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?

  • Ann True is President of Friends of the VPL. She became a board member in spring of 2015 and has shared her professional experience in fundraising with the Friends. Happy to share her talents with Friends, Ann is also known for her abilities in database management, email and web design, sewing and quilting skills, 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!
  • 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 volunteering and membership. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lian Furlong joined Friends of the VPL in February 2017, and became a board member in April 2017 to serve as secretary. She is currently a UBC student completing her MA in English Literature, and later plans to study Library Sciences. Talk to Lian about memberships and volunteering with Friends, or inquiries about our Board. Lian is excited to contribute her skills to the important work Friends does, as she believes public libraries offer all citizens indispensable opportunities for community-building, intellectual growth and creative stimulation.
  • Rebecca Jackson-Harrop  A long-time lover of libraries, Rebecca was excited to join the Friends board in the spring of 2015 and to be the new Vice President this year. Rebecca is happy to have the opportunity to contribute her passion for building community, interest in governance, and experience in volunteer and membership engagement to the Friends team. With an MA in English Lit, you know she is a bona fide book nerd as well. Talk to her about joining the Friends board, our strategic plan, or becoming a member. 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.
  • Darius Maze joined the Friends board this April 2017. Professionally, Darius is a Development & Marketing Manager at The Bloom Group, where he is responsible for fundraising, marketing, events, and communications. An advocate of social justice, equality, and inclusion; he serves as Chair of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) Diversity & Inclusion committee and dedicates much of his time to supporting local causes and events that foster these values. Talk to Darius about fundraising and events with Friends. Darius loves the library because it provides a community space that encourages us to encounter and learn from new people and their ideas.
  • 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.
  • Mahin Rashid was welcomed to the Friends board this spring 2017. Mahin is passionate about causes relating to social justice and has spent much of her career in non-profit and fundraising. Most recently, Mahin worked with United Way inspiring funding to prevent poverty and help children, families and seniors live their best life. She now is an accessibility and inclusion consultant hosted at Vancity – encouraging employers to be more inclusive in their hiring practices. Her volunteer activities have been focused on the mentorship of young women through organizations such as Girl Guides of Canada and Big Sisters. Talk to Mahin about why she is scared of fish! Or volunteering, female empowerment, social justice, and for any book recommendations. Mahin loves the library because she spent a lot of my childhood at the library, and had many of my adventures through the eyes of characters in novels. Most importantly she loves the inclusive nature and the safe space that libraries provide.
  • Cail Smith joined the Friends board in November 2017. Cail is helping Friends hone their communications. Talk to Cail about how you want to hear from Friends and what you want to hear about. Cail’s other passions include transportation planning and biking. Also bikes. Did Cail mention bikes? When it comes to the library, Cail particularly loves that libraries grow with people and give them access to education (and good stories) throughout their lives. Cail loves exploring the different VPL branches.
    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!