Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urba

CULC in The News

Coquitlam Public Library Appoints Library Director

The Coquitlam Public Library Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Todd Gnissios as Director of the Coquitlam Public Library effective December 9, 2013.

“We are very pleased to welcome Todd to the Coquitlam Public Library,” said Board Chair Jack Trumley.  “With his experience developing new services and leading organizational development, he will bring strong leadership to the library team.”The public library continues to be the first choice for quick and reliable information as well as the most popular cultural resource in the city. Our relevance in the community is vibrant and strong.

Gnissios spent 24 years with the Vancouver Public Library before moving to Lethbridge, Alberta as the Associate Director of Branches and Outreach Services for the Lethbridge Public Library. He was appointed acting Director, and in 2010 became the permanent Director and CEO. Gnissios earned his Bachelor’s degree in Humanities and Business through Simon Fraser University, and his Master’s degree in Library and Information Studies through the University of British Columbia.

“Books have been a passion of mine since I was a teen, although being part of the library world was a bit of a surprise for me back when I started working. Libraries have come a long way since that time, and they have a great future as they develop services and facilities that meet the needs of today’s customers, as well as planning for tomorrow.”

The Board wishes to express its thanks to Silvana Harwood, the Deputy Director of the Coquitlam Public Library, for her ongoing leadership and interim service as Acting Director.


Calgary appoints Bill Ptachek to CEO Position effective February 1


The Calgary Public Library Welcomes New CEO

Bill Ptacek’s tenure commences February 2014

Calgary, AB – The Calgary Public Library is very pleased to announce that Bill Ptacek (pronounced puh-TASS-ic) has been appointed CEO effective February 2014. Ptacek joins the Library from King County Library System in western Washington State, USA, where his leadership and advocacy skills have played a critical role in the success of the KCLC system. He was selected as the Calgary Public Library’s CEO after an extensive search by the Calgary Public Library Board with assistance from executive recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson. The Library CEO position has been led on an interim basis by Ellen Humphrey since August 2012.

During his 25-year tenure, Ptacek’s vision and tireless efforts kept KCLS in the forefront of public libraries nationally for technology and collection management, including upgrades to computer-based collection management, data and materials handling systems, public computer access, administration and library staffing models. Under Ptacek’s leadership, KCLS has seen unprecedented growth as King County experienced economic and population growth, and local municipalities voted to join the KCLS network, which operates 36 community libraries in 1990, with annual circulation above nine million items. Voter approved capital improvement bond measures (passed in 1988 and 2004) funded new, replacement, and expanded libraries, adding nearly 515,000 square feet of library space, and annual circulation grew to more than 22 million items.

The news of Ptacek’s acceptance marks the completion of an extensive stakeholder and community consultation process and an international search for the Calgary Public Library. “In selecting Mr. Ptacek, the Calgary Public Library Board is assured that we have selected a strong advocate and champion for the Calgary Public Library,” says Calgary Public Library Board Chair Janet Hutchinson, “whose unique range of industry experience, significant exposure to working with Boards and Government, and strong leadership of larger, more complex organizations will not only continue our history of service excellence, but also will nurture and advance the system.”

Ptacek has served in leading roles in a number of local and statewide organizations prior to his role as Library Director in King County, including serving on the King County Board for Developmental Disabilities and the State of Washington Developmental Disabilities Life; the King County Governance Task Force; the Opportunity Trust Fund Endowment; KCTS Public Television Advisory Board; the University of Washington at Bothell Advisory Board; and The City of Bellevue Arts Commission. Under his leadership, KCLC was the Library Journal's "Library of the Year" in 2011 and the Seattle Municipal League's "Outstanding Civic Organization" in 2012.