Please join me in welcoming Susan McGibbon to our Board of Directors as Rural Caucus Trustee. Susan joins us from the Georgian Bay Public Library Board.

Here is a short bio from Susan:

I joined the Board of the Township of Georgian Bay Public Library (GBPL) as a member in 2019. I took over as as Board Chair in January 2021 and have served two full years in that capacity and now am in my third year. I am a lifelong Georgian Bay cottager. In my professional career, I am recognized as an accomplished business strategist and brand innovator and have 35+ years of experience in the Marketing, Research and Creative services industries.

Our rural library system is unique. We have three branches (MacTier, Port Severn and Honey Harbour) that serve a population of just over 19,000 total residents. We have the largest “seasonal” population (cottagers) in the District of Muskoka so we serve a dual audience of that are different in terms of their needs.

As our community has rapidly changed we as as a Board have focused on reimagining and reorganizing GBPL and worked to build capacity. That has included significant key initiatives being undertaken in the areas of HR and IT. Most importantly we have successfully strengthened our relationship with the Township by fully integrating with their different departments including HR, Finance, IT and Operations who now work in partnership with our CEO and staff.

As part of our in re-imagination journey we have spent considerable time educating our Mayor, Council and Township staff on the new role that libraries play in our communities. This education has resulted in GBPL having a new level of respect and understanding in terms of the community contribution that it makes and that has resulted in us also being successful in significantly increasing our funding.

We believe that libraries have a key supportive role to play by being accessible, inclusive and welcoming community hubs that bring people together. They are the most powerful tool that a community has in terms of society and culture to foster collaboration, cohesion, communication and unity. As a Board we feel we have excellent experience and knowledge that would benefit other Rural Library systems in Ontario and we look forward to sharing that and inspiring others.