The Greater Victoria Public Library has a new board of directors for 2015.
Nineteen members representing 10 municipalities make up the board. Oak Bay Coun. Kevin Murdoch was elected chair and Saanich citizen representative Anne Kirkaldy elected vice-chair in the inaugural board meeting Jan. 19.
In his first year as chair and fourth on the board, Murdoch said he looks forward to developing a new strategic plan and creating a forward vision with fellow board members. West Shore members include councillors Moralea Milne from Metchosin, Langford’s Lanny Seaton, View Royal’s John Rogers, Karel Roessingh from Highlands and Rob Martin from Colwood, plus citizen member Gabrielle Goudy from Langford.
The board provides oversight for the operations of 10 library branches servicing more than 300,000 residents, the collective operating budget for which was $16.5 million in 2014.
“One of the most thoughtful acts of any government is in funding the free library systems that we have had and enjoyed for many, many years,” said Milne, who is in her seventh year on the board.
An 11th branch – the third on the West Shore – opens its doors in 2016 with the addition of a library at the under-construction YM-YWCA near Westhills in Langford.
Greater Victoria Public Library had the highest circulation of items per capita in the country in 2013, with more than 6.3 million items, ranging from books and DVD’s to CD’s, kits and e-books.
“It is important to be on the board so that I can advocate for our truly wonderful library system, one of the most well-used and cost effective in all of Canada,” Milne said. “I believe that libraries encourage and support literacy, and literacy is a critical component of the foundation of democracy and a civil, compassionate, engaged society.”