As she takes over as manager of the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows libraries, Shawna Kristin doesn’t see need for vast reforms.
Kristin takes over from Teresa MacLeod, who retired in February, as the head of the largest library in the Fraser Valley Regional Library system in Maple Ridge.
At 35,000 square feet, it is also one of the busiest of the system’s 25 facilities, and gets some 360,000 visits per year.
“It feels really good to have started in a community that is so obviously supportive,” said Kristin.
Modern libraries aren’t a place where old tomes gather dust, she added.
“Libraries are constantly evolving. It’s a field that’s never stagnant.”
She said the Maple Ridge Public Library is always evaluating the value of the many programs it offers, from storytimes for toddlers to “It Won’t Byte,” which teaches seniors how to use technology and devices.
With the rise in technology, libraries have added more e-books and computer carrels with internet access.
“There are diverse needs in the community, and I think we’re doing an excellent job,” said Kristin.
She will also head up the Pitt Meadows Public Library, which is a medium-size library that moved to a new building three years ago.
Kristin has had prior experience at university libraries at SFU and UBC, as well as Douglas College, North Vancouver district, and AskAway Virtual Library service.
She holds a Master of Library and Information Studies degree from UBC, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Washington. She also has a background in financial services.
She will spend much of her time working with local staff to raise the library’s profile and develop new partnerships and build important community connections.