The Rossland Public Library’s new library director just arrived in town last week and is excited about the prospects of working in Rossland.
Katie Albright is very enthusiastic about the future of Rossland’s library, as well as libraries in general.
She grew up in Halifax, did her undergraduate degree in Guelph, then made her way to Ottawa. From there she completed her masters in Sydney.
Albright saw the listing during her final semester in school and thought it would be nice to have something lined up when she was done.
So she applied for the job and while doing research on Rossland found that it looked like a young town, full of activities and with the ability to walk everywhere you needed to go.
“It’s a small town for me so that’s kind of exciting as well,” she said
Albright said that though she’s worked at academic libraries before, this will mark her first time working at a public library, and also her first time in the director role.
It’s going to be a big adventure for me,” she said.
She just finished her masters in April in the field of library science.
“I think there are a lot of young librarians out there looking to change the perception of what a librarian is and what a library can be,” she said, adding that of course there are older librarians who believe in the same thing.
She also noted the number of youth in town and young families.
“There are so many young people in this town and so many kids that come into use the library that I think it will be great,” she said.
The library started up summer reading programs, which run all summer and are organizing several author visits in the fall, including the One Book One Kootenay winner.
When asked about how libraries will adapt and deal with changing technology, Albright said that libraries will strive to be at the forefront.
“We were one of the first places to offer public access to computers (back in the day) and if you don’t know how to use your devices, we’ll show you how to use them,” she said, saying that they can help with iPads and mobile devices.
“We’re pretty big adopters of technology, so I think our role is to change that perception that we’re only here to get a smelly paperback.”
B.C. libraries also has the Overdrive program for audio books, so you can legally download audio books on your iPhone or iPad.
The library also offers free wireless internet, which she said is a community service.
“I’m a firm believer in the public good. and it’s cheaper that way,” she said. “Plus, if they don’t have the book that you’re looking for, they can do an inter-library loan to get the book from any library in the province.”
Albright explained that libraries in B.C. are guided by the library act.
“The library director reports to the board and implements the policies that the board adopts, so it’s a lot of administration and book ordering and suggesting policy that the board adopts,” she said.
“It’s also being the advocate in the community and with the larger B.C. library and international library networks.”
She said she wants to see how the library can get more involved with city council and other associations.
“That’s going to take a lot of meeting people and talking to people and seeing what they want the library to be and how we can change our acquisitions and programs to suit what people want,” she said.
She also wants to get into the active spirit of Rossland.
She has so far only cycled in the city, but had her cruiser bike stolen during her last week in Sydney.
That didn’t seem to slow her down though.
“I see that as my getting rid of my urban cycling and getting into my downhill biking spirit,” she said.