Brampton Public Library names new CEO – Cathy Matyas

Appoints New Chief Executive Officer
Brampton Public Library Board

Janice Awde, Chair of the Brampton Public Library Board, announces the appointment of Cathy Matyas as Brampton Library’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective August 3, 2010.

Ms. Matyas, who succeeds CEO Adele Kostiak upon her retirement at the end of July, will be responsible for working with the Library Board, staff and community partners to build a strong library service to meet the needs of one of Canada’s fastest-growing and most diverse communities.

Brampton Library serves a community of 450,000 through six locations and a new east side branch library is currently under construction in partnership with a community centre, to open in 2012.

Ms. Matyas, who brings 28 years of public library experience to the position, was most recently Chief Executive Officer at the Waterloo Public Library, a position she held for seven years. She began her professional career in 1982 at the North York Public Library, which was incorporated into the Toronto Public Library, and subsequently held senior library management positions with the Kitchener and Regina Public Library systems.

“The Library Board was very impressed by the number of very strong candidates it had from which to select our new CEO said Ms. Awde. Ms Matyas comes to us with an impressive resume and a wealth of experience, including extensive experience in advocacy, partnership-building, fundraising, and strategic planning” We have determined that she is the best possible person for this important job. Ms Matyas has the abilities and the skills that a CEO needs to meet the challenges of the Brampton Library and the emerging directions the Brampton Library is taking.

“I’m delighted by this opportunity to work with the Library Board and staff during a period of rapid growth,” said Ms. Matyas. “There is a momentum in Brampton that I’m excited to be part of.”

Beginning in 2003, Ms. Matyas led a renewal of the Waterloo Public Library to transform it into one of the most progressive medium-sized libraries in Ontario, with programs and services that have been recognized with awards from the Ministry of Culture and community partners.

Her work in Waterloo also included the development of a long-range facilities expansion plan. Ms. Matyas has guided the planning of a branch library together with the YMCA in a complex which is currently under construction and will open in 2012.

Ms. Matyas also initiated and negotiated a multi-year funding agreement with the municipality to more appropriately align operating support with the growth of the library, as well as provincial standards. Working with the municipality, she also negotiated a $1.4M collections funding plan to bring library collections up to recognized standards over a two year period.

Coming from the technology-rich Waterloo Region, Ms. Matyas has a keen interest in enabling new technologies to build library services. She was a key contributor to Waterloo’s successful bid to be recognized as Intelligent Community of the Year in 2007 for the community’s use of broadband technology to build community capacity. She also secured $400,000 of federal grant funding and led a multi-partner project to build an online portal to provide information and to new immigrants to Waterloo Region.

In her most recent and previous positions, Ms. Matyas has built extensive working relationships with community partners, and positioned her libraries as key contributors to community development.

“I’m particularly interested in providing an environment that supports innovative thinking and best practices in public librarianship,” said Matyas, “I think that Brampton Library has clearly demonstrated the potential of the public library to be a great community partner, to help stimulate the local economy, and make Brampton a great place to live and work.”

Ms. Matyas currently serves on a number of Boards and Committees in Waterloo Region, including the Grand River Hospital Board, the Waterloo County Hall of Fame Board, and the Waterloo Horticultural Society Board. She is also an active volunteer for many other events and programs in the community.

She has been a frequent organizer, convener and speaker at Ontario and Canadian Library Association conferences, and is a past President of the Ontario Public Library Association.

Ms. Matyas is originally from Toronto and holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Western Ontario.

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