News

Richmond Public Library conducting 'thorough review' of donation procedures

Kwok-Chu Lee gave 46,730 Chinese books, 200 VCDs and various art works to the library, worth $1 ,195,200 million. The Chinese-language books include art books, psychology, rare texts and more. - Bhreandáin Clugston photo
Kwok-Chu Lee gave 46,730 Chinese books, 200 VCDs and various art works to the library, worth $1 ,195,200 million. The Chinese-language books include art books, psychology, rare texts and more.
— image credit: Bhreandáin Clugston photo

The chair of the Richmond library board acknowledged Monday recent media reports critical of the library's handling of a large donation of Chinese language books.

"We are currently conducting a thorough review of our procedures, and are investigating best practices from other libraries and major institutions across Canada," said Pat Watson at a meeting of council. "The library board is always looking to improve our system so that we'll be well-equipped to support future donations that contribute so much to our community."

Kwok-Chu Lee, also known as Master Lam Chun, donated nearly 47,000 Chinese books to the library earlier this year. The library valued the collection at $1.2 million and issued the donor tax receipts of an equivalent value.

In examining the collection for the library, Victoria book dealer Bjarne Tokerud described the books as a "national treasure."

In recent columns this fall, Vancouver Sun columnist David Baines suggested the library exercised "a remarkable lack of rigour" in awarding Lee with tax receipts based on "flimsy" appraisals.

Meanwhile integration of the collection into the library system—which the city is spending $100,000 on this year—has begun.

Chief librarian Greg Buss said 5,000 of the books are now on library shelves, and the library has recorded 4,000 circulations of the materials since May.

Said Buss: "These are books that the public really want and they're going to be taking out.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

B.C. lawyers vote to overturn Trinity Western law school recognition
 
Richmond records jump in advance voting
 
Christmas food drives take bite out of hunger
New Loblaws CityMarket caters to ‘food enthusiasts’
 
Most colonoscopies on time in Fraser region despite demand surge
 
CBC fired me for sexual behaviour: Ghomeshi
ICBC pedestrian safety campaign
 
Candidates talk about social services
 
In the ditch

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 29 edition online now. Browse the archives.