ANNAPOLIS VALLEY - The Annapolis Valley Regional Library has hired a new chief executive officer.
Ann-Marie Mathieu, who is originally from Cornwall, Ontario, has a background in performance piano and a teaching degree. After she was unable to find a career with teaching, she went back to school to get a master degree in library science and found her passion. She got a job in a library as a children’s librarian and, after 18 months, moved into her position in leadership.
She has worked in libraries in four different provinces, spending 15 years with the Bracebridge Public Library and seven years with the Fraser Valley Regional Library - the biggest regional library in Canada. She was also the department director of the Saskatoon public library.
Now, Mathieu is the head honcho at AVRL, and says she’s delighted to be here.
“My heart is in a smaller library system, that is why Annapolis appealed to me,” explained Mathieu.
She was drawn to the library because of its value and commitment to service and she thoroughly enjoyed the interview process, she said.
Mathieu says a huge part of a library is to be a community developer and found it clear that the board is focused on that.
Mathieu is planning to continue on with the community development model, the programs set in place and other kinds of formatting.
“I am building on a strong tradition here, there isn’t much for me to change,” she said.
She is a huge advocate of community engagement and connecting the people with the library as much as possible.
“We help make people successful. We improve and enrich people’s lives,” she said.
That doesn’t mean she isn’t willing to try new things, though. She is planning on rethinking the community LED model and wants to bring services out to the community.
“The way I look at it, we can always examine things and look at ways to do things better,” she said.
Mathieu’s role consists of overseeing all of the operations, liaising between the board, the library and the community, and “help keep the train on the tracks,” she said..
She adds that’s she’s very excited to be a part of the community and looks forward to exploring Nova Scotia. She’s also taken a role as music director in her local parish.
“When my husband and I go to a new place we like to become one of the locals,” said Mathieu. “This area is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.”