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VPL Extending Opening Hours: 21 Locations to be Open Sundays

NEWS RELEASE

Sept. 3, 2013

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Open on Sundays. Vancouver Public Library is bringing Sunday openings to the entire VPL system, providing the community with significantly more access to library facilities, materials, technology and staff expertise.

Nine community branches and the central library downtown are currently open on Sundays; VPL’s remaining 11 community branches will open on Sundays starting this weekend.

“This is wonderful news for Vancouver,” says VPL board chair Catherine Evans. “Expanding library service has been a major priority, and it’s a key part of our new strategic plan.

“I’m delighted that we can offer even more opportunities for our community to connect, explore and learn.”

Overall it adds nearly 2,300 hours of access to the city’s library system each year.

VPL’s wide-ranging community consultations in 2011 and 2012 asked patrons to envision the future of the library: one of their most frequent requests was that branches be open more hours, particularly on the weekend.

“People were really passionate about extended hours, and it was definitely at the top of their lists. We’ve responded,” says VPL’s chief librarian, Sandra Singh.

“We’ve been able to expand hours within our existing budget, and we’re absolutely thrilled that we’re now able to have all our locations open on Sundays,” she says.

Over the last several weeks VPL has been re-assigning staff to support the Sunday openings, a move made possible thanks to self-serve machines widely used across the library system. Self-serve check-out machines are now in place at virtually all VPL locations, and self-serve check-in machines are in place at the central, Mount Pleasant and Terry Salman locations.

VPL rolled out self-serve technology in 2011 and 2012, and it was an extensive project with financial support from the City of Vancouver. Nearly 83 per cent of all the library’s check-outs are now self-serve, freeing several staff positions previously dedicated to this task to be re-allocated to extend opening hours.

Branches that will be newly opening on Sundays (1 p.m. to 5 p.m.) are: Champlain Heights, Collingwood, Firehall, Fraserview, Hastings, Kensington, Kerrisdale, Marpole, South Hill, Strathcona and West Point Grey.

Those will join the Britannia, Carnegie, Dunbar, Joe Fortes, Kitsilano, Mount Pleasant, Oakridge, Renfrew and Terry Salman branches in being open on Sundays.

VPL’s central library in downtown Vancouver is open on Sundays, and late last month extended its Sunday operations by two hours to 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

VPL’s virtual branch – the vpl.ca website – is open around the clock.

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Vancouver Public Library serves nearly 350,000 active card holders at 21 branches across the city and online at VPL.ca through ebooks, databases and other digital services. VPL recorded more than 6.6 million visits in 2012; patrons borrowed nearly 10 million items, including books, ebooks, CDs, DVDs and magazines. VPL is supported by the City of Vancouver, and is dedicated to meeting the lifelong learning, reading and information needs of the residents of Vancouver.

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For more information, contact:

Stephen Barrington
Manager, Marketing + Communications
Vancouver Public Library
604-331-3895
stephen.barrington@vpl.ca

james.bond@vpl.ca