Press Releases

2021 Press Releases

Richmond, BC – Join Richmond Public Library and presenting partner Story Money Impact in a conversation about mental illness and its impacts on immigrant families, as portrayed in the film The World is Bright. In this award-winning English and Mandarin documentary, local filmmaker Ying Wang chronicles the journey of the grieving parents of Shi-Ming as they navigate a new culture and a complex bureaucracy to uncover the truth behind their son’s death by suicide.

At this free event, the film’s director and a panel of experts will discuss themes explored throughout the documentary, including the stigma surrounding mental illness, resources available to immigrant families, the dislocation and disconnection arising from global migration, and the importance of cultural competence in mental health care.

“For issues as complex as those at the intersection of immigration, mental health and law, films and stories like The World is Bright is one of the most powerful tools to educate and engage,” said Anthony Swan, Outreach Director at Story Money Impact.  “We are proud that Richmond Public Library is holding the space for these urgent conversations in a city that was home to the protagonists of the film.”

This online event is being held in English on Tuesday March 30 and in Mandarin on Wednesday March 31 from 4:30pm – 5:30pm each day. The film will not be viewed during the conversations.  Once registered, participants will be emailed a link to the film so it can be viewed prior to attending the panel discussion. For more information, and to register, visit the library’s website.

The library and Story Money Impact are grateful to Inspirit Foundation and CMHA-BC, the sponsors of this event, and to our screening partners whose support made this event possible: Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, ISSofBC, Richmond Division of Family Practice, Community Mental Wellness Association of Canada and S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

Richmond, BC – Richmond Public Library, in partnership with the Lord’s Harvest Fellowship, is once again offering free Income Tax Clinics at the Brighouse branch. Trained volunteers will safely help community members with low income file their income tax returns.  Due to the pandemic, this year’s clinics follow a drop-off and pick-up format.

To qualify for this free service, single persons must have a maximum income of $35,000 and a couple must have a maximum income of $45,000 plus $2,500 per child.  Couples will need to sign up for one appointment time for each person.

Interested participants can register for a session by calling 604-231-6413 or visiting the Brighouse Branch 2nd floor Ask Me desk. Once registered, participants will need to stop by the Brighouse branch to pick up their registration forms. These forms will need to be filled out prior to the scheduled appointment.  A piece of government issued ID and all relevant tax slips such as T4, T5 and Canada Child Benefit slips must also be brought to the appointment.  All print documents will be returned to the participant at their pick-up time.

The clinics run on Saturdays from March 6 to April 24 (no sessions on April 3) with drop-off appointments offered between 10:30am and 3:30pm. Drop-off appointments on March 6 will be between 12:30pm and 3:30pm.

“We are grateful and blessed that for the past ten years, our income tax clinic has been helpful in extending hands in preparing and filing income taxes for students, seniors, new immigrants and people with modest income in our community!” said Pastor Abe Lagayan, representative of the Lord’s Harvest Fellowship.

Richmond, BC – Libraries across Canada recognize Freedom to Read Week in February each year, but we strive year-round to protect your right to freely choose what you read. During Freedom to Read Week, our attention turns to raising awareness about the impacts of censorship and informing the community about how and why books are challenged.

Hundreds of mainstream and little-known books, movies, magazines and more have been challenged in Canada over the last 40 years. During that same time, Richmond Public Library has received, reviewed and resolved over 100 customer challenges.

“Richmond Public Library has a significant responsibility to support and preserve intellectual freedom and the right to choose what you read, listen to and watch,” says Jordan Oye, Library Board Chair. “The library offers uncensored access to our extensive collections on a large variety of topics, covering many different viewpoints. By bringing awareness to this important week, we hope that our community will engage in dialogue about censorship and the freedom to read.”

The City of Richmond stands with the library in support of intellectual freedom. The Mayor has signed a proclamation endorsing Freedom to Read Week, available on our website at and can also be viewed at any RPL branch.

Join us in celebrating your freedom to read by checking out our interactive online collection of some of the most popular challenged books at, viewing our displays of banned and challenged books in our branches or connecting with library staff. And, as always, you can ask a library staff member for recommendations to suit your or your family’s reading preferences. For those who prefer, reach out by email at or give us a call at (604) 231-6413. We are here to help!

To find out more about Freedom to Read Week, visit

Richmond, BC – Libraries are at the ♥ of their communities and we have an early Valentine’s Day gift for you. On February 14, Richmond Public Library is going fine free.  Permanently removing fines supports lifelong learning by ensuring library resources remain accessible to everyone in our community throughout their lifetime, regardless of circumstance.

Richmond’s library services are designed to meet the diverse needs of all members of our community. “After 45 years of serving our community, we know that late fines can present a significant barrier to accessing the library, particularly for individuals who are vulnerable, experiencing homelessness and those with low or fixed income,” says Jordan Oye, Richmond Public Library Board Chair. “Late fines represent 1% of the library’s operating budget. The Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to support a budget that would eliminate fines and further the library’s mission to create opportunities for everyone in our community to learn, connect and belong.”

Introducing a permanent fine free model is an exciting opportunity to welcome back residents who have stopped using the library. “To date, over 270 libraries in North America have made the move to become fine free and have reported high, and even improved, material return rates,” says Susan Walters, Chief Librarian. “We’re pleased to be refocusing over 10,000 hours of staff time previously spent on late fine conversations to inviting our community to engage with us in new ways. Library staff are here to help you find your next great read, select a meaningful program to join or make a new connection.”

So how will we ensure books come back to the library on time? Don’t worry – we have a plan for that! Additional friendly reminders will help keep more of us on track and if after that, books are not returned, replacement fees will still apply. However, here’s an interesting fun fact: since the library paused late fines at the onset of the pandemic, temporarily going fine free, over 72,000 holds have been fulfilled and over 230,000 items returned!

For all the details, please visit our Fine Free FAQs on the library’s website We look forward to seeing you again soon at the library!

Richmond, BC – At their most recent meeting, the Richmond Public Library Board elected Jordan Oye as Board Chair and Caty Liu as Vice-Chair. The Board thanks Robin Leung for his many contributions as Board Chair over the past two years. Returning Board members also include: Chaslynn Gillanders, Danielle Lemon and Denise Hui. City Councillor Linda McPhail will continue to serve as the City Council representative to the Richmond Public Library Board with Councillor Bill McNulty as the City Council Alternate representative.

New to the Board for 2021 are Diane Cousar and Sherine Merhi, recently appointed by Richmond City Council for a two-year term.

Diane is a previous Library Board trustee and a committed community volunteer. She brings with her over 30 years of real estate sales and management experience and looks forward to continuing to represent the library on the Steveston Community Centre and Branch Library Building Committee.

Sherine is a passionate advocate for libraries and the continuous pursuit of knowledge and healthy integration of newcomers to Canada. A resident of Richmond since 2011, Sherine has served in various volunteer positions in the city and the community at large. She holds a BS in Landscape Design and Eco-Management.

The Richmond Public Library Board would also like to thank outgoing Board Trustees Traci Corr and Denise Hawthorne for their dedication and service.

Newly elected Board Chair Jordan Oye says that the Library Board and staff are looking forward to continuing to support the community through the challenges presented by the pandemic and beyond. “The library is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to its programs, services and resources,” says Jordan. “We are proud to serve and are always evolving to meet the changing needs of our growing and diverse community.”

“We would like the acknowledge and thank City Council, our community and our dedicated Friends of the Library for their ongoing support,” added Jordan. “We could not provide such innovative opportunities to Richmond residents without them.”

Richmond, BC – February is Black History Month and this year, we are focusing on uniting the community in celebration and raising awareness about this important global event. Richmond Public Library and Mary Wilson, a passionate community advocate, will be welcoming the community virtually all month long to a series of events celebrating the legacy of Black Canadians past and present. This year’s theme recognizes and explores the Canadian Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.

The library is offering a number of virtual events for children, adults and seniors to experience and enjoy.

  • On Tuesday February 2, join us for an enlightening panel discussion and Q &A focusing on this year’s Black History Month theme. Our panelists, representing diverse backgrounds and demographics, will share aspects of their history, and how it has informed their current life and lived experiences. Pre-registration is required for this online program – register today at
  • Storytimes throughout February will be featuring a variety of children’s materials that address topics of fairness, justice and awareness of black history
  • Kids and teens book club meet-ups held throughout February will be discussing themes of diversity
  • Sit back and enjoy the February book reviews published in the Richmond News, which will feature two of the library’s recently acquired books on Black Lives Matter topics
  • Visit any RPL branch to browse our newly acquired collection of books that support this year’s theme
  • Explore these specially curated Black History Month book lists for children and adults

“In 2020, the world focused on the Black Community, the discrimination and violence we often experience. The Black community assisted by other cultures and community groups connected to fight against these injustices,” said Mary Wilson. “This February, Black History Month in Canada provides another opportunity to share our history, heroes and contributions to Canada as we get to know one another to work towards a just society for all.”

We invite the entire community to participate, engage and learn! For more information, visit or speak to a library staff member.