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Burnaby Public Library
Burnaby Public Library logo.png
Established 1954
Branches 4
Items collected books, e-books, music, cds, periodicals, maps, genealogical archives, business directories, local history,
Access and use
Circulation 3,010,470[1]
Population served 232,755
Other information
Budget CA $14,188,200
Director Beth Davies (Chief Librarian), Lorraine Shore (Library Board Chair)
Staff 120.59 (FTE)

Burnaby Public Library or BPL is a public library that serves Burnaby, British Columbia and the surrounding Lower Mainland. According to its 2019-2022 strategic plan, BPL aims to "empower the community to engage with and share stories, ideas and information." BPL provides access to information services and library collections (including books, DVDs, newspapers, magazines and research materials) through its four branches as well as online and through community outreach.


BPL provides a broad range of services and programs that reflect the needs of its community. The following list is a small sample of the regular services available:

  • Information and reference services
  • Access to full text databases
  • Community information
  • Internet access
  • Readers' advisory services
  • Storytimes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers
  • Programs for children, youth, adults and seniors
  • Newcomer services including English as an additional language supports
  • Delivery to homebound individuals
  • Interlibrary loan
  • Free downloadable audiobooks
  • Movie nights
  • "Book bike" mobile library outreach
  • Philosophers' Cafe series, in partnership with Simon Fraser University


Burnaby's first library was founded in 1927 as the North Burnaby Library Association with members paying one dollar to use a collection of 397 books. The first actual library building was established on East Hastings Street in 1935.

In 1954, a municipal bylaw was enacted to officially establish the Burnaby Public Library. After merging with the North Burnaby Library Association in 1957, BPL's first permanent library building, the McGill Branch, was built in North Burnaby in 1961. The branch was named after Grace McGill, a volunteer with the North Burnaby Library Association since its 1927 inception.

The Kingsway branch was established in 1962 followed by the Central Park branch in 1974 and the Cameron branch in 1980.

In 1991, the Central Park branch was replaced by the Bob Prittie Metrotown branch, BPL's current central branch. The branch is named in honour of former Burnaby teacher, MP, alderman, mayor and library board member Robert "Bob" Prittie.

In 2001, the current 27,000 square-foot McGill branch was completed.

In 2009, the Kingsway branch was closed and replaced with the Tommy Douglas branch. The branch is named after Canadian politician Tommy Douglas, who served as the Member of the House of Commons of Canada for the now-defunct Burnaby—Coquitlam district from 1962 to 1968.


Bob Prittie Metrotown branch

The library has four branches:

  • Bob Prittie Metrotown - 49°13′41.2″N 123°0′23.1″W / 49.228111°N 123.006417°W / 49.228111; -123.006417: As of 2012, this 61,000 square foot branch holds 383,771 items and serves as BPL's main research library with a reference collection that includes local and provincial historical materials, legal and business information, car repair manuals The branch features 21 public internet stations and three stations for accessing the library's database collection.
  • McGill - 49°16′57.2″N 123°0′1.9″W / 49.282556°N 123.000528°W / 49.282556; -123.000528: This 20,000 square foot branch holds 159,704 items as of 2012, and features 16 public internet stations and three stations dedicated to accessing BPL's database collection. The City of Burnaby Archives, Burnaby's official repository for municipal records dating back to 1892, occupies a 4,000-square-foot space adjacent to the McGill branch.
  • Tommy Douglas - 49°13′08″N 122°57′08″W / 49.218961°N 122.952336°W / 49.218961; -122.952336: The Tommy Douglas branch is 17,500 square feet and holds 84,568 items as of 2012. Opened on November 21, 2009, this building replaces the old Kingsway branch. The branch features 34 public internet stations, which includes six children's terminals. This branch is also home to Bibliotech, BPL's creative technology lab which loans digital cameras, camcorders and tripods and provides access to computers with Photoshop, iMovie, Garageband and other creative digital software.
  • Cameron - 49°15′13.5″N 122°53′54.3″W / 49.253750°N 122.898417°W / 49.253750; -122.898417: As of 2012 this 5,000 square foot library holds 62,941 items and provides public internet and computer access via eight computer terminals. The branch was renovated in 2016.
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