Vancouver Public Library Board Names New City Librarian

(Vancouver, British Columbia) – The Vancouver Public Library Board of Trustees is very pleased to announce that a new City Librarian has been hired to commence work on December 20.

Following an extensive international search, Sandra Singh will be the city’s 11th head librarian and will oversee the operation of the landmark Central Library, 20 neighbourhood branches, the rapidly expanding virtual library.

“The Library Board is thrilled that someone of Sandra’s calibre will be our next City Librarian and lead the Library during a period of exciting and challenging change,” said Board Chair Joan Andersen.

“Sandra’s passion for public libraries, her profound understanding of the important role Vancouver Public Library plays in the city and her vision for the future make her an excellent choice,” she added.

The Library Board was pleased with the number of extremely qualified candidates who applied for this leadership position.

A former director at Vancouver Public Library, Ms. Singh is currently Director of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia. The Centre is dedicated to the intellectual, social, cultural and economic development of people in British Columbia. Prior to joining UBC, Sandra held two senior management positions at VPL overseeing east side library branches and leading the Library’s computer systems department. While at VPL, she led the award-winning national project Working Together which pioneered community development techniques to plan and implement services with socially excluded communities.

Ms. Singh succeeds Paul Whitney who became Vancouver’s City Librarian in 2003 and who is retiring after a distinguished 36-year career in BC public libraries.

“While the Library Board regrets that Paul has chosen to retire, we are confident that Sandra’s extensive knowledge, experience, skills and enthusiasm will make her an exceptional City Librarian,” said Ms. Andersen. “The 13 Library Board members and all staff congratulate and welcome her back to the Library.”

Ms. Singh said she is thrilled to return to VPL at such an exciting time for public libraries.

“I am both delighted and honoured to be given this opportunity to become part of VPL’s future and look forward to working with the remarkable people who have helped make VPL the exceptional library system it is today – the Board, staff and community” said Ms. Singh.

“The constant growth in the use of mobile devices presents wonderful opportunities for the Library to examine new ways of delivering service. And, at the same time, we must explore how the Library can further contribute to making our community economically, socially and environmentally sustainable,” she added.

“I believe it is critical that all public institutions work with their communities to determine the future. Vancouver Public Library will continue and expand upon community engagement to determine how best to respond to community issues and will develop services taking advantage of evolving technological advances.”

For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jean Kavanagh
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Vancouver Public Library
604-331-3895; 604-612-4059 cell

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