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Laurie Davidson, new Executive Director, CELA

From CELA:

We are pleased to announce that Laurie Davidson will be joining the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) as our new Executive Director, effective September 21, 2020.

Laurie brings more than 20 years of experience working as a librarian and technologist to the Executive Director position. In addition to working as a librarian in public and academic libraries, she spent over a decade working for a library ILS vendor and most recently with the BC Libraries Cooperative where she nurtured the development of the accessible publishing summit, and developed programs and services for people with print disabilities through her position as the Project Manager for the National Network for Equitable Library Services. Laurie will replace Rina Hadziev, who is returning to her position with Greater Victoria Public Library.

“We believe that Laurie is uniquely qualified to lead CELA going forward. For the past 10 years, she has worked to foster collaborative relationships between libraries and with publishers,” said Catherine Biss, Chair of the CELA Board. “Laurie is joining CELA with our full support and with every confidence that, thanks to her experience and her passion for accessible library services, she will be able to fulfill the vision of the Board. We also want to extend our thanks to Rina for her excellent leadership over the past year. We are grateful to the Greater Victor Public Library for allowing Rina to share this year with us and we wish her every success. Between Rina’s hard work over this past year and Laurie’s skills and collaborative style, CELA is well positioned to meet the needs of our patrons, and to thrive and grow.”

Rina Hadziev, the current Executive Director for CELA, echoes Catherine’s comments. “I have known Laurie professionally for years and I have a great deal of respect for her expertise and her work helping to creating a strong accessible reading industry that benefits anyone with a print disability. I know how passionate she is about accessibility and equitable library service, and I am happy to know I am leaving CELA in the hands of someone who is so committed to our mission and values. I have loved my time with CELA and I am especially grateful for the hard work and commitment of the CELA team. They have taught me a lot and I know that Laurie will benefit from their expertise and their energy.”

Laurie is excited to join CELA. “I believe strongly in CELA’s commitment to offering patrons choices which support the diversity of their reading needs. I am honoured to take on the role of the Executive Director to help continue and grow this essential and valuable work. I look forward to partnering with CELA patrons and the community organizations that support them, with CELA’s member libraries, and with all publishers, authors and vendors who contribute to the accessible reading landscape.”