The Bracebridge Public Library will soon have a new leader with its current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Cathryn Rodney planning to retire in June.

She has been at the helm of the library since 2006. A successor has not been chosen yet, but Rodney says the search is already underway. “I think people can be confident that my successor will be a great asset to the library,” she says, explaining that the requirements will help ensure they don’t get someone “fresh out of library school.” 

Rodney believes that after 15 years it will be a good thing to have a new face lead them, adding she hopes the new hire brings a new level of energy to the job.

While the plan for the over 110-year-old library to move into Bracebridge’s Multi-Use Community Centre on hold after the town was denied funding, Rodney says she’s disappointed she won’t be there to cut the ribbon when it does eventually open. Having been part of the planning process for the new location, she says adds she’s proud of the work done by the library staff.

Since starting 15 years ago, Rodney has worked to improve staffing at the library going from two full-time positions in 2006, to now having six full-time employees along with eight part-time workers. With more staff on board, Rodney says it allowed them to better implement programs, like the ones they offer to children.  “We really are a community centre in a lot of ways,” she says.

“On behalf of council, I wish Cathryn well in her retirement, but of course I’m sorry to see her go,” Bracebridge’s Mayor Graydon Smith tells the newsroom. “Her dedication not only to the library but to the entire community of Bracebridge has been exceptional and will be missed.”

Rodney says she’s going to miss seeing the creative staff at the library. “They’re the frontline workers, the people the public see when they come in,” she says. “They’re cheerful.”