In February 2018, the St. Catharines Public Library’s Chief Executive Officer, Lilita Stripnieks, announced that she would be retiring effective December 31, 2018 after 20 years of service to the Library.

Lilita has a Master of Library Science from the University of Toronto and a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University. Prior to coming to St. Catharines Public Library, she held various senior level positions in both government and public libraries including the position of Strategic Development Manager for Vaughan Public Libraries and as Chief Librarian with Environment Canada, Atmospheric Environment Service, in Downsview, Ontario.

She commenced her employment in St. Catharines in November 1998. During her tenure, five strategic plans covering the period 2000-2018 were developed for Board approval. Under her leadership the goals of those plans were implemented including: upgrading the facilities; upgrading the technological infrastructure; building a new Library Branch; expanding the collections; introducing electronic databases and digital resources; expanding programs for children; developing programs for teens and adults; introducing computer programs; creating a digital historical archive; and launching remote library services with “Books to Go’ a library vending machine and “Holds lockers.”

During her tenure, valued partnerships have been developed with individuals and organizations in the community. She has also been active in the Library community serving as Secretary and Chair for the Chief Executives of Large Public Libraries and as a Board member for the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries.

The CEO is responsible for overseeing the operation of the public library system in the City of St. Catharines with 4 locations, 100 employees, and an annual operating budget of over 6 million. The Library has engaged an executive search firm to assist with the recruitment process to fill the CEO position. Lilita will continue to lead the Library during the recruitment and transition process.

On behalf of the St. Catharines Public Library Board and Library staff, best wishes are extended to Lilita Stripnieks upon her pending retirement.

L. McDonald

Chair, The St. Catharines Public Library Board