Board of Directors

Board meetings are scheduled on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. If you are interested in attending a board meeting, call the library to confirm the date and receive a meeting link.

CLICK TO VIEW: Board Meeting Minutes & Related Documents


Board Members

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Wally Bergen – Chair, New Building Fundraising Committee, Friends of the Smithers Library Liaison

Wally has had a long interest in Libraries dating back to 1985 when he joined the Cariboo/Thompson Library system as a Library Board Trustee.  His interest stems from the belief that Libraries expand our lives through fiction and non-fiction.  They are places of creativity, exploration, learning, relaxation, fun, family, self-improvement, and much more.

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Bruce Hutchinson – Vice Chair, Treasurer

Bruce has been a life long library addict. He enjoys the challenge of either a new or an old book and discovering new authors and insights. He admires and looks forward to the changing role of libraries and their impact on all members of our community.

John Buikema – Smithers Council Representative

I am serving as the Smithers Council Representative to the Library Board. I joined this group because I have always loved books, loved learning, and loved libraries. I also see this as an opportunity to serve my local community. I have previously served on a number of volunteer boards or committees and it is my hope to serve well.

Jim Pojar – Policy Committee

Jim has always been a big fan of libraries as sources of information, education, enjoyment, inspiration, and as egalitarian social and cultural community assets. The Library is a linchpin of Smithers and is now on the threshold of an even greater role in the life of the town. Jim is a mostly retired researcher, forest ecologist, and author (of plant guides). He has experience serving on several boards over the years, including the School Board in the 1990s. In retirement, he has sufficient time and energy to devote to Library governance and to important initiatives like the Library-Gallery Project.

Dan Mesec – Marketing Committee

Dan is really into books. As a journalist and writer he knows the power of the written word and the importance of having an inclusive, robust and active community library. When he originally landed in Smithers 10 years ago, the library was a hub of connectivity, community and learning and he was taken aback by how a small town like Smithers could have such a superb and full library. Originally joining the Library board in 2018, Dan hopes to continue advocating for the completion of the Smithers Library-Gallery Project and the expansion of arts and culture in the Bulkley Valley.

Sandy MacDonell – New Building Design & Promotion

Sandy has enjoyed reading since getting lost in Pinocchio in elementary school. This continued in middle school with long hours spent in the stacks in a small town library that just happened to be square in the middle of the walk home from school. This was reading for the sheer enjoyment of it, but also a bit of escapism into the books and out of a few household chores that awaited. Sandy believes that reading opens up the world for us, allows us to consider, contrast, compare and develop a fully rounded understanding of whatever interests us. He thinks that libraries play an important role in our personal development, the development of our communities, and of our society and would like to be a part of this.

Christine Tessier – NWLF Representative

Christine is an avid reader with a wide variety of interests. She ran the Telkwa Reading Centre for almost twenty-five years until she moved into Smithers. Currently, she is the librarian at St. Joseph’s School. Libraries play a huge part in her life and that of her adult children. Peyton, her daughter, is now working in the Lethbridge Public Library system. All this experience has given Christine the opportunity to recognize how important it is for reading, information and technology to be accessible to every community member.

Charmaine O’Coffey – Director-at-Large

Charmaine O’Coffey was born and raised in Smithers. She left home for post-secondary education in Edmonton, and a few years later she left Canada to wander around Asia for nearly a year. She has been married for almost 20 years and has 4 amazing daughters, her very own son-in-law, an “extra kid” who is right at home with them, and an exchange student from China–all of them girls! Charmaine loves to hike in the mountains, has an insatiable wanderlust, and always has a book on the go. Her parents helped her fall in love with books very early on, and her first experience with a library was right here in Smithers with Pat Moss. She loves books and this community and looks forward to serving as a library board member.