Fishing equipment available on loan from the Richmond Public Library
The Richmond Public Library (RPL) hopes to introduce more people to sport and the Richmond waterways by loaning fishing gear kits.
The new “Fishing ExplorePacks” include a fishing rod and line, grippers, floats, weights, lures and bait holders.
While the fishing kits are intended for beginners – and include information and instructions on how to get started fishing – they can be used by anyone, according to Shane Parmar, community development and service design coordinator. from RPL, who worked to bring the kits to a library.
Some kits come with multiple fishing rods so they can be checked by a group.
Parmar pointed out that libraries “have been around for a while” and lend more than books.
“Expanding access to non-traditional forms of library service is something we need to do to stay relevant,” he said.
“People don’t think of libraries as something that would lend out fishing rods, reels and that sort of thing. But we’re here to allow people to borrow things that they wouldn’t normally be able to afford, or something that they just want to do once in a while.
He explained that he had heard of another organization in Washington state that offered fishing kits and thought it would be a good addition to the library. Fishing gear is also provided by Ontario Libraries, but RPL is the first in Western Canada to do so.
The kits, Parmar said, offer “equal access.”
“I grew up in the Steveston area and my family was not that well off. My friends would always ask me to go fishing with them, and really I couldn’t afford it – I couldn’t afford it at all, like the rod, reel and gear, ”he said.
“It has always marked me. So when I found out that I was like, well, this is something that we can do for the public to provide those who don’t have the capacity to go out and pick up all of these things, to be able to borrow it from the library and then enjoy our waterways.
He said he hopes the fishing kits will help people appreciate nature and recognize – as with catch and release fishing – the importance of protecting waterways such as the Fraser River and to “be able to ensure that the fish are there for future generations.” », As well as their place in the ecosystem.
“Richmond is a rapidly urbanizing place… which is great is wonderful, but there should also be an appreciation of the nature around us, to protect that nature as well. “
The city also has close ties to fishing, Parmar noted, from indigenous communities, to Japanese and South Asian immigrants who worked in the canneries, to Steveston’s current fishing industry.
Rods and equipment were provided to RPL free of charge through a donation from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC’s Rod Loan Program, which reduces barriers to access for people wishing to try fishing, said Jessica Yarwood , Outreach Coordinator for the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. , in a report.
The kits are being run as a pilot program, and more may be added to the library’s collection in the future.
They are available for week-long loans with a Richmond Library Card. People over 16 also need a license to fish in British Columbia
Kits are only available at the Brighouse branch and must be returned to that branch, but can be collected in person or on the RPL website.
Fishing Gear is the third set of new kits that RPL has added to its collection this year, following 10 Birdwatching ExplorePacks – donated by Birds Canada – and STEAM kits for school-aged children. Ukulele kits will be added in the coming months, and Parmar said he also hopes to add hiking kits in the future to help people explore local trails.