By Doug Hallett
Guelph’s chief librarian has resigned after less than four years in the job for what she describes as family reasons.
Kitty Pope, who came to Guelph from Illinois in December 2010, will work her last day as CEO of the Guelph Public Library on Oct. 31. She has accepted a job as CEO of the Windsor Public Library.
She hadn’t expected the job to come up in Windsor, where she was born and raised, and “I was totally happy here in Guelph,” she said Wednesday.
However, “I thought I’d like to be closer to my family” in Windsor, she said in an interview.
She said her decision had nothing to do with a lack of as much progress as she’d like to see in getting a new main library built in Guelph’s downtown.
Pope said she is going home after spending 30 years working in the library field in Owen Sound, Canada’s eastern and western Arctic, Saskatchewan, the Middle East, Calgary, Illinois and then Guelph. She went “wherever there was an interesting job that had a challenge.”
In Guelph, she said, part of the challenge was getting the city “on track for a new library” in the Baker Street Parking Lot vicinity.
Windsor is doing renovations rather than talking about building a new library, she noted. The Windsor library system is “a little bigger” but otherwise similar to Guelph’s, she said.
Windsor is also “getting ready for a new strategic plan, which is what I just finished doing in Guelph.”
A news release announcing Pope’s resignation said the Guelph Public Library Board will decide in coming weeks how to proceed with the recruitment of a new CEO.
Pope has been instrumental in numerous Guelph Public Library projects and leading the transformation to a public library focused on exceptional customer service, as well as being an advocate for a new main library, the release said. Her enthusiasm and willingness to help have won her and the Guelph Public Library many friends and opened the door to new and innovative opportunities, it said.
“We have deeply appreciated Kitty’s considerable expertise and true passion for the public service that libraries provide,” library board chair Anne MacKay said in the release. “She has worked tirelessly to build community partnerships, to make the library a place for all residents and to nurture the internal strengths of the Guelph Public Library team.”
Pope said the local library system is well positioned to thrive. “I know Guelph Public Library is really well placed with its board and its staff to continue the momentum they have, so I feel really comfortable with this transition,” she said Wednesday.
By Doug Hallett