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Library Services plan and budget


Calgary's libraries are vibrant community hubs that not only provide access to resources and learning that Calgarians are seeking, but also foster connection, belonging, and empowerment. The Calgary Public Library Board is an independent City of Calgary Civic Partner that leverages The City’s investment of operating and capital grants and assets through volunteer support, partnerships, and donations. As a separate legal entity, costs for the Library's separate governance and corporate services (Human Resources, Information Technology, Financial Services, Security and Facilities) are included in the Library's operating budget breakdown.

Our customers

  • Calgarians and those residing in nearby Indigenous communities
  • Library members
  • Children, and youth
  • Families and caregivers
  • Adult learners
  • Seniors
  • Newcomers to Calgary and visitors

Our partners

  • Calgary Public Library Board
  • Calgary school boards
  • Community associations
  • YMCA
  • Post-secondary institutions such as University of Calgary and Bow Valley College
  • Calgary Police Services
  • Calgary Fire department
  • Other City services

Value to Calgarians

  • empowers community by connecting Calgarians to experiences, inspiration, and ideas
  • builds connections
  • participates in collaborative action
  • deepens understanding of community
  • assists visitors with opportunities for personal change and lifelong discovery

What we deliver

  • Free access to over 2.3 million physical, digital and streamed items
  • Programs
  • Online resources and learning and development courses
  • Internet access through computers, Chromebooks and Wi-Fi. 
  • Free printing and meeting room bookings (at most locations).

Budget breakdown

service plan budget


Operating ($millions)
Capital ($millions)
View budget in the year of
service plan budget
Service line Breakdown
Library Services

Get a complete breakdown of how your property tax dollars are used.

Measuring performance

We are measuring our performance in five areas. Each value is the goal we expect to reach by 2026. 

Annual Library Uses Per Capita

Library Operating Cost Per Use

Annual Library Visits Per Capita

Registered cardholders as percentage of population

Overall satisfaction rating with Library services

View our yearly performance progress.

What we've heard

In 2021, over 95 per cent of customers were satisfied with their Library experiences. This is a direct result of dedicated effort towards enhancing convenience and ease of service, offering high quality programming, and supporting staff in delivering exceptional experiences.

The Library provides critical supports and spaces for literacy and learning. Research shows that after visiting a Library Early Learning Centre, children showed more constructive, dramatic and physical play; more children initiated family trips to libraries with play spaces and had increased the length of their average stay; and parents reported higher levels of satisfaction with the space, and decreased feelings of social isolation.

The Library’s community meeting rooms are another well-utilized service that directly benefits a wide range of users, including entrepreneurs, volunteers, students, and more.

Participate and view results of City research

What we're watching

  • Publishing trends: Impact on purchasing include popularity of topics/formats, distribution models, exchange rates, and digitization trends that affect customer service tools and skills. 
  • Security trends: number/type of reported physical incidents in and around libraries impacting staff and visitor experience; facility design and activation that prevent negative behavior and promote safe, welcoming spaces; and threats to digital records and network integrity that impact budgets and approaches to digital-based services.  
  • Relevance trends: demographic and psychographic changes inform planning and focus current programs and services. Customer and partner research and survey results ensure program design and delivery effectively support the intended impact of Library programs and assess the effectiveness of internal innovation efforts. 
  • COVID resilience and recovery: the Library is well positioned to improve community resilience as an open, welcoming, and inclusive organization.

Our initiatives

What we plan to do

Library Services strives to support Calgarians to realize their full potential by connecting them to ideas and experiences, inspiration and insights. The focus for the upcoming business plan cycle includes: Create Purpose Together, Champion a Sense of Belonging, and Energize Lifelong Learning.

How we're going to get there

  • Provide exceptional service to Calgarians by operating the existing 21 service locations, maintaining the current service level of 1,450 open hours per week (average 70 hours per location).
  • Increase quality of life for all Calgarians by operating outreach services to mobility-challenged populations, groups experiencing vulnerabilities, and those residing in areas without a convenient Library service location.
  • Enhance pathways to wellness for Calgarians by improving and expanding services offered through Wellness Desks.
  • Enhance support for school-aged learning by developing pop-up and loanable versions of current Questionarium content and materials.
  • Maintain a “Good” rating in building condition assessments by conducting lifecycle investment in existing service locations.

More initiatives

Most requested services