Richmond Public Library (RPL) is receiving funding from the B.C. government to improve its services after being impacted by COVID-19.
On Tuesday, the province announced a one-time investment of $8 million in COVID-19 relief and recovery funding to help B.C. public libraries.
RPL will receive a total of $113,028.36 in funding to improve its services and facilities.
The relief funding is being distributed between six library federations, three library service partners and 71 public libraries across B.C.
This relief funding aims to help improve library services for the benefit of the public and to “help fill the gaps created by the pandemic,” according to the Government of B.C. in a media release.
According to B.C. government statistics, digital resources from public libraries were used almost 16 million times in 2020, which is a 47 per cent increase from the previous year.
Expanding physical spaces and delivering computer and virtual technology training are among the services public libraries are looking to implement.
Aman Singh, MLA for Richmond-Queensborough, said libraries provide a safe space for many people in local communities - whether to escape the rain or access community resources.
“Through providing additional funding for libraries across the province, we’re helping them adapt and address the needs of communities,” said Singh.
A RPL spokesperson told the Richmond News they “sincerely and gratefully acknowledge” the financial support from the province.
However, no decisions have been made on how the funding will be used.
“But our priority is to provide library services that continue to directly support and benefit Richmond residents,” said the spokesperson.
“This one-time funding is the result of years of advocacy, focus and collaboration led by the BC Library Partners and supported by numerous public library champions.”