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A new library director for Coquitlam

Todd Gnissios is Coquitlam
Todd Gnissios is Coquitlam's new library director
— image credit: COURTESY OF TODD GNISSIOS

Coquitlam's new library director checked in on Monday.

This week, the Coquitlam Public Library board announced Todd Gnissios as the replacement for Rhian Piprell, who left the library this past spring for unknown reasons.

Gnissios beat out nine other applicants for the job following a nationwide search.

"He was the best candidate, the most experienced," said board chair Jack Trumley, who on Thursday gave no further explanation for Piprell's sudden departure in May.

Gnissios was previously the director and CEO at the Lethbridge Public Library and responsible for a $6.3-million budget. In September 2012, that library board released him of his duties as it was "looking for a change" in direction, he said.

Before that, Gnissios was the Alberta city's associate director of branches and outreach services, and, prior, was a research librarian at the Vancouver Public Library for 24 years.

Besides his library work, Gnissios has also been active the political front. He was the BC Liberal riding president for Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant — a provincial riding currently held by NDP MLA Jenny Kwan — and, in 1991, he ran against Mike Harcourt.

Gnissios has also worked on provincial and federal campaigns, including the byelection for Coquitlam Coun. Lou Sekora when he successfully ran for the Liberals as MP. As well, Gnissios was an NPA candidate for the Vancouver School Board.

Gnissios, who has a bachelor's degree in humanities and business from SFU and a master's degree in library and information studies from UBC, said he has a strong vision for the Coquitlam Public Library, which has  branches on Poirier Street and Pinetree Way. "It's the information age and libraries have a great future," he said, adding, the library is "a service, not a building."

Gnissios said he is aware Coquitlam has the lowest per capita funding in B.C. for library materials and he is eager to work with city council and staff on the budget. He also wants to take a look at the early childhood education programs the library offers as "literacy is so important for our youth."

jwarren@tricitynews.com

 

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