The new Red Deer Public Library CEO Shelley Ross officially started Tuesday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Red Deer Public Library’s new CEO gets started

After just two days as Red Deer’s new library CEO, Shelley Ross says she already feels at home.

Ross said the big talk in 2018 is fulfilling the Red Deer Public Library (RDPL) board’s plan of service, which is set until the end of the year.

About halfway through the year, Ross said the library will reach out to the community for input on the next plan of service.

“I hope to hear people come with ideas about how they can contribute or how the library itself can help them and parts of the community,” she said.

Ross said she’s excited the library will continue to offer free library cards this year.

“You wouldn’t think a little bit of a library fee is a barrier, but it can be. People don’t always have the money in their pocket or their budget.

“We will be looking for sponsors or donations from people who are looking to support revenue lost from giving free library cards,” said Ross.

READ MORE: Red Deer Public Library extends free card program into 2018

The free card program was initially introduced in 2017 to celebrate Canada’s 150th year.

Ross assumed her new role Tuesday after being named CEO in November, replacing the retired Christina Wilson.

“Christina’s left me endless files and folders – there’s a lot of learning still and of course there’s many staff members to meet. Hopefully I get everyone’s names under my belt over the next little while,” said Ross, who met with Wilson for a couple days in December to discuss RDPL.

Ross has 30 years of experience as a librarian. She was chief librarian at the Medicine Hat Public Library for the last seven years, and is a former librarian at the University of Lethbridge and Environmental Law Centre in Edmonton.

“Looking after three branches is really different. That’s the biggest challenge here in Red Deer, I think. But I’m up for that challenge,” said Ross.

Ross said her door is always open to Red Deerians. She has spoken with a few library supporters and enthusiasts since starting at the library, she added.

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