Author: Marjorie C. Holmes 1959
Library Service in British Columbia
A Brief History of its Development
Public library service in British Columbia is not a thing of recent growth. We find in reading the journals of the fur-traders that books were playing a prominent part in their lonely lives even as early as 1786.
At that time John McKay, surgeon in the Experiment, one of two ships under command of the explorer James Strange, had his library with him when he remained for some time at Nootka Sound making a study of the native Indians of that region.
Daniel William Harmon, trader with the North West.Company in 1801, makes frequent mention of his pleasure in reading during his years spent at posts in what are now the three western Provinces. The company made a practice of supplying books to its northern posts. As Harmon says in 1813, writing from Stuart Lake, ". . . there are few posts, which are not tolerably well supplied with books. These books are not, indeed, all of the best kind; but among them are many which are valuable."
The Hudson's Bay Company also supplied books to its more remote posts. Many of these volumes are now preserved in Hudson's Bay House at Winnipeg. SNIP
Ahhhhh, North Vancouver
City of North Vancouver
Founded in 1924, North Vancouver began with a library of donated books. Membership was free and it functioned with volunteer help. The city gave a small grant for book purchases, which were supplemented by books from the Travelling Libraries. In 1926 the association owned about 1,300 books and had also changed its quarters several times. At this period a membership of $1 was found to be necessary as funds were scarce, and the Government grant amounted to the large sum of $21.89. The association held book teas to raise funds, and mending bees to keep the books "alive" a little longer. In the thirties the city discontinued its grant, but later, happily, it was renewed.
Twice between 1945 and 1950 the library moved, and then found the building in which it is now housed. In December, 1950, the ratepayers voted on the question: "Are you in favour of the Council granting to the North Vancouver Public Library aid out of general revenue in a sum not exceeding the equivalent of $1.00 per capita of population of the city according to the last Canadian census?" It passed with a 1,500 majority.
In 1956, North Vancouver appointed its first professional librarian, Mrs. Hero Heyworth, and in that year also it was agreed to spend the North Vancouver Centennial grant on a new library building. Snip
And since the non-Premier has called into question the costs of our Justice system going up, and crimes going down....AND the Feds are cutting back on Gaols too, therefore they must have seen similar crime statistics going Down as well.........
Why not do a little research on the internet for Keywords in the Reference of a book?
Why? Why would the First document in the Reference section of this book have to do with the Inspector of Gaols? Starting on the bottom of page 23 is a very large section on Institutional Libraries and Conrad Black will be out walking the streets of North America... a FREE man, on Friday.
Without a library in a prison Conrad Black wouldn't have gone stir crazy.
British Columbia. Inspector of Gaols. Annual report. 1945-1956. Victoria, 1946-1957.
Snip ....A small beginning of library service to institutions in the Province was made as early as 1922, when books in print and in raised type were lent to the School for the Deaf, the Dumb, and the Blind, and pictures were given by the Library Commission to the school.ETC.
Books were also sent to the Boys' Industrial School under the usual Travelling Libraries regulations. Tranquille Sanatorium library was well supplied with books of its own, but help was given by the Public Library Commission staff in reorganizing it.
Except for the occasional mention that more books had been sent to the Boys' Industrial School, institutional libraries were not very seriously considered until about 1940. At that time several informal discussions had been held with the Provincial Secretary and the Attorney-General, stressing the need for organized library service in the institutions. In 1942 the Annual Report of the Public Library Commission stated:-
"Very little progress has been made in the matter of library service for Provincial institutions, but a preliminary investigation was made of library facilities at present available, and a memorandum submitted to the Minister of Education. This was also supplied to the Provincial Secretary and the Attorney-General, under whose respective jurisdictions most of the Provincial institutions are administered. Some interest was evinced in the report but no concrete result had been attained by the end of the year."
In 1943 it was reported that" with the keen interest and appreciated co-operation of the Attorney-General, the Honourable Gordon Wismer, it was possible to start on a project long cherished by the Commission for improvement of reading facilities at Oakalla Prison Farm." For some time past a group of women in the Elizabeth Fry Society had been providing books for the women's ward of the Provincial Goal, but both they and the Commission felt that the library should be the direct responsibility of the prison authorities, and that books should form part of the equipment of the institution and of the rehabilitation process.
This view was shared by the Attorney-General, and in 1943 a start was made and a carefully selected list of books chosen and added to the existing stock. The library was placed under the direction of a trained librarian experienced in penal institution library work, and the cost paid for out of the vote of the Attorney-General's Department.
The library in the men's gaol was not satisfactory from any viewpoint, a fact which was fully realized, but in 1943 efforts were concentrated on bringing up the library in the women's gaol to a proper standard before tackling the situation in the men's gaol. This was commenced in 1944, and the change was immediately apparent.
British Columbia. Legislative Library. Reports. 1894, 1898, 1899/1900, 1900/1901, 1902/1903, 1904, 1907, 1909. Typewritten.
British Columbia. Provincial Library and Archives. Reports. 1915/1916, 1916/1917, 1918, 1919, 1921. Victoria, 1916- 1921.
British Columbia. Public Library Commission. British Columbia Library Survey, 1927-1928. Victoria, 1929.
British Columbia. Public Library Commission. Libraries in British Columbia, 1940. Victoria, 1941.
British Columbia. Public Library Commission. A preliminary study of adult education in British Columbia. Victoria, 1941.
British Columbia. Public Library Commission. Programme for library development in British Columbia, 1940, 1945, 1950, 1956. Mimeographed.
British Columbia. Public Library Commission. Reports. 1919-1926. Typewritten. 77
British Columbia. Public Library Commission. Reports. 1926/1927- 1957. Victoria, 1927-1958.
British Columbia. Public Library Commission. Survey of union libraries in British Columbia. Victoria, 1956.
British Columbia. Travelling Libraries. Reports. 1911-1918. Typewritten.
British Columbia. Public Libraries Act. Victoria, 1947. Mimeographed.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, July, 1947. Victoria, 1947.
British Columbia Library Association. Bulletin. 1938-1956.
British Columbia Library Association. Quarterly. 1957-1958.
British Columbia Library Association. Looking backward, 1936-191l. Typewritten.
Canadian Library Association. Bulletin. July, 1951; February, 1954; April, 1956.
Cotton, Miles. History of the Vancouver Public Library. 1926. Typewritten.
History of the New Westminster Public Library. n.d., n.p.
Library Journal, v. 78, no. 12, June 15, 1953.
Lowe, John Adams, and Richards, John S. Report of a survey of the Vancouver (British Columbia) Public Library to the Board of the Vancouver Public Library. Chicago, A.L.A., 1949.
Miyazawa, Jean. A study of the extension services of the British Columbia Public Library Commission. Thesis, University of Washington, 1956.
New Westminster Public Library. Reports. 1950-1956. Mimeographed.
Okanagan Historical Society. Story of libraries in the Okanagan, by Muriel Page Ffoulkes. 19th annual report, 1955.
Smith, Brian. A social history of early Nanaimo. Thesis, University of British Columbia. 1956.
The Vancouver Public Library, report on a brief survey. Chicago, Public Administration Service, 1957.
Victoria Public Library, past, present, and future, n.d. Mimeographed.
Victoria, B.C. Annual reports, 1882-1956.
Correspondence files of the Public Library Commission, Victoria.
Powell River Digester.
Trail Daily Times.
Victoria Daily Colonist.
Victoria Daily Times.
Vancouver Daily Province.
Vancouver Daily Sun.