Last fall, amid news that the OLS-North and SOLS would be amalgamating, I indicated that I would retire at the end of March 2021. It’s hard to believe that day is quickly approaching. Like many before me who’ve reached this milestone, it comes with feelings of excitement and sadness. It is the culmination of 33 years of service to public libraries in Ontario.
I can say I was there when we launched EXCEL (three times), VDX, SOLScape, APLL, Ontario Library Service Download Centre, LearnHQ, and the Governance HUB. I’m very proud of all the projects we’ve been able to create and accomplish. They were made possible by the hard work, knowledge and dedication of several great teams and individuals over the years.
It’s been an honour, too, to work alongside so many colleagues within the public library community and, other library sectors across the province and country. The shared goal of championing public libraries has brought us together. It’s important work that I’ve been a part of and that must continue, especially in what may be some challenging times ahead.
I will miss being a part of the Ontario Library Service come April 1st, but I leave knowing it will be in the extremely capable hands of Mellissa D’Onofrio-Jones. She will be more than ably supported by Steven Kraus, Anne Marie Madziak, and Karen Reid and all the OLS staff. As the OLS byline states, it exists to build stronger libraries and, in turn, stronger communities.
Thank you all for making my career so rewarding.
Barbara Franchetto is the CEO of Southern Ontario Library Service