Vancouver public library
With the largest ever donation to a city and public library, The Dilawri Foundation committed $5 million to the Vancouver Public Library Foundation. The money will be used to re-imagine over 3,000 square feet, enabling the library to create new and enhanced program spaces, services and resources for the Central library’s No. 1 customers – children and families. In recognition of this contribution the two plazas outside Central library, facing Robson and Georgia streets, will be named Dilawri Square.
Construction is estimated to begin in 2020 and will add innovative learning spaces with new sensory learning elements for young children, including those with autism and/or unique learning needs.
The Children’s Library is the Vancouver Public Library’s most popular area, with over 1,100 programs operating for children throughout the year. However, the lack of space has impacted the development and creation of new programming to fill increasing demand. Children age five to nine are the library’s biggest users, borrowing an average of 70 items per year. Almost 30,000 children under the age of 10 borrowed from the Vancouver Public Library last year. The children’s space has evolved from a place to borrow books into a community gathering hub, attracting people from a number of vibrant neighborhoods: young families, parents and their children, grandparents and their grandchildren, and caregivers.
Once completed, the Central library will include new activity zones for toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged kids, and new resources to further expand the library’s early childhood education programs. In addition, the renovated space will offer support programs for parents, grandparents and caregivers and improved resources for the growing number of library users.
In honour of this donation, the Vancouver Public Library’s square was officially named Dilawri Square.