Wayne Lavoie (from left)

Wayne Lavoie (from left)

New library dials into Phones for Good program

Telus donates $150,000 to Okanagan Regional Library's Vernon branch

A significant corporate investment has helped open a new chapter of library use in Vernon.

Over the last year, for every new smartphone activated at a Telus location in Vernon, $100 went toward helping build the new Vernon branch of the Okanagan Regional Library. Telus recently handed over $150,000 to the library thanks to local support of its Phones for Good campaign.

“Libraries, books and technology are the keys that open a world of lifelong learning,” said Steve Jenkins, Telus general manager, Interior South B.C.

“This is especially true in opening up opportunities for young people to develop the knowledge and skills they need to fulfill their potential. We thank our customers in Vernon who chose to purchase a Telus smartphone, while helping fund this important project for our community.”

Officials with ORL say they are pleased to have been chosen as beneficiary of this community investment.

“It speaks to the vital importance libraries play in our communities, and these funds have enhanced the new Vernon branch, ensuring it is a place where all North Okanagan residents can find the information, entertainment and resources they need,” said said Maureen Curry, Vernon branch head librarian.

Funds raised by Telus’ smartphone campaign helped to build the new two-storey, 30,000 square foot library, which serves the residents of Vernon, Coldstream and surrounding communities in the North Okanagan region.

It provides educational, recreational and cultural library resources as well as programs to the public, including children’s storytimes, author visits and school tours.

* Okanagan Regional Library did the following with the funds:

* Better quality equipment in the computer lab

* Sound system and digital projector in the meeting room

* Four 3M self-checkout stations (this technology is among the highest quality available to libraries)

* Wii gaming station and games for youth services

* Digital internal and external signage (still in progress).

The new building also offers underground parking, a community meeting room and expanded space for resources, study space, computer stations and children’s and teens’ areas.

The new library more than doubles the size of the old facility and provides opportunities for North Okanagan residents who made more than 250,000 visits to the branch in the past year.

Since 2000,  Telus and its 25,000 employees and retirees across B.C. have donated more than $100 million and volunteered 2.4 million hours to community and charitable organizations.