Kirtilal, Burnaby
    Library is superb.

I have been here in Canada for about last three months. I am highly impressed by the smooth working of the library. The employees are kind, courteous, efficient, well trained and helpful to members without tiring. The library is rich in collection of books, magazines, reference books, and DVDs on various subjects. The garden is beautiful. The vast lawns are well maintained. Everything is superb.

Joyce, Nanaimo
    A LifeLong Bookworm

"A lifelong bookworm!” It started in the l940’'s, at six years of age, a mobile book van came near our home in Surrey. It was eagerly awaited by our family – my Mother had been a one-room schoolhouse teacher in Saskatchewan. When we moved to New Westminster we joined the library there.

In 1953 I became a Page working after school and one evening a week and Saturday. This is where I became familiar with many authors. The library at that time was in the old brick courthouse/jail – it has now been removed. A narrow stairway led down to what we called "The Dungeon" It was where some of the adult books were stored.It was spooky at night with only 1 or 2 light bulbs. The public wasn’t allowed downstairs so us Pages would hurriedly find the book requested and rush back up the stairs.

From that time onward I have always had a book beside me--at home, in the car etc. Today, my husband, two sons, their wives and my five grandsons all love books. Our younger son has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and cannot always read properly – he is using the electronic and video books now. Keep on going libraries!

K. Lum, Coquitlam
    My Second Home

BC Libraries literally changed my life! When I first immigrated to Vancouver, Canada in my early teens I had very little understanding of the English language. I couldn’t even read "See Spot Run" at first. I struggled with English in my first few years. However every day I would go to the school library or to the free public libraries to learn new words with the help of my much used Chinese-English dictionary. As I mastered new words my vocabulary began to grow rapidly.

By the time I entered senior high school my thinking process was entirely in English instead of thinking in Chinese and then translating to English. I did very well in high school and university. I graduated with an Engineering Degree but my love for the written word eventually steered me into a job in charge of the Contracts Department. I credit my path in life to my second home - BC Libraries.

I am now retired and visit all of the public libraries frequently. We are so fortunate in British Columbia to have this free service as it indeed promotes learning for a lifetime.

Patricia, Langley
    The Empowerment of a Library Card

Libraries have played an important role in my life from the time I was a young girl. I was so proud when I got my first library card and excited to know that I could take books home to read. Books were such a source of pleasure and escape for me and getting that first library card gave me a sense of empowerment that I needed. For me, it was like being given the key to a kingdom – all those books to read and with the help of a friendly librarian, I could choose the ones I wanted.

As a teacher, libraries were vital as a source of information for projects and for age appropriate and level appropriate reading materials for my students. Now, as a retiree, I visit my local library several times a week and order books on line as well. I also enjoy attending courses or writer's groups at the library.

My young granddaughter and I go to the library and together we read books and choose the ones she'd like to take home. She enjoys getting a hand stamp from the librarian and, on special holidays, a balloon.

I believe that libraries are more than houses for books; not only do they allow access to information through materials and computers but the personal help from friendly librarians is available for those who need it. When I walk into my local library, I feel that I'm in a friendly and safe haven where I can grab a few books or a video to borrow, or, I can settle in a comfortable chair and read while enjoying the quiet atmosphere. Libraries continue to play such an important role in my life and I still cherish that empowering little library card.

Hannah, Abbotsford
    An Excursion to the Library

I come to the library nearly every day to borrow materials – I like educational DVDs and videos – and my favourite comics – Garfield! It gets me out of the house and I get exercise walking to and from. Also I like to go on the internet; I have no computer at home, so it's great that I get to use one. I love the library!

Karen, Burnaby
    Baby Storytime Makes a Huge Difference

I am a new mom and after a few months on maternity leave I was very interested in having an opportunity to get out of the house and to meet other parents and their children. When my child was four months old I attended a local playgroup but did not have a positive experience and was left feeling very discouraged and isolated. Fortunately a few weeks later I discovered the Baby Storytime at my local library.

This Baby Storytime group is wonderful and has made a huge difference in my life as a mother. We look forward to attending each week and I have had the opportunity to bond with my child through learning new songs, rhymes, actions and movements, to discover new books and stories, and to meet other parents and their children. Before becoming a mother, I never would have known that a storytime group could have such an impact on both mom and child. I can't thank the library enough for hosting this great program.

Wendy and Amanda-Rose, Aldergrove
    Books and More!

It all started about eight years ago. I started going to the library for video tapes and books for my toddler. We have learned so much from books, DVDs etc. As Amanda-Rose got older we have gone for the crafts and educational seminars and also for the entertainers as well. Over the past five years ago we have borrowed every penguin book. For myself, I like to borrow the Bob Ross painting and scrapbooking books, especially when I was teaching scrapbooking.

Last year we met Mr. I (Fraser Valley children’s music performer) and we have seen him a few times. I mentioned, to him, that my daughter plays the piano by ear and has written a few songs about penguins. We are in the process of making a music CD with him all about penguins. Also, we love Wayne Lynch's books about penguins. We love our Aldergrove library which we visit every Tuesday and appreciate the hardworking staff there. Thanks for changing our lives!

Cara, Nelson
    The Gift of Literacy

Libraries - whether public or at school - have always been my sanctuary. I'm an avid reader of various genres, and in part my voraciousness can be tied to my efforts to get past the slight autism I was diagnosed with while a toddler. Through my teachers, parents, and school libraries I developed the capacity to communicate better and improve my vocabulary.

In essence, reading has saved me many times over when things in life are getting me down. For that I can thank our public libraries, because without them, people in all walks of life would suffer greatly. Libraries don't discriminate and they offer wonderful services - for I should know, because literacy has changed me, and it can change you, too.

Insiyah, Port Coquitlam
    Age Two and Loves the Library

I love going to the library. I am a little over 2 years old. I get to go to the children's book section and pick out all the books with the colorful pictures on them. Sometimes I make a mess and my mom picks up the books and tries to return them in the same spot. I like playing colouring games on the computer.

Oh… let’s not forget all the Barney DVDs that I am able to borrow. My mom borrowed the BEE movie for me recently and I LOVED it and watched it over and over again. I love the library, have to keep reminding myself to not run around and be quite but it’s quite hard when you’re two to remember so many things. I am hoping to get my own card one of these days and it will be my very own first plastic card that I will own…

Erika, Burnaby
    Storytime Fun for Mom and Baby

I was at home struggling nursing my first baby all day long without going out to have some fun for myself. One day I discovered the Baby Storytime program held in the library which is close by. So I went there every Thursday morning, enjoying the stories and songs together with my baby and many other babies, moms and even dads. This event greatly brightened my life and made the time with my baby more enjoyable. It allowed me to meet many different people and get many good pieces of advice from them. Obviously, my baby loved it too whenever she was there. I am so grateful to have a library in my community to provide such good service.

Puneet, Abbotsford
    Library is Second Home

My parents introduced me to the Fraser Valley Regional Library when I was three years old. I am now in grade five and am ten years old. I am a one of the best readers in my class. The library has wonderful programs. My favourite programs have lollipop the clown and the magician. The library has extraordinary summer reading clubs for children, teens, and adults.

The library has more books then you can ever imagine. My school library does not have half of the books that the public library has. My reading has built my vocabulary, my spelling skills, writing ideas, and most of all my pleasure to read. I have read all the series of books of Harry Potter, Lilly Robinson, Main Street, Junie B. Jones, Sophie LaCroix, Hannah Montana, and Wizards of Waverly Place. I like to borrow books from FVRL and read them. I go to the library and borrow books for school projects. I can go to the library on weekends and after school hours and I would like to see more programs at the library.

Selina, Burnaby
    Broadening Our Knowledge

BC libraries have been an integral part of my personal development, and now, my children's. The vast resources in many forms and means, carefully-crafted programs, as well as the enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff help us broaden our knowledge and enrich our lives. In addition to finding specific information we need, me and my husband love to browse through the libraries and just randomly pick out a book of any subject and learn about it.

My young children participate in the summer reading clubs and love going to the story time. The teachers for the baby and toddler story times are wonderful, stimulating, and resourceful. The libraries also play an important part of my retired mother's life; she enjoys your ever-growing Chinese book and DVD collection. As the libraries give people in the community so much enjoyment, no wonder people seem to be always so cheerful and happy when they are in the libraries.

Paulie, Smithers     

Years ago I was asked to paint some scenes on the walls of the Children’s Ward at the Bulkley Valley Hospital in Smithers. The Ladies’ Auxiliary supplied some acrylic paints and I began.

But my first painting of little creatures climbing all over a make-believe castle was not as well received as I had hoped. The staff had envisioned something different. A meeting was set up to discuss the rest of the paintings. For inspiration I went to our public library, of which I was a frequent borrower of children’s books, where I asked Ruth, the librarian at the time, what the most frequently checked out children’s books were. She said that the bright adventurous ones were the favourites.

Armed with this information, I went to the meeting. My boyfriend, an elementary school teacher, helped me present my findings and added seconded what the librarian had told us. The nurses approved my plans to paint the rest scenes I had come up with, which I proceeded to do, and which I believe made children and parents alike happy for many years.

Barbara, Fraser Lake
    So Many Libraries, So Little Time

The BC One card is the most valuable card in my wallet. Now, when I travel around the province, making a stop at the local library is always at the top of the to-do list. My community lies smack between two larger centers, and the BC One card tripled my immediate borrowing choices. Often, I borrow when on holiday and return to the home library since I'm still in town. This is the greatest luxury possible.

My grandchildren also understand the draw of a library away from home. When they come to stay with me, the local library is on top of their to-do list. Like me, they have learned that each collection is different and unique, reflecting the town that houses it. So many libraries, so little time….

Alberto, Burnaby
    Appreciation of BC Libraries

I very much appreciate the services you provide to the people of BC in your libraries. I am spending a brief time of few months in your country, I am from Italy, and going to the library weekly has allowed me to stay in tune with friends by the use of the Internet. I also appreciate the vast collection of books that you have, and the efficiency in every aspect. I work in a small public library in Italy and I really envy what you can offer. Thank you very much.

Shawna, Hope
    Small Library, Abundant Services

I recently relocated to BC. The library was my first stop for information about my new community as well as entertainment including books, DVDs, CDs and Internet access. Through postings at the library I have been able to get involved with my new community.

Libraries have always been an integral part my life. I have vivid memories from my childhood of story time and the fantastic feeling of walking away with a bag full of books to read. In more recent times the library has served as a resource to plan world travels.

Even though I am now more familiar with my surroundings I still visit my local library multiple times per week. While the library is small the services are abundant. I love that I can request any item from the library system and have it delivered to my community library. I also use the virtual reference services and stop by the library to check out the reader boards to see what is going on in town.

I’ve enjoyed visiting the library so much that I am now in school getting a degree in hopes of working in the library I can’t think of a better place to spend my days.

Joan, Mission
    Found Community Connections

The Library has changed my life. It has made me healthier in that often walk the 15 - 20 minutes to get to the library. Thanks to the library’s free Internet access I have daily communication with my three children and their families as they live their busy lives. I can keep in touch with my very close friends, whom I met at the library but reside in Nova Scotia and Korea.

I have met many wonderful people through the Multicultural program, a partnership with Mission Community Services, which helps immigrants to converse in English. This has helped me to understand that value of culture and the role it plays in my life. I very much appreciate the public library.

Ward, Burnaby
    Discovered Power of Music

Oh you repository of things of the soul. Did you know that? Did you know within your library bookcases; within the racks of books, movies and music that there is spirit? If not, I’m here to share with you some of the spirit you have shared with me.

I am currently a resident of The Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction. I came here from northern BC, unfamiliar with the community, scared, confused, and sick. After a few months, I started to venture out and obtained a library card that allowed me access books, movies, and music and things began to change for me. I was able to fight through my illness with the help of my library card; my card to freedom.

I discovered the library’s vast collection of music. I used music to sooth and heal my troubled spirit and while I have a long way to go, I’ve come so far. In all this, a wonderful gift was given to me. As I listened to your music, music from all over the world, other residents here heard it too. Every so often, one would stop by with a look of wonder and ask me what I was listening to. With that connection made, discussion of the issues of the day took place and encouragement was shared and the flames of hope were bellowed into fires that roared up and cleared the way for wellness.

People have shared with me pieces of their history associated with the music. Fond memories were dusted off from the archives of a distant yesterday and proved to be an inspiration to return to those places of joy. I thank the library for this gift. Please, keep up your most excellent efforts and thanks for helping me save my life.

John, Abbotsford
    Accessibility and Services Open New World

How has the library influenced my life? When I was in elementary school I remember the library (library on wheels) came to the small settlement of Mt. Lehman. That was my first taste of a bigger world. At that time we did not have television or access to movies and media as we have today. So the library services had considerable impact.

Today the library is much more accessible and has many more services that appeal to and meet the needs of the many customers. For me the library has opened the past for me. Through video, DVD and the printed page I have found so much that I didn't know about my own ancestors. Our local library has gone out of their way to acquire materials that that supply information that I am looking for.

The variety of different media that the library offers is certainly beneficial to me as grandfather and to my grandchildren as well.

Chris, Comox
    Library Makes Reading Fun

I have a disability. Sometimes things are hard for me. The people at Comox Library are my friends and help me find items when I can't locate them. The staff always has a smile for me, everyone is so nice, and they make me feel special. I am always welcome and have fun. I think Comox Library is the best. They are kind and patient with me, thank you Comox Library for your help. You make reading fun for everyone no matter how hard it can be sometimes.

Bea, Penticton
    Large Print Life Saver

I am 85 years old, and have been an avid reader since my youth. When I was young I read every Nancy Drew book I could get my hands on. Even after my mother said put the book down and go to sleep, I would lift my blankets, and with a flashlight enjoy a few more minutes with Nancy.

Up to three years ago, I was able to buy paperbacks off the shelf in regular print, and yes my favorite books are still mystery.

I recently had some serious eye problems and surgery, which left me unable to read regular print, and so I started buying large print books, which are quite expensive. I was told I should check the Penticton Library. I was sure that if the library did have large print books, they certainly wouldn’t have any of my favorite authors. Well how wrong I was. They not only had my favorite authors, but they received the newest ones monthly, and I was able to use my computer to request my books. This allowed me to take the bus to return my read books, and pick up requested ones on the same trip.

I want to thank the Penticton library staff for the great service they offer. Without the public library’s current large print books I would not be able to afford the enjoyment of many hours of reading.

Suzanne, Salmon Arm
    Always Learning Something New

Going to the library is something that I have loved since I was a teenager (I am now 30). I am a self-taught artist because of the huge wealth of resources available on the subject. I have been borrowing my art books from the library for quite a few years and I have learned so much.

There are always new books coming out as well as old favorites. I have also learned to sew and quilt recently. I love how-to books. My family and I have been enjoying getting TV series and feature films. I have to say that the library has been a big part of my passion in life and I don't know what I'd do without it!

Marjorie, Burnaby
    Library Books Help New Canadian Learn English

My family is very new in Canada. We moved here from the Philippines and have faced a lot of challenges as newcomers. The first thing we did when we came here in Burnaby is to apply for a library card for the three of us.

My daughter, Cheska, is a kindergartener. She spoke little English and it was very hard for her at first to understand her teacher and classmates. But with the help of the library books which I read to her every day, she has learned new words, phrases and expressions. Another learning source for her are the DVDs available in the library. Imagine watching original DVDs for FREE, that's a great help! Thank you and more power!

Katherine, Port Moody
    Library Night Lives On

When I was a child, I lived in a small town called Ocean Falls on the northern coast of BC. We had one TV channel (the CBC) and it would go on the fritz each winter for one to three months.

The library was our lifeline. We had a school library, but I loved the town library best. It was in a little house and for me, it was a wonderful place. The books were old and musty, and many of the spines were held together by black electrical tape with the titles written in white ink that looked like liquid paper.

We went on a weekly basis and I loved my books. When we moved to Campbell River, Friday night was our “library night” and we borrowed books through the Vancouver Island Regional Library system. I most loved their tapes of old radio shows - Jack Benny and other programs that would never have been available to me otherwise.

My love of libraries has now been passed onto my kids. When they were little, I took them to the library once a week, signing out stacks of books. We'd alternate between the Poirier Library in Coquitlam and the Port Moody Library just to have access to different collections.

My kids are older now, but still avid readers. We have our own Friday night tradition at the library and fill our Port Moody book-bag each time we go. I'm amazed that the wonder of going to the library to find books is still there each time we go - for all three of us. A public library is an incredible resource for every community which can have life-changing impact on anyone who uses it. For me, it started with a little library way up North. And it keeps on going.

Beatrice, Courtenay
    Special Library Supports Those with Special Needs

As the parent of a special needs person, the local library has always been a favourite hangout for our family. The staff has always interacted in the most professional manner with my special adult. When younger and on "many of those especially challenging days", the library was a haven that respected the individuality of my child. By showing fair and unbiased treatment the library was one place that my child was made to feel like everyone else instead of being pointed out as being different.

The library continues to back our family one hundred per cent. They have brought in materials to assist with school projects at a level that assisted comprehension to the point that my adult now attends college classes. I don’t know where we would be without the library and such caring staff people… Thank you.

Amber, Chilliwack
    Library Helped Inspire Successful Bookstore

When I was a child, my family would visit the library every week. Our battered orange "library suitcase" would be loaded up with all of the books that we had borrowed the previous week, and we would trundle off to the library to exchange them for new titles. Some of my strongest childhood memories involve both being at the library, and the incredible adventures that those chosen books took me on.

As a family on a limited income, it meant that we never had to worry about affording books. It meant that I learned the value of being responsible with borrowed items; handling them with care and returning them on time. I even met some "rock star" authors, such as Eric Wilson, at library events.

I have gone on to co-own the second largest used bookstore in the province of BC, and employ a staff of 16 book lovers at my store. One of the core structures of my business is one of book donation, low cost books, and providing a fun and exciting place for young readers to come. We support literacy initiatives in schools and the community at large.

That battered old orange suitcase is long gone, but the treasures that it once held will serve me and my community for a lifetime to come.

Cassandra, Chilliwack
    Multiple Generations of Prolific Readers

I can remember being in the third grade and lying in bed sobbing as if my heart were about to break. My parents came in to ask what the matter was and I told them I was afraid I was going to die before I had time to read every book in the library! Mind you, I had good role modeling; my Dad died at 79 years old and he had great difficulty finding books he had not already read! I am now 59 and I still consider my library card as absolutely one of my most prized possessions.

I don't know how I would survive without library books. I always have 2 or 3 on the go simultaneously. My husband was not a reader when I married him, but now he loves to read (almost) as must as I do! When my three kids were growing up I practically provided them with flashlights in case they wanted to read underneath their blankets at night. Reading in bed was never a punishable act!

I am now delighted to see my grandchildren growing up to love books as much as we do. My children continue to be prolific readers - whether fiction for fun, or non-fiction to teach themselves new skills, prepare for travel, or any of the hundreds of things you can learn from books! Long live libraries and bless the folks who understand how important adequate funding is!

Sue, Vancouver
    Audio Books Saved Eyes

I have been an avid reader all my life and a regular patron of our local library. This past summer, I have come to appreciate our library in an enormous way. I have suffered a retinal detachment and underwent emergency surgery. After the surgery, I was required to lie face down 24/7 for five days (or as much as humanly possible) to assure a successful reattachment of my retina. This was crucial for my recovery but needless to say, extremely challenging; I think I managed some 22 hours each day to remain face down. What helped me get through this were audio books downloaded from the library website. Hour after hour, I lied face down with my headphones and the audio books kept me going. I am very grateful to have access to such incredible collection of material at our fingertips. Thank you, BC Libraries.

Heather, Port Moody
    Found Passion for Writing

I have been blown away by the service at the Port moody Library. We go to the library as a family at least once a week. My son enjoys the children’s area. I love the programs, workshops and the library in general.

I once called the library and hung up because the line was busy. I did not leave a message. I was trying to renew books online and needed some help. The library called me back a few minutes later to say that they looked up my account from my name on the call display and noticed that there were some books due soon so they renewed them for me. How’s that for above and beyond good service! I have told this story to many people who were all amazed at the kindness.

I’ve been to two workshops this winter, both for writers. I have been struggling with writing for a long time and have been in need of direction. The workshops were excellent. I find myself writing every day now. I have a fresh outlook and optimism that I would not have found without the Port Moody Library. To go from procrastinating every day to writing every day has made a wonderful difference in my life.

Holly, Maple Ridge
    Comic Books and Quietness

I like the library because it is peaceful and quiet. It also has Archie Comics and great books to read!

Elaine, Langley
    Small Library, Big Difference

My story is about the big difference that a small library in Whalley made...

My husband jack had a heart condition which kept him very confined after he had been an active hard working man. To sit idle was very depressing, but a visit library literally changed his life. He read books on every subject; the books were his constant companion.

In 1993 the only contribution I was to make in his memory was to the library. Now many years later I live only a block from the Langley branch. I have had a stroke so I am unable to get the right words out... This is not a problem as the staff is so patient and understanding. The library is my second home.

Heather, Summerland
    Safe Havens and Peaceful Atmosphere

As a child growing up in Prince George in the 1950's and 1960's, the local library offered me a breadth of opportunity to explore an enormous variety of topics. While I had good friends, not all of my interests were theirs, and perhaps I preferred to explore on my own rather than risk mockery for my interests. In a mill town of that era, pre teen girls interested in poetry or native culture, African animals or science fiction might have been considered a little odd. In the library, books gave and I received.

Wherever I have lived in this province, I have become a library member and introduced my daughter to the same process. Presently, in Summerland, I continue to explore a variety of topics and attend the monthly book club, which forces me to read books not always of my usual choices, and to discuss topics with people I might not otherwise get to know.

I would like to note that my local library in the 1960's always had its share of some few quiet individuals who came every day to sit and read.....and stay warm in the winter....I believe today the same occurs in many libraries....a haven for those who may be homeless, or in decrepit or isolated living conditions. Sharing books in a generally peaceful and welcoming atmosphere, and having a pleasant interchange with the staff, has likely lit many more lives than we will ever know.

Marian, Summerland
    Shared the Passion Younger Generation

The public library had a profound effect on the course of my life. Being an immigrant, I began school in Canada barely speaking English. Maybe partly because of that, reading did not come easily for many years. However, my father very wisely took my brothers and me to the public library faithfully every Saturday. Curious George was my favourite book character long before I could read for myself. Reading became a passion!

To make a long story short, I became a teacher and passed on not only my passion for reading but the use of the school library and my hometown's public library with my students, year after year.

As a retired teacher and grandma, the library has come full circle for me. It is the first place my grandchildren wish to go to when they visit. And my husband and I use the library probably three times a week, whether it be to borrow books (reuse, rather than buy anew), borrow magazines and DVDs. We love the opportunity to tap into other libraries as well through the interlibrary loan system. Add to that the monthly book group and fabulous staff. Obviously, the public library plays a very important role in my life.

Hennie, Pitt Meadows
    Information at Your Fingertips

I am grateful that one has the opportunity to be able to visit the library where there is a wealth of information at one's fingertips and the staff is always willing to listen and help out.

Dayle, Penticton
    Place of Solace and Familiarity

Growing up during the 50’s and 60's my family moved constantly. No matter where we landed I could always find solace and familiarity in the local library. Be it the Bookmobile or under the fire hall in a dirt floor, stone walled basement, the library was my touchstone. I was a shy kid and the library was a lifeline to friends and companionship that I still call on today at 60 years of age.

Donna, Surrey
    A Place to Evolve

I think that the library is a very important part of the community. It is where you take your children when they are young to choose their own books and/or sit and listen to a story read by a staff member. As you grow it is a place to access reference material, borrow books on any topic, or just sit and read a newspaper or magazine. And for many it is a safe place to rest awhile and connect with other people. I even "join" libraries when I am travel helping to give me insight into that culture. Libraries should be a constant in people’s lives from early on to old age!

Maryanne, Summerland
    Public Libraries an Integral Part of Childhood

Until I was about five, I had a fairly severe speech impediment. I could understand words, but I could not pronounce them. My parents arranged for me to have speech therapy, which was expensive and time consuming. To facilitate the process, my Mom started to get me books from the local public library. Each evening, she would sit down patiently with me and she would read it aloud, with me practicing the words beside her. Over and over, we read Sleeping Beauty, The Princess and the Pea, and many other fairy tales. I still remember some of the illustrations in those books. In time, I was able to read the stories aloud with her.

This was a major turning point in my life. Learning to speak properly has allowed me to become a university professor. I lecture to hundreds of students each year, and without the local public library, and my parents, I never would have reached my potential.

I relied extensively upon the public library growing up, and fed my interests with all sorts of books, which invariably prepared me for university, and beyond. The Naramata, Penticton, and Summerland public libraries were an integral part of my childhood, and the person I am today.

Marnie, Nelson
    Literacy is a Gift to Be Shared

As a mom I loved taking my twins to the library for their wonderful Mother Goose Programs, Tales for Two Year Olds, and their Preschool program. These programs armed me with many songs I can sing when those crazy moments arise. Now we enjoy visiting the library to sign out new books and movies and say hello to our friendly library staff. Our local library keeps on giving back. Literacy really is a gift to be shared.

Erin, Vancouver
    Libraries Embody Sharing

Libraries are one of the only places where we share things in our society; we share knowledge, entertainment, and enrichment in them, for a fraction of the cost of buying our own books and keeping them stacked on our personal shelves in disuse.

Libraries are a public space of lifelong learning, accessible to anyone. The philosophy behind shared resources is so uncommon these days - please do not deplete the remaining integrity of this valuable contribution to our society.

Deb, Abbotsford
    Libraries Provide Life Skills Far Beyond Reading

I was blessed to have three siblings who were five, nine, and 14 years older than me and they as well as my parents read to me a lot. By the time I was four I was reading Alice in Wonderland to my Mom at bedtime. I passed my love of reading and books onto to my daughter and grandsons as well. There were those who thought me silly as I even read to my daughter and my grandsons while they were still in the womb.

Knowledge has a whole host of benefits, not the least of which is developing critical thinking skills. If presented to children properly it can provide them with research skills, hone writing skills, knowledge of history, appreciation of others cultures, ethnicities, and religions. In other words, it can produce tolerance and even acceptance of those who may appear to be different.

Reading can transport you to other places and eras without even having to leave your home. It also develops imagination and ingenuity of which our world is in desperate need. Most important of all, libraries provide a place for all, regardless of socio-economic status to become an active member of the community.

Husein, Vancouver
    Not Your Stereotypical Library Lover

I love the library. I will admit this openly and with pride. Though it doesn't stereotypically fit with my rock and roll lifestyle, I have come to learn that the library is one of our best public resources. Where else can you take out as many books as you like, read ‘em for a month, and then not have to store them in your little apartment? And the movies...all my favourite movies, including one's that have just come out...ready to borrow on DVD, that's just amazing. Oh and did I mention the library’s massive CD catalogue. Yes, all of your favourite NEW bands music can be found at your local branch.

Please, please don't close down any libraries, my generation will barely be able to string together coherent sentences if we're not able to read!

Mary, 100 Mile House
    Service That Goes Above and Beyond

I am travelling to Belize in a month. I went to the library and through Interlibrary Loans was able to borrow books and videos to research this country before the trip. This included an excellent travel guide. After I was called to pick up my books I was pleased to notice that one of the staff at the library had photocopied a map for me as well. It was tucked in the books with a little note. This was unexpected and a special surprise. We are at the library often and the staff is personable, pleasant and very helpful!

Penny, Surrey
    Adventures Can be Found in the Stacks

My Dad was never much of a reader, nor much of a talker, but some of my fondest memories were with him taking me to the library on a regular basis. Wandering up and down the corridors reading books took me to different places, exploring things I would never have imagined otherwise.

Now with my son, who is five I journey with him to library, leaving with a bag filled with books. He has always been fond of books, and we started out going to bookstores, but eventually realized that libraries allowed us take out more books, explore more things, and we enjoy the time in the library as much as taking the books home. He spent last summer reading books daily to complete the Summer Readers Club, and he was so proud when he won his award! He is an early reader, and an avid reader, he truly "loves" books as much as any of his toys!

Donna, Victoria
    Goal of Young Reader to Read Every Book

My ambition as a small child was to read every book in the children's area of the library before “graduating” at age 12 to the adult sections. I know I didn't read every book in that room, but fiction of all sorts, as well as biographies opened doors in my imagination and broadened my horizons.

I'm still a reader and have a circle of reading friends throughout BC with whom I share “book reports” and recommendations. Public libraries are as essential to a healthy society as public education. I urge British Columbians to support public libraries by letting our politicians know how much we value our libraries and want them to be funded appropriately and adequately.

Rick, Kamloops
    Libraries Fed Learning Appetite

As a youngster I distinctly recall being smitten with the reading bug. The Trail and District Public Library had everything - Tom Swift, Treasure Island, Sherlock Holmes and more. This fed my appetite, and later in life I have used libraries for everything from reading materials, to a short course in Excel spreadsheets, to letting family know where I was in Canada. I have also borrowed videos that were available nowhere else.

I hope these same opportunities will remain for other kids and adults. The library has made all the difference in my life, both in my opportunities for a career, and the quality of my life. Libraries provide me with riches that can't be measured in dollars.

Earllene, Kelowna
    Everyone Benefits From Public Libraries

Libraries are one of THE most important resources in our community. I have loved going to the library all my life and use the public library regularly. My children are young adults now but they grew up using library services from before they could read themselves. Keep libraries healthy and vibrant, don't cut funding. EVERYONE benefits from public libraries.

Dixie, Abbotsford
    Resources for Everyone

I have thoroughly enjoyed using the local library! My searches and requests are made online. It is so easy. An email lets me know when items are available for pick-up. It couldn't be simpler and the library staff is great.

We have enjoyed novels, teaching books, music CDs, movies, audio books, travel info, music books and children's books, and movies. The resources for us, our children and grandchildren are endless! It is great to know that public library services are available to us no matter where we move in BC. We have saved thousands of dollars and have been blessed with quality products. Thanks for enriching our family!

Carol, Terrace
    Libraries Open You Up to a World of Ideas

Going to the library is one of my favourite things to do. Growing up in Mission, I remember searching through the stacks in the old library there, overwhelmed by the number and variety of books. It was there, and in the school library, that I developed my lifelong love of reading.

My children were born here in Terrace, and went to various programs at our wonderful library, from craft sessions, to puppet shows, to author readings. Now, my granddaughter loves to go there and play, allowing me to read her a story in-between her pretending to cook, or climbing in and out of a tent.

I read eight to ten books a month, and have discovered worlds in the library that I never knew existed – authors from Canada and around the world, realities of people that otherwise I would never have imagined. Libraries are so incredibly important and they must remain free and accessible to everyone in the community.

Tim Bowling, Edmonton (previously from Ladner)
    Author Releases New Books in BC Public Library

Greetings from Alberta!

I'm writing as an ardent advocate of the public library system. Lord knows there are fewer and fewer places in our society where people of all ages, classes and backgrounds can come together in a civilized manner to honour the very best of our shared humanity - is there any better way to define a library?

On a more personal note, I well remember my first years of visiting the Ladner Pioneer library. Indeed, a small section of my next non-fiction book (which will be released in September) even describes one of these visits. I can honestly say that my entire life as a professional author began in those childhood years when I would simply wander the aisles and goggle at all the books. What a wonderful feeling of both expansiveness and sanctuary I experienced in that little building at the edge of Memorial Park! And then over forty years later, having launched at least eight books at the Ladner branch, I find myself just as eager and excited to come back to launch the next one.

When I think of Ladner as a community, I think of the library. Indeed, it is impossible for me to separate the two. To be in that building, where my 84 year-old mother still comes to take out books and where my own children, on our regular visits to the coast, still leave the branch with bags full of treasured reading, is to be at the centre of what is most reassuring and affirming in life.

As I gave a reading from one of my last books, a child's reading program was happening in another part of the library. I wondered, which one of those entranced children would grow up to become an author who might read from one of his or her own books at the library in the decades to come? Certainly all children who read and are read to at a public library have a better chance to grow into responsible and civilized adults. A library is a portal to intellectual freedom that knows no bounds.

As I grow older, that little boy in the Ladner library becomes more and more important to me. He is the past and the future, just as books are, just as a library is. We cannot call ourselves a community without such institutions to guide us.

Monika, White Rock
    Libraries are Heart of Community

It is joyful and fun to learn and explore through the helping, caring hands of wonderful library’s items and kind people. The libraries are the hearts of our community, a place we come to share, discover, and learn who we are as human beings. So thank you for being part of me and my life!

Anne, Nelson
    Boring Trip, Exciting mp3 Books

I was told about your audio mp3 books (from BC “Library to Go”) by a friend… I took the Greyhound bus to and from Toronto (6 days more or less). I equipped myself with 3 audio mp3 books from the Nelson Library – what a difference it made to the rather long and sometimes boring bus trip… Thanks so much!!!

Arlene, Surrey
    Libraries Enjoyed by Three Generations

It was way back in 1982, after my marriage broke up and I became a single parent that I moved to Crescent Beach, BC. It was a lovely community to raise my children, but we were now in a different financial situation. In order to entertain my two children, I needed to find something we could do without cost. We made a trip to the local library and found a wealth of entertainment! Books galore, story time, and very helpful people. It became a weekly visit for us, as well as many walks on lovely Crescent beach.

I am now sharing trips to the library with my daughter and her two children, and it pleases me so much to see how everyone enjoys it. We are now able to access computers, and take out CDs and DVDs. I have also attended several informational evenings with guest speakers.

Libraries have played a vital part in my life, and I have enjoyed them in many different communities in BC. They continue to be a longstanding friend and resource for myself, my children, and my grandchildren.

Alexis, Bradner
    Inspired Academic Pursuit

I have been haunting public libraries since I was a small child. My mom would take me and we’d spend hours perusing the books. I have always loved school and books happen to be a big part of schoolwork. Over the years I have gone to libraries for both pleasure and academic reasons.

I love the library environment; it is such a wonderful place to open up your mind. It has less pressure than a classroom setting, and librarians and library assistants are there to help you. I love being at the library so much that I am completing my Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree so I can work within the library system.

Allison, Nanaimo
    Money Saver

Ever since I was a kid I have loved the library. I even wanted to be a librarian because I couldn't think of anything better than sitting in a building full of books all day.

I didn't become a librarian, but I still use the library at least once a week and sign out books (everything from fiction to learning to knit or how to have a happier life) and DVDs. The library has saved me so much money over the years and introduced me to so many great ideas.

Don, Hope
    Kind Staff and Online Access

We are regular visitors to the Hope Library, and particularly appreciate the ability to order in books, etcetera, from other branches if they are not available in our home branch.

The staff is especially friendly, helpful and courteous, to not only the long-time people, but the Johnny-Come-Latelys, too. We also appreciate the ability to check our account status at home, via the Internet – allowing us to search for, and order items of interest. All in all, you are doing a super job!

Jane, Duncan
    Life Long Family Fun

When I was little, it was part of my weekend routine to go to the library with my family. I could choose any book I wanted, limited only in number by the rule that I had to carry what I took home. This routine contributed to a lifelong love of reading (and strong arms). I continue to be a regular in my local library, where I find new authors, new ideas and new friends. Library staff take the time to recommend books and movies I might like.

When I was pregnant with my first son, the staff watched and talked with me throughout the pregnancy. I brought my new baby to the library on our first outing when he was two days old, having finished my latest batch of books. That day, he was welcomed into a place he too would come to love. Now, each weekend, my two sons and I head to the library. Each new interest sparked can be met in their collection. We choose movies for family movie nights, find new music for dance parties, and meet friends and neighbours. We can think of no community resource we use more often, and few better uses for our tax dollars.