Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urba

CULC in The News

Calgary appoints Bill Ptachek to CEO Position effective February 1

NEWS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 19 December 2013

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.

Tags: