Library Lowdown

Did you know that October is Canadian Library Month? In honour of that, we felt a visit to the Vancouver Public Library’s Kerrisdale Branch was in order.
Opened in 1943, the library moved into its current space on the lower level of the Kerrisdale Community Centre in the ’50s. Renovated in 2020, it now welcomes some 16,000 visitors a month. As librarian Tim McMillan (below, left) says, that’s in no small part due to the fact the branch shares a building with the centre.
“Being co-located with a community centre, it benefits both organizations really, really well. We’re serving the same community,” says McMillan, noting that the library sees both summer camp kids and Seniors Centre patrons, the latter making good use of the facility’s accessible services. Complementing that, the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society donates half a page in each seasonal brochure to the branch.
“The society, its membership and the community it serves,” continues McMillan, “are of enormous benefit in that person-to-person relationship building.”

Recently, the library has witnessed a surge of interest in STEM-related programming for elementary school children. On the heels of a well-attended Snap Circuits program this fall, the branch will soon launch a pilot program offering lendable STEM kits (think digital microscopes and more Snap Circuits). And a Coding Buddies program, where teens are paired with primary school kids to tutor them in basic coding, is slated for 2024. All of which the library will be promoting during Canadian Library Month and beyond via social media and posters.
That said, print still rules at the Kerrisdale branch. Indeed, despite occupying a smaller footprint than that of some of the other 20 VPL locations, Kerrisdale still circulates a whopping 27,000 items a month. And the majority of those, says McMillan, are “good old-fashion print books from the shelf.”
“Our circulation numbers are among the highest in the city. And I think that really speaks to the huge readership in the neighbourhood – people love to read!”
Drop by the Kerrisdale Branch of the Vancouver Public Library to borrow books, movies, video games, board games (in library only) and more.


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