About Libraries Branch

Libraries Branch resides within the BC Ministry of Education. We support libraries and provide direction on provincial policy and priorities. We are a dedicated team of professionals committed to the values of life-long learning and equitable access to information through libraries.

Our Vision and Strategic Plan for Libraries – Inspiring Libraries, Connected Communities

Our renewed vision and strategic plan, Inspiring Libraries, Connected Communities, was released October 2016

Our vision is one where public libraries provide British Columbians with access to the information and tools they need to learn, work, create and thrive in today’s changing world.   This new plan sets out our strategy for the coming years, highlights the changing role of public libraries and celebrates where we have been and where we are going. It also sets out our path forward to make our vision a reality.

Program Support

In working towards seamless library service, we support collaborative services and partnerships at the local, regional and provincial level. We engage with all libraries and library stakeholders to further common goals and support the best quality library service for British Columbians.

Foster Seamless Library Service

We support citizen access to library materials from any public library through the following programs:

BC OneCard allows BC public library cardholders to borrow materials at any other public library in the province.

Interlibrary Loan is the service where library patrons can request and borrow materials from other libraries or institutions.

Direct Patron Requesting is the ability for library patrons to place holds on materials in other libraries through their own home library catalogue (i.e. Sitka ILS) and to have those materials delivered to their home library.

SITKA Integrated Library System in partnership with the BC Libraries Cooperative. Sitka uses Evergreen software helps library patrons find library materials, and helps libraries manage, catalog, and circulate those materials, no matter how large or complex the libraries.

Other Supports: In supporting high-quality library service, Libraries Branch provides training and consulting advice, gathers and publishes reports and statistics on public library activities and hosts the Commons online community.

We conduct quantitative and qualitative surveys of BC public libraries in order to demonstrate important outcomes of public library service in BC, and to allow libraries to assess their own performance over time.

We work with valued partners such as the BC Libraries Cooperative, BC Library Association, BC Library Trustees Association, BC Electronic Library Network (and others), to improve and extend the scope and range of library services provided to BC citizens.

We strongly value relationships and connections within the field.

We always want to hear from you, so send us an email, comment on our blog or join a group.