Press Release of March 31, 2023
The New Westminster Public Library has just been notified that it will receive a one-time, targeted Enhancement Grant of almost $200,000 from the BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Public Libraries Branch to be spent over three years. This is in addition to our annual Provincial Public Library Grant, which was increased in 2023 by $16,000 to reflect 2021 Census population figures.
“We deeply appreciate the support this grant provides us, given a strategic plan that emphasizes equity, diversity, accessibility and inclusion.” said Elaine Su and Iris Cheng, Co-Chairs of the Library’s Board of Trustees. “We’re looking forward to working with the community to identify priorities in how best to allocate these funds.”
The grant arrives at an important time in the library’s history. “While continuing to provide traditional services to the community, we recognize that the city is growing, and with that growth comes increasing demands for more. We also recognize the need to work with marginalized and vulnerable communities who are easily overlooked when planning for new services and programs” notes Jorge Cardenas, Chief Librarian. “There are a number of those in our city who continue to face physical, social or cultural barriers to library services, and this funding can assist us to extend our services to those who most need them, where they are.”
Similar grants are being issued to libraries across BC as part of a provincial strategy to recognize the “shifting demands on services, collections, programs and spaces”, according to the Ministry’s notice to the library. The grant is also intended to help “respond to local service priorities, making services more accessible and inclusive, and/or increasing climate readiness and resilience”. The grant is intended to supplement local government funding and not to replace it.
In operation since 1865 the New Westminster Public Library is British Columbia’s first free public library in the province serving a population of approximately 82,000 residents in New Westminster BC.
Contact: Jorge Cardenas, Chief Librarian email@example.com or 604-527-4675