Who are we?

The Friends of the Vancouver Public Library is a community of library lovers who volunteer, fundraise, and advocate in support of the Vancouver Public Library.

What do we do?

Our goals are to:

  • Raise funds for library collections and special projects
  • Build membership
  • Promote and assist in library programs when requested
  • Initiate special projects

Friends also operates book’mark, The Library Store, on the main level of Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library.

How do I get involved?

  1. Become a member by going to book’mark or any VPL branch and buying a Friends membership for $5.
  2. Get in touch with us! Our office staff can let you know what kinds of volunteer opportunities are currently available and get you started. If you already have an idea of what you would like to do feel free to let us know! We may also contact you with opportunities based on the volunteer interests that you check off when you become a member.

Who’s on the Board?

  • Judith Neamtan is President of Friends of the VPL. Judith is a retired librarian with organizational management experience in an academic library. Her primary interests as a working librarian were reference and teaching students and faculty how to use library resources. Judith enjoys working with a team to organize and plan the work of Friends, to set priorities, reach out to new members, and promote the good work of the VPL. Talk to Judith about how you can support the library in your community or how to join the Friends of the VPL Board. An avid reader of fiction, Judith loves the library and is constantly amazed by the new programs and outreach of the VPL. She also considers it a pleasure to work with our dedicated volunteers and VPL staff and administration.
  • Mike Conroy chairs the Communications Committee and has been on the board since April 2014. Mike’s areas of expertise are digitization and community engagement. Talk to Mike about the Friends Board or our Communications Committee. Mike is passionate about supporting the work of the library because he believes the library is the cornerstone to a healthy democracy.
  • Zhe Xuan Choo joined the Friends board in November 2015 as our Treasurer. By day, Zhe is an accountant. While the Friends board appreciates Zhe’s financial expertise which she is happy to provide, she wishes she possessed a superpower that allows her to teleport somewhere sunny when it’s stormy weather in Vancouver. Talk to Zhe about which of the VPL’s initiatives Friends to contribute to or our Finance Committee. Zhe has loved the library since she was a kid because it was and continues to be a source of endless knowledge and entertainment.
  • Zoe Beavis joined Friends of the VPL in November 2014, volunteered at her first Used Book Sale in December, and became a board member in March 2015. Zoe is a professional administrator with over 10 years’ experience in the higher education sector. In her work and volunteering, she creates meeting opportunities and promotes collaboration between people. Zoe is also a passionate reader with two degrees in English literature and she loves to run. Talk to Zoe about volunteer/membership or her role as Secretary for Friends. Zoe loves the library because she sees it as a vital community resource: it is the last free public space that enriches everyone who engages with its services.
  • Rebecca Jackson-Harrop  A long-time lover of libraries, Rebecca was excited to join the board in the spring of 2015. Rebecca is happy to have the opportunity to contribute her passion for building community and experience in volunteer and membership engagement to the Friends team. Talk to her about supporting us as a volunteer and member of Friends and sharing your talents with us! Rebecca loves the library because it is a magical and accessible place that provides opportunities for learning to everyone in Vancouver’s community. She also spends a fair amount of time managing her VPL holds list.
  • Tracy Proke is in her second year on the Friends board. Tracy’s work focus has always involved food; lately her focus has been on local artisan products. Tracy represents and reports to the board on book’mark, The Library Store. This is a great fit for her because she loves working in a retail environment and thinks book’mark is a great store. Talk to Tracy about all the great treasures you can find at book’mark or volunteering in the store. Tracy loves the library because it is an open door to everyone, and she loves reading.
  • Ann True became a board member in spring of 2015. Happy to share her talents with Friends, Ann is known for her abilities to write HTML from scratch and manage a database, and for always having a book with her. Talk to Ann about fundraising and how Friends of the VPL supports your library. Ann loves the library because it provides free books and access to information for everyone!
  • Sunny Brar joined the Friends board in September 2016. By day, Sunny works in research and communications. By night, she also volunteers with an organization called Young Women in Business that supports young women in the early stages of their careers by providing leadership, mentorship and networking skills. Sunny’s role there is VP of Corporate Relations, as she secures support and sponsorship of the organization. Talk to Sunny about Friends’ Fundraising and Advocacy: opportunities that connect the community with the library. What Sunny loves the most about the library is that it provides free access to books and resources, while creating a safe and open space for everyone, from kids to adults, to share their love of books.

How do I get in touch?

Call us at: 604 331 4049 or send an email to friends@friendsoftheVPL.ca and we’ll get back you as soon as possible!