Greater Victoria Public Library Teen Zones

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Victoria’s Vital Signs®, we invited the community to write guest blog posts that demonstrates how the report has made an impact. Thanks to the Greater Victoria Public Library for this post.

Greater Victoria Public Library logoGreater Victoria Public Library aims to inspire literacy, lifelong learning and community enrichment for all. GVPL provides services and collections in ten libraries and online at to more than 315,000 residents in 10 municipalities.

Vital Signs provides GVPL with insight into the lives of those we serve. It presents data on a broad range of issues using helpful indicators to inform how we can provide better and more relevant service. The information stimulates discussion which helps us explore new ways to collaborate throughout our community; as well as substantiates through statistics what we are experiencing in the Greater Victoria area. 

Community consultation is a “vital” part of our strategic planning process. Public input, including information gleaned from Victoria’s Vital Signs®, allows us to find out how we can continue to connect Greater Victoria residents with ideas and imagination for lifelong learning and community engagement. As modern technologies give rise to unprecedented change and exciting opportunities, we strive to understand the needs of the community to make sure no one is left behind.

Depending on the specific results from year-to-year, findings from Victoria’s Vital Signs® impact our work based on their relevance to our vision. For example, in 2010, we prioritized youth spaces and followed up with more targeted research as described below.

The 2010 Victoria’s Vital Signs® was a driving force behind renovations to our Teen Zone. Teen Zones were initially created in 2006, thanks to generous funding from The Friends of the GVPL. A key finding in the 2010 Victoria’s Vital Signs® report on “Youth in Victoria” was the need for “youth-friendly” libraries with places for them to relax and spend time with each other in a safe and secure environment, resulting in youth spaces in our community receiving a grade of C+. 

Based on this, a Teen Zone Recommendations Project Charter was developed in November 2010 and GVPL’s Teen Council and Teen Services Librarian toured each branch to do a Teen Zone audit and update of needs. Recommendations of a report prepared by GVPL’s Teen Council lead to significant changes and improvements for Teen Zones at GVPL’s branches. Victoria’s Vital Signs® inspired us to make our Teen Zones a priority and engage relevant individuals to meet the current needs of the community.

Greater Victoria Public Library Teen Zones