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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, Museum Advisory Council and Arts & Culture Council. We could not achieve our level of success without this full group.

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.

Laurey Gillies

Laurey Gillies

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.

Maurice Pepper

Maurice Pepper

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.

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.

Odeen Probert

Odeen Probert

I have lived in TBM for over ten years. When we moved here, I was impressed by the collections and programs including the Gallery at LES. The addition of CHD introduced me to the GLAM concept. I became a board member in order to contribute to the community. When I was a young mother, relatively new to a small town, the library offered me a chance to socialize and become friends with others and provided my children with many interesting programs. Later as a teacher, I was a teacher librarian for a short while and I worked to inspire the joy and the realization of the benefits. Throughout my career as a teacher, I participated in and raised funds for the Silver Birch reading competition when it began, as well as initiating other reading programs for elementary students. Given the demise of the role of teacher librarians in the school system, I think public libraries are even more crucial.

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.

Emma Barker

Emma Barker, Manager of Public Services & Community Outreach

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.

 

Mackenzie Beckett, Page

Allison Brown

Allison Brown, Museum Technician

Allison is a Museum Technician at the Craigleith Heritage Depot and has been working with The Blue Mountains Public Library since 2018. A highlight of her position is engaging with community members and volunteers while developing online exhibits using BiblioBoard. Allison is a graduate of Fleming College’s Museum Management and Curatorship program. She loves all things paper-based and outdoorsy, and in her off hours she can be found practicing hand lettering or hiking along the Niagara Escarpment.

Elisa Chandler

Elisa Chandler, 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 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.

Mary Dodge

Mary Dodge, Interim Manager of Public Services & Community Outreach

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.

Jen Domingues

Jen Domingues, Library Assistant-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.

Alessia Farris

Alessia Farris, Library Assistant-Circulation

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.  Last year Alessia made the transition over to the Thornbury branch after her internship was completed. You can often find Alessia, with a smile, at the circulation desk helping patrons out with any tech and book related questions.

Desiree Garrison

Desiree Garrison, Library Assistant-Collections

Desiree moved to South Georgian Bay 5 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.

Jamie Hall

Jamie Hall, 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.

Kate McDonald

Kate McDonald, Page

Kate is in grade 11 at Georgian Bay Community School. She’s been with us at the L.E. Shore Library for 3 years now. When Kate graduates, she’s thinking of pursing either Psychology or Fashion in university.

 

Monica Norris, Museum Technician

Ashley Prince

Ashley Prince, Library Assistant-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. 

Hannah Saunders

Hannah Saunders, Co-Op (Georgian College)

Hannah will be working with BMPL at the L.E. Shore branch as a co-operative education student through the end of August. Hannah has been a volunteer at BMPL since 2019 and was a volunteer in her previous community as well.

Sabrina Saunders

Sabrina 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.  She 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, a member of the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries board, and an executive member of the Ontario Library Association board.

Helene Schofield

Helene Schofield, Library Assistant-ILLO

Hélène was born in Montréal when rock and roll was developing. She grew up in Windsor Ontario and moved back to the Eastern Townships in 1964. She found the love of her life and married in 1972. They moved to Blue Mountains in 2003 and it was in 2005 that Hélène applied to volunteer at L.E. Shore Library. It was love at first sight. She shelved books and was taught the steps of Interlibrary loan requests. She was honoured to receive a Volunteer Award in 2006.

In 2013 she was offered the chance to join the library team, and has been here working the desk, doing the interlibrary loans, and having the joy of meeting the amazing patrons that are part of this community.

 

Lily Vanderwoulde, Page

Andrea Wilson

Andrea Wilson, 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.  

Chris Clark

Christine Clark

I am honoured to sit on the Museum Advisory Council as a member who may be able to contribute with my 15 years, give-or-take, as a museum manager and curator of a community museum in northern Ontario. I was mentored at the early age of 16 at the local museum in Simcoe, Ontario (Eva Brooke Donly Museum & Norfolk Heritage Archives) where I volunteered during the summer months. Since then, I achieved a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario (Social Sciences) and have always been interested in history and heritage with the knowledge that we learn from the past to make way for the future. 

Museums have been recognized for a century and a half, in Canada, as places where stories of people, places and things are told through animate and inanimate objects. We associate with these things history, heritage and culture all of which provide a richness to our lives that can’t be equaled by anything else. Craigleith Heritage Depot is a repository of the objects that tell the stories of people from the area’s past. We must not take it for granted. 

Rob Potter

Rob Potter

I was chosen by the library board to serve on MAC 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.

Rick Rzeplinski

 

Kirsty Stevenson

 

 

Robert B. Waind (MAC Chair 2020)

I practiced law in London, Ontario from 1971 to 1981 before moving to The Blue Mountains where I served as Municipal Clerk before becoming a councillor from 1988 to 2003. I was a Grey County Councillor from 1995 to 2003. In addition to being a member of The Blue Mountains’ Committee of Adjustments, was Chair of The Blue Mountains Official Plan Steering Committee for 4 years, I am the past Chair of The Blue Mountain Watershed Trust, past president of the Georgian Triangle Tourist Association, Chair of the Craigleith Heritage Depot, and have been on the Museum Advisory Committee for over 15 years. I also served one term on the Niagara Escarpment Commission and was awarded Senior Citizen of the Year 2017 by the province and The Blue Mountains for more than 35 years of service to the area.

Diana Bick

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.

 

Lynn Corrigan

Helen Forest

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.

Nicole Gajraj

Nicole Gajraj

In April 2019 Nicole Gajraj began her four-year volunteer appointment with the Arts and Culture Council. As a retired dedicated public servant, she is proud to support the goals and mandate of the Council. Nicole’s lifelong interests in fine arts and cultural programming is supported by her Bachelor of Applied Arts in Imaging Science (BAA). With a professional background in science and governance, together with a Master’s in Public Policy, Administration and Law (MPPAL), Nicole strives to contribute to the Town of the Blue Mountains in a valuable manner while promoting equality and diversity. Nicole lives in Thornbury with her wife and dog Maggie.

 

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.

Beverly Smith

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.

Richard Banks

Richard ‘The Computer Guy’ Banks delivers a free computer classes at L.E. Shore. You may see him on his motorcycle on Hwy 26. Working out of Meaford, you should know that Richard will come to you and help you with your computer issues!

 

Marjorie Bell

Marjorie Bell, a retired Head Nurse, has been with the Library for over a decade as a volunteer. She receives and shelves all of our new magazines and keeps our newspapers organized. A true local, she knows so much about the Town of the Blue Mountains and has deep family roots in the area.

 

Marg Eldergill

Marg’s gentle British accent is the one you hear on Thursday mornings letting you know when your materials are overdue. She always checks the shelves first before she calls, and is always helpful in renewing material or finding missing books. She spends a lot of time with her grandchildren.

 

Eileen Gamble

Eileen runs the Library Knitting & Crocheting Group. She has lived in Thornbury for most of her life and has 3 children. Her late husband, Bob Gamble, was a former Town Councillor and Library Board Member. Eileen always keeps the knitters organized, makes the tea and provides treats, and comes up with amazing projects such as selling knit goods and donating the proceeds to the Library (for example they helped pay for the fireplace at L.E. Shore) or knitting goods for preemie babies in the hospital. 

 

Joan Gaudet

Everyone knows The Blue Mountains ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Joan! She visits L.E. Shore regularly to water and nurture the plants and she also puts up posters around town for Library events, as well as Marsh Street Centre. Joan is a booster and is always promoting the organizations that she believes in. You can usually find her hanging out at the Thornbury Bakery or riding around Town on her scooter.

 

Mary Lye

With her lovely English accent, Mary is an avid reader. Her daughter, Harriet Alida Lye, is a published author based in Toronto. Mary delivers library books and audiobooks to residents at Errinrung Long Term Care Home and Retirement Community and always does her best to match the right books with the right people.

 

Joanne Pineau

A French speaker and Certified Yoga Therapist in Thornbury, Joanne volunteers at L.E. Shore and offers French Story Times to children as well as Spinal Health and Posture Workshops to adults and seniors.

 

Laurie Thorne

A transplant to the area, she moved here from the Mississauga area. Avid golfer and an amazing quilter. Laurie comes in once a week to get DVDs ready for the shelf. She is a pro at making spreadsheets.

 
 
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