FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, March 21, 2014
Calgary, Alberta – RBC Foundation, in partnership with the Calgary Public Library Foundation, today announced a $550,000 investment in the Welcome to the Library program for newcomers to Canada. Through this funding, newcomers will receive vital support to help begin their journey of settlement in Calgary. This is the largest contribution RBC Foundation has ever made to a library.
“New Canadians are a big part of Calgary’s continued growth and vitality,” says Mike Maloney, regional operating officer, RBC . “We are thrilled to support the library and play a part in launching an incredible program that will have a positive impact on the lives of newcomers to Canada settling in our community.”
Helping newcomers to succeed and thrive in Calgary (and Canada) is a strategic priority shared by RBC Foundation, the Calgary Public Library, and all three levels of government. Welcome to the Library, supported by RBC Foundation, offers a warm welcome to newcomers and is a significant investment that will nurture Calgary’s rapidly growing diverse, cultural communities. Funding will support orientation tours, a welcome video and one year of free library access to newcomers. For many new Canadians, this will be the first library card they have ever owned. The Welcome to the Library video is currently available in 18 languages and expanding to others through this funding.
“Public libraries have historically been the first point of contact for people who are new to the community and new to the country,” said Bill Ptacek, CEO of the Calgary Public Library. “The Calgary Public Library serves over one million people so this gift from the RBC Foundation will allow the Library to focus on helping newcomers with the skills, information and contacts that they need to navigate their new home.”
RBC Foundation is a founding partner for Add In, the Campaign for Calgary’s Library. Add In has surpassed $280 million of a $350 million goal and is the largest fundraising campaign for a library in Canadian history with philanthropic and sponsorship opportunities for all 18 libraries in Calgary. The Calgary Public Library is one of the largest public library systems in North America and the second largest civic public library system in Canada. In 2013, Calgarians visited the Library’s 18 locations more than 5.3 million times and borrowed more than 16 million items including books, DVDs, and e-resources.
The Calgary Public Library Foundation’s sole purpose is to ensure through fundraising that the citizens of Calgary have the best public library in the world. Funds raised do not replace the Library’s core funding, but rather enhance the special programs and services that the Library can provide.