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BC Cancer Library COVID-19 Update
Alert: All BC Cancer Library sites and Cancer Information Centres are closed to the public until further notice. We continue to support patients and staff, providing reference, research, document delivery and more from a virtual platform. The library is still monitoring our email and phones during our regular Monday-Friday hours of operation and can still help you.

Library: Patients

This webpage is for BC Cancer patients, their families and friends.

Services for Patients

What the Library Does for Patients

We help patients, their family members and loved ones in BC and the Yukon obtain the relevant and credible information for their cancer care, management, and support needs.

Reference Information Services: Members of the public can contact the library via phone, email, or via our new Information Request Form to obtain customized cancer and support information and resources specific to their unique needs and interests. Please note that all in-person reference services is temporarily halted due to Covid. 

Access to relevant and credible information: The library works to curate and make accessible the best cancer information available, and staff and patients can find resources below:

  • BC Cancer Library website: provides access to our library catalogue, including "canned' searches on popular topics which retrieves the most current resources we have on the topic.
  • Pathfinderspatient handouts that compile carefully selected library materials and trusted websites on specific topics. Feel free to suggest the development of a new pathfinder if you don't find one relevant to your patient's needs! 
  • Types of Cancer patient webpages. These pages are revised and edited by the Library, and are great starting points to refer patients to for education resources.
  • Recommended Websites: Find rigorously, library evaluated and compiled websites for patients and healthcare professionals to complement BC Cancer produced resources.
  • Library DatabasesSome of the databases and tools that we subscribe to for staff also provide excellent patient-friendly materials. Check out the Basics, and Beyond the Basics handouts found in UpToDate and the drug information in LexiComp (available in many languages).

Events & Training

  • Patient EventsThe library often opens our spaces and librarians can be available to provide information support during BC Cancer patient events. Contact us for more information on how we can support your event.
  • Patient Learning: Librarians are able to conduct one : one or small group training via Zoom to assist the public on topics such as health literacy, how to find information, and more. 


Can Patients Borrow Library Books?

The library provides consumer-health cancer books and other materials to anyone residing in BC and the Yukon. These donation-funded consumer collections can be borrowed from the Vancouver Library and regional branch Cancer Information Centres (CICs). Note - though all library and CIC locations are currently closed to the public until further notice due to Covid, patient materials can still be borrowed).

Patients can search our library catalogue and call or email us for resources and we can mail books to patients anywhere in BC or the Yukon, and will provide a free return mailing label.

To borrow BC Cancer library books for patients, please sign-up on our catalogue page or contact

 The BC Cancer library system consists of one central library at Vancouver Centre (VC), and branches in Abbotsford (AC), Kelowna (SAHCSI), Prince George (CN), Surrey (FVC), and Victoria (VIC). All centres have a collection of patient resources in a Cancer Information Centre (CIC), and most centres have a professional collection on site. Professional resources purchased for the CN are housed in the adjacent UHNBC Library.