About the Library

Library Board

Sandy Gill

Committee Membership: Board Chair, Audit & Finance, Governance, and Strategy & Community 
Term End: 2022

Sandy is a self-described word nerd and believes that literacy is the key to freedom and development. The library system provides access to that freedom to everyone with a library card. Her own love for books and reading began with many trips to the library with her mother, feeling the wealth of checking out as many books as she could carry, week after week, as a child. Since then, Sandy has relied on the library system throughout her life to provide a sense of community, access to an increasing variety of resources at no cost, and even a kind of home for she and her young daughters when home was not accessible. Sandy is especially interested in children’s literature and believes that consistent, early exposure to a variety of books forms the foundation of a lifelong love for learning and the ability to continuously travel to new worlds, learn new skills, and consider new ideas. Sandy’s favorite book is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day, and she refers to it often. She has no plans to move to Australia.

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Andrew Rodych

Committee Membership: Board Vice-Chair, Audit & Finance, and Chair of Governance
Term End: 2023

Andrew’s love of reading stems from his parents’ passion for education, including early memories of his father reading bedtime stories and his mother’s work as a library technician and volunteer. Now with young kids of his own, he feels there is no better place to grow their own love of reading and learning than the library. In the fast-changing information landscape, the library has evolved too, continuing to offer critical paths for learning and opportunity. Whether as a student, a reader, or a father, Andrew has been able to experience the wide opportunities of the Library system and see how Calgary’s libraries are diverse institutions that help shape the communities where they are located.

Haritha Devulapally

Committee membership: Audit & Finance, Governance
Term end: 2022

Haritha’s passion for the library dates back to when she was a child. One of the very first books she picked up at the Calgary Public Library was Matilda, written by Roald Dahl. In that instant she fell in love with reading, and through the Calgary Public Library she had the opportunity to read a vast number of books and publications that helped her succeed in her academics. Haritha believes that the Calgary Public Library is the cornerstone and heart of the Calgary community, promoting empowerment, inclusion, and economic, social, and cultural integration. Haritha looks forward to bringing her financial acumen as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) to make a positive impact on the Calgary Public Library Board.

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Al-Karim Khimji 

Committee Membership: Governance, Strategy & Community
Term End: 2024

Al-Karim remembers the many hours he spent at Louise Riley, Shaganappi, and Signal Hill libraries as a child, reading books that allowed his imagination to wander. He loved getting lost in the story, language, and characters of the many books by Roald Dahl. Those early days of exploration and excitement at the Library were foundational to Al-Karim and his professional and volunteering journey. His appreciation for the Library further deepened as he began to understand the impact the Library has as a safe place of gathering, learning, and collaboration for all ages and members of the community. He looks forward to contributing to the Library's extensive programming and continuing the positive impact it has on the community. 

Evan Legate

Committee Membership: Audit & Finance, Strategy & Community
Term End: 2024

As a child, Evan was fortunate to have a librarian as a neighbour who helped enable his love of reading from a young age. Now, as a father of two, he feels that there is no better resource than Calgary Public Library to help his children grow their own love of literacy and feed their curiosity of the world around them. Evan believes that Calgary Public Library should serve as an inclusive place for all members of the community to gather, learn, and expand their horizons. It’s Evan’s view that institutions such as Calgary Public Library have a significant role to play in our community’s pandemirecovery, and he looks forward to applying his public affairs background to help Calgary Public Library navigate this in the years ahead. 

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Crystal Manyfingers

Committee Membership: Governance, Strategy & Community
Term End: 2023

When Crystal was a little girl in grade school, she spent many hours in the library commons at the University of Lethbridge where her mother, Dr. Helen Manyfingers, was completing her degree in Early Childhood Education. Her favorite section in the University library was the children’s book section, where she would lose herself in tales of adventures from around the world. As a First Nation member of the great Blackfoot Confederacy, Crystal has lived in the City of Calgary (Mohkintsis) for over 25 years. Her love of reading eventually led her to complete a master’s degree in Education at the University of Calgary and to publish a children’s book of her own called “A’pistotooki kii Ihkitsik Kaawa’pomaahkaa – Creator and the Seven Animals, why are we here?” Crystal is a bridge-builder between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and looks forward to using this passion to make a positive impact on the Calgary Public Library Board.

Councillor Jasmine Mian

Committee Membership: City Councillor, Ward 3
Term End: 2024

Growing up, Jasmine spent summers at her dad’s house. She didn’t have many friends around, so the library across the street became her sanctuary. She went every day and was encouraged by the staff to enter the children’s summer reading contest. The contest gave her a sense of purpose and her feelings of loneliness were replaced by stories of adventure and wonder. This experience was formative in not only shaping Jasmine’s love of reading, but also a deep appreciation for the role that libraries play in fostering a sense of belonging. As a City Councillor, Jasmine is focused on improving accessibility so that every citizen can experience the magic of Calgary Public Library.

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Councillor Kourtney Penner

Committee Membership: City Councillor, Ward 11
Term End: 2024

Kourtney has always been an avid reader. As a kid, she loved library day in school, book fairs, and visits from what we now call the Book Truck. It’s no surprise that she studied English Literature in university. Now she enjoys attending and hosting events at the Library, bringing her own children to experience reading and playing, and taking out books (and occasionally returning them on time). Kourtney sees Calgary Public Library as an innovative civic institution, leading the way with both programming and building design. She is keen to support the continued value that Calgary Public Library delivers to Calgarians and encourage ongoing initiatives, especially those focused on youth, seniors, marginalized populations, and low-income Calgarians. 

 

Sheeba Vijayan

Committee Membership: Audit & Finance; Strategy & Community
Term End: 2023

Sheeba recalls her first home library that her father set up with the help of a neighbour, who gave them boxes of books that his children had outgrown. “My brothers and I enjoyed reading the variety of books — fiction, encyclopedias, fun fact books, dictionaries, and poetry. We managed our little library and were always excited when relatives and friends either borrowed or added to the collection.” Public libraries naturally became Sheeba’s favourite hangout as she developed a deep passion and appreciation for the wide variety of reading material and resources. When she moved to Canada with her husband and two sons, the Calgary Public Library was their cultural hub to learn more about Canada and a community hub to meet people through volunteering and participating in programs. Sheeba is passionate about spreading the joy of using knowledge and stories to empower communities with low literacy. She envisions the Library as a safe space for all Calgarians to share their stories of resiliency.

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