Library Champions Project

Library Champions Project at NewToBC

Program History and Current Results

Since 2013, the Library Champions Project has been changing the lives of new immigrants in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Thanks to our partners, including numerous libraries and community agencies, and to funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), we’ve grown every year, consistently exceeding our goals. Even when COVID-19 hit, we were able to adapt and move to deliver online and continued to exceed our targets.

By winter 2021, we had expanded our reach across British Columbia, delivering our services to newcomers, libraries, and service providers in more than 22 communities, including rural areas. Annually, over 200 individuals are trained as Library Champions; in total we’ve trained more than 2,300 new immigrants. Collectively, they’ve reached out to over 116,000 fellow newcomers through one-to-one meetings, group sessions, and emails, and have made over 2.45 million impressions via social media.

But our impact goes beyond numbers. Our Library Champions undergo transformative experiences, gaining skills, understanding different cultures, and forming lasting connections. They have become a vital component of the settlement continuum, guiding other newcomers to resources and services. Our program is more than just a service—it’s an essential part of the integration of thousands of newcomers to B.C.

To download a PDF version of these highlights, click here: Library Champions Project Highlights.

I am proud to be a member of this community and after participating in this project I feel even more connected to it and empowered to contribute to its further growth and success.

The Library Champions Project is an incredible adventure, allowing you to feel like a necessary and important part of a new country. Full of new friendships and valuable information.

Program Numbers per Year

Over the years, participation and program demand has remained high, but social media impressions have increased markedly.

CommunityGroupsAttendees of Info SessionLCs EnrolledLCs TrainedLCs Completed ProjectNewcommers ReachedReps of Orgs ReachedSocial Media Impressions
Grand Total1963,6742,4872,3122,201116,4889,2552,458,324

Numbers by Community Since Inception

Program participation continues to expand, reaching newcomers across the province.

CommunityGroupsAttendees of Info SessionLCs EnrolledLCs TrainedLCs Completed ProjectNewcommers ReachedReps of Orgs ReachedSocial Media Impressions
Burnaby & New Westminster2540431128127412,361821133,428
Coquitlam & Port Moody2446631829928915,949960101,763
North Shore2233225624322513,709775102,360
Regional Groups71797662611,73955622,695
Maple Ridge & Port Coquitlam6805955521,843862,043
Abbotsford & Mission5615246441,8871431,491
Greater Victoria325181616477425,440
Central Okanagan (Kelowna)117666200113,795
Grand Total1963,6742,4872,3122,201116,4889,2552,458,324

2023 – 2024 Program Highlights

In 2023 – 2024, NewToBC offered 23 cycles of the program, recruiting 301 Library Champions (258 completed training, 241 completed the program). Champions originated from more than 87 countries, reflective of the diverse demographics of new immigrants to British Columbia.

These Champions reached out to 8,340 other newcomers and delivered 1,216 presentations to groups at a range of community agencies. They made more than hundreds of posts on various social media platforms, including ethnic social media platforms, promoting the project and library and community resources. These posts made nearly 200,000 impressions across platforms.

By getting involved, you open doors to not only discovering more about the library but also enhancing essential skills like communication, listening, and presentation.

I’d definitely recommend the program, and I’d do it by saying that it is the most efficient way to connect with other newcomers, learn about the different library services, practice your English in a safe group, and find yourself belonging to the community.

CommunityGroupsAttendees of Info SessionLCs EnrolledLCs TrainedLCs Completed ProjectNewcommers ReachedReps of Orgs ReachedSocial Media Impressions
Abbotsford & Mission11795514928135
Burnaby & New Westminster2643228289654977,326
Coquitlam & Port Moody2442321205887229,782
Greater Victoria1855511533133
Maple Ridge & Port Coquitlam23521201988629589
North Shore11185321591.181
Regional Groups512948363698246218,400
Grand Total235773012582418,3401,216194,904