For more than 20 years, Central Library has been one of Vancouver’s best stories never told. More than a home for books, music, and other lending collections, today it is a place where each year nearly 2 million people from every background come for meetings, workshops, social events or to relax with a good book. With so many visitors and activities taking place, the Central Library is bursting at the seams.
Now is the time for the Central Library to realize its full potential to offer services and spaces that enable more of us to realize our potential.
VPL is embarking on a multi-phased capital project comprised of new and renovated spaces that will enable the library to dramatically expand and enhance its services; allowing for 25,000 more hours of programming each year. The VPL Foundation is committed to raising the $15 million needed to make this vision a reality.
Sources of Funding
The cost of the expansion is $24 million, and the City of Vancouver has contributed $9 million towards the project. The VPL Foundation is reaching out to the community to raise the remaining $15 million. This fundraising is being led by a Campaign Cabinet made up of dedicated community and business leaders who are volunteering their time to support the mission of VPL.
We are well on our way to reaching our goal, with more than $12.5 million already donated or committed, but we need your support to make this project possible—to transform our storeys.
A Revitalized Central Library – Phase One (COMPLETE – Opened September 29, 2018)
The changes made to Central Library highlight the Library’s role as a place of culture and learning – for everyone in our community. The new storeys on Level 8 & 9 encompass more than 35,000 square feet of adaptable, flexible spaces, and feature a double height atrium for exhibits, performances and presentations; a quiet reading and study room; dedicated spaces where writers, filmmakers and other storytellers can work, mentor and collaborate; an intimate theatre for screenings, performances and lectures; community program spaces; a rooftop garden and two outdoor terraces.
VPL Foundation is pleased to announce that the first phase of the project is now complete, and was opened to the public on September 29, 2018. Current fundraising is now focused on the second phase: the renewal and enhancement of the lower levels of Central Library.
A Revitalized Central Library – Phase Two
With the successful launch of levels 8 and 9, focus has now shifted toward the second phase of the project: revitalizing and adding new program spaces to the Children’s Library, redesigning Level 2 to better promote interaction, learning and dialogue, and transforming Level 3 to a digital learning and creation hub that will include an exciting new Teen Centre.
A dramatic expansion of the lower level Children’s Library
Renovations will add new activity zones for toddlers, pre-schoolers and school-aged kids, opening up over 3,000 square feet of program space. Central Library will also be adding creative spaces as well as an interactive learning structure, which will accommodate tactile, educational play areas that develop reading and numeracy skills. This space will also include a variety of simulated environments – store, kitchen, ATM, library, theatre, construction – that children experience in Vancouver and which they can learn about by acting scenarios.
A revitalized and renewed main floor
The revived main floor will serve as a vibrant gateway to the library. Befitting a library in a city that cares about learning, this entryway will showcase the many ways people learn: through books and reading, dialogue in many languages, events, multimedia and technology, and interaction with each other.
Central Library will also create new programming spaces, comfortable lounges for meet-ups, spaces for quick technology access, and showcases for VPL’s newest collections.
A connected and energetic digital hub and Teen Centre
VPL is committed to ensuring that everyone has the same access to technology; fostering collaboration and unleashing creativity. As such, Central Library is making Level 3 a digital hub, packed with computer workstations, tutoring and meeting pods, collaborative spaces and fully wired meeting rooms. Also, an expanded and energized Teen Centre will have a distinct identity that gives these youth the opportunity to explore their interests and creativity, in a dedicated area all their own.
At the heart of this floor, the Inspiration Lab will continue to combine traditional and new media in a space built for digital creativity, collaboration, and experimentation: analog-to-digital conversion, sound studios, video editing suites and self-publishing support, all benefitting the city’s artistic and visionary communities.
How you can transform our storeys
The Central Library is the heart of our city. The campaign to expand it will create new opportunities for the thousands of visitors who come through its doors each year
With your help the Central Library will grow to become a place where everyone can realize their full potential. This once in a lifetime project is an opportunity for library lovers to make a special gift and invest in the potential of people in our city.