Underfunding of Public Libraries

Year
2018
Category
Community and Resources
NCLGA Ref#
B1

Details

WHEREAS public libraries in British Columbia are underfunded to meet the evolving needs of their communities;

 

AND WHEREAS public libraries provide necessary access to knowledge and learning to all members of their communities, including those most marginalized:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Province of British Columbia restore funding levels to the pre-2009 rates;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Province of British Columbia commit to forming a Task Force to work with Public Library Associations to ensure that funding formulas do not allow urbanization to threaten Public Library Association sustainability.

Responses

UBCM Comments: The UBCM membership endorsed resolution 2011-B27 which requested the Province restore funding for BC libraries and reading centres to the levels that were achieved as part of the strategic plan prior to 2009. However, members have not specifically asked for the creation of a Task Force to work with Public Library Associations to ensure that funding formulas do not allow urbanization to threaten Public Library sustainability.

UBCM notes that members have consistently endorsed resolutions calling on the Province to maintain and increase its funding for public libraries (2017-B60, 2016-B95, 2014-B17, 2012-B71, 2011-B27, 2010-B46, 2008-B57, 2007-B56, 2006-B55, 2006-B56, 2002-B13, 2000-B28, 1999-B13, 1996-B82).

Resolution 2017-B60 in particular asked the Province to restore funding for libraries “to a level of 21 per cent of the core annual budget required to operate the British Columbia Public Library System in an efficient, effective and equitable manner.”

In response to resolution 2017-B60, the provincial government advised, “The Ministry is currently engaged with the library community to deliver its vision and strategic plan: Inspiring Libraries, Connecting Communities (released November 2016). In year one of this three year plan, we focused on improving access to digital resources and building the capacity of libraries to deliver enhanced public library services and programs.

The Ministry recognizes the cost of delivering library services has increased with changing technology and other demands. As such, the public library funding framework is being examined within the context of the vision and strategic plan.”

 

 

North Central Local Government Association