October 16, 2021

Report: “Sarah Meilleur Named First Female CEO of Calgary Public Library”

From the Calgary Herald:

Sarah Meilleur (Source: Calgary Public Library)

Earlier this week, the 42-year-old native Calgarian was named the new CEO of the Calgary Public Library, the first female leader in its 109-year history. Meilleur, who has been with the library since 2001, had been serving as its interim CEO since April.

“For many years, Sarah has worked tirelessly to establish Calgary Public Library as an international leader in library service,” said Avnish Mehta, chair of the Calgary Public Library Board, at the organization’s official announcement. “She is a visionary leader who is community-driven, and I can’t think of anyone better suited to lead us into a bright and exciting future.”

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After graduating from the University of Calgary with a degree in English, she got a job at what is now the Giuffre Family Library in the city’s southwest, starting at the very bottom of the rung.

“I like to say that at one point, I shelved every single book in that library,” she says with a laugh. “But it did make me want to become a librarian.”

So, in 2004 she headed off to Western University in London, Ont., to receive her master’s degree in library and information science. Upon her return, she was hired back by CPL, doing a variety of roles until she was appointed customer service manager in the humanities, community heritage and family history department at the central library.

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More From the Calgary Public Library

Before stepping into the interim CEO position, Meilleur’s leadership as Director of Service Delivery included many achievements, such as the plan for innovation development and the successful launch of the new Central Library in 2018.

Meilleur is considered a North American leader in urban library development and city building. She has delivered workshops at Harvard University, presented at multiple international conferences on urban libraries, and has been recognized for her extensive volunteer work as part of the Calgary Heritage Authority. Meilleur has overseen the Library’s public service during the pandemic and introduced a measured approach that ensured the Library could deliver as much service as safely possible.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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