Return Boxes for Quadra Village and Fairfield!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
The Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) Facilities Report
"Making Space for the Future" (2010)
recognized the need for a new "Hillside neighbourhood" library branch.
The location was to be determined by the city in consultation with GVPL (see criteria here).
However, funds have not been set aside in the 2022 Draft Budget to begin the planning process for access to local library services in Hillside-Quadra, Oaklands, and North Park.