Press Releases

2021 Press Releases

Richmond, BC – Richmond Public Library invites community members of all ages to participate in the library’s Pride festivities, offering a range of programs in partnership with the City of Richmond and the Hamilton Community Centre. “The library’s Pride Week programs help promote diversity within our community,” said Kate Adams, Head of Children and Family Services at Richmond Public Library. “Pride programs and resources create visibility and support for LGBTQIA2S+ individuals and their families.”

On Friday July 30, the library, the City of Richmond and the Hamilton Community Centre are pleased to welcome back guest performer Bryan Bone, also known as Miss Gina Tonic, for Drag Queen Storytime. Bryan Bone is an art teacher at a Richmond high school. This inspiring, fun, virtual event is ideal for children ages 3 and up and their families to come together, enjoy and engage in conversations about celebrating what makes us unique.

During Pride Week, the library’s Storytimes will feature inclusive stories that explore LGBTQIA2S+ themes. Join us on Facebook at 10:00am on Monday July 26 and Wednesday July 28, and at Storytime in the Park on Tuesday July 27. These Storytimes are for children of all ages to experience with their families.

On Tuesday July 27, the library will be screening three short National Film Board documentaries back-to-back from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Designed for teens, adults and seniors, the films include Beauty, I am Skylar and Last Chance. These documentaries explore gender-creativity among children, the journey of a transgender girl who is supported by her family and community as she moves through puberty, and the experiences of homosexual asylum seekers as they try to integrate into life in Canada. The library is offering these film screenings to inform and inspire meaningful and thoughtful discussion. These films will be screened online, not in-person.

In addition to offering programming, library staff have created Pride Week book lists featuring stories for children, teens and adults about love, acceptance and understanding. You can find the lists here:

For more details about these events and to register, visit the library’s events calendar or call 604-231-6413.

Richmond, BC – Are you looking for a career change, or are you at the beginning of your employment journey? The pandemic may have changed the job seekers’ experience to be virtual, but there are many local job opportunities available and we are here to help connect community members to those opportunities.

Richmond Public Library, in partnership with WorkBC Employment Services, is pleased to offer a four-day virtual hiring conference featuring three workshops and nine hiring events. Participants will learn how to build career skills and be able to connect with employers from nine different industries across the Lower Mainland. This online conference will take place June 22 to 25 from 10:00am to 3:30pm daily.

Here’s a snapshot of the main events that will be taking place:

  • On Tuesday June 22, join us for a series of three live workshops, where you’ll be introduced to valuable employment resources available free at the library, discuss how to prepare for a virtual hiring event, and learn resume-writing tips.
  • On Wednesday June 23, meet with representatives from FedEx Express Canada, Que Pasa and Great Little Box Company to find out about current available opportunities.
  • On Thursday June 24, connect with a career coach from Conagra Brands, a community engagement specialist from Amazon and a human resources coordinator from Intercity Packers about opportunities at these organizations.
  • Wrap up the event on Friday June 25 with human resources and talent acquisition specialists from Raymond James, Compass Group and Norsat International who will share current opportunities available.

“WorkBC Richmond provides individuals, employers and communities in Richmond with employment services and supports so that our clients can become more independent through sustainable employment. We are pleased to partner with Richmond Public Library on this event so that together, we can develop a stronger workforce of employers and community,” says Queenie Choo of S.U.C.C.E.S.S., which runs the WorkBC Richmond locations.

For more details and registration information, please visit the event page at https://yourlibrary.bibliocommons.com/events/search/q=conference/event/60a56fccb311e33000fa10d4. We look forward to seeing you at the conference and helping you to prepare for your next big career move!

Summer is almost here and we are ready to celebrate with you! Registration for Summer Reading @ RPL opens on June 15 at 10:00am. For all the details, visit https://www.yourlibrary.ca/src or click on the Summer Reading @ RPL banner on our website. There’s something for everyone to enjoy.

“Reading regularly as part of a library reading club builds literacy skills and creates opportunities to learn and connect with others,” said Jordan Oye, Richmond Public Library Board Chair. “We hope to inspire readers of all ages to come see what Summer Reading @ RPL has in store for you. Remember, it’s all free with your library card!”

One Book, Four Cities participants will enjoy reading and discussing the award-winning book “In the Skin of a Lion” by Canadian author Michael Ondaatje. Connect with readers from Qingdao and Xiamen, China and Wakayama, Japan in the online forum. Or, join virtual book club conversations and enter our trivia and scavenger hunt contests for a chance to win a prize. To celebrate the end of summer, we are especially proud to partner with the City of Richmond’s Sister City Advisory Committee to welcome Michael Ondaatje, who will be joining us live on Thursday August 19 for a virtual author interview!

Kids…get ready to “Crack the Case” for this year’s BC Summer Reading Club. Children and their families can register online at https://bcsrc.ca/ or visit any RPL branch to pick up their reading booklet. Complete your challenges weekly and track your progress at home. Stay tuned for more information about how to receive your SRC completion medal at the end of the summer.  Be sure to take part in one of our all-new programs this year, where you can explore the wilderness with RPL and Parks Canada, or learn about the science of candy with RPL and Scientists in Schools!

For teens, our annual Artwork Contest is back. Try your hand at designing the artwork for next year’s Teen Summer Reading Club, and write and share book reviews about your favourite summer reads for a chance to win prizes. Plus, keep your writing skills fresh with our creative writing workshops and check out our virtual Heist game. Learn more at http://rplteenhub.yourlibrary.ca/

We can’t wait to connect and read with you this summer!

Richmond, BC – Canadian artist Rachel Rozanski is one of Richmond’s 2021 Engaging Artist in Community. This initiative, presented in partnership with the City of Richmond’s Public Art Program and Richmond Public Library, encourages community members to interact with local artists to collaborate on socially-oriented artworks. From May through October, Ms. Rozanski will present Exploring Ecology Through Place, an artist-initiated project made up of eight free public workshops that explore how different aspects of the local ecology intertwine with art.

In May and June, Rozanski will lead Gyotaku workshops, a traditional form of Japanese printmaking followed by two workshops in June and July that will focus on cyanotype, a printing process that uses the sun to create prints on paper. Later in the summer, she will teach seniors and children how to create their own field book for collecting, pressing and keeping plant samples. The final two workshops will feature a StoryWalk® journey around Minoru Park Playground, a fun, outdoor activity for children and their families. All activities will comply with the latest COVID-19 Provincial Health Orders and will be presented in a safe and controlled way.

Ms. Rozanski’s previous works have explored biological, geological and material transformations appearing across local landscapes, and to date, she has completed residency projects in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Iceland.

Visitors and project participants will be able to follow the artist’s progress at exploringecology.wixsite.com. The series will conclude in November with a celebration of Rozanski’s collaboration with community participants with a final legacy project to be unveiled for public display at a Richmond Public Library branch. More information about the celebration and unveiling event will be shared in the coming months.

All workshops are free to attend. Interested participants may register for one or several of the workshops, which are expected to fill quickly as spaces are limited. For more information or to register, visit https://yourlibrary.bibliocommons.com/events/search/q=exploring+ecology+through+place.

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 https://www.yourlibrary.ca/proclamation 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 https://www.yourlibrary.ca/freedom, 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 https://www.yourlibrary.ca/ask-us or give us a call at (604) 231-6413. We are here to help!

To find out more about Freedom to Read Week, visit www.freedomtoread.ca.

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 https://www.yourlibrary.ca/finefree/. 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 https://yourlibrary.bibliocommons.com/events/6009ce4dd5c1982300ee4472.
  • 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 https://yourlibrary.bibliocommons.com/list/share/344587728/1809750299 and adults https://yourlibrary.bibliocommons.com/list/share/344587728/1805210079

“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 http://rpl.yourlibrary.ca/events_calendar or speak to a library staff member.