Calgary Public Library Foundation
Our Story Why We Exist
“I moved around a lot growing up and had trouble making friends. To alleviate the loneliness, I would spend my lunch hours in the library. To me, the Library equals hope.” - Anna
The Library is for everyone. From newcomers who discover it is a welcoming haven in their new home, to people who use its services to brush up their skills and increase their career prospects, the Library offers life enrichment, skills development, education and entertainment experiences for every stage of life.
Only the Library can meet an entire city's thirst for knowledge and community connections. There is no greater investment our society can make for the future than in people's opportunity to grow, learn and prosper - we are all better for it. The Calgary Public Library is one of North America's busiest library systems, welcoming 5.1 million visitors at 18 community libraries yearly, lending more than 16 million items and engaging more than 200,000 participants each year in free Library programs and services.
Our Impact What We Do
Enabling Citizens of Calgary to Have the Best Public Library in the World
More than a century ago, Annie Davidson and founding members of the Calgary Women’s Literacy Club stirred our city to action and secured the public and financial support to build the first library. They saw the Library cause as an investment for their families and the generations of Calgarians that would follow and successfully secured community support for Alberta’s first public library and obtained the financial donation from the Carnegie Foundation.
The Library Foundation was created in 1999 to provide an opportunity for individuals, businesses and foundations to participate in building a library system for today and future generations. Funds raised by the Library Foundation do not replace the Library's core funding, but enhance collections, programs and services. Through the generosity of our donors, we can help ensure that knowledge, information, programs and services are accessible to all Calgarians.
Our Programs How We Do It
Building Readers for Life. With over 400 separate programs delivered to more than 200,000 Calgarians yearly, the Library connects our city’s residents with skill development, education, life enrichment and entertainment at all stages of life. In a busy world, today’s Library is the community’s living room, where children are nurtured to learn to read, newcomers to Canada welcomed, and the direction of a life can be positively changed through the services and support provided by Library staff.
At the heart of Library service are more than 20 learning programs supporting three key literacy service areas: basic literacy (reading, writing and numeracy); technology or digital skill development; and language learning. Targeted program areas include:
- Early Literacy: The Library’s free early literacy programs provide a high-touch, personalized delivery that support bonding between parent and infants while building the critical foundational skills that will last a lifetime. The award winning Grow a Reader digital app teaches parents and caregivers how to develop early literacy skills in young children using interactive rhymes, finger plays, and songs.
- Children and Youth: Award winning programs like It’s A Crime Not To Read foster a love of reading and self-confidence for grade 1 to 3 students through a unique partnership between the Library and Calgary Police Service. Canadian Oil Sands Math Minds improves math skills and confidence for children grades 1 to 6 with a free fourteen-week math tutoring program.
- Other Programs: The Library offers additional programs such as: It's a Crime Not to Read, Canadian Oil Sands Math Minds and Digital Literacy in the Community. To register for these and other programs, please call 403-260-2620 or visit the Calgary Public Library at the following link: Register for Programs
Adults & New Canadians: Sun Life Financial Arts & Culture Pass provides targeted support for low income individuals and families in Calgary, allowing them to access and participate in our city’s arts and culture events. Digital Literacy in the Community supports the learning needs of our city’s most vulnerable populations—delivering foundational computer skills in small, learner-centered classes at 28 partner social agencies. The RBC Welcome to the Library supports New Canadians in Calgary, providing tools to access and develop foundational skills and celebrating their successful integration as participatory, productive citizens.
RBC Welcome to the Library: Welcome to the Library, supported by the RBC Foundation welcomes and supports newcomers to Canada through Welcome Tours, Welcome Library Cards and Welcome Videos.
The Library has programs for every stage—from babies to seniors—that foster literacy, connections and lifetime learning.
Our Requests What You Can Do
The Calgary Public Library stands as the leader it is today because previous generations recognized how important the library was to the future of Calgary.
We are at an incredible moment in Calgary’s development with the new Central Library opening in 2018. It will be a place unlike anything Calgarians have ever seen—and exactly everything Calgarians need. The New Central Library will start a new chapter in Calgary’s history. The demand for library services has never been greater, and new public libraries are planned to keep up with Calgary’s explosive growth in the next five years.
Make an investment in your Library
- Become a Friend of the Library
- Join the Annie Davidson Founders Society (annual donation of $500 or more)
- Support the Bob Edwards Gala help us build readers for life
- Leave a Library Legacy with bequests, charitable gift annuities, life insurance and RRSP/RRIFs
- Learn about Add-In—the Campaign for Calgary’s Library, and unique opportunities to create a legacy for our city
- Find out about other ways that you can support the Library, including book donations, buying or selling your home and donating your car
Your library is a place of possibilities. The gifts of literacy and life-long learning touch everyone – regardless of age, gender, or income. We are proud to invite Calgarians to invest in the potential that lives in all of us.