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The Unexpected Benefits of Volunteering as a Library Champion

Posted on: August 29, 2022

The Library Champions Project is in its 10th year of operation. To date, we have trained 1,850 new immigrants to provide outreach to more than 101,000 other new immigrants. These volunteers have found unexpected benefits from this experience and a chance to connect to their communities in a deep and meaningful way.

Connection to Others

One of the well-known benefits of volunteering is the connection to a community. Library Champions report making connections to others and their communities through our program. Our volunteers come from all corners of the globe. While languages and cultures may be different, the experience of being a newcomer to Canada creates a strong shared experience. 

“Listening to the stories and the experiences of other new immigrant volunteers made me realize that the challenges I was going through were normal phases of immigration. Further, LCP gave me a better understanding, respect and appreciation for different cultural backgrounds.” – Volunteering Leads to Employment Opportunity for this Library Champion

Increased Confidence 

The LCP’s training sessions focus on building communication, presentation, and outreach skills and on gaining an understanding of the range of programs, services, and resources that are provided by libraries and immigrant and community service agencies. After training, Library Champions share information with friends, family, colleagues, and other community members, giving group presentations, speaking with community agencies, and using social media. 

“This program helped me build my confidence, get a stronger understanding of multiculturalism, and encouraged me to actively share my ideas and feelings with others. The Library Champions Project helped me strengthen my English-speaking skills as my presentation skills.” Libraries, Volunteering and Canada – Read Dennia’s story

Access to Resources

Our Library Champions are often surprised to learn of the many free resources, materials, and workshops available at their local libraries. Libraries in BC have collections of materials in many different languages; they lend materials such as musical instruments, laptops, and bird watching backpacks; they provide space for creative opportunities such as recording studios, or 3D printing; and they provide workshops in settlement, employment, and so much more. 

“I was very surprised to learn that most people, whether they are new to BC or not, know very little about what BC libraries offer. Because of my experience with the Library Champions program, I realized how important it is, as a newcomer, to engage with my community to learn about the resources that are available.” – A Library Champion Success Story: From Library Champion to UBC Library Technician


Throughout the program, many Library Champions learn more about the options that are available to them to help them find work. The Vancouver Public Library’s Skilled Immigrant InfoCentre is an online and in-person resource centre that helps newcomers to Canada find the information they need to get a job, explore careers or start a business. Additionally, newcomers gain knowledge of many settlement organizations that help newcomers understand Canadian job search strategies. This increased knowledge helps our Library Champions find meaningful employment. 

“After I completed the Library Champions Project… I applied and was provided with an interview… I was successful in my interview and am now employed as an on-call Library Service Assistant.” – A Library Champion’s Journey to Employment with the Vancouver Public Library

Don’t delay! We are Recruiting New Library Champions

The Library Champions Project (LCP) is looking for newcomers who are:

  • A permanent resident, but not yet a Canadian citizen
  • 19 years of age or older
  • Enthusiastic about libraries
  • Interested in volunteering in the community to share information about library and settlement resources with other newcomers

Register for an information session to learn more.