After 13 years with the Prince George Public Library, Chief Librarian Janet Marren has announced her retirement.
Her last day will be Friday, June 28. Marren has held the Chief Librarian role since 2013. Prior to that, her positions at the library have included Community Outreach Librarian, Public Service Coordinator and Public Service Manager. She also served as Chief Librarian at the Houston Public Library from 1995-2006.
“It’s been an honour to lead this incredible organization for the last six years,” she said, in a news release. “I will sincerely miss working with a fantastic board, talented staff and wonderful community partners. This library helps to make Prince George a great place to live.”
Marren plans to continue to reside in Prince George where she’ll spend more time with her friends and family, including seven children and seven grandchildren.
The library’s 2016-2020 strategic plan focused on community engagement, accessibility and inclusion. With Marren at the helm, the Prince George Public Library completed the Knowledge Garden at Bob Harkins Branch, successfully fundraised for a library outreach vehicle, completed the digitization of more than 100 years of the Prince George Citizen, and increased and diversified its program and collection offerings. Marren has been a vocal advocate for the library entrance project, which received final approval at a recent council meeting. The project is set to break ground in the coming weeks and will result in a safe and accessible entrance for all library users.
Under her leadership, the library received several accolades, including two Healthier You Awards, two provincial merit awards from the British Columbia Library Association, and most recently the Community Impact Award from the Chamber of Commerce Business Impact Awards. Her community work includes involvement with the Prince George Council of Seniors, Success by Six Council of Partners, Prince George Literacy Advisory Committee, Advisory Committee on Enhancing Prince George, Local Immigration Partnership Council and the City of Prince George’s Collective Impact Working Group. She also chairs the Librarian Advisory Group for the North Central Library Federation.
“Janet has worked closely with the board and has been instrumental in helping fulfill the library’s mission to connect people and ideas, inspiring the community to read, learn and discover,” said Board Chair, Mike Gagel. “On behalf of the board, I would like to convey how much we will miss Janet and to thank her for her service and for leaving the library in such great shape for her successor.”
While Marren’s departure will be a significant change for both branches of the Public Library, succession plans are in place. The board has appointed Paul Burry, Manager of Support and Circulation Services, as the acting Chief Librarian, effective Tuesday, July 2nd. Burry has been with the library since 2011 and will remain in the acting role until the board appoints a permanent replacement.