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New library director on the job and ready for life in the Mountain Kingdom
Rossland's new library director is on the job as of today and looking forward to settling into small town life. And so far Katie Albright likes what she sees.
"I arrived last Wednesday, having been delayed a day in Vancouver due to bad weather in Castlegar," says Albright, telling a familiar tale of Kootenay woe. "So although I haven’t had time to form an impression, the first two words that come to mind are inviting and inspiring.
"Everyone has been extremely welcoming, and those I haven’t met still pass me with a smile. And it’s so inspiring to be surrounded by so much nature – I find it both calming and motivating."
Another thing that Albright has noticed about Rossland despite being here only a week is something that many in town wish the school district would take closer note of: our young population.
"I am struck by how many young families there are in town. Although I did my research, like any librarian would, and knew that we have a younger population than the rest of BC, it didn’t really hit home until I wandered around town."
A further perk of Albright's new job is the people she's working with. "I’m excited to work with a group of staff and board who are forward-looking and committed to making the public library a centre for learning. There are a lot of opportunities to work with other groups in the community to develop programs and initiatives and I’m looking forward to meeting people and talking about how they see the library now and what they’d like to see in the future. I encourage anyone to drop in and have a chat and to share their views freely."
Our new library director has been slowly working her way west throughout her life and has a varied background.
"I was born on the East Coast in Halifax and moved to Ontario for my undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph," she says. "I worked for many years in various positions at an environmental non-governmental organization, until I went back to school. I completed my Master’s in Information Management – aka Library Science – from the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia."
Though she's from a mostly urban background, never having lived in a city with a population below the 100K mark before, Albright feels she's up for the rugged challenges that are part of the Gore Tex fabric of life in the Mountain Kingdom.
"I’m looking forward to transferring my urban cycling skills into mountain biking abilities. Advice welcome! And I also enjoying baking, bushwalking, geeking out, and – it should go without saying – reading."
Albright's first day at work (yesterday) involved the launch of the Summer Reading Club and that gave Albright pause to consider the future of her profession.
"Working with the sound of kids playing and learning is heartening for the future of libraries. I think when we build libraries that respond to community’s needs, hold collections that reflect community interests, and develop programs that are embedded into and across the community – we stand in good stead to being sustainable institutions."
So drop by and say hello--and while you're at it, offer our newest resident some solid mountain biking advice!