PUBLIC LIBRARY NEWS CLIPPINGS - November 2003-Janaury 2004

Author Readings

Tragic tale (North Shore News, North Vancouver BC, 11/23/2003)
Photo with caption:  Author Maggie de Vries reads from her book, Missing Sarah, at the West Vancouver Memorial Library.  The book is about here sister, who fell victim to the sex trade and drug addiction on Vancouver's downtown Eastside.

Gary Lowe prepares for release of new book this week (Peace River Block Daily News, Dawson Creek BC, 11/25/2003)
Self-help author Gary Lowe will be launching his new book, Peaceful Healing, at the Dawson Creek Public Library on Nov. 27.  The book combines stories of Lowe's personal wilderness adventures in the Peace region with instruction on a healing technique called emotional freedom therapy.

Author reads (The Peace Arch News, White Rock BC, 11/29/2003)
BC author K.C. Dyer will be at the Newton Branch of the Fraser Valley Regional Library to read from In Secret Light, the second instalment in her historical time-travel series for young adults.  This entry takes main character Darrell Connor to Renaissance Italy.

Scribes talking (Westender, Vancouver BC, 12/31/2003)
As part of the Vancouver Public Library's (VPL) Dimensions of the Spirit Series, author Roger Hart will read from his book Phaselock Code and talk about "participating in the creation of reality" on Jan. 5.  Also at VPL, Loretta Napoleon will read from her book Modern Jihad as part of the Necessary Voices series.

Library to host 'Avalanche' author (The Whistler Question, Whistler BC, 1/4/2004)
Author Vivian Bowers will be at the Pemberton Public Library on Jan. 22 to read from and talk about her book In the Path of the Avalanche.  The book chronicles events surrounding the 1998 Selkirk Mountain avalanche which took the lives of six experienced backcountry skiers.


Library helps with homework from cyber space (Vancouver Courier, Vancouver BC, 11/23/2003)
This month the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) has launched a new cyber-program called Homework Help.  Students up to Grade 12 can log onto the library's web site ( and get e-mail questions answered within 24 hours.  They can also participate in a chat room function available on school day evenings.  VPL communications coordinator Marya Gadison says that in the wake of so much budget-cutting in the school system (which often effects school libraries first), this service is intended to help bridge the gap in library service to students.  She adds that the program appeals to young people as they are very comfortable with working on computers.

Local library finds a new friend in online selling (Okanagan Sunday, Kelowna BC, 1/4/2004)
Local Friends of the Summerland Library Society (FSLS) supporter David Mallory has gone online to help the FSLS hawk some hard-to-discard books.  Mallory has listed some 600 books which did not sell at the annual Friends' book sale with Victoria's online Advanced Book Exchange, which lists more than 45 million books from around the world.  Mallory sold 13 books in the first ten days.  All money raised will be used to assist the Summerland Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library summer reading program and to purchase special interest books.

A walk on the Web side (Nelson Daily News, Nelson BC, 1/6/2004)
Nelson Municipal Library chief librarian Deb Thomas gives a thorough tour of the many features of the library's web site.

Library gets new system (Royal City Record, New Westminster BC, 1/7/2004)
This week the New Westminster Public Library is launching a new Windows-based computer system for its catalogue access.  Hands-on instruction sessions will be provided beginning Jan. 10 for those unfamiliar with computers.

Do you DVD?  CPL does now. (Tri-City News, Coquitlam BC, 1/10/2004)
The Coquitlam Public Library unveiled it's newest collection today, more than 500 DVDs.  Made up of feature films, documentaries and children's titles (many selected from various best-of lists), the collection is expected to grow rapidly with the upcoming addition of foreign language titles.  The library will be happy to take suggestions from patrons toward the expansion of the collection.

Library users get wireless 'Net use at no charge (Times-Colonist, Victoria BC, 1/15/2004)
The Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL), in partnership with the Victoria Free-Net Association, is offering wireless Internet access from a number of Greater Victoria locations, including the library's Central Branch.  Users must hold a valid GVPL library card and get a password to use the service.  The GVPL hopes to offer the service in all its branches soon.

Budgets & Finance

Library budget increase is too rich for Colwood (Goldstream News Gazette, 12/3/2003)
Colwood city councillors are balking at a proposed budget increase for its share of library services.  Greater Victoria Public Library's (GVPL) provisional budget calls for a 5.9 per cent increase for 2004, but the Colwood council has stated it will only approve an increase in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  The 5.9 per cent increase would mean an additional $22,406 paid by Colwood for a total of over $400,000.  Colwood Mayor Jody Twa called the GVPL's budget increases over the last few years "out of control" and described Colwood's commitment to increases geared to the CPI "a fundamental principle."  Other council members took the GVPL to task on its planned move of the Central Branch to the Bay building, and requested more performance indicators from the library board to back up the various figures it presents as arguments for budget increases.

West Shore loses library court battle (Goldstream News Gazette, Victoria BC, 12/10/2003)
The West Shore communities of Colwood, Langford, Metchosin and the Highlands have lost their court battle with the Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) over $300,000 contributed by the community of View Royal to the GVPL's Central Branch.  West Shore politicians argued that the majority of View Royal library patrons use the West Shore's Juan de Fuca branch, and therefore the money should have been directed there.  Commenting on the decision, Langford Mayor Stew Young said, "It doesn't make it fair and it doesn't make it right."  He also would not rule out the possibility of an appeal.  GVPL board chair John Barton said he was pleased with the decision and hoped all the GVPL member communities could get down to providing the best library service possible.  West Shore legal fees for the suit were about $22,000.

Library is pricey:  ACRD (Alberni Valley Times, Port Alberni BC, 12/2/2003)
At last week's monthly meeting, directors from the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) questioned why they pay so much tax to support the Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL).  Earlier in the year the regional district voted to cancel the expansion of the VIRL's Port Alberni branch, and they asked VIRL board chair Tom Krall to come up with some lower cost options for providing library service.  But Krall has responding by saying that none of the options would be likely to satisfy anyone, and that the most common suggestion - a change to the funding formula - has in the past never been able to meet the two-thirds majority needed to make any changes.  Sproat Lake director and ACRD chair Derek Appleton wonders if leaving the system all together could be an option, noting that the annual $150 non-member fee residents would then have to pay to use the library system might be as much as Sproat Lake residents are currently paying in taxes.  Following the discussions, the ACRD library committee rejected the proposed three per cent increase in assessments.  Appleton served notice that he will be seeking a legal opinion regarding Sproat Lake's withdrawal from the VIRL.

Regional Library budget for 2004 features 2.99 per cent increase (Nanaimo Daily News, Nanaimo BC, 12/5/2003)
The Vancouver Island Regional Library adopted its budget for 2004, including a 2.99 per cent increase over last year.  The increase covers wages, facility costs, purchase of materials and insurance and postage rates.

Regional library gets funding (Penticton Western News, Penticton BC, 11/14/2003)
Okanagan Regional Library directors have voted to direct nearly $12,000 to story time supplies and the storytelling collection, allowing branches to upgrade and supplement supplies and materials.

$10.9 million library budget for 2004 (Oliver Chronicle, Oliver BC, 11/26/2003)
The Okanagan Regional Library has approved a budget for 2004 in the amount of $10,905,029, an amount that result in an average of a $1 per increase to the average homeowner.  Some of the increase will be used to purchase new best-selling books and to improve branch deliveries.

Council gives library more summer hours (Vancouver Courier, Vancouver BC, 11/26/2003)
An infusion of cash from city council will enable the Vancouver Public Library to say open all summer, rather than close for a week in August, as has been the case for the last few years.  $150,000 from the city will cover the cost of the library staying open.  Library director Paul Whitney says that is has been frustrating that the library was closed during one of its busiest periods, especially the central branch, which is a popular tourist attraction. The city's 22 libraries have a budget of $34 million and last year logged about 6 million visits.

Library presents 'what-if' budget (The Interior News, Smithers BC, 12/17/2003)
After a year that saw the Smithers Public Library complete its automation for lending and record-keeping, the library is hoping for another banner year in 2004 provided that council can fully fund its requested budget proposal of $113,136.  Adding grants from the province and the regional district, the total budget would be $157,746.  An alternate estimated budget of $162,241 was also included in case the regional district's boundary increases.  The town of Smithers does not finalize its budget until some time in March.

Funds not there for Friday night opening (Chilliwack Times, Chilliwack BC, 12/19/2003)
Chilliwack city councillors have voted to open the library for four hours on Sundays, but it comes at the expense of Friday nights.  Library manager Gary Anderson requested the change at the Dec. 15 meeting.  Counc. Sharon Gaetz asked what it would cost to keep the library operational at both times, adding that the Friday evening hours helped downtown area retailers. Armstrong responded that the cost would be $14,000 annually.  A vote to keep both hours was defeated and the Sunday hours alone were unanimously supported.  Mayor Clint Hames added that the Friday hours issue could be revisited after the effect of the new Sunday operation was judged.

Busy year expected for under-funded library (Tri-City News, Coquitlam BC, 12/27/2003)
In the library board's annual budget presentation to city council, Coquitlam Public Library (CPL) vice-chair John Grasty stated that borrowing has increased 23 per cent over the last five years, but that funding has not kept pace, leaving the CPL one of the most underfunded libraries in the Lower Mainland in terms of both per capita spending and materials budgeting.  CPL's budget will be increased by over $80,000 for this year (now totalling $3.2 million), but library board chair Colleen Talbot says that the increase will be eaten up solely in the areas of increased security, more Sunday openings and foreign language materials.  She adds that the shortage of items to borrow has caused CPL to become a net borrower in the InterLINK system, meaning the library has to pay a fee each time one of its residents borrows from another municipality.  But Talbot is pragmatic about the library's situation.  "I think we have to accept the fact that we are not the only one with our hand out," she said.

Council approves extension of Sunday library openings (The Delta Optimist, Delta BC, 1/7/2004)
Following a 12-week trial period, Delta council has agreed to continue Sunday openings at its three Fraser Valley Regional Library branches indefinitely.  While the councillors were all in favour of the move, some wanted regular reviews of attendance records and costs, Mayor Lois Jackson calling the $90,000 annual cost "not an insignificant amount."  Current statistics show an average of 330 people use each of the libraries on Sundays.

Donations & Fundraising

Grants (The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver BC, 12/1/2003)
$500 has been donated to the Richmond Public Library by the Royal Bank through its Employee Volunteer Grant Program.  The money will be used to fund children's audio books.

Giving the gift of knowledge (Nelson Daily News, Nelson BC, 12/2/2003)
Nelson Municipal Library chief librarian Deb Thomas writes about the importance of donations to the library and gives some examples of ways people can contribute to the library including a direct cash donation, giving a gift of a book, sponsoring a magazine, donating to a project or leaving a bequest.  Thomas also discusses the library's Legacy Fund.  Established in 2002 by the Friends of the Library and an anonymous donor, the fund in intended to ensure a stable cash flow for the library into the future.

Untitled (Chetwynd Echo, Chetwynd BC, 12/2/2003)
Photo with caption:  Duke Energy Gas Transmission recently donated funds to the Chetwynd Public Library to enhance its Family Literacy Program, Homework Helps Series.

Day of relaxation helps raise money (Mission Times, Abbotsford BC, 12/5/2003)
As part of a grand opening for a new European Day Spa, a silent auction raised $750 for the Fraser Valley Regional Library.

Talisman donates to library (Chetwynd Echo, Chetwynd BC, 12/9/2003)
Tailsman Energy presented cheques totalling $3,300 to the Chetwynd Public Library to help fund library programs.

Untitled (The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver BC, 12/15/2003)
The Richmond Community Foundation has donated $5,000 to the Richmond Public Library for the purchase of an Educational Toy Lending Library for the new Cambie Branch opening January 23, 2004.

New Additions (Bridge River-Lillooet News, Lillooet BC, 12/24/2003)
Photo with caption:  Lillooet and Area Public library Librarian Steph Witt shows off materials recently purchased thanks to a $500 contribution of funds from the T' it' q' et community's taxation.

Kudos (The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver BC, 12/24/2003)
The Friends of the Coquitlam Public Library are the happy recipients of $13,000 donated by the Rotary Club of Coquitlam Sunrise.  The funds will be used to enhance the library's DVD collection.


Victoria's library report confirms earlier study (Victoria News, Victoria BC, 12/17/2003)
A report released by Grant-Thornton confirms the findings of a previous study commissioned by the Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) regarding its Central Branch's move to a larger facility, specifically the recently vacated Hudson's Bay Building.  But while the three other municipalities that have veto power over the project (Esquimalt, Oak Bay and Saanich) call the report promising, they will not commit until they get real dollar figures for the costs.  And that cannot happen until a tentative agreement is reached between municipal administrators, library consultants and the company that has an option to buy the building.  Victoria Mayor Alan Lowe expects those negotiations to wrap up by the end of the month.  The Hudson's Bay Company has issued as deadline of Jan. 30 for a "final and binding decision."

Stalled library negotiations set to resume (Times-Colonist, Victoria BC, 12/27/2003)
Talks surrounding the move of the Greater Victoria Public Library's Central Branch to the Bay Building have slowed to a crawl and Victoria Mayor Alan Lowe admits, "I don't know where it's going right now."  And even though a Jan. 10 meeting with the 10 municipalities involved has been cancelled, GVPL CEO Sandra Anderson remains optimistic, calling the talks so far "good-faith negotiations."  The company that has the option on the building is asking $6.8 million for the 122,000 sq. ft., two and one half story portion of the building.  It is estimated that it will cost $12 million to upgrade and furnish the facility, plus almost another $1 million for consulting, staffing and moving expenses.

No to borrow question (The Powell River Peak, Powell River BC, 11/19/2003)
Less than 30 per cent of eligible voters turned out to vote for a proposal to borrow $4.5 million to upgrade the recreation complex and build a new library.  The referendum was defeated by a margin of 1,560 against and 1,163 for.  Discussion continued after the results were announced regarding the combined nature of the referendum question, which some felt may have either confused voters or caused a certain level of suspicion about the projects.

Library bid for health unit alive (Creston Valley Advance, Creston BC, 11/20/2003)
Although the application for the relocation of the Creston Public Library to the soon-to-be-vacated Interior Health Authority building was not one of 16 recently approved federal/provincial infrastructure grants, library officials are still hoping that funding may be coming their way.  "The awarding of infrastructure grants is an ongoing process that is not yet complete...We continue to be optimistic," said chief librarian Gina Rawson in a prepared statement.  The current plan, suggested by local MLA Blair Suffredine, is to arrange a long-term, low-cost lease for the library at the new location.  If the grant was to be awarded in the next round of announcements, a fall 2004 grand opening would be a possibility.

Readers want library to stay (The Daily Courier, Kelowna BC, 11/24/2003)
While no decision has been made about the location of the new Vernon branch of the Okanagan Regional Library, numerous residents wanting to ensure the library stays downtown have presented letters, comment sheets and a 1,300-name petition all asking the board to keep the library in the downtown core.  The board will continue to gather all information until any decision is made.

Whalley Library renos now complete (The Now, Surrey BC, 11/26/2003)
As part of an over $5 million Whalley Revitalizations Strategy aimed at local capital projects, the Whalley branch of the Surrey Public Library has received a $120,000 facelift.  About the reno Mayor Doug McCallum said, "Providing the people of Whalley with a more comfortable, user-friendly library will help further our goal of enhancing quality of life in this area."  The improvements included:  a redesigned entry way, refinished circulation desk fitted with self-checkout technology, energy-efficient lighting, a/c and heating systems and a new coat of paint overall.  New childhood literacy and story time programs have also been added.

Story soon to begin on new library (Richmond Review, Richmond BC, 11/29/2003)
Richmond Public Library's new $685,000 Cambie branch is scheduled to open on Jan. 23, not a moment too soon according to deputy chief librarian Cate McNeely.  "When I came to work in Richmond in 1990, people were asking for this.  I think it will be very well used," she says.  A tour of the in-process interior reveals Internet stations, a cozy "Living Room", silent study areas, a wall that will display in-demand items in a bookstore style, and, of course, a lavish children's area.  "The idea is to create a fun, exciting atmosphere," McNeely says.  "It's our philosophy.  You know how you read a good book and it makes you excited inside?  Often a library doesn't reflect that experience."  The overall design of the library takes its tone from Richmond's Ironwood branch and its many unique concepts, the key being configuring the library's programming to the specific needs of the community, in Cambie's case a focus on early childhood education.

Mayor sets his sights for new year (Burnaby Now, Burnaby BC, 12/10/2003)
Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan's agenda for 2004 includes the beginning of the planning to replace the Middlegate (Kingsway) branch of the Burnaby Public Library.  "That library has served us well," Corrigan stated, "but it is time for a replacement, and a new building will add to this growing, vibrant community."

Library committee may have recommendation by year-end (Cranbrook Daily Townsman, Cranbrook BC, 12/17/2003)
Since the defeated 2002 referendum regarding the building of a new library in Cranbrook, the library facilities committee, charged by Cranbrook Mayor Ross Priest to find an alternative to building a new library from scratch, has met five times.  And now committee chair Angus Davis is giving cryptic hints that a solution may be in the offing.  Davis will say that the committee has looked at a number of buildings and has found one very interesting property, but he adds that not much more can be offered at this time.  He hopes to be able to provide more information at year end or early in the new year.  The current Cranbrook Public Library is in poor condition and too small to serve the needs of the community.

Survey favours library in town (Gulf Islands Driftwood, Salt Spring Island BC, 12/24/2003)
A survey undertaken by the Salt Spring Island Public Library Association as part of its long-term plans has shown that a majority of respondents (69 per cent) favour a location in the Ganges village core.  The survey, distributed between Oct. 27 and Nov. 4, attracted 539 islanders ranging in years from 15 to 70, with the average falling in the 50-plus range.  Over 80 per cent said they were "very satisfied" with current library service, with older respondents (over 60) more pleased (at 75 per cent approval) than the 19 to 59 age demographic (at 46 per cent approval).  Services patrons wanted to see added or improved included quiet study space, better access to local archives, expanded reference services and author's readings.  More than three-quarters said they used the library at least once a month.

Crews begin repairing library branch damaged by heavy November rainfall (The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver BC, 1/5/2004)
The main branch of the North Vancouver District Public Library has suffered water damage due to Nov. 28's heavy rainfall.  Five staff members had to be relocated because of fears that the water seeping through broken window seals could come in contact with electrical equipment and power sockets.  Council has set aside $10,000 for the emergency repairs.  The aged library is set for demolition soon as council wants to build a larger library in the near future as part of a new Lynn Valley town core development.

Children's Corner

The Gift of Reading (Peace River Block Daily News, Dawson Creek BC, 12/3/2003)
Photo with caption:  Dawson Creek Municipal Library librarian Jenny Snyder asks the public to donate new children's books which will be collected and given to the Dawson Creek and District Hospital.

Pairing with teens makes reading fun for kids (Tri-City News, Port Coquitlam BC, 12/3/2003)
A new program at the Coquitlam Public Library is helping youngsters get excited about reading, and helps older youth earn high school credits.  The Reading Buddies Program teams elementary age kids with enthusiastic teen tutors who provide the youngsters with a learning environment that can be more engaging than lessons from adults.  Parents have noticed real results from the interaction, one remarking, "I wish there was a program like this when I was growing up."

Lottery winner gets school tutor (Richmond News, Richmond BC, 12/10/2003)
A victim of its own success, the Richmond Public Library's Reading Buddies program has had to resort to lottery draws when matching the 70 teen tutors with the 237 applicants who would like to be paired with the high school students.  Library chair Lesley Wood Bernbaum said that there are actually more tutors who want to be involved, but the library only has space for 70.  She said she will be talking with the Richmond school district in the coming week to help target students who need the program the most.

And the winners are... (The Whistler Question, Whistler BC, 12/18/2003)
The winners have been announced in this year's Whistler Public Library Young Adult Writing Contest, open to 12-to-18-year-olds in short story and poetry categories.  Three winners in the short story category and two winners in the poetry format were awarded cash prizes ranging from $25 to $75.

New book club geared to middle school kids (The Prince George Citizen, Prince George BC, 1/8/2004)
The Prince George Public Library hopes to engage the imaginations of middle-school-aged-kids by offering a new reading club, called the Highlanders Book Club, just for those in grades 6 to 8.  The first selection for January will be the book Holes, but future titles will be selected by the participants.  The club does not look to replicate the books or activities offered in schools, but hopes to generate its own enthusiasm by allowing the kids to have fun with the program.

Around the Province

Postal rates could cost libraries (North Island Gazette, Port Hardy BC, 1/7/2004)
A service which allows libraries to mail books between branches at a subsidized rate (called the Library Book Rate or LBR) may be in jeopardy because of an interpretation of the rules by a Port Hardy Canada Post worker.  In early 2003, the staff person questioned whether the audio tapes and videos that were being sent using the service fell outside the terms of the agreement.  Canada Post agreed and libraries have not been able mail those items at the reduced rate since the spring (although audio books for the disabled have been allowed). The Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) is looking to have the LBR act (created in 1939) updated to reflect contemporary library materials.  To that end a petition is being circulated at all VIRL branches between Jan. 5 and 25.  It will be presented during the upcoming negotiations between Canada Post and the federal government on the subject.  Loss of the discount entirely could cost the VIRL $250,000 a year.

Library petition aims to save Book Rate (Nanaimo Daily News, Nanaimo BC, 1/10/2004)
Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) chair Tom Krall says if 250,000 of the 400,000 people in the VIRL's jurisdiction sign a petition of save and update Canada Post's Library Book Rate (LBR), it could save the library a quarter of a million dollars a year.  That is what the VIRL saves when distributing books between branches using the LBR.  Krall says there is no indication that the subsidy will be lost in its entirety, but he adds that getting the message to decision-makers early about its importance is crucial.  Krall would also like to see newer library materials such as videos, CDs and DVDs included in the program, items that reflect modern library service.  Letters have been written to the major players in the process, the ministers directly responsible for the program and local MPs.  Krall says, "All four MPs are behind us, and if we have a good turnout to sign the petition before it goes to Ottawa, I think it would go a long way to helping our cause."

Library briefs:  Enter the Armchair Travel Event (Chetwynd Echo, Chetwynd BC, 11/25/2003)
The Family Literacy coordinator for the Chetwynd Public Library is developing a Reading Circle Program that will begin a 12-week term starting in January.  To increase community awareness, the library is beginning an Armchair Travel Event that will wrap up as the Reading Circle program begins.  The Armchair event involves picking out a book (that the library does not currently have) at the local bookstore (the library will pay for the book), reading it, writing a short review and then handing it over to the library for their collection.  Participants will have their name entered in a draw for a bag of books.  The Reading Circle Program itself is made up of two components: the selection of five books by BC authors to be read in a series of group sessions, ending with the author present for the final session; and a series of activities on storytelling techniques incorporating works by other selected authors.  The selection committee for the program includes library staff, local media, bookstore staff, local government representatives and Aboriginal Early Childhood Program students.

Proclamations (The Powell River Peak, Powell River BC, 11/19/2003)
Mayor Stewart Alsgard has declared Nov. 16 to 22 Public Library Week.

Librarians to the rescue (The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver BC, 11/29/2003)
On Nov. 30 in the Alice MacKay Room of the Vancouver Public Library, librarians will unfurl the lists they have prepared to help those literary shoppers buy the perfect books for kids or adults.  Aside from librarian wisdom, hot apple cider and seasonal goodies will also be dispensed.

New service is in the cards (Richmond Review, Richmond BC, 11/29/2003)
The "Richmond Card",  an idea proposed by the Richmond Public Library, would allow the public access to a number of community services, such as  the library or  swimming pool, with a single multi-tasking piece of plastic.  Richmond library board chair Lesley Wood Bernbaum says the system of integrated services would be centred on the library - a logical place because of its popularity.  Bernbaum says she hopes an integrated system for Richmond residents could be in place within the next 10 years.

Books just the tip of the iceberg at VIRL (Alberni Valley Times, Port Alberni BC, 12/4/2003)
Profile of the Port Alberni Branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library.  Topics covered include a focus on the many on-line databases that can be accessed at any branch (or from home) through the library system's web page, computer training, local children's education/development groups and programs such as the annual Summer Reading Club.

City workers ratify deal (The Now, Surrey BC, 12/6/2003)
While nearly 1,500 City of Surrey union workers have signed a new four-year agreement, about 60 library support workers have yet to finalize a deal.  The main sticking point is retroactive pay, something that was discussed in the last round of bargaining with an understanding that the two groups in question would get retroactive pay back to 2000.  Library management now claims they do not have the funds for the retroactive pay and will only pay the new rates starting in 2003.  Local union president Laurie Larsen said the library board knew this increase was coming and should have been putting money away to cover the costs.  The union also has issues with the irregular days and hours worked by support staff.  The two sides have agreed to mediation that will begin in about two weeks.

Community winners (North Shore News, North Vancouver BC, 12/10/2003)
Photo with caption:  West Vancouver chief librarian Anne Goodhart was one of the people honoured with a Baha'i Unity in Diversity award, given to organizations for their contributions to creating awareness about diversity.

Library recognized for literacy initiatives (Bridge River-Lillooet News, Lillooet BC, 12/10/2003)
The Lillooet and Area Public Library and library director Sheila Pfeifer have been featured in an article in Feliciter, the publication of the Canadian Library Association, recognizing the library's work in the area of information resources for Aboriginal Peoples.  Pfeifer discusses the various ways the library has built partnerships with First Nations, including Internet and literacy training programs, the hiring of summer students and the development of a First Nations collection of books, videos and tapes.  Another innovative program involves the circulation among pre-schools on reserves of blue boxes full of First Nations-sensitive materials.

Volunteer recognition (The Gazette, Grand Forks BC, 12/17/2003)
At the recent annual gathering for Grand Forks and District Public Library volunteers, Nancy Dale was named volunteer of the year.  A volunteer at the library for many years, Nancy is described as bringing a positive attitude whenever she works and always a pleasure to be around.

Library collects avalanche of goods for Santa Claus Project (Chetwynd Echo, Chetwynd BC, 12/23/2003)
The Chetwynd Public Library's successful Food for Fines program (in which patrons could pay off their fines by bringing in a non-perishable food item) brought in an avalanche of food and over $350 in cash donations for the local Santa Project.

Library welcomes new chief (Cranbrook Daily Townsman, Cranbrook BC, 12/29/2003)
The Cranbrook Public Library has selected one of its own to fill the shoes of retiring librarian Pat Adams.  Ursula Brigl, who began as a page at the library in 1991, has won the competition (which saw applicants from all over North America and beyond) for the spot and will officially start her new duties on Jan. 1.  Ursula does not plan any major changes in how the library functions, but she does have two areas she considers priorities:  to help create awareness about the library in the community and make it a local gathering place, and to fundraise for the book and video collections so people can get the items they want when they want them.  "We are ecstatic," says board chair Larry Schafer of the unanimous decision about Ursula's hiring.  "She has a lot of ideas and a lot of enthusiasm."

One million milestone (North Shore News, North Vancouver BC, 1/9/2004)
Photo with caption:  Director of library services at the West Vancouver memorial Library, Ann Goodhart, helps present Michelle Pietsch-Lamour with a bag of prizes for being the lucky borrower to check out the one-millionth book from the library in 2003.

Library at your door (Royal City Record, New Westminster BC, 1/10/2004)
For almost 40 years the New Westminster Public Library has offered a home library service to those who are unable to make the trip to the library.  Those who want to use the service need only call the library and explain their situation.  A home service librarian will be in touch to get further information and regular visits will begin every two weeks.  And while audio books and large print make up the bulk of the requests, home service users may request any item that the library has in its circulating collection.

The Great Northern Reading Challenge (Lakes District News, Burns Lake BC, 1/14/2004)
After two successful years (beginning with Mackenzie Public Library librarian Natalie Underwood hatching the idea), The Great Northern Reading Challenge is expanding to include families in Mackenzie, Prince George, Quesnel, Valemount, McBride, Burns Lake and Fraser Lake.  Each community will receive packages of bookmarks, book lists and tally sheets.  Throughout  the month of January families will keep track of what and how many books they have read.  The community with the greatest number of participating families per 100 people will be the winner.  Prizes will also be awarded to the families that have read the most books.  The results will be announced on January 27, National Family Literacy Day.

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