Vancouver Public Library Is Viewed As One Of The Most Valuable Services Vancouver Offers, Yet Most People Don’t Know About Its Most Innovative Programs

Vancouver Public Library is one of the most highly regarded brands in Western Canada, out of Insights West’s 450+ “Brand Reputation Insights” normative database. Almost all (95%) Vancouver residents agree that the Vancouver Public Library is one of the most valuable services the City offers.

Vancouver, BC – According to a recent Insights West poll commissioned by the Vancouver Public Library (VPL), the majority of Vancouverites have used VPL and the vast majority regard the institution very positively.

In 2018, 63% of City of Vancouver residents used the services offered at VPL, an increase from 55% in 2017 and 57% in 2016. Library card ownership has also remained high over the years, with 66% of Vancouverites holding a library card in 2018. Overall, there remains a very high level of satisfaction with the services offered at VPL, with 94% of Vancouver residents being satisfied, including 65% who are very satisfied. 

Consistent with increased usage of VPL’s services in the survey results, VPL welcomed over 6.4 million visits across its 21 locations in 2018, with website and app usage increasing 8% to 6.9 million visits. Almost 9.9 million items were borrowed systemwide.

Using Insights West’s proprietary Brand Reputation Insights tool, Insights West found that VPL is one of the most highly regarded brands in the database of 450+ companies in Canada. Among all the 450+ brands in the database, VPL ranks in the top 2% of all companies. This shows that VPL is viewed as an iconic brand.

Not only do Vancouverites praise VPL for being a great source of information, VPL is also a source of pride and value. Two-thirds of Vancouverites strongly agree that VPL is a great place to gain knowledge and information (68%), is an important part of the community (67%) and they are proud to have VPL in their community (66%). Over 6-in-10 (62%) Vancouver residents strongly agree that VPL is one of the most valuable services that the City of Vancouver has to offer, while more than 4-in-10 (43%) strongly agree that VPL provides services that encourage innovation.

While residents are familiar with traditional library offerings, VPL’s innovative programs such as instrument lending, digital creation, and the Indigenous Storyteller in Residence are still largely unknown to the majority of library users. Vancouverites are most familiar with VPL’s print book lending (70%) and free computers & WiFi (66%). Roughly half are familiar with eBooks/eAudiobooks (53%) and programs for children and teens (47%). However, less than a quarter are familiar with the Sun Life Financial Musical Instrument Lending Library (23%) and VPL’s Inspiration Lab, a space for digital creation that includes recording studios, photo digitization, and audio and video editing software (24%). Furthermore, less than 2-in-10 were familiar with the Indigenous Storyteller in Residence program that builds personal connections with traditional Indigenous knowledge (16%).

In September 2018, VPL completed a major expansion of the top two floors of the Central Library, which includes a rooftop garden, exhibition space, meeting areas, reading room, and theatre. Just over half of Vancouverites (52%) were aware of the library’s expansion. Future intent to visit is strong, with two-thirds of Vancouverites (66%) being likely to visit the expanded top 2 floors of the Central Library (31% very likely).

Over the first 5 months of opening, traffic to the Central Library increased 11%, with over 5,000 people visiting per day.

“What jumped out at me in the survey results is how highly regarded the Vancouver Public Library is in the city and how proud residents are of it”, says Steve Mossop, President of Insights West.  “It truly shows that even in a digital age, there is still relevance and value to a public institution such as this, and it’s a valuable service to Vancouver citizens.”

“We’re thrilled with the incredible value that residents place on the Library, and look forward to building greater awareness of our more innovative services,” says Christina de Castell, Chief Librarian. “As we continue to evolve our offerings to meet community needs, we want to let everyone know that Vancouver Public Library is here to inspire creativity, learning and connection, while continuing to share our love for books and reading.”

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About Vancouver Public Library:

Vancouver Public Library (VPL) has been dedicated to meeting the lifelong learning, reading and information needs of Vancouver residents for more than 100 years. Our vision is an informed, engaged, and connected city. Our mission is a free place for everyone to discover, create and share ideas and information.

About this Release:

Results are based on a telephone survey of 402 City of Vancouver residents and an online survey with 1,200 City of Vancouver residents aged 18 years or older. The survey was conducted from November 22 to December 8, 2018. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender, and education. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.8 percentage points for the telephone survey and +/- 2.8 percentage points for the online survey. Discrepancies between totals are due to rounding. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Scott Fraser
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Vancouver Public Library
604.612.4059
Scott.fraser@vpl.ca

Steve Mossop
President
Insights West
778.379.1140
stevemossop@insightswest.com