Today’s post comes to us from Cate Carlyle, the ILN’s Ambassador to Canada:
I have never met my library hero. My library hero can be found on the opposite side of the country and is responsible for the third largest public library system in Canada, Vancouver Public Library (VPL). I have followed Sandra Singh’s career, awards, accomplishments, initiatives, and posts since being enthralled by her keynote address at the Atlantic Provinces Library Conference, University of Prince Edward Island in 2013. I was swept away by Sandra’s enthusiasm and passion for community-led services, reading culture, and creativity in times of fiscal restraint. A talented speaker and innovative leader, Sandra has worn many hats in the library profession; her CV includes everything from cybrarian to cataloguer, editor, board member, manager, director and currently CEO.
I am inspired by Sandra’s dedication, leadership and passion for the profession. Sandra is not only a powerful presence at the helm of the VPL, she is also a very active library advocate both provincially and nationally. My hero doesn’t talk about what is wrong with libraries or the economy, or lament a lack of funding, she celebrates all that is right with libraries, encourages innovation during difficult times and gets to work. Just this summer she opened Vancouver Library’s first musical instrument lending library.
Introducing Sandra as the winner of the 2014 BC Library Directors Award of Excellence, Mary Lynn Baum recognized the fact that “as a leader, she (Sandra) holds herself to the highest standards and inspires her team to meet challenging tasks and to advance public libraries both on a local and national scale”. I am just one of many inspired by Sandra. One of the youngest ever chief librarians in Canada, Sandra has already accomplished so much and I am excited to see what the future will bring.