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New library CEO eager to start

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The Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre has appointed Caroline Goulding as its new CEO.

Goulding, who was born in St. Catharines but considers Oshawa home, is eager to get started here.

“It’s a great opportunity in what seems like a really wonderful town,” she enthused in a telephone interview yesterday.

“I got the chance to visit Fort Frances as part of my interview process and it seemed like a really wonderful community,” she noted.

“Everyone was really welcoming and it’s a very nice town.”

During her tour around town, Goulding recalled the library itself leaving a lasting impression on her.

“It seems like it’s a really dynamic institution, and it also seems like the community really supports and loves this library—which is something that I think is absolutely wonderful,” she said.

“The staff seem like they are very exciting and motivated,” Goulding added.

“The board seems very supportive, as well, so I’m really excited about that opportunity.

“I’m excited about being able to immerse myself in the town as well as the lifestyle,” she remarked.

Library board chair Andrew Hallikas noted the board believes Goulding can step into the shoes of former CEO Alicia Subnaik Kilgour and “follow up on all the stuff that [Subnaik Kilgour] has been working on.”

“One of the main things that we are excited about is getting our strategic plan fully engaged and fully into action,” he stressed.

Part of the hiring process for the vacant CEO position included candidates presenting their ideas on how to enact the strategic plan.

“[Goulding] did an excellent job on that,” Hallikas recalled.

For her part, Goulding said she’s looking forward to implementing her ideas for the strategic plan.

“I’m really looking forward to completing the strategic plan which was laid out by the previous CEO, as well as the board,” she noted.

“It’s a very exciting plan,” Goulding said, adding she’s passionate about community engagement and partnerships.

The library board also desires to be accredited by the Ontario Public Library Guidelines and Accreditation Council, and asked the candidates to present their ideas on that topic.

“We want to get this library accredited,” Hallikas said.

“What that means is there’s a standard that’s set by professional librarians and library organizations.”

He added the council has a check-list of “best practices and the gold standard” of services that a library would provide for its respective community.

The process includes an inspection of the premises and ensuring the library complies with all regulations.

“It’s all about good service for the public,” Hallikas explained.

“We think we are already doing all of that but we want to make it official.”

“I’m really excited to start with . . . the accreditation process, which is something I feel would be a great help for the library and is a great opportunity,” Goulding reasoned.

Goulding is a University of Waterloo graduate in Arts (Classics) and Business.

She later earned a Master of Library Science degree at McGill University in Montreal and most recently worked in “Children’s and Youth Services” at the public library in Bracebridge, Ont.

Goulding, meanwhile, she said she’s looking to get involved in the community.

“I’m going to be looking to join as many community organizations as I can,” she noted.

“I’m going to be missing playoffs for my baseball team so next summer I’ll be looking to join a new team [here].”

Hallikas said while Goulding had the qualifications and experience the library board wanted, other aspects stood out during the hiring process.

“The thing that stood out with Caroline was her enthusiasm, her passion, [and] what we perceived as her leadership abilities and her ability to motivate,” he remarked.

“She’s a young professional full of energy . . . [and] she has a really strong background in technology,” Hallikas added.

“She’s going to be a great fit for our library and the community.”

Goulding is aiming to arrive in Fort Frances by mid-August, though there are some hurdles to be cleared first.

“Right now it’s dependent on me being able to find a place to live, which is not easy,” she conceded.

“[But] I can’t wait to get started at the library,” she stressed.

In the meantime, program director Andrea Avis will serve as interim CEO.

“We’re really happy that [Avis] agreed to do it,” Hallikas said, noting she previously served as interim CEO before Subnaik Kilgour arrived.

“She does a great job for us,” he lauded.

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