Press Releases

2009 Press Releases

If you’re a library user, Richmond Public Library (RPL) wants your help. Potential cuts to public library funding are looming, and RPL needs you to let the provincial government know how much you value library service. The Library recently posted information about the potential funding cuts for its customers to view on its website at It explains the issues and where library funding is spent, and encourages library customers to tell the government how important the library is to them and their families. “We created a short survey asking customers what library services they value. We also have information about how to contact your MLA and the Minister responsible for Libraries, to let them know you don’t want library cuts,” said chief librarian, Greg Buss. “There’s even space for customers to share their personal stories about how the library has benefitted them.”“We know that our library customers really value things like Summer Reading Club, free computer stations, the ESL collection, and access to other BC library collections. But knowing this isn’t enough. The provincial government needs to hear about it straight from the mouths of users,” said Buss. “Our survey, in addition to messages sent directly to government decision makers will let them know that libraries are the lifeblood of the community, for young and old alike.”“We’ve been told that public libraries can expect to hear about their 2009 funding grants sometime this month. A new provincial budget is expected early in September and at that time public libraries in BC will know more about their funding for next year,” added Buss.Richmond Public Library is encouraging all its users to fill out the online survey on its website at For more information, people are welcome to call the chief librarian at 604-231-6418.

Enjoy the music of Teen Rock Bands from across the Lower Mainland as they compete in the Teen Rock Band championship finals on August 19th. Cheer on Chocolate Thunder, the champions from Richmond, as they take on bands from other local library systems to establish city-wide dominance. This free drop-in event takes place from 1-6 p.m. at the Vancouver Public Library, in the Alice McKay Room, located at 350 West Georgia Street in Vancouver.“Everyone is welcome to join the fun and see their local Rock Bands competing for bragging rights in this final championship,” said Kate Adams, teen librarian at Richmond Public Library. “It’s going to be a fantastic afternoon of music and cheering for your favorite Teen Rock Band. Gaming will be open to everyone after the tournament.” This program is sponsored by Richmond, Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam and Surrey Public Libraries as well as the North Vancouver City Library. For more information contact teen librarian Kate Adams at or 604-278-9811 ext. 634.

Starting on June 15th until September 2nd Richmond Public Library (RPL) will be offering a Teen Summer Reading Club for youth ages 12-19. This free, web-based library program encourages teens to read throughout the summer, and offers them a chance to connect with other teens across Canada, sharing their opinions through book reviews and discussion forums. To register visit There will be weekly prizes to be won throughout the summer.The theme of this year’s Teen Summer Reading Club is “Read All About It”. For more information please call Kate Adams, teen librarian at 604-278-9811 ext. 634. This program is sponsored by Richmond Public Library along with the British Columbia Library Association and Public Library Services Branch, Ministry of Education.

Richmond Public Library (RPL) will host the Digital Bookmobile, an interactive download experience inside a 74-foot, high-tech tractor-trailer, on June 9 from 12 noon to 6 p.m. outside the Brighouse (Main) Library near the fountain. The library is located at 7700 Minoru Gate. Readers of all ages are invited to experience digital downloading through interactive demonstrations, and experience RPL’s audiobook and ebook download service at this free event. Library cardholders can also check out and download digital titles any time, anywhere by visiting“Digital services offer a level of convenience that a lot of busy people enjoy,” said Library Director, Greg Buss. BC’s “Library to Go” service offers a dynamic collection of audiobooks and ebooks that can be downloaded using free software,” added Buss. Library to Go is a “British Columbia Libraries: Your Library Without Walls!” initiative.The Digital Bookmobile is housed inside an 18-wheel tractor-trailer. This 74-foot community outreach vehicle is a high-tech update of the traditional bookmobile that has served communities for decades. The vehicle is equipped with broadband Internet-connected PCs, high definition monitors, premium sound systems, and a variety of portable media players, all of which help visitors explore RPL’s download service. Interactive learning stations give visitors an opportunity to search the library’s digital media collection, use supported portable devices, and sample ebooks and audiobooks.Customers can take advantage of the download service 24/7 when they visit the RPL’s website. From there, they can browse the growing collection of bestselling, new release, and classic titles, and check out a digital title with a valid library card. Once downloaded, digital titles can be enjoyed on a computer or transferred to a portable device. Many audio titles can also be burned to audio CD. At the end of the lending period, titles will automatically expire and are returned to the digital collection. There are never late fees or damaged items. Operated by OverDrive, Inc., the Digital Bookmobile is part of a larger Lower Mainland event, and will also be visiting Vancouver, Burnaby, North Vancouver, Surrey, and Fraser Valley libraries that week. The bookmobile visits are organized by Public Library Services Branch, Ministry of Education.

Want to find out just how healthy you really are? Then come to the Cambie Branch of Richmond Public Library on June 9 any time between 6:30 and 8:00 p.m. for three short health tests, including a blood pressure check, a Body Mass Index, and a Waist to Hip Girth Ratio. Cambie Branch is located in the Cambie Shopping Plaza at No. 5 Road and Cambie. This free, drop-in program is for adults. This program is sponsored by the Cambie Library and the Cambie Community Centre. Jacqui Hill, fitness coordinator from the Cambie Community Centre, and Fitness Centre staff will conduct the tests and give participants the results. “The library has a good variety of health and fitness related books and DVDs for borrowing, and of course it’s all free,” said Cambie Branch head, Lee Anne Smith. “Our largest collection of health material is at the Brighouse (Main) Library, and people are welcome to use the collections at all of our branches. But if it’s inconvenient to get to the other branches, we can always reserve items for you and have them sent to the branch closest to you,” added Smith.

Are you ready to buy your first home but don’t know where to start? Then come to a free seminar called “First Time Home Buyers” on May 28th from 7-9 p.m. at the Brighouse (Main) Branch of Richmond Public Library, located at 7700 Minoru Gate. To register, visit any branch of Richmond public Library, call 604-231-6412 or register online at seminar will cover topics like qualifying for a mortgage, the home buying process, down payments, how to get a pre-approval, making the offer, conditions required in an offer, real estate market trends, how to find a good home inspector, why you need a home inspector, leaky condos, common problems in homes, what the lawyer’s role is, the closing process and closing costs, important dates in a transaction, first time home buyers benefits and types of ownership.“People can expect to learn how to get a mortgage, find a home and make an offer, obtain a home inspection and learn about all the legal aspects of purchasing a home,” said library communications officer Shelley Civkin. The guest speakers will be John Santos-Ocampo, a mortgage broker with over 20 years experience; Doug Williams, a realtor at REMAX; Glenn Duxburry, a home inspector; and Carolyn Maguire, a notary public. According to Santos-Ocampo, house prices are very attractive right now and so are mortgage interest rates. “Our job is to give people the information they need so that they can make the best purchase when the time arrives,” said Santos-Ocampo.

Got ten friends who love reading? Then why not start a book club? Richmond Public Library (RPL) lends out free sets of 10 books to groups that want to read and discuss books together. To use this service, just fill out the registration form online at or come into any RPL branch and fill it out in person. Once it’s completed and returned to the Library you can borrow any set that’s available.“We currently have 158 titles to choose from and the sets can be borrowed for six weeks,” said communications officer Shelley Civkin. “It’s a great way to spend some quality time with friends and the best part is it doesn’t cost anything! When you think about it, there are very few services that are free these days, but this is one of them,” added Civkin.In order to give all the book clubs equal access, book club titles can’t be renewed or reserved ahead of time, and only one set per club can be checked out at one time. It’s strictly first come, first served. “Over the years, book clubs have really become popular, and RPL now has about 60 independent book clubs. They like to meet at each others’ homes over a cup of coffee and talk about the books they’ve just read,” said Civkin. “Not only are book clubs intellectually stimulating, but they’re a great way of socializing.” To find out more about book clubs, call Marion at 604-231-6406 or Shelley at 604-231-6416.

Immigrant job seekers who speak English, Cantonese or Mandarin can get free one-on-one employment counseling at Richmond Public Library. Employment counselors from the Richmond Career Centre of Immigrant Services Society will offer half hour sessions on May 20 and June 3 and 17 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Brighouse (Main) Branch in the large seminar room. The library is located at 7700 Minoru Gate. Registration is necessary. Register in the library at the 2nd floor information desk or call 604-231-6413. There is a limit of one session per person.Library multilingual services coordinator Wendy Jang said that they’re doing this to provide job seekers with job search knowledge and skills. “Employment counselors will meet one-on-one with immigrant job seekers to assess their job search techniques and advise them on what they need to do to look for a job. People who need extra help will be referred back to the Richmond Career Centre,” said Jang. For more information call 604-231-6413 (English) or 604-231-6462 (Chinese).

Young adults between the ages of 15-30 who are looking for summer jobs or part or full-time work can get free one-on-one employment counseling at Richmond Public Library. Employment counselors from Connections Youth Resource Centre will offer half hour sessions in English on May 13 and 27 and June 10 and 24 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Brighouse (Main) Branch in the large seminar room. The library is located at 7700 Minoru Gate. Registration is necessary. Register in the library at the 2nd floor information desk or call 604-231-6413. There is a limit of one session per person.Library multilingual services coordinator Wendy Jang said that they’re doing this to provide job seekers with job search knowledge and skills. “Employment counselors will meet one-on-one with youth job seekers to assess their job search techniques and advise them on what they need to do to look for a job. People who need extra help will be referred back to the Connections Youth Resource Centre,” said Jang. For more information call 604-231-6413.

Greg Buss, chief librarian of the Richmond Public Library recently received the BC Library Association’s most prestigious award – the Helen Gordon Stewart Award. The award was presented at the BC Library Association’s annual conference on April 17, 2009.According to the BC Library Association, “This award is given infrequently to recognize an outstanding career in librarianship involving a visible or readily identifiable achievement that brings honour to the entire profession.” The award consists of a plaque and honorary life membership in the BC Library Association.“Greg Buss has been the visionary force behind the unique and innovative library services of the Richmond Public Library (RPL) for over 20 years,” says library communications officer, Shelley Civkin. “As the chief librarian of an award-winning library recognized internationally for its customer service focus, innovative building design, multilingual services, advanced technology and cost effectiveness, Greg’s conduct is guided not by what is, but by what can be,” says Civkin. With the opening of the Ironwood (Library of the Future) Branch in 1998 through the opening of the Cambie Branch in 2004 and the newly renovated Brighouse (Main) Branch in 2006, Buss’s confident leadership has enabled him to carry out the innovative vision of RPL’s new service model. Civkin reports that under Buss’s leadership, the implementation of face-forward merchandizing of books, focus on customer service and bookstore-like atmosphere was a radical departure from traditional library service, and one that drew the attention of librarians, administrators, and architects from around the world. It contributed to setting a new standard for public libraries worldwide.Unique information technology and digital innovations at RPL have thrived under Buss’s vision, and include the introduction of North America’s first DVD Dispenser for popular movies in English and Chinese; as well as their unique online Canadian Citizenship Practice Test (, and online B.C. Practice Driving Test ( “With a commitment to customer driven service, Greg has always believed in listening to customers and finding a way to best meet their needs,” adds Civkin. Since Greg Buss’s arrival at RPL, the Library has grown from a small community library to an award- winning library system modeled by libraries around the world. By melding the best practices from librarianship and the retail world Buss has been able to recreate and redefine library service.

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to your health. So when Richmond Public Library and Richmond Health Services launch their Health Literacy Project on Friday April 3rd, they’ll be helping people make informed decisions and good choices about their health. The launch will take place at 11 a.m. at the Brighouse (Main) Branch Library, located at 7700 Minoru Gate. Everyone is welcome to attend.“The goal of this unique collaboration between the Library and local health practitioners is to empower people who are facing health issues,” said librarian Dace Starr. “We’re working closely with the Richmond Health Services to develop and promote the Library as an excellent source for medical and health information for Richmond residents,” added Starr. The Library has books, DVDs and online information from reputable health sites on topics like:• Disorders and diseases• Mental wellness• Medications• Addictions• Special diet cookbooks• Staying healthy – nutrition, fitness, etc.Nearly 1,000 new items have been purchased for the Library with more to come.Special “Prescription” pads will be distributed to local doctors and other health practitioners so they can write down titles of recommended books or the name of a medical condition. Then patients can bring that “Prescription” to the Library and find the information they need with the help of a librarian. “This way the Library can continue to expand its health collection over time with recommendations from professionals,” added Starr. Since the Library is open 7 days a week and every weekday evening it’s convenient for people to get the information they need. The collection and resources will be available at all Richmond Public Library branches and on the Library’s website at order for people to take an active role in their health, they need to know where they can get reliable medical and health information at a time that’s convenient for them, and they need to know that it’s coming from reliable, accurate sources. “Patients with knowledge are ultimately healthier and happier than those who take a passive role in their own health care.”

Richmond Public Library is teaming up with the Richmond Employment Resource Centre and the Richmond Career Centre to offer free One-on-One Employment Counselling at the library. Job seekers of any age can register for a half hour session by calling 604-231-6413 or coming to the information desk on the second floor of the Brighouse (Main) Branch, located at 7700 Minoru Gate. There is a limit of one session per person. Sessions will take place in the large seminar room in the silent study room at Brighouse Branch every half hour from 10 a.m. – noon and will be offered on April 1st and 29th in English; and on March 25th and April 8th and 22nd in Cantonese or Mandarin. When registering, please specify which language you want. “This employment counseling will provide job seekers, especially those who have had trouble finding a job, with job search knowledge and skills,” said the library’s coordinator of multicultural services, Wendy Jang. Employment counselors will meet one-on-one with job seekers to assess their job search techniques and advise them on how and what they need to do to look for a job. People who need extra help will be referred to either the Employment Resource Centre and/or the Richmond Career Centre for further assistance.

NEWS RELEASEFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 3, 2009Play Wii for Free at the LibraryRICHMOND, B.C. – And you thought the library only had books! Teens age 12-18 are invited to meet new friends and play free Wii video games at the Brighouse Branch of Richmond Public Library on March 12th and April 9th from 4-5 p.m. in the program room. The library is located at 7700 Minoru Gate. “The library has a brand new collection of video games and we’re encouraging teens to drop in and join us for a fun-filled hour of Wii game playing,” says teen librarian Kate Adams. “For those kids who think that the library only has books, this is a great way to introduce them to the different kinds of things the library has to offer,” adds Adams.For more information please call Kate Adams at 604-278-9811 ext. 634.

At their most recent meeting on January 28, the Richmond Public Library Board re-elected Lyn Greenhill as Board Chair. Greenhill, a longtime Richmond resident, has served on the Library Board since 2002 and is a retired Richmond City Councillor. Returning Board members include re-elected Vice-Chair Arlene Yoshikawa, Pat Watson, Dulce Cuenca, Mark Bostwick, Albert Beh, and Leslie Wilson. Councillor Linda Barnes will serve as the City Council representative to the Richmond Public Library Board.New to the Board is Peter Kafka, appointed by Richmond City Council for a one-year term. Kafka comes to the Board with a broad range of human resources and management experience. He is currently the chief executive officer of the Louis Brier Home and Hospital, The Weinberg Residence in Vancouver. As the Library Board Chair, one of Greenhill’s main focuses is to promote and encourage literacy in our community. She says, "Offering a broad range of resources and programs, we can help people with the practical issues they face in their daily lives. Libraries are free sources of entertainment and knowledge, a benefit to our community especially in the current economic downturn. We provide traditional books as well as new technologies, and invite everyone to explore our libraries and our website when they want recreational reading, reference material, or literacy resources. Providing for the basic needs of our growing and diverse community is a challenge, but our Board members and library staff are working hard to do just that."Richmond Public Library is an award-winning library system and the most heavily used community facility in Richmond. It is committed to the goals of education, lifelong learning and free access to information. The library had over 1.9 million visitors last year.