Library Wins Cultural DIVERSEcity Award
Vancouver Public Library has been recognized for outstanding contributions to cultural diversity for incorporating these values into all areas of operations, including building a culturally diverse workforce and reaching out to Vancouver’s diverse communities.
Library Board Vice-chair Carellin Brooks accepted the prize on April 17 at the annual DIVERSEcity Awards presented by the Surrey-based DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society. She was accompanied by Chief Librarian Sandra Singh and Gillian Guilmant-Smith, assistant manager of Multicultural Services.
“We are honoured and very proud to receive this important award,” said Ms. Singh.
“Vancouver Public Library takes our role to serve and reflect the needs of our community members very seriously,” she added. “The Library provides print and digital resources in 16 languages including English and French, a number of our programs and services are offered in languages in addition to English, and we continuously aim to match our multilingual staff to languages spoken in specific areas of Vancouver.”
At the awards ceremony, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society noted that the Library met or exceeded the judging committee’s criteria in cultural expertise, community participation, retaining staff from culturally diverse communities, and employing marketing strategies to successfully reach culturally diverse communities while recognizing different cultural norms, values and languages. The Library tied for the Public Institution award with the Fraser Health Authority.
“Delivering culturally diverse and sensitive programs and services is a core value for Vancouver Public Library,” Ms. Singh added. “Staff representing all Library operations, including Multicultural Services, neighbourhood branches, cataloguing and IT, are involved in this work. They provide services, make books, eBooks, CDs, DVDs and digital resources available, equip Library computers with online multilingual tools and software, and offer programming in several languages as well on a broad range of culturally diverse topics. For all of this work we are truly grateful to receive this recognition.”
The Library hosts a number of major multicultural programs annually including celebrations for World Refugee Day on June 20 in partnership with Settlement Orientation Society, Amnesty International and the Rainbow Refugee Committee. The Library partners with community and cultural groups to hold multicultural job and community celebration fairs, and programs to commemorate occasions like Black History Month, National Aboriginal Day and Lunar New Year.