth in his family stories of immigration from Italy to Australia in 1927.


  1. Henry & Self by Kathryn Bridge

The story of a young English woman who settled with her young family in a far-flung corner of the British Empire on the West Coast of North America (ie: Victoria, BC). Through her long life, we learn a lot about the times and places she lived in and how her status as settler shaped her views of the world around her.

Britannia’s Navy on the West Coast of North America by Barry Gough

Rather than a focus on settlers, explorers, fur traders and railway builders, this history looks at the role of the British Navy in the 19th Century, and how the fleet based in Esquimalt was a vital force in shaping the region.

Click here to vote on June’s title!

Winner will be announced on June 4.
Zoom meeting will be on June 25 at 7:00 and June 26 at 10:30.

To take part in the meeting, you must register by emailing AskUs@nwpl.ca . Please indicate your name, and which session you would like to register for.

These eBook titles are available from our Freading database. We recognize that many readers prefer the interface provided by Overdrive. Unfortunately, Overdrive does not allow multiple users to access the books at the same time, but Freading does. If you need help accessing books on Freading, please let us know and we’d be happy to help. We made a video and one page Getting Started Guide – Freading to get you started.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The New Westminster Public Library is thrilled to announce the launch of its ‘Library Takeout’ service. Orders will begin being processed Wednesday, May 13th, with first pick-ups scheduled for Wednesday, May 20th.  As has been the case with a number of restaurants, library users will be able to submit an order for any combination of up to 10 books, DVD’s and CD’s, and arrange for a pre-scheduled, touchless pick-up at the library’s Main Branch.

“We’ve all missed the chance to access a number of services, but there is nothing like access to new reading, listening and viewing material from the library” says Naomi Perks, Chair of the New Westminster Library Board.  Now that Dr. Henry is guiding the province into Phase 2 of BC’s response to COVID-19, the library is ready to do its part to gradually introduce services as we continue to manage restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

‘We’re going to do this responsibly, first allowing customers to place orders for items already available and pick them up. We want to make sure our procedures are safe, for staff and the community” adds Perks. After the first couple of weeks, the library will then move to open its bookdrop so that materials can be returned, quarantined and then recirculated in as safe a manner as possible. Information and details about the service are available on the library’s website at www.nwpl.ca/takeout.

Since its closure most library staff have been redeployed to a number of the Emergency Pandemic Task Forces set up throughout the City of New Westminster. The Pandemic is still very much here and recalling staff for any new service is contingent on the City being able to ensure it is able to staff the Task Forces properly.

Library staff have also been working to initiate the transition of some programs online with an online book club, storytimes, and the upcoming Summer Reading program set to begin in June. “We are all on a learning curve, and the staff have quickly made the pivot to online platforms as a means of connecting with and providing library services to staff” notes Perks.

New Westminster Public Library will join other Lower Mainland libraries that have also recently announced a takeout service, including the Coquitlam and the North Shore libraries.

For more information about NWPL library Takeout or the New Westminster Public Library please contact Susan Buss at sbuss@nwpl.ca.

Please join us in launching the inaugural New West City Reads Book Club online!

After our poll last week, we discovered two things: we have a clear book winner, and New West readers love the idea so much we will offer two meeting times to accommodate all participants. Thank you to everyone who has participated so far!

It’s obvious that New Westminster lives up to its Royal City moniker – our readers are most excited about reading about the British monarchy! The winning book was The Other Windsor Girl by Georgie Blalock which is paired with The Women of Windsor by Catherine Whitney. Both titles are available on Freading (just follow the links). The idea of this meeting is to read a historical fiction novel, paired with a non-fiction book covering the same topic or time. Feel free to read as much of the non-fiction book as you like. Mostly we will discuss the novel.

Our online platform, Freading, can be used to read the books on a handheld device or on a computer. If you’ve never used Freading before and don’t know where to start, we have prepared a helpful video and a brief Getting Started Guide. If you are still having problems, drop us a line at askus@nwpl.ca and we’ll be happy to help you one on one.

The meetings will take place on:

We will discuss the same books both days.

Meetings will take place online via Zoom Video Conferencing. Instructions and a link to join the meeting will be sent to registered participants ONLY, closer to the date. We welcome everyone, but you must register. All you need to join the meeting is a laptop or a device with an internet connection, camera, and microphone. You do not need a Zoom account.

If you’re ready to register, please send an email with New West City Reads in the subject line to askus@nwpl.ca and include the following information:

  • Which day you want to register for
  • Your name

Feel free to invite others to join us and register as well.

See you online!