Lori Kelly, new Mississauga Library System (MLS) services director, has the responsibility of managing all library business functions to ensure its services meet the informational, educational and cultural needs of residents.

Kelly feels privileged to have spent more than two decades of her career in leadership roles with the City of Mississauga, before becoming library services director. She is proud to be part of an organization that ensures that the community “receives the best possible value for the money we invest,” and feels fortunate that, as a long-serving employee for Mississauga, “to have relationships with people across the organization and the community that I can count on to help the library achieve our goals.”

The new director gives credit to the work already accomplished by the Our Future Mississauga Strategic Plan and Future Directions programs to build the MLS vision. She also recognizes input from council, the library board, the community and library staff as adding significant support to her vision for the library.

“While my vision is still a work in progress I know it will focus on our collections, programs and facilities, both those that our customers have come to know and ones that will emerge as we continually transform to respond to what our community needs” she explains. Through the leadership of professional and engaged staff, plus the support of technology, Kelly will ensure that the library delivers “a positive customer experience in all its formats to ensure we enhance all the modern-day literacy skills our community needs to be successful.”

Investment in technology is considered a MLS priority over the next few years. Already, eBooks, online learning and access to new technology through Makerspaces and other programs are readily available.

Kelly also shared two recent technology lending initiatives for MLS. With the support of provincial funding, a pilot project for hotspot lending is underway at the Cooksville branch making 10 hotspots available as a new way for customers to access the internet outside of the library. Hotspots operate similarly to a Wi-Fi network, allowing connection of any device to the internet from virtually anywhere.

“Internet access has become an essential part of the services provided by the library and this initiative will expand that service beyond our walls,” she said.

In late October, in-library lending of Chromebooks will be piloted at the Cooksville, Malton and Sheridan libraries, providing valuable access to the community.

In setting the course for the library system, Kelly reflects on the vital role that the library plays in the lives of Mississauga residents.

“I see the library as ‘the place’ our community comes to learn something new, solve a problem, help them make a decision and read,” she said.

Mississauga is home to one of the largest public library systems in Canada, with 18 locations and more than 300,000 registered users. Visit mississauga.ca/portal/residents/library for information.

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