20,000 Books Under the Bow

On Saturday, July 27 2013, the Library Foundation held a city-wide book drive,“20,000 Books Under the Bow,” which provided a unique opportunity for Calgarians to support their Library after the devastating flood on June 20—the worst in Alberta’s history. Channeling Jules Verne’s classical novel, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” the Library Foundation sent out a rallying cry for Calgarians to help their Library. Calgarians responded en masse, resulting in over 270,000 books, DVDs and CDs donated on a single day. Our partners, BetterWorld Books, informed us that the materials collected weighed in at more than 200,000 lbs—heavy lifting from our volunteers!

"The Library’s Data Centre was moved to the City of Calgary’s Emergency Response Facility to ensure continuation of service, both for the Flood of 2013 and for potential future events"

"A Flood Recovery Resources brochure was created and distributed to each Library and in severely affected neighbourhoods, emergency shelters and re-entry centres within affected communities"

"Donor funds were provided to each branch to help patrons in need—ranging from crafts and activities for displaced families to coffee for neighbours to talk over."

Program Impact


materials donated


lbs of materials




limited edition t-shirts sold

More than $600,000 raised to augment insurance

More than 1000 cash donors and more than 10,000 in-kind donors

Two libraries served as part of emergency

15 libraries were open Monday after the flood, and donor funds were used to help patrons in need

www.floodstory.ca created

Download the 2013-2014 Flood Report
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