By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Jan.14, 2012.
Ella-Fey Zalezsak was working as a librarian at one of the biggest universities in Halifax when she came to attend a conference on Vancouver Island.
Mesmerised by the beauty of British Columbia, she made a silent resolve to move here.
“The mountains and the ocean, that was such a beautiful sight,” Zalezsak, the new director of the Squamish Public Library, recalled the day she was spellbound by B.C.
In 2004, she took up a librarian job with the Vancouver Community College. This January, she joined as a director of the Squamish Public Library.
“I wanted to serve in the public library system again. I wanted to be involved in the community,” she said.
With Squamish Public Library, Zalezsak’s career has come full circle.
She began her career as a librarian in the Toronto Public Library after doing her masters in library sciences at University of Toronto.
She served at one of the largest library in Toronto, the Metro Reference Library in Toronto, and then took up a job at the library in Oakville, Ont.
Later, she joined Dalhousie University, where she served as the head of technical services at the Killan Memorial Library, a library that rivals UBC in its size and resource.
Squamish library might be smaller in size, but that was part of its draw for her.
“In big libraries, you can be removed from direct contact with people.”
She hopes community’s love for the library and staff’s dedication to it will also make the experience as professionally rewarding as working in a big library.
Besides bringing decades of experience to the local library, Zalezsak also wants to encourage a culture of innovative thinking at the library.
Having involved with digitisation project at the Oakville library, she has taken a keen interest in the similar project being anchored by Sanfu Chen and Darby Love at the Squamish Public Library.
She wants to continue to support the Foyer Gallery, and other programs that the library runs.
“I have a very strong interest in literacy and I value it deeply,” she said.
Even though she has been here for ten days, she has noticed how the library serves as a community hub.
“Squamish residents seem to really enjoy their library,” she said.
Zalezsak invites the community to share their thoughts on what they would like from their library.
“We are here to serve the community,” she said.
She can be contacted at email@example.com.