Meet the team

The Blue Mountains Public Library has a team of over 50 people! This includes our staff and volunteers as well as the BMPL Board, and Arts & Culture Council. We could not achieve our level of success without this full group.

Maurice Pepper, Board Chair

 

Maurice Pepper, Chair

Before retiring to this area – to play golf and tennis and to ski and curl – I gained experience on several not for profit boards – St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Board of Managers, the Newmarket Public Library Board, York Region United Way Board of Directors. In Addition, I was elected to the Collingwood Curling Club Board of Directors for five consecutive years.

I wanted to make a contribution to the town of The Blue Mountains. The first four-year term on the library board was an interesting challenge. I applied to sit on the library board for a second term to finish what the previous board started. The L.E. Shore Library and the Craigleith Heritage Depot are important community hubs. They offer a gallery for art exhibitions, lectures and music recitals to name a few, library programs and activities in both locations, important archival systems and a museum.

It is important to remember that we do not manage the library itself, but we work with the C.E.O. to ensure that it is run properly. We are open to discussions with members of the community whom we represent, and with town staff and council.

Laurey Gillies, Board Vice-Chair

 

Laurey Gillies, Vice-Chair

I have an extensive background in public libraries having worked in the field for over 30 years. I have a Master’s in Library Science and was CEO of Southern Ontario Library Service for 20 years. I have experience with strategic planning, business and operational planning, policy development, financial planning and management, and human relations. I believe that libraries are an essential part of a community. They support learning at all ages and on any topic, they provide access to the Internet, resources for entertainment, spaces to work and a community meeting place. In Blue Mountains, our library is a community hub with the gallery and museum. All these services are important, but they are essential for young people, students, seniors and the vulnerable among us. I am a full-time resident in TBM, living in Craigleith. I enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, tennis, cycling, and gardening.

Dorothy

 

Dorothy Cammaert

As a relative newcomer to the Blue Mountain community, I am impressed by the innovative and creative cultural and community hub that has been created here. I have spent my career in large public service organizations and have appreciated the opportunity to contribute in some way to the community. Upon retirement I looked for a way to continue this and luckily the library board had an opening. I have been a library patron since I was old enough to hold a card, and loved going to the library as a child, a student, a young parent and adult. I have worked in Human Resources for over 30 years, including almost 10 years with the Toronto Public Library, and 18 with the York Region School Board, where my last position was that of Superintendent of Human Resources. I hope my experience will prove useful to the Library Board. 

Jesse Glass

Jesse T. Glass, Q.C.

During my early years growing up, I learned at close range the concept of service to the community. My late father sat as an elected member of the Ontario Legislature for nine years. I studied at the University of Toronto and the Osgoode Hall Law School and trained as litigator. After practicing law for five decades, I retired from my firm. I then took up a second career, as a mediator and arbitrator, for nine years. During all these years, my homes, wherever I lived, were filled with books, periodicals, journals, newspapers and the like.

When we purchased a second home in Lora Bay, over six years ago, I examined the possibilities of becoming involved in the community. At about the time I retired from my mediation practice, I was encouraged to consider an application to be appointed to the Town of Blue Mountains Library Board. I believe the Library Board, through its involvement with children, adults, art, historical matters and as a catalyst for many interests, is a vital part of the community. I am proud to serve on the Board.

Joanne Vivona

Joanne Vivona

After years as a teacher librarian in French Immersion, the Library remains my passion. The first stop I made after moving to the Town of Blue Mountains was to L.E. Shore Library knowing it would be the community hub. It offered me local information, computer courses to sharpen my tech skills, along with books and flicks to comfort those first lonely times.

Later, when my term as President of Beaver Valley Probus Club ended, I found a new challenge at the Library Board. I have come to embrace the concept of GLAM, and even garnered some knowledge of the Town Council workings. So invigorating is this whole experience that I have become Chair of the Vibrant Spaces Committee to further my excitement about our Library System.

Gary Zalot

Gary Zalot

My wife, Cathy Borthwick, and I moved to Blue Mountain in 2015 as full time residents. We have been visiting and investing in the area since 1997 as proprietors of vacation rentals. I am a retired certified health care executive and served for over twenty years as an Executive Director for a health planning agency advising the Ontario Ministry of Health responsible for the Niagara Region. I also bring policy planning experience with the Regional Municipalities of Halton and Niagara in Ontario and the Canadian College of Family Physicians. I chose to join the Library Board in 2019 to assist the community to enhance vital GLAM services throughout the area in an effort to increase all forms of literacy and to meet the needs of a growing population in the ever popular Blue Mountains.

Rob Potter

Rob Potter

I was born and raised in St. Catharines. I worked in the newspaper business for about 35 years in Port Colborne, Meaford and The Blue Mountains, serving as editor of The Courier-Herald from 1981 to 2008. I was founding president of The Marsh Street Centre and served on the steering committee for the preservation of the Craigleith Heritage Depot. I was first appointed to Town Council to fill a vacancy in 2018 and then was elected that same year as a Councillor. In January, 2020, I was elected by my fellow councilors to fill the vacant office of Deputy mayor.

I was chosen by Council to serve on the Library board due to past involvement with cultural organizations in The Blue Mountains. I have been involved in developing local projects such as the Marsh Street Centre and Craigleith Heritage Depot and garnering support for their growth. Also, I felt it important to honour the work of the many people who worked to make the Library and the Depot such important parts of our community. GLAMs bring opportunities for interaction with the arts, culture -- and, in fact, all of the components of human endeavour -- that would not otherwise be possible, especially in smaller communities that are remote from large cities. The world’s great literature, music, art, science and so much more is available via our local GLAM.

Dr. Sabrina Saunders, CEO

Dr. Sabrina E. R. Saunders, CEO

Dr. Sabrina Saunders has worked in the library sector since 2007. A graduate of UWO’s MLIS, she is also an Ontario certified elementary teacher, and graduate of the Advancing Public Library Leadership Certificate through SOLS and the University of Waterloo. In 2011 Sabrina Saunders completed her PhD from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education-University of Toronto in Theory & Policy Studies. 

Sabrina moved to Meaford and joined The Blue Mountains Public Library team as CEO in 2017 after 10 years as the CEO of the Six Nations Public Library, the oldest First Nation Public Library in Canada. Dr. Saunders is the Vice Chair of the Ontario Public Library Guidelines Accreditation and Monitoring Council, the Vice Chair of the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries board, and an executive member of the Ontario Library Association Board.

Adia, Programmer

Adia, Library Programmer - Summer Student

Adia started working at The Blue Mountains Public Library in June of 2019 and has since returned to her position as a Library Programmer Summer Student every summer since. Adia has loved to read since she was a small child and is thrilled to be a part of the BMPL team for this summer once again! She has always lived in the community and has been using the L.E. Shore Library for as long as she can remember.  

During the school year, Adia attends Queen’s University where she is currently studying to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Life Science. 

Alessia, Museum Technician

Alessia, Museum Technician

Alessia went to university for Archaeology and Heritage, it was during this period that she was given the opportunity to work with the Craigleith Heritage Depot team in cataloging an extensive collection; one that took over two summers and part of a year to complete. After completing a Master’s in World Heritage, Alessia was taken on as an intern at the Craigleith Heritage Depot where the staff helped to further her knowledge in the museum and archival field. She was hired on as a contract cataloguer and Museum Technician and then as a Digitization Assistant for the Our Military Heritage Project. Alessia has become well connected to our regional community, as she also sits on the Collingwood Heritage Committee.

So many hats worn, she has now become the permanent part-time Museum Technician at the Craigleith Heritage Depot. You can often find Alessia, with a smile, at the Depot helping patrons or hard at work on a new collection.

Andrea, Museum Curator

Andrea, Museum Curator

Some people wonder what a curator is, and briefly, a curator is a keeper and content specialist that develop, build, interpret and care for heritage material collections and intergenerational memory in public trust. Andrea has been doing this work at large and small museums since 1979 and has formal education in Museum Technology, Canadian Studies and numerous technical courses throughout her career. This includes learning blacksmithing, textile arts, printmaking, paper arts, conservation, natural history and more!

Driven by her curiosity, she has loved discovering the heritage of The Blue Mountains, such as when she added the 1820 edition of local abolitionist Charles Stuart’s book to the collection. Seeing the author’s handwritten inscription help to build a tangible connection to this amazing historical figure. Since 2016 Andrea has enjoyed shining a light on our community stories and memory through award winning projects, museum activities and partnerships.

Ashley, Library Specialist - Tech

Ashley, Library Specialist - Tech Programmer

Ashley started at The Blue Mountains Public Library in October of 2016. She came to us from the Midland Public library and worked in the Georgian College Library Commons in Barrie for 5.5 years before that. She graduated from Confederation College in June 2019 from the Library and Information Technician Program. She plans and runs the Wired Wednesday programs and loves helping people learn how to use technology.

Youth Staff

Ava, Page

Ava recently started working at the L.E. Shore Library in 2021 as a student page. She is a student at Georgian Bay Community School. Ava loves to cross country and alpine ski, figure skate, be in nature, find new ways to be active, and learn new things. She enjoys spending time with friends and is passionate about health and nature. Ava loves music and looks forward to when she can be a part of school orchestra again. In the meantime, Ava continues to learn the trumpet, violin, and piano. She enjoys working at the library, organizing and helping out, and looks forward to meeting new people.

Desiree, Library Assistant - Collections

Desiree, Library Specialist - Collections

Desiree moved to South Georgian Bay 6 years ago from Alberta and she started at The Blue Mountains Public Library the following year. She brings with her 13 years experience as a Library Assistant at the Leduc Public Library, as well as a background in farming including a Certificate in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan.

When Desiree is not helping patrons at the circulation desk you will find her processing new materials including books and magazines or ordering for the Junior Fiction collection. A lifelong avid reader, she loves fiction including Young Adult, thrillers, mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. And picture books!

Elisa, Manager of Tech Services

Elisa, Manager of Technical Services

Elisa has loved libraries ever since she won a carton of ice cream at the Saltfleet Public Library when her mom correctly guessed how many books and entered the contest in Elisa’s name. After graduating with a Master of Library and Information Science, Elisa moved to Iqaluit, Nunavut, where she was a College Librarian at Nunavut Arctic College and Court Librarian at the Nunavut Court of Justice. In 2011, she was hired as the Coordinator of Technical Services at The Blue Mountains Public Library. In 2015, Elisa was offered the position of Manager of Technical Services with responsibility for library collections, website, catalogue and public computers.

Emma, Manager of Public Services

Emma, Manager of Public Services

Born and raised in Meaford, Ontario, Emma has been part of The Blue Mountains Public Library team for the past decade. During this time, she has worked as a Library Assistant, the Desk Services Assistant Coordinator, and she is now our Manager of Public Services and Community Outreach. Emma began her library career at the York University Library, working the front desk while she was achieving her Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree. An avid reader and active library user since she was a child, Emma also has interests in event planning and gained experience in event operations and customer service while working for a marketing & sales firm in Toronto.

Emma is completing her Library Technician Diploma with Mohawk College's Continuing Education Program. She is tech-savvy, socially engaged, and passionate about libraries, community outreach, and life-long learning. She organizes programs, special events, volunteers, and the interlibrary loan department. Emma's love for BMPL stems from her love for this area and community, as well as a chance to use her excellent problem solving and research skills. Helping people find their next great read is her favourite part of this job.

Youth Staff

Eve, Page

Eve is a student at Collingwood Collegiate Institute and has been a Page at L.E. Shore Library since 2020.

Franz, Administrative Assistant - Co-Op

Franz, Administrative Assistant - Co-Op

Franz began working at the The Blue Mountain Public Library in late April of 2021 as a Co-Op student. He recently finished the study portion of the Executive Administration (Co-Op) program at Georgian College and is excited to get some hands-on administrative experience with the BMPL. One of his earliest involvements with libraries was when, as a child, he participated in a library summer reading program – a fun and amazing experience he has never forgotten. 

When not studying or working, Franz enjoys skiing (when and if there is snow), reading (of course) and spending as much time as he can outside.

Hannah, Library Specialist - Communications

Hannah, Library Specialist - Communications

Hannah started at BMPL in March 2020 as a co-operative education student. She began her new role in February as the Communications Library Specialist. Her roles include all forms of communication and marketing coming from BMPL as well as working with the ACC in The Gallery at L.E. Shore. You can usually find her on social media responding to patron questions and comments, working on an upcoming exhibit in The Gallery, or planning for the upcoming 2022-2026 Strategic Plan.

Hannah has been a volunteer at BMPL since 2019 and was a volunteer in her previous community as well. Hannah is currently attending Georgian College for Executive Office Administration; however she plans to stay in the library sector with BMPL.

Jamie, Library Clerk

Jamie, Library Clerk

Jamie was born in Orangeville, Dufferin Country. Her family moved to Ravenna, Grey Country in 2010. Jamie was born and raised Deaf and with Cerebral Palsy, she uses America Sign Language (ASL). Jamie attended Ernest C. Drury School of the Deaf at Milton and graduated in 2011. She went on to attend Georgian College in Barrie for Community Integration through Co-Operation Education (CICE).

Jamie began volunteering at The Blue Mountains Public Library in 2014 and became a Page in 2015. In 2017 Jamie was promoted to Library Clerk and also took on roles digitizing the Craigleith Heritage Depot collections.

Jen, Library Specialist - Programmer

Jen, Library Specialist - Children's Programmer

Jennifer has been with The Blue Mountains Public Library since 2018. She enjoys planning fun, exciting and educational programs for children and teens, and can often be found working on outreach programs within the local community. She loves the time she spends with local children during activities such as Reading Club and the After-School Kids Club. Jennifer is extremely passionate about local history, reading and literacy. Her proudest accomplishments are a story that ran on page 2 of the National Post for Canada’s 150th anniversary outlining her research into a one of a kind stained glass window, while working at the Meaford Museum as well as the opportunity she had to meet the former Governor General David Johnston.

Recently during the provincial lockdowns, Jen has brought the BMPL's children's programs to a virtual format. You can join her online for storytimes and crafts. Everyone is welcome!

Youth Staff

Mackenzie, Summer Student

Mackenzie is a student at Georgian Bay Secondary School and has worked as a Page at the L. E. Shore Branch since 2018. This summer Mackenzie will be working with the L.E. Shore team as one of our Youth Summer Students. 

Mary, Acting Manger of Community Engagement

Mary, Manager of Community Engagement 

Mary Dodge started at BMPL in December 2019 as a Library Assistant, where she helps community members with in-branch services, readers’ advisory, reference questions, and facilitates Family Storytimes. Since 2012, Mary has worked in libraries, starting as a Metadata Assistant for Scholars’ Portal (a virtual library), while obtaining her Master’s of Information Degree from the University of Toronto. She then became a Children’s & Young Adults Librarian for Vancouver Public Library, gaining extensive skills in programming, outreach, and partnerships. Most recently, she has worked at Markham Public Library as a Branch Librarian and then a Branch Manager, helping to establish the Kids’ Makerspace and the Musical Instrument Lending Library. Mary is also a member of and co-chair for the Ontario Library Association’s Advocacy Committee.

Recently, Mary was given the title of Manager of Community Engagement. You are sure to see her out and about in the community chatting with folks. If you see Mary wearing the BMPL t-shirt, be sure to say "Hi"!

Monica, Museum Technician

Monica, Museum Technician

Monica joined the staff in Spring of 2017. Have a question about Museum collections, the ANSI, or trilobites? Then Monica is your gal.

Natashia, Library Specialist - ILLO

Natashia, Library Specialist - ILLO

Natashia joined The Blue Mountains Public Library in June of 2020 as a Library Assistant. She completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology and Sociology at Trent University and in 2018 began working at the Meaford Public Library as a Public Services Clerk. Natashia’s favourite part of working in a library is working at the circulation desk and getting to talk to people about the books they’ve loved and hated. Recently Natashia has taken over the care of all interlibrary loans. 

Youth Staff

Tessa, Page

Tessa is a student at Our Lady of the Bay Catholic High School in Collingwood. She has been working as a Student Page at the library for over three months now. Tessa enjoys reading mystery/suspense books, and one of her favourite book series is “The Uglies” by Scott Westerfeld.

Youth Staff

Xavier, Summer Student

[no bio provided.]

Zach, Museum Technician

Zachary, Museum Assistant Intern

Zack started working at the Craigleith Heritage Depot in May of 2021. He previously studied History at Queen’s University, and later completed Fleming College’s Museum Management and Curatorship program. His first museum job was at the Fort Henry National Historic Site in Kingston, where he interpreted history as part of the Fort Henry Guard. He now focuses more on taking care of artifacts than firing them and has previously worked cataloguing the education collection at the Museum of Healthcare in Kingston. He can now be found researching and cataloguing whatever interesting objects and collections he can find.

Beverley Smith, ACC Member

Beverley Smith (ACC Chair 2020)

Beverley Smith has been a professional artist since graduating from Sheridan College (The School of Design) and textile design college in Stockholm Sweden in the early 70's. She moved from Toronto to the Beaver Valley in 1980. She has become well known locally not only for her textile art, but also for her murals, maps and whimsical illustrations of the area.

From 2002 until 2014 Bev had a successful bead business “Holy Crow Beads”, which was included in the book “America’s Best Bead Shops”. Beverley has been on the Board of Visual Arts Ontario and past President of the Society of Canadian Artists.

Diana Bick, ACC Member

Diana Bick

Diana retired to the Blue Mountains in 2018. Her love of Arts and Culture combined with her Education led to her position as the Director and Educator of the Art Curriculum at Hillcrest Progressive School in Toronto. Although an educator by profession she has always maintained an art studio in her home and her work has been shown at many galleries, such as the Elaine Fleck Gallery and Arta Gallery and hangs private collections within Canada. Discovering the L.E. Shore Gallery and Library brought her joy and she is honoured to volunteer her time and apply her years of practice and knowledge to the BMPL and become a part of the ACC.

Helen Forest, ACC Member

Helen Forrest

My professional background is in Public Health Nursing. Following retirement, I had time to channel my energy in to areas of my own interest. I am a local resident who recognizes the value of a strong community focused library, I was interested in the goals of the Arts and Culture Council and felt I had some strengths to bring to the committee in the area of events planning. It was an opportunity to arrange speakers who would offer educational and cultural events for the residents of Thornbury and area.

I have always enjoyed perusing art galleries and encouraging artists to pursue their talent. It is good to be part of a library team that creates access to local artists of all genres to show in the lovely gallery that we have. This creates not only an experience for local residents but also for those who are traveling in our area. I feel fortunate to be in a position to volunteer for a worthwhile cause.

 

Liz McCullam

Liz’s library involvement started with the amalgamation of the Collingwood Township and Thornbury libraries when the L.E. Shore Memorial Library was built in 1995. She was chair of the new Board for its first two terms. One of the Board's first initiatives was to establish the ACC to promote art and culture through the library. Having an interest in both these aspects, Liz joined and continued volunteering with the ACC. Working with the other dedicated members, she enjoys organizing and pursuing a variety of cultural programs and presentations for the public to attend. Liz’s interests in travel, gallery and museum visits, theatre and educational lectures help in fulfilling her role with the ACC.

 

Lynn Corrigan

[No bio provided]