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Richmond Public Library Richmond Public Library
1994 Annual Report
Message from the Chair John Collison

Message from the Chief Librarian Greg Buss

Community Outreach in 1994

Highlights of 1994

Statement of Revenue and Expenditures


John Collison, Library Board Chair

Message from the Chair John Collison

1994 was a year of developing and strengthening community contacts for the Richmond Public Library. Community groups worked closely with the Library to improve services, and the Library worked to improve communication with groups and individuals at all levels. It was also a year of increased opportunities for Richmond citizens in the areas of technology and multimedia. As one of the first local public libraries to offer free Internet access, the Library encouraged its patrons to explore the Information Superhighway.

During 1994, the Library circulated over 1.6 million books, videos, and other items - the equivalent of moving the entire collection four times. On average, 57 people registered for new library cards every day, and there are currently over 98,000 active l ibrary members. The Summer Reading Club attracted over 2,400 local school children and the Young Adult Writing Contest saw a record 457 local teens submit entries.

As part of its emphasis on community involvement in the Library, a successful partnership with community groups resulted in the Chinese Book Donation Campaign. Through this joint effort with S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and the hard work of many community volunteers, the Chinese language collection has doubled in size. Due to the overwhelming success of this initiative, the stage was set for possible joint projects with other community groups.

An ever-growing population, changing technologies and the resulting increases in demands on Library resources caused the Library to actively seek alternatives to traditional funding. In 1994, grant applications, program sponsorship, and donation programs were all successfully incorporated into the Library's strategy to provide high quality service to the public.

The Friends of the Richmond Public Library helped the Library to join the Vancouver Foundation and establish a Library Endowment Fund. Through various fund-raising and advocacy activities, the Friends will contribute $85,000 over a three year period, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Vancouver Foundation. Income from this fund will be used for special Library programs and projects. The continued support and enthusiasm shown by the Friends of the Library over the years have been critical to many successes in the Library.

I would like to thank the City Council for their ongoing commitment to the Library. The Library aims to serve its public, and cannot be successful without Council's ongoing support.


Greg Buss, Chief Librarian

Message from the Chief Librarian Greg Buss

In 1994, the Library looked to new and innovative sources to enhance traditional sources of funding. A new schedule of fines has been put into effect in an effort to have more materials returned on time, which results in increased revenue for the Library. The Library acquired a map collection from the Canada Map Office valued at $40,000 as a result of a successful grant application. As well, the Library received a $5,000 grant from the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board for the purchase of books.

Technology was utilized on the front lines and in support areas to enhance service to the public. Richmond Public Library took the lead by becoming one of the first public libraries to offer both Internet and FreeNet stations for public use.

Another improvement included a review of the Technical Services Department which resulted in the elimination of redundant procedures and the move to preprocessed materials for faster, more efficient delivery of books to the public. The computer system at the Library was also upgraded, resulting in improved use for Library patrons.

Library staff played a valuable leadership role in professional activities and shared their expertise at the University of British Columbia, Kwantlen College and at conferences for the Pacific Northwest Library Association, the Canadian Library Association and the Public Library Association.

The Richmond Community Health Database was developed by the Library in co-operation with Richmond Connections and the Richmond Health Board. This database provides an essential inventory of current health services in Richmond and will be an invaluable resource to many organizations and individuals in the community.

Almost 200,000 research and reference questions were answered for the citizens of Richmond. Drawing on in-house expertise, Internet training sessions were introduced to help the public adapt to the information revolution. Registration for these popular sessions often exceeded 200.

The Library enjoyed a year of accomplishments in the provision of quality service to the public, as new and innovative services were provided. In 1995 the Library looks forward to further improvements in customer service, collection development and technology, as it moves towards the future visionary plan: Richmond Public Library 2001.


Community Outreach in 1994

The Library has expanded its role as an information centre for the public beyond the walls of the Library and beyond the traditional format of books. Books have been joined by on-line computer magazines, interactive CD-ROM computer programs, and the FreeNet and Internet. The Library's public Internet station gives the Richmond public free access to the Information Superhighway.

The Library expanded its programs and services for teens during 1994, and continued to provide extensive and varied services for children of all ages and their caregivers. The Library featured several new programs for teens during the past year - from a very well-attended study skills workshop to special author readings aimed at teens.

From teen programs to storytimes for babies, and from information for new parents to homework reference help, the Library strives to provide high quality service to patrons of all ages.

Following its tradition of providing high-quality programs for children, the Richmond Public Library increased the numbers and types of programs for adults during the past year. Research has shown that people learn in a variety of ways, and the Library provides information through programs and displays as well as through books and computers.

The Library actively sought partnerships in the community over the past year to achieve common goals, resulting in improved services. The Richmond Community Health Database was developed in cooperation with Richmond Connections and the Richmond Health Board and a detailed brochure on job searching for young adults was co-produced by Richmond Rotaract Club and the Library. Projects such as these were accomplished during the year as a result of close co-operation with over 50 different community groups.

The Library looks forward to building new partnerships in the community and to strengthening those already in place.


Highlights of 1994

  • Library introduced Internet access for the public in November 1994.

  • Free monthly information classes about the Internet attracted up to 200 attendees at each session.

  • Orientation sessions were provided to help Richmond patrons get the most out of their Library - using the Library's automated catalogue, using the Learning Resource Centre's Computers and using the CD-ROM magazine index.

  • The Richmond Public Library took a leadership role in the broader library community, conducting information sessions at major library conferences across North America and hosting tours and workshops on technology in the Library.

  • A book donation campaign conducted by the Library in partnership with S.U.C.C.E.S.S. , saw the Library's Chinese language collection more than double in size.

  • The Friends of the Richmond Public Library made a $35,000 initial contribution to the Vancouver Foundation Endowment Fund.

  • A successful grant application resulted in the Richmond Public Library receiving a series of British Columbia topographic maps valued at $40,000.

  • The Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia granted the Library $5,000 to purchase materials on real estate, in addition to $500 received from the Richmond/South Delta division of the Real Estate Board of B.C.

  • Parents attended a program entitled "How to Choose Software for your Children" in conjunction with Science and Technology Week. This and other events with the Cultural Centre drew over 700 participants.

  • Over 200 people attended sessions such as "Starting Your Own Business" and personal resume counseling during the Library's Third Annual Job A'Fair.

  • The Library's Fourth Annual Young Adult Writing Contest attracted 457 entries.

  • 2,400 local children registered for the Library's 1994 Summer Reading Club.

  • The Library hosted its first French-language author reading for children and its first Chinese-language author reading for adults.

  • The Richmond Community Health Database was developed in co-operation with Richmond Connections and the Richmond Health Board.


Richmond Public Library Board: Statement of Revenue and Expenditures

Revenue ($)

Municipal contribution3,781,003
Fines and miscellaneous176,248

Expenditures ($)

Books and Periodicals531,522
Buildings, leases and maintenance34,332
Minor capital purchases14,226
Salaries and employee benefits2,944,041
Supplies and equipment services148,626
General and administration183,571
Excess of revenue over expenditure75,758

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



Books, videos and cassettes borrowed 1,639,897
Questions answered 197,150
Members 98,352
Attendance at storytime, Summer Reading Club, and other programs 24,498
Visits to Main and Steveston Branches 1,041,875