Need New Catalogue Help? Click Here
»  Log In  or  Get A Library Card    Catalogue    Computers    DVD Dispenser    Contact Us
Richmond Public Library Richmond Public Library
2000 Annual Report

Highlights from the Library Board Chair, Perry Mazzone

2000 Year at a Glance

Branching Out

Beyond Books: Technology Connects You to the World

Lifelong Learning in a Wired World

Activities for all Ages

Something for Everyone

Statement of Revenue and Expenditures

What was Borrowed

Senior Staff

Highlights from the Library Board Chair, Perry Mazzone

Richmond Public Library (RPL) continues to be a state-of-the-art library that blends traditional core values with the latest in new technologies. The library's broad and varied services and collections appeal to adults as well as technically savvy youth.

The year 2000 included many successes and innovations. With the establishment of a Continuing Education Division, library staff shared their expertise and accomplishments with libraries worldwide, through workshops on how to create and operate highly used and efficient libraries. These workshops showcased the Ironwood Branch - The Library of the Future - and RPL earned over $35,000 from these workshops.

Implementing the new customer service strategies of "pointing with our feet, not with our fingers" and having staff "greeters", allowed the library to offer even better service. With over 52,000 new books, videos, CDs, DVDs, and CD-ROMs added to the collection, library customers had an even greater selection of materials at their fingertips.

Streamlining selection and acquisition procedures resulted in books and other items getting onto the shelves more quickly. In addition, library programs in English and Chinese were expanded for adults and children. Library staff used automation to introduce several new computer-based services that provide digital solutions. Value-added services such as the Job Search Centre, the BC Practice Driving Test, Digital Information Stations, and the Online Learning Center were launched in 2000.

RPL's worldwide reputation for innovative achievements and excellent customer service resulted in several awards, including awards for technological innovation, public relations and outstanding Library Board contribution.

3M sponsored delivery van In order to supplement and enhance the integral support provided by the Mayor and City Council, the library actively pursued and developed numerous business and community partnerships, sponsorships and donation opportunities. These partnerships enabled the library to offer services and collections that would otherwise have been out of reach. A partnership with Human Resources Development Canada and funding of $371, 882 made the opening of the Job Search Centre possible. As well, a partnership with the BC Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists resulted in the library's popular Speak, Read, Succeed program to encourage early reading. Another beneficial partnership was formed with FirstClass Systems, enabling customers to take online learning courses via the library's Web site. Home Depot's partnership with RPL enabled the library to offer home repair workshops.

Dozens of community sponsors and donors gave generously to the library. Most notable in their spirit of volunteerism and tireless fundraising efforts in support of RPL, are the Friends of the Richmond Public Library. In the year 2000 this dedicated group's generous donation totaled $19,000. Other significant donors included the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and our most esteemed individual donor Mr. Kwok-Chu Lee. To the community's benefit, Mr. Lee donated over 8,000 Chinese language books and over $20,000 in the year 2000.


2000 Year at a Glance

Library customers who regularly use their library cards 139,136
Number of books, videos & CDs borrowed 2,994,733
Number of reference questions answered 224,860
Number of people who attended library programs 52,188
Number of Chinese language items available 62,090
Number of Internet, catalog and computer terminals 114


Branching Out

To improve customer service, new collections and services are continually being added and expanded.
  • The Multilingual Services Department was formed with Cantonese and Mandarin speaking librarians.

  • 2,351 popular video movies and 1,467 DVD movies added to the collection.

  • Introduced popular English and Chinese language DVD collection.

  • AskUs, computer-based reference service introduced.

  • ESL Conversation Circles introduced at all branches.

  • Homebound and sight-impaired customers received special services.

"We just wrote our citizenship exam. After some practice on the [Canadian Citizenship Practice Test] site, the exam was just piece of cake for me and I finished 20 questions in only six minutes. I strongly recommend to everyone to practice on this site. Thanks for helping me." (Library customer)

"Glad to see my tax dollars are going to good use." (Library customer)


Beyond Books: Technology Connects You to the World

RPL was once again a leader in cutting-edge technology to help customers of all ages navigate the wired world.
  • The Job Search Centre was opened with 12 computers containing job search and career resources.

  • Online Learning Center launched, offering dozens of online courses through the library's Web site.

    Technology Connects You to the World

  • 14 Digital Information Stations introduced to help students and others.

  • Online BC Practice Driving Test helps new drivers get ready for the road.

"I have just taken a few of your Driver Practice Tests. What an excellent way to help new drivers prepare for their learners license (and great sound effects, too)."
— Library customer and Driver Test Analyst

"Thank you for keeping up with the quickly evolving technologies in our society. This contributes greatly to the prosperity of the community."
— Library customer


Lifelong Learning in a Wired World

From children to seniors, there are opportunities for everyone to learn about the wonders of technology. Lifelong Learning in a Wired World
  • Ten new Discovery Stations (Digital Kids) contain special software for children.

  • Hundreds joined the Ironwood Computer Club for kids.

  • Seniors enjoyed classes on searching for health information on the Internet.

"I enjoy many aspects of RPL, especially the Internet. As a retired senior I could not afford a computer of my own."
— Senior library customer

"The best library in the lower mainland."
— Ironwood library customer


Activities for all Ages

Programs for children and adults of all ages opened up a world of fun, imagination and learning.
  • Increased number of babytimes.

  • After-school programs introduced for school-age children.

  • Hundreds attended book clubs in English and Chinese.

  • Author readings inspire hundreds of book-loving customers.

  • Home repair workshops teach customers new skills.

  • Several hundred people attended Feng Shui and I Ching seminars.

  • Over 1,000 people celebrated Chinese New Year at the library.

Activities for All Ages "My daughter…attended the Harry Potter Program at the Ironwood Branch, and I wanted to commend you all for the excellent work you do in putting on programs like this. The children's librarian was wonderful with the children and did a superb job of leading the program. Once again, thank you and keep up the good work."
— Parent

"This library rocks!"
— Teen library customer


Something for Everyone

The library has over 416,000 items in the collection:

Something for Everyone

  • Hardcover & Paperback Books
  • Videos
  • Magazines
  • Audio Books
  • Newspapers
  • Large Print Books
  • CD Music
  • Books in 8 languages
  • CD-Roms
  • Multilingual Magazines & Newspapers

"Keep up your efforts to maintain this high quality Richmond library for the strength, growth, intellectual and economic power of all citizens."
— Library customer

"Thanks for expanding your video collection."
— Library customer

"Great service, very convenient hours and friendly, knowledgeable staff."
— Library customer


Richmond public Library Board: Statement of Revenue and Expenditures

Revenue ($)
City of Richmond contribution 4,992,247
Grants* 466,577
Late charges and other revenue 419,205
Total 5,858,029

Expenditures ($)
Automation 112,476
Books and periodicals 1,042,930
Buildings, leases and maintenance 149,3275
Utilities 140,682
Minor capital purchases 14,917
Resource sharing services 50,9232
Salaries and employee benefits 3,798,741
Supplies and equipment services 377,562
General and administration 170,086
Total 5,857,644

Excess of revenue
over expenditures
Surplus, beginning of year 13,758
Surplus, end of year 14,143

Statement of Donated Funds ($)
Balance, beginning of year 110,534
Contributions 75,283
Expenditures (34,784)
Balance, end of year 151,283

*The Richmond public Library Board wishes to acknowledge the Library Services Branch, Ministry of Municipal Affairs for its generous support.


What was Borrowed

Total circulation in 2000 : 2,994,733

Percentage of Total Circulation 2000 Percentage of Total Circulation 2000

Adult books 31%

Children's books 28%

Chinese & other language books 23%

Videos, audios, CDs & Software 18%

Significant Increases in 2000

Items Borrowed Increases over 1999
Junior CD-ROM 35%
Junior Fiction 31%
Videos 29%
Young Adult Paperback Fiction 29%
Adult Fiction 28%
ESL 22%
Chinese Language Junior CD Music 113%
Chinese Language Junior Paperbacks 105%

Other Statistics

Increases over 1999:

Web Page Requests 71%

Program Attendance 21%


Senior Staff

Greg Buss, Chief Librarian and Secretary to the Board

Cate McNeely, Deputy Chief Librarian

Linda Bogdonov, Coordinator of Computer Services

Shelley Civkin, Head of Readers' Advisory

Wendy Jang, Head of Multilingual Services

Kelly Clark, Head of Youth Services

Sybil Harrison/Mark Ellis, Coordinator of Reference and Information Services

Susan Henderson, Manager of Branch Services

Andrew Jankowski, Coordinator of Technical Services

Beryl Jeffrey, Manager of Public Services

Marie McKee, Head of Multimedia Learning Centre