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!
  • Darius Maze joined the Friends board in April of 2017. Professionally, Darius has experience in 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.
  • 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.
  • Bethany Benoit-Kelly Currently a communications specialist, Bethany has built a career out of words and stories, but has been an enthusiast of books and libraries for much longer than that. She is excited to lend her nearly 15 years of experience in communications to the Friends of the VPL. Talk to Bethany about writing, editing, storytelling, strategizing, branding, website management, publishing, or how and when to bend the rules of grammar and style. Bethany loves the library because it always rises to meet you in each new phase of life. As a youngster, the summer reading club at the local library was the highlight of her year. As an adult, the library has seen her through job hunting in a new city, becoming a parent, and adjusting to a long transit commute from the suburbs. You name it, the library has you covered.
  • 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 our Finance Committee, or Friends’ contributions to VPL initiatives. Zhe has loved the library since she was a kid because it was and continues to be a source of endless knowledge and entertainment.
  • Devon Hayley Farrell joined the Friends board in May 2019, but started volunteering as an office coordinator/manager for the Friends in February 2018. She has been helping Friends to improve our member database and pull reports to help us better engage our members. Devon has been working in admin since she completed her undergrad in English Lit in 2015, and she loves to take organizational systems and make them more efficient. Devon is also a speed reader — reading something like 40 books in the last 4 months. A talent we are happy to have on our board! You can talk to Devon about becoming a member, inviting your friends, and engaging in the Friends & VPL community. Devon has loved the library since childhood, and is thrilled to be currently pursuing her dream of becoming a librarian.
  • Lian Furlong joined Friends of the VPL in February 2017, and became a board member in April 2017 to serve as secretary. She just completed her MA in English Literature and will begin studying for her Masters in Library and Information Sciences this Fall. 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.
  • Tracy Proke is in her fifth 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.
  • Shirley Tan To Shirley, the VPL has been an invaluable resource, a safe haven and her personal happy place ever since moving to Vancouver in 2010. As a way of giving back, Shirley has been volunteering for Friends of the VPL for almost 5 years now. Most of the time, you will find her helping out on the floor during the Spring, Fall and Winter book sales. For the past 2 years, she has expanded her role by coordinating the development of the advertising and promotional materials needed throughout the year for the book sale and book collection periods. Shirley has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and currently works in the Insurance and Finance industry as a marketing advisor. She considers herself an expert bookshelf assembler — the result of having an extensive book collection, a significant portion of it from the Friends of the VPL book sales.
  • 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!