CIty names new libraries chief

Danielle McDonald will help the Ottawa Public Library face the next chapter of its life as the newly appointed CEO of the Ottawa institution.

“I think the library is constantly evolving and we can try and keep in pace with the changes,” said McDonald. “People really want to learn and learn in different ways. Some people like e-books and some people still like books so there’s a real mix.”

McDonald said the future of books is changing at a “rapid pace.”

“I’m very excited and I feel proud. I love to read. I love libraries,” she said.

Barrhaven Coun. Jan Harder chairs the Ottawa Public Library Board and announced the appointment in a press release Feb. 28.

Since 2009 McDonald worked as the library’s division manager of facilities and business services.

McDonald has worked for more than 25 years with the city in various capacities and has helped oversee $5.75 million worth of library renovations.

She will start her new position on March 5. McDonald replaces Barbara Clubb, who retired at the end of 2011.

Harder said McDonald has the leadership and skills required to wade through the growing age of e-books and digital technology.

“We know the library world is changing and the financial world is changing, but what hasn’t changed is people’s curiosity,” Harder said. “That is what the public library has in spades.”

While McDonald admits technology is the biggest challenge facing the city’s 33 libraries, she said libraries still play an important role.

“It’s more than just books, it’s a community meeting place.”