Press Releases

It’s almost here! Summer Reading with Your Library 2019 kicks off June 20 2019-06-10

Richmond, BC – Kids, teens and adults are all invited to celebrate reading with Richmond Public Library this summer! The annual summer reading programs start soon and there will be a wide variety of events and reading activities to suit all ages and all interests. Best of all, all summer reading activities are free to join and attend!

The library welcomes adults and teens to “One Book, Three Cities”, a new community-wide reading program in partnership with the City of Richmond’s Sister City Advisory Committee (SCAC). SCAC fosters mutual understanding and meaningful connections with other cities and cultures for their common benefit. This year, the community will be talking about Life of Pi by Canadian author Yann Martel, who is excited about coming to the library this summer to discuss his book. Whether you’ve never read the book or enjoyed it previously, be sure to pick up a copy in-branch or download the eBook today – we have lots of digital copies available all summer long. Everyone is invited to the official launch on Thursday July 4. Then, readers can enjoy connecting with other readers from Xiamen and Qingdao, China on the “One Book, Three Cities” online discussion forum. Plus, program participants will enjoy a variety of activities, including the “Slice of Pi” contest for a chance to win fabulous book prizes.

“Reading at an early age promotes lifelong learning, exploration and discovery,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Similarly, our Sister City relationships provide great opportunities for youth and our entire community to learn about and discover other cultures from across Canada and around the world. This pairing provides a great opportunity for young readers to learn about the benefits of cultural diversity and harmony.”

This year’s provincial theme for the Kids’ Summer Reading Club is “Imagine the Possibilities”. Starting June 20, come in to any RPL branch to pick up your reading booklet. Then, record your reading progress to earn weekly stickers and a medal at the end of the summer. Special programs and events are happening throughout the summer at all four library branches, too! Join us on Sunday July 14 for our Summer Reading Magic Show with Norden the Magician to kick off the fun!

And last but not least – just for teens! Starting June 20, you can join the RPL Teen Summer Reading Club and make reading and visiting the library a part of your summer plans. Post book reviews on our blog and enter the booklet design contest for a chance to win prizes. Don’t miss our first ever “Alternate Reality Scavenger Hunt”, participate in our “Escape Room”, writing workshops and more.

Full details about all our summer programs and events are available at, plus you’ll find all the information you need to know about Summer Reading program registration.

We look forward to inspiring the community to read, explore, discover and learn all summer long!


Lee Anne Smith, Coordinator, Programming, Digital and Information , 604-231-6417, lee;

Stephanie Vokey, Coordinator, Marketing & Public Relations, 604-231-6454 ,

Celebration of Musqueam Expression concludes six months of artist workshops 2019-05-31

Richmond, BC – On Sunday, June 16 from 2:00 – 3:30pm at the Brighouse branch, Richmond Public Library and the City of Richmond’s Public Art Program will host a community Celebration of Musqueam Expression to conclude the Musqueam Artist Workshops. This free event will showcase the four artists’ creations and feature a performance by the Coast Salish Tsatsu Stalquayu (also known as the Coastal Wolf Pack).

Over the last six months, the library hosted carvers Martin Sparrow and Richard Campbell, and weavers Gary Point and Sandra Guerin. These four artists led a series of engaging demonstrations and hands-on workshops. The workshops were extremely popular and more than 100 community members attended. Each workshop gave participants an opportunity to personally interact with the artist, hear their unique stories and learn about Musqueam culture and heritage.

These workshops were part of the 2019 Engaging Artists in Community Program for Public Art. The program aims to support artists with socially-oriented practices and encourages the development of a wide variety of collaborative engagements for artists working within communities. Community-based artworks can express a shared goal or theme and provoke dialogue on ideas related to cultural identity, social history or the environment.

For more information about the Celebration of Musqueam Expression, visit or call 604-231-6413.


Stephanie Vokey, Coordinator, Marketing & Public Relations, 604-231-6454 ,

Press Release: Announcing One eRead Canada - a national campaign in June to promote conversation and access to eBooks2019-05-29

Richmond, BC – Richmond Public Library is proud to announce that it is participating in the Canadian Urban Libraries Council / Conseils des Bibliothèques du Canada (CULC / CBUC) inaugural One eRead Canada program, running from June 3 to 30, 2019.

The library will be offering free, unlimited access to the book Glass Beads by Dawn Dumont, in both eBook and eAudiobook format between June 3 to 30. A small number of print editions will also be available for book clubs and individuals to borrow on a first come, first serve basis.

One eRead Canada aims to introduce readers and listeners to new titles and authors. This program is intended to help improve library access to eBooks, benefiting Canadian publishers, readers and authors, and positively impacting the sale of digital content.

Dawn Dumont is a Saskatchewan-born Indigenous author, actor and comedian. Her book features a collection of interconnected short stories, focussed on the lives of four First Nations people against a backdrop of two decades of political, social and cultural change. The book was chosen to help foster national conversations about reconciliation and Indigenous experiences.

There are several ways that Richmond Public Library card holders can take part in the conversation. The library is offering two Book Club sessions on June 20 at the Brighouse branch. For those wishing to connect online, participants can view a live online author event on June 12 or join the virtual Book Club on Facebook.

To find out more, and register for programs or borrow the book, visit


Stephanie Vokey, Coordinator, Marketing & Public Relations, 604-231-6454 ,

Announcing the Third Annual Young Entrepreneurs Program2019-05-24

Richmond, BC – The library is pleased to announce the return of the Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP) this summer. This third installment offers some exciting enhancements.

The YEP is unique and exclusive to Richmond Public Library. It offers free career and business training for youth interested in pursuing entrepreneurship as their career path. Workshop topics include:

• Introduction to Entrepreneurship & Business Start-up
• Budgeting & Finances
• Elevator Pitch
• Writing a Business Plan
• Marketing & Branding

This year’s program is a week-long intensive format to enable participants to maximize their learning potential by attending workshops daily from Monday July 15 to Thursday July 18. Practicing what they’ve learned, participants will plan and make a pitch presentation to their peers, mentors and library Board and staff on Friday July 19.

Also new this year is the target age range for the program. The YEP is open to youth ages 15 to 19, to give high school and newly graduated students a safe, welcoming and supportive environment to learn about entrepreneurship.

The library is proud to welcome and introduce the following mentors and facilitators for this year’s program: S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Self-Employment Training for Young Entrepreneurs Program, Futurpreneur Canada, Launch Academy, Junior Achievement of British Columbia, Richmond Chamber of Commerce and O’Brien.
The library thanks its generous sponsors Small Business BC and PriceSmart Foods, who help make this program possible.

“…This program is a very unique opportunity for young entrepreneurs of all levels to learn and experience what it is that entrepreneurship does and why we need it,” said Ian, one of the participants in the 2018 program. “I came into this program feeling nervous… but I managed to grasp and learn very quickly.”

Interested or know someone who might be? Hurry – registration is capped at 15 participants to ensure that everyone who attends receives a personalized learning experience. Find out more at


Stephanie Vokey, Coordinator, Marketing & Public Relations, 604-231-6454 ,

TD Canadian Children’s Book Week kicks off at Richmond Public Library2019-05-06

Richmond, BC – Richmond Public Library was the first stop for the TD Canadian Children’s Book Week, hosting a Paper Collage workshop today at Ironwood branch.

Ashley Barron, a Toronto multimedia artist, is one of 30 Canadian children’s authors, illustrators and storytellers on tour for the annual TD Canadian Children’s Book Week, which runs events across the Lower Mainland between May 4th and 11th. With more than 400 readings taking place across 175 Canadian communities, this week-long event highlights the importance of reading for children.

Barron is best known for her cut-paper collage-style work. Her award-winning illustrations have appeared in magazines and children’s publications, as well as animations, advertising campaigns, clothing and window displays.

“In my presentation for Canadian Children’s Book Week, I explain what an illustrator does and how I came to be one. There is a slideshow of my drawings, my studio and the tools and process I use to make my art.” Barron explained. “After a fun, interactive paper collage demo, children create their own paper collage creation.”

Today’s event was enjoyed by Thomas Kidd Elementary students and members of the public alike. Teacher-Librarian Vandy Advani said “Our class absolutely enjoyed meeting with Ashley Barron and learning about the process of creating illustrations for picture books. Our students learned about the various illustration techniques, the designing process, and the monumental amount of research that goes into designing picture books. It was an enriching experience and we are grateful to Richmond Public Library for co-ordinating the visit. Events such as this inspire children to pursue creative endeavours and connect lessons learned in the classroom with the wider world.”

For more details about free children’s literacy programs at Richmond Public Library, including dates, times, and how to register, check out our online event calendar at, or call the library at 604-231-6412.


Jan Turner, Librarian, Kids Place, 604-231-6412,;

Stephanie Vokey, Coordinator, Marketing & Public Relations, 604-231-6454 ,

Celebrate National Poetry Month – Poetry Writing Contest for Teens2019-04-12

Richmond, BC – It’s National Poetry Month and Richmond Public Library is celebrating by offering its 12th annual Poetry Writing Contest for Teens.

Throughout the entire month of April, teens are invited to submit an original poem for a chance to win a Richmond Centre gift card.

There are two age categories: Group 1 for ages 12 to 15 and Group 2 for ages 16 to 18. Entrants are encouraged to be creative. Any format of original poem will be accepted but must be no longer than one single-spaced typed page. Entries will be judged based on their creativity, clarity, originality and literary merit of their message within the poem.


There will be two prizes awarded for each of the two age categories: 1st place will be awarded a $25 gift card and 2nd place will be awarded a $10 gift card.

To enter

Interested teens should submit their entry to any Richmond Public Library branch before closing on April 30th or by email to

For more information and to view the full contest rules, visit


Stephanie Vokey, Coordinator, Marketing & Public Relations, 604-231-6454 ,

New Musqueam Artist Workshops explore traditional weaving2019-03-18

Richmond, BC – A series of Musqueam Artist workshops, to be offered over the next few months at Richmond’s Brighouse library, will offer unique, hands-on opportunities to learn about Musqueam culture and the art of weaving.

“Working in partnership with the City of Richmond’s Public Art Program, we are so pleased to host our second series of Musqueam Artist workshops," said Susan Walters, Chief Librarian of Richmond Public Library.

Traditional Musqueam Weaving Techniques with Gary Point

Gary Point is a Musqueam artist and weaver. Through his art, he shares and explores traditional Musqueam knowledge and weaving techniques. The traditional preparation of the wool is an important part of his creative process, often informing the style, technique and content of the work. His works are in private and national collections, including the UBC Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver.

Gary will host a series of three consecutive workshops on Sundays beginning March 31st, to demonstrate traditional Musqueam weaving techniques.

Participants must register in advance and attend all three workshops.

Cedar Bracelet Making with Sandra Guerin

Sandra Guerin is a Coast Salish weaver who has been weaving since 1997. On her journey, she has learned her craft through many skilled weavers. Her art is shown at craft fairs, the First Nations Friendship Centre in Vancouver, the Musqueam Cultural Centre and in many private collections.
Sandra will host three workshops on select dates in May and June to demonstrate traditional cedar weaving techniques and oral storytelling practices. Program participants will learn how to make their own cedar bracelets to take home.

Interested participants should register for only one session.

Register today!

These workshops are expected to fill to capacity quickly. To register, visit the library’s event calendar at

The workshops are part of the 2019 Engaging Artists in Community Program for Public Art. The program aims to support artists with socially-oriented practices and encourages the development of a wide variety of collaborative engagements for artists working within communities. Community-based artworks can express a shared goal or theme and provoke dialogue on ideas related to cultural identity, social history or the environment.

The City of Richmond’s Public Art Program promotes and delivers the many benefits of public art to the community. Those benefits include the power to energize Richmond’s public spaces, arouse people’s thinking and transform Richmond places where people live, work, and play into more welcoming and beautiful environments that invite interaction. Public art can make strangers talk, children ask questions and calm a hurried life. Beyond its enriching personal benefits, public art is a true symbol of a city’s maturity. Discover Richmond’s public art by visiting


Stephanie Vokey, Coordinator, Marketing & Public Relations, 604-231-6454 ,

Celebrate Your Freedom to Read February 24 – March 2, 20192019-02-04

Richmond, BC – Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that will be celebrated across Canadian libraries from February 24 – March 2, 2019 in support of intellectual freedom for all individuals. By acknowledging this event each year, Richmond Public Library continues to shine a spotlight on the importance of freedom of information and the rights of individuals to choose what they want to read, view and listen to. The library is committed to raising public awareness of the issues surrounding censorship and how it affects people of all ages and backgrounds.

Mayor Malcolm Brodie has issued an official proclamation endorsing Freedom to Read Week. The library will mark this important event with displays of banned and challenged books at each of the branches.

The library provides a welcoming and inclusive space for the community to access a wide range of materials in a variety of formats. Those interested in learning more about any of our collections are encouraged to speak with a library staff member. Our staff are always available and happy to help with advice about age-appropriate books, websites, take-home kits, and many other resources. As always, all of our public materials and services are free to access, use and enjoy.

“We must continue our efforts to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our freedom to read,” says Robin Leung, Library Board Chair. “Freedom to Read Week is an opportunity for Richmond Public Library and the City of Richmond to jointly acknowledge our role in helping to maintain an open environment free of censorship, while highlighting the impacts that can occur when intellectual freedom is stifled.”

To find out more about Freedom to Read Week, visit


Stephanie Vokey, Coordinator, Marketing & Public Relations, 604-231-6454 ,

Richmond City Council Appoints, Re-appoints New Board Members, Library Board Elects Chair and Vice-Chair2019-01-31

Richmond, BC – At their most recent meeting, the Richmond Public Library Board elected Robin Leung as Board Chair and Traci Corr as Vice-Chair. Returning Board members include: Chaslynn Gillanders, Jordan Oye and Caty Liu. City Councillor Linda McPhail will continue to serve as the City Council representative to the Richmond Public Library Board and the Board welcomes Councillor Kelly Greene as the City Council Alternate representative.

The Board thanks Susan Koch, outgoing Board Chair and Diane Cousar, Trustee, for their eight years of dedication and service to the Board. The Board also thanks Alexa Loo, outgoing City Council Alternate representative, for her strong support for the library over the past four years.

New to the Board are Denise Hawthorne, Denise Hui and Danielle Lemon, recently appointed by Richmond City Council for a two year term. Also returning to the Board is Traci Corr, recently re-appointed by Richmond City Council for a two year term.

Hawthorne is an active volunteer with the Friends of the Richmond Public Library and is passionate about advocating and fundraising for the library. She brings strong process improvement and project oversight skills to the Board.

Hui is an established local realtor with a lengthy history of volunteering in the community, particularly with the BC Children`s Hospital Foundation. She is a life-long library user and an enthusiastic supporter of library services.

Lemon is a corporate and commercial lawyer with a broad range of experience. She also has a passion for local arts, theatre and Indigenous studies, which is reflected in her varied volunteer experience, certifications and education.

Newly elected Board Chair Robin Leung says that the Library Board and staff are looking forward to acting on the community’s feedback, collected during the recent public consultation. The library has a new Strategic Plan which reflects the ideas of the community and will guide the library as it evolves and grows to meet the needs of our unique and diverse community,” says Leung. “There is something for everyone at the library and we are excited to play a key role in helping Richmond residents of all ages to learn and reach their fullest potential.”

“We’re very grateful for the ongoing support of City Council, our community and our dedicated Friends of the Library,” added Leung. “We also appreciate the support of local partners who share our values and work with us to offer unique learning opportunities. Please contact the library if you are interested in becoming a partner of the library yourself or if you wish to volunteer your time.”


Christi Hrabowsky, Executive Assistant, 604-231-6421,

Richmond celebrates Black History Month2019-01-28

Richmond, BC – Celebrate the legacy of Black Canadians, past and present and their contributions to Canada’s history and culture. There will be eight free events and activities offered at the Richmond Cultural Centre and the Richmond Public Library from Friday, February 1 through Saturday, February 16. This year marks the fourth Black History Month in Richmond celebrated by the City and its partners.

The Richmond events for all ages are as follows:

Opening Ceremony

Friday, February 1, 6 to 7:15 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.)

This opening event features a presentation by Carole Christensen on Blacks in Canada: Acknowledging the Past and the Present to Envision the Future, and a musical performance by Checo Tohomaso and the VOC Sweet Soul Gospel Choir.
Richmond Cultural Centre Performance Hall, 7700 Minoru Gate

Art Exhibition

Friday, February 1 to Saturday, February 16 (open during Richmond Cultural Centre opening hours)

This exhibition features artists Akem and Odera Igbokwe as they explore the concepts of identity, culture and representation through their illustration and paintings. Akem’s Mythic Texture focuses on Black people living with joy and adventure as a counter-narrative to the negative images in the media. Odera’s Black History, Present and Afrofuturism explores Black historical figures, legends and mythologies from the African diaspora, and visions of Afrofuturism. The artists will be present at the opening ceremony on Friday, February 1 at 6 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Richmond Cultural Centre Upper Rotunda Gallery, 7700 Minoru Gate

Reading and Storytelling for Children

Saturday, February 2, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join presenter Carmencita Lake as she tells stories about the history and contributions of the Black people in Canada.
Richmond Public Library Kids Place Program Room, 7700 Minoru Gate

Living our Culture through Art, Dance and Community Events

Saturday, February 2, 2 to 4 p.m.

Discover Black culture through the dance performances of presenter Violet Haas and her dancers from Richmond and throughout the Lower Mainland.
Richmond Public Library Community Place Room, 7700 Minoru Gate

Film Screening: Black Panther

Wednesday, February 6, 6:30 to 9 p.m. (Doors open at 6 p.m.)

Discover why Black Panther is the highest-grossing film of 2018 and why this superhero movie has sparked powerful conversations about Black history and culture.
Richmond Cultural Centre Performance Hall, 7700 Minoru Gate

Beyond the Underground Railway; Feature on Viola Desmond

Thursday, February 7, 7 to 9 p.m.

Presented by Carmencita Lake, find out about the development of the Black community and its history in Canada and learn about the life of Viola Desmond, the first woman to appear on a Canadian bank note, and her fight against racial discrimination. There will be a discussion after the presentation.
Richmond Public Library Community Place Room, 7700 Minoru Gate

Long Forgotten or Never Known Black Inventors: The Many Cultures within the Black Diaspora

Saturday, February 9, 2 to 4 p.m.

Presenters Ernest Codrington and Wilbur Walrond will introduce a selection of Black inventors and their inventions along with a discussion of the many different cultures that exist within the Black community due to intermarriages, respectively.
Richmond Public Library Community Place Room, 7700 Minoru Gate

Book Displays

Friday, February 1 to Thursday, February 28

Open during Richmond Public Library operating hours

Book displays of books highlighting different aspects of Black history will be available for viewing and borrowing at all library branches throughout February.

Richmond Public Library, 7700 Minoru Gate


The House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada in December 1995 following a motion introduced by the Honourable Jean Augustine, the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament. Every February, Black History Month festivities and events celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians to Canadian society.


Wendy Jang, Coordinator, Chinese Community Services, 604-231-6409,;

Stephanie Vokey, Coordinator, Marketing & Public Relations, 604-231-6454 ,

Free Income Tax Clinics at Richmond Public Library2019-01-24

RICHMOND, B.C. – Richmond Public Library, in partnership with the Lord’s Harvest Fellowship, is offering free Income Tax Clinics to help community members with low income file their income tax returns. The clinics run on Saturdays in March and April at the Brighouse (Main) Branch, located at 7700 Minoru Gate. Participants must pre-register for a session; to do so, call 604-231-6413 or visit the Brighouse Branch 2nd floor Ask Me desk.

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. Sessions are 45 minutes per person and couples must sign up for one time slot each.

Trained volunteers will help people with low income to fill in their income tax returns free of charge. Registered participants should remember to bring a government issued ID and all relevant documents such as T4, T5 and Canada Child Benefit slips. All print documents are returned to the taxpayer at the end of their session.

“We are thankful and blessed that the Income Tax Clinic for the past eight years has been extending a helping hand in preparing and filling 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.


Stephanie Vokey, Coordinator, Marketing & Public Relations, 604-231-6454 ,

Musqueam Artist Workshops2019-01-17

Richmond, BC – In partnership with the City of Richmond Public Art Program, Richmond Public Library is excited to be offering its first ever series of Musqueam Artist Workshops at the Brighouse branch. This series encourages cross-cultural exchange and provides hands-on opportunities to learn about Musqueam culture.

Traditional Musqueam Paddles with Martin Sparrow

Martin Sparrow is a carver, traditional coastal performer and fisherman of Musqueam descent. Annually, in the fall, Martin smokes fish in a traditional smoke house. His smoked salmon is purchased worldwide. Martin has many stories of how his art and culture are his medicines for his own personal and community struggles. Martin believes strongly that the Indigenous way and the protection of salmon are good for all. He will host three workshops, running from January into February. Participants will learn about traditional hand-carved paddles and how they are used in cultural rituals and as an everyday tool in Musqueam culture. Participants will learn how to create their own designs and motifs on miniature wooden paddles to take home.

Musqueam Salmon Carving with Richard Campbell

Richard Campbell comes from a family of carvers and is of Musqueam descent. His relatives have all influenced his style of carving. Richard has been carving for 39 years in modern contemporary and Coast Salish style. He contributed to the building of the Coast Salish-style longhouse that is in the Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec. He will host a series of three workshops throughout March to demonstrate traditional carving techniques at different stages of his creative process. Participants will witness the transformation of a block of wood into a beautiful carved salmon. Richard will share stories and knowledge on the significance of salmon in Musqueam culture, including how it is used and prepared for sustenance and ceremonial purposes.

All workshops are full with a waitlist or nearly full. To find out more about these workshops or to be added to the waitlist for one of the workshops, please visit the library’s event calendar at Stay tuned for more programs exploring Indigenous culture throughout 2019.

These workshops are part of the 2019 Engaging Artists in Community Program for Public Art. The program aims to support artists with socially-oriented practices and encourages the development of a wide variety of collaborative engagements for artists working within communities. Community-based artworks can express a shared goal or theme and provoke dialogue on ideas related to cultural identity, social history or the environment.


Stephanie Vokey, Coordinator, Marketing & Public Relations, 604-231-6454 ,

Winter Author Events at RPL2019-01-07

Richmond, BC – If you love reading, connecting with local authors and meeting other book lovers, then look no further than the Winter Author Events series, coming this February to Richmond Public Library’s Brighouse branch.

The library welcomes the following authors at four different events, taking place from February 2nd to March 2nd. Come out and support local authors!

Sunday Feb. 3
2:30 – 4:00pm Pnina Granirer
Light within the Shadows: A Painter’s Memoir
This lively and moving memoir about the author’s life as an artist, wife and mother begins in Romania, continues in Israel and concludes in North America.

Sunday Feb. 10
2:30 – 4:00 pm Lillian Boraks-Nemetz
Mouth of Truth: Buried Secrets
This unique story is about a woman trapped in the vault of family secrets. Forty years after the Second World War, she discovers the truth about her beloved father, who was a Jewish policeman in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Sunday Feb. 10 11:00am – 12:00pm Ellen Schwartz
The Princess Dolls
The Princess Dolls is a gentle story about friendship set in Vancouver in 1942 and is suitable for ages 8-12. Ellen is a highly acclaimed author of 17 books for young children and teens, including several historical novels dealing with social justice.

Saturday Mar. 2
2:30 – 4:00 pm Dr. Lawrence Matrick
The Quisling
Rose Cuddy
Return of the Jaguar
The Quisling is a medical thriller about psychiatrist Dr. Zack Scarlatto who becomes involved with a violent Mexican drug cartel.
Return of the Jaguar is a political thriller by local author Norman Cuddy, published posthumously by his wife Rose. It’s based on a true story about a massacre of Indigenous peoples that occurred in Mexico in 1997.

All events are free to attend but interested participants must register in advance at


Lee Anne Smith, Coordinator, Programming, Digital and Information , 604-231-6417, lee;

Stephanie Vokey, Coordinator, Marketing & Public Relations, 604-231-6454 ,