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NTPL appoints Jessica Mole as new CEO

September 2, 2021   ·   0 Comments

The New Tecumseth Public Library (NTPL) has a new CEO.

Jessica Mole was announced as the new full time library executive, taking over from Interim CEO & D.A. Jones Branch Manager Lory Whittemore, on August 16.

“The vibe for me was an instant feeling of welcome and belonging. I am very grateful that I have been given this opportunity and plan to make this position my future,” Mole told The Times.

Mole started her library career in university, when she decided to change her major in the last year as an under-graduate from Psychology/Socio-Criminology to English.

“I did so [to] apply to the Master of Library and Information Science program at Western. After getting into Western, I took an eight-month co-op at a law library in Toronto before moving up to the Wiarton, ON, area and beginning to work in the County of Grey and Bruce,” said Mole. “I have had a few contract positions since then, but it was my recent position as the interim CEO at the Southgate Public Library that was the biggest opportunity for me. My performance at that job was definitely instrumental in succeeding with this position. It’s been amazing so far!”

Mole states, perhaps unsurprisingly, that she’s been a voracious reader since she was little.

“I was in the Silver Birch program at school and often finished the lists before most other kids,” Mole said. “I still remember getting through my first chapter book on my own, which was Kenneth Oppel’s Silverwing. I’ve always enjoyed books that spark the imagination such as the Wizard of Oz (my favourite in that series being the third book, Ozma of Oz), as well as other more fantastical stories. In addition, I also greatly enjoy the horror genre. My favourite Stephen King books are Needful Things and Night Shift. I also enjoy Clive Barker’s books, and was pleasantly surprised by his more child-friendly tale, The Thief of Always.”

She also loves the English language.

“It is just so versatile! There are so many ways we can tell stories to one another, and as all connections are formed through communication, there is no telling the limits of its importance.” 

Mole grew up in Burlington, ON, then moved with her parents to the Wiarton area five years ago.

She then found a place of her own in Flesherton and now Dundalk.

“I hope to move to Alliston soon!” she said.

The NTPL is made up of three branches in Alliston, Tottenham and Beeton.

“Our branches represent the same public library system but they are each so different and offer much to the residents. Though my base branch is Alliston, in my short time here I have already visited the other branches multiple times, and I am so impressed with the staff, patronage, and the buildings themselves,” said Mole. “The tall, cathedral-like brick of the Beeton branch and the modern airiness of the Tottenham branch give off different feelings from Alliston’s downtown look, but they are all welcoming.”

Each of the branches (listed below) have a number of programs that they are still offering despite COVID–19, although most are now online.

“Many can be found through our Facebook page, but there are book clubs, author readings, a writing club, youth book bundles, take and make kits, baby time in the park, and more. Our One Book, One New Tecumseth program is unique to our library, where the community comes together to read one Canadian book. This year they are reading Find You First by Linwood Barclay,” said Mole.

“COVID-19 has definitely been a time of change and adjustments for every library. We are fortunate in that many of our services can translate to online, however we do still strive to offer books and programming kits in person through curbside pickup. In-person interaction as always been the best way to form connections with the community, but virtual meetings have been able to help fill the void for people as well. Now that people can come inside to browse and use the computers, we are looking forward to seeing more and more of the community use the library again.”

When asked what people would find most surprising about the NTPL’s offerings, Mole had this to say: “[People think that libraries] are not needed due to the Internet. There will always be a need for the services we provide, and libraries have strived to continue updating their services to make sure the community’s needs are met. There are precious few community centres where people who come from all walks of life can meet and connect.”

As for what’s ahead for the NTPL, Mole says she definitely want to bring back more in-person programming as soon as possible, such as the Story Dogs program.

“Opening the branches during hours that better serve patron needs is also a priority. In addition, we have developed a Strategic Plan to implement over the next few years, which will delve into the various ways we can continue to improve our services as Alliston, Beeton, and Tottenham grow. One big change coming is that we are planning to organize a Friends of the Library group. If anyone in the community is interested in applying to be a Friend so that they may be involved in raising funds for future projects and community outreach, please do not hesitate to contact us!”

For more information about the New Tecumeth Public Library, follow them on Facebook or visit them in-person, online at www.ntpl.ca or email: info@ntpl.ca.

Memorial Branch – 17 Victoria St. E., Alliston, P: 705-435-5651

D.A. Jones Branch – 42 Main St. W., Beeton, P: 905-729-3726

Pam Kirkpatrick Branch – 139 Queen St. N., Tottenham, P: 905-936-2291

By Wendy Gabrek


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