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.