The City's strategic plan includes providing "library services in the north end of the city", but the city has been slow to move forward on this commitment.
Both the Quadra Village Community Centre and the Fairfield Gonzales Community Centre are ready to host return boxes for library materials that would be accessible to the community 24-7. Providing return boxes in these two neighbourhoods, which were identified as underserved in the Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) Facilities Report "Making Space for the Future" in 2010, is a good first step to improve library service in underserved neighbourhoods.
Underserved communities should not have to wait until after the Central Library feasibility study for improved library service at the north end of the city.
You can email City Council at email@example.com anytime to tell them they should prioritize library service for underserved communities.
Thanks to our advocacy and the many, many emails sent to City Council in July 2021, the 2018-2022 Strategic Plan includes a commitment to "work with the Greater Victoria Public Library to provide library services in the north end of the city".
Although there are additional funds in the Draft Budget for GVPL have already been allocated to the $200,000 feasiblity study to explore the possibility of renewing and expanding the Central library at its current site, or moving it.
The draft budget does not allocate funds for providing library services, such as book return boxes, a pop-up library during summer months when school libraries are not available, or weekly bookmobile service in the north end of the city. This is a significant oversight given the clear strategic plan commitment.
Please include an amount in the GVPL budget for providing library services in the north end of the city.
Residents of the city's most marginalized neighbourhoods need easy access to library services. They shouldn't have to wait another year, just because a feasibility study about redeveloping or moving the Central Branch is underway!
Basic library services like a book return drop box should be provided to people without any library service before improving service for people who already have a library close to home.
Please include funds for providing library services in the north end of the city in the 2022 Budget.
Enhancing library services at the north end of the City is back in the Strategic Plan!
Your emails changed their minds!
On July 8, 2021 Victoria City Council voted to remove
"providing library services in the north end of the city" from the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan.
We launched a powerful email campaign in response, and on July 22nd, Council said that they heard you loud and clear and decided not to remove library service at the north end of the city from the Strategic Plan after all.
Well done, everyone!!
Update on the fight for a Hillside library
At the July 8, 2021 Committee of the Whole meeting, a majority of City Council members voted to remove "Work with the Greater Victoria Public Library to provide library services in the north end of the city" priority from the City’s Strategic Plan.
This and other amendments to the Strategic Plan are scheduled to receive the final approval of City Council on July 22nd.
The Councillors who favour removing 'providing library services in the north end of the city' from the strategic plan said that they feel it is unrealistic to improve library services at the north end of the city while the 15-month feasibility study to look at redeveloping or moving the Central Branch is underway. You can watch the debate on this at 3:28:23 of the July 8th Committee of the Whole meeting here: https://bit.ly/2UeE22v
A feasibility study to plan for a new library branch at the north end of the city could also be undertaken concurrent with the Central Library study.
Victoria Needs a Hillside Library Petition
In January 2019, HQ Collective presented a petition signed by over 1600 residents to City Council, to let them know that we need a neighbourhood library at the north end of the City.
Jenn led a team of people from Hillside-Quadra, Oaklands, and North Park who are advocating for a Hillside Neighbourhood Library. With over 1600 signatures on the petition and the backing of the Oaklands and Quadra Village Community Centres, she has succeeded in getting a library at the north end of the city added to the 2019-2022 Draft Strategic Plan.
Providing Feedback in City Consultations
Participation in the City's Strategic Plan Engagement Summit
Jenn was one of only 4 people from Hillside-Quadra who participated in the City of Victoria's 2019-2022 full day Strategic Plan Engagement Summit in January 2019, to advocate for community improvements.
Hillside-Quadra Collective is a registered non-profit organization.