Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urba

CULC in The News

Cambridge - Idea Exchange announces new CEO

The Board of Trustees for Idea Exchange has selected ‎Helen Kelly as the next CEO for one of Canada's most innovative cultural organizations following a search that included applicants from across Canada and the United States. Currently the Director of Programming and Promotion for the organization, her appointment to the position is effective November 3.

The Library Board of Directors have expressed great excitement with the appointment. “Helen takes on this new role with extensive experience, a passion for public service, and the support of the staff,” says Amanda Maxwell, chair, Library Board. “The Board is thrilled to have selected an individual who will continue the tradition of great leadership within the organization and we look forward to maintaining the commitment to service excellence within the Cambridge community.” 

Bringing with her a wealth of knowledge, Helen boasts an impressive background in library service. Helen began her library career in 1985 in the children's department at the Brantford Public Library. In 1986 Helen joined the Hamilton Public Library, where she had the opportunity to work in all areas of public service including circulation and reference services, programming and community outreach. In 1996 she received her master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario. 
A strong leader and advocate for programming and services, Helen was awarded the Hamilton ABEA Individual Early Literacy Education Award in 2008.

In 2009, Idea Exchange (formerly Cambridge Libraries and Galleries) welcomed Helen as Coordinator of Children's Services. Her enthusiastic approach to innovation saw many positive results including national recognition in 2012 when the organization was awarded the TD Summer Reading Club Library Award. Since taking on the role of Director of Programming and Promotion, Helen has significantly expanded programming and developed strong community partnerships.

“I am energized every day coming to work in such an innovative organization,” said Helen Kelly. “The dedicated and knowledgeable staff are committed to delivering exceptional service to each and every member. I am excited to take on this new role during such a transformational time at Idea Exchange and look forward to working with the board in fulfilling our goals focused on reading, art, and discovery.”


Library Issues Forum: Safety and Security in the Library

WHEN: Wednesday, October 29 @ 2:30 pm (Eastern)

TOPIC: Safety and Security in the Library


Bill Ptacek, CEO, Calgary Public Library
Mark Asberg, Director, Service Delivery, Calgary Public Library
Another to be announced

Learning Objectives

During this session, participants will:

  • Learn about security issues facing public libraries in urban settings
  • Understand the theoretical foundations for environmental criminological analysis in a library setting
  • Take away practical solutions for library security in a real-world context

Session Description

While increasing the number of security guards and their mandate of powers is counter to the philosophy of openness of any library, urban libraries experiencing serious problems with crime and aberrant behaviour need to implement a robust response to safety and security to effect change. However, effective and lasting safety solutions go beyond an increased security presence in the library. Environmental crime prevention is a discipline based on the idea that altering physical spaces can address crime by reducing suitable targets, removing offenders’ motivations, and ensuring that a capable guardian is in place.


Steve Kraft appointed Guelph Public Library CEO

Guelph Public Library Welcomes New CEO

The Guelph Public Library welcomes its fourteenth chief executive officer in the 132-year history of the library. The Library Board appointed Steve Kraft as CEO effective October 1st, 2014.

In making the announcement, GPL Board chair Anne MacKay said, “Continuing the tradition of great leadership at the Guelph Public Library, Steve brings his enthusiasm, knowledge and the support of the staff to his new position. The board looks forward to working with him as we maintain our commitment in connecting people to the wealth of resources that libraries have to offer all residents.”

Steve was born and raised in Dashwood, Ontario and received his master’s degree in Library and Information Science from University of Western in 1983. Over the past 30 years, he has worked his way through the Guelph Public Library, serving as Children’s Reference Librarian, Manager of Information Services, Director of Main Library and since April 2013, as Assistant CEO.

“With knowledgeable staff, a vast collection, online research tools, and numerous community events for all ages, the library will continue to provide new and innovative lifelong learning opportunities. I am truly honoured to serve the needs of our Royal City and grateful for the support of the GPL Board” said Steve Kraft upon news of the appointment.

Everyone is invited to join the GPL Board to show your appreciation for the significant contributions and time Kitty Pope has spent with the GPL and welcome Steven Kraft into his new position as CEO on Wednesday, October 1st from 10 AM to Noon and 4 to 6PM at the Main Library.


Åsa Kachan Named New Head of Halifax Public Libraries

We are delighted to introduce Halifax Public Libraries’ new Chief Librarian and Chief Executive Officer.

Halifax, NS– The comprehensive, cross-Canada search has ended. Åsa Kachan, currently an Assistant Vice-President at Dalhousie University, has been named the new Chief Librarian and Chief Executive Officer for the Halifax Public Libraries.

With excitement and pride, Paul Bennett, the Chair of Halifax Regional Library Board, made the announcement at the Alderney Gate Public Library on Tuesday, September 23.

“Åsa Kachan is an innovative, strategic, and collaborative leader,” said Paul Bennett. “She has a passion for libraries and a demonstrated understanding of what it takes to serve diverse communities. Halifax Public Libraries is entering a pivotal time in its history and now our team of bright, progressive leaders is complete. This is an exciting time for Halifax Public Libraries.”

Åsa Kachan (pronounced O-sa Katshun) brings senior management experience to the role as well as a commitment to public libraries. In her role as Assistant Vice-President, Enrolment Management & Registrar at Dalhousie University, Ms. Kachan has twice helped Dalhousie receive the Canadian Association of University Business Officers' Productivity and Excellence Award; in 2011 for improving web communications and strategy, and in 2007 for improving service to students. In addition, she has a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario, has worked in Saskatchewan public libraries, and, early in her career, she was President of the Saskatchewan Library Association and selected for the Northern Exposure to Leadership program.

“In taking on this position, I am drawn to the diversity and relevancy within Halifax Public Libraries,” said Åsa Kachan. “We have 14 branches serving many unique communities and a new Central Library that is creating local, national, and worldwide interest. I have an opportunity to play a part in transforming Halifax in new and interesting ways. That is exciting.”

Åsa Kachan begins as Chief Librarian and Chief Executive Officer on November 1.


Libraries and Cross-Canada Check-up

CBC Radio One's Cross Country Checkup will be doing a live call-in show on Sunday, September 28 with special guest host Peter Mansbridge, that might be of interest.

The topic will be "What is the future of the library in the age of Google."

Chief Correspondent of CBC News, Peter Mansbridge, will be joined by staff and students from the digital humanities program at University of Waterloo Stratford Campus for a peek into the future of libraries and learning. Former Hamilton Public Library CEO Ken Roberts will be an in-studio guest.

Do we still need to collect and keep printed books, and to pay to maintain the buildings to house them?

Listen to the discussion and voice your opinion live on Sunday, Sept. 28 at 4 pm ET / 1 PT / 2 MT / 3 CT / 5 AT on CBC Radio One.