Please contact the Executive Director at with any membership questions including access to BCLTA Board Meeting Agendas and Reports or to connect with any member of the BCLTA Board of Directors.

2019 BCLTA Board Meeting Schedule

  • January 8
  • March 5
  • April 2
  • May 11 (to coincide with AGM)
  • June 4
  • September 10
  • September 27-28 (potential board retreat to coincide with UBCM Convention)
  • November 5

Board of Directors

Photo of Jerrilyn Schembri

Jerrilyn Schembri

President 2017-2019
Board Chair, Tumbler Ridge Public Library
On the BCLTA board since 2013.

Jerrilyn brings to the table a wide variety of experience and education ranging from Social Work to Emergency Management to Political Science and Tourism.   She has sat on a number of boards, working groups and committees including Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Director at large for both the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and the North Central Local Government Association, President of BC Library Trustees Association, South Peace Economic Development Commission and the Lakeview Credit Union Board.

Jerrilyn volunteers for the Canadian Red Cross and the Province in Disaster Response and Recovery, assisting communities who have been impacted by disaster. As an advocate for Compassion Canada she has traveled to Brazil to work with local families, and when not volunteering for national and international relief agencies, she volunteers on a variety of boards in Tumbler Ridge and the region.

Photo of Mike Gagel

Mike Gagel

Vice President 2018-2020
Board Chair, Prince George Public Library
On the BCLTA board since 2016.

Mike earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Nursing at the University of British Columbia and then worked as a nurse for almost 20 years at the BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Coastal Health, and as a consultant. In the second half of his nursing career, Mike progressively focused on staff education and the use of technology. Mike next worked at the BC School Trustees Association where he was responsible for all the Association’s technology needs and supported various trustee committees. Mike currently works for Northern Health as their Regional Manager, Communicable Disease.

As a volunteer, Mike is a Cub Scout leader, Chair of his children’s school Parent Advisory Council (PAC), and Vice-Chair of the SD57 Prince George District PAC. Mike also serves as Vice-Chair of the Prince George Public Library (appointed as a trustee in Dec 2015), and sits on the Policy and Governance Committee and Chairs the Local History Committee.

An avid reader, Mike’s interests include medieval European history, and science fiction and modern murder-mystery novels. He has listened to dozens of audio books and downloads e-books frequently. Mike’s other interests include Maker initiatives, birding, backyard astronomy, and travel.

Photo of Rhonda Sherwood

Rhonda Sherwood

Treasurer 2018-2020
Vancouver Public Library
On the BCLTA board since 2018.

Rhonda is a Certified Financial Planner® and licensed Investment Advisor, and brings 29 years of wealth advisement and passion to her work. Rhonda holds a Liberal Arts diploma from Simon Fraser University along with Certified Financial Planner®, Financial Management Advisor and Responsible Investment Advisor designations. In addition, she is securities and insurance licensed.

Rhonda is a passionate advocate within her industry promoting professionalism and ethics. She is actively involved with the Financial Planning Standards Council’s ‘Public Policy Ambassador Program’ and sits on their ‘Standards Panel’. Additionally, she is on the board of an industry publication ‘Advisors Edge’ and the ‘Financial Services Advisory Council’ at Douglas College.

Rhonda also mentors young adults and women through different associations.  Rhonda believes in the importance of giving back to her community. She is a trustee for the Vancouver Public Library and vice chair with the city of Vancouver’s ‘Women’s Advisory Committee’.

Rhonda cares deeply about the rights and well-being of animals, practicing veganism and vegetarianism for 27 years and devoting her time and resources to many animal advocacy projects.

Photo of Melanie Wilke

Melanie Wilke

Director 2017-2019
Terrace Public Library
On the BCLTA board since 2017.

Melanie is fulfilling her 4th year as a trustee on the Terrace Public Library Board, and is sitting for the second year as Chair. Her involvement with the Library Board is not a coincidence; she has an MLS and spent 7 years as the Children’s/Deputy Librarian at the Terrace Public Library, before joining Northwest Community College as the Library Coordinator in 2009.

While working as the Children’s/Deputy Librarian at the Terrace Public Library, she became involved with provincial library work providing AskAway virtual reference, working as the Manual Coordinator for the Public Library Services Branch’s Provincial Summer Reading Club Committee, and providing service as an Association Ambassador for the BC Library Association.

After leaving the public library to work as an academic librarian, Melanie continued to reach beyond her immediate library community, presenting at the 2011 BCLA Conference, and submitting articles to both the BCLA Browser and CLA’s Feliciter. Once fully settled into her role as a college librarian, she began to explore the academic provincial environment, sitting as Chair for BC’s AskAway Virtual Reference service, and filling the roles of Secretary and Chair for the Counsel of Post-Secondary Library Directors.

Melanie has a deep belief in the power of libraries. They are places where everyone has equal access to information, activities, and interesting people; safe places where no judgement is passed, and open to everyone equally with no secret handshake or financial commitment.

These amazing qualities make libraries every bit as vital today as they have been in the past.

Photo of Ernie Ingles

Ernie Ingles

Director 2017-2019
Penticton Public Library
On the BCLTA board since 2015.

Ernie has been an active player within the library community, having served in an executive capacity on over one hundred professional, association and community organizations. He has spoken and published frequently including reference tools, over 150 articles and over 160 conference papers or presentations.

As the Vice-Provost and Chief Librarian at the University of Alberta Ernie had oversight responsibility for the Library System, the Department of Museums and Collections, the Department of Archives and Records Management, the Bookstore, Printing and Duplicating Services, the University of Alberta Press. He was also appointed Executive Professor and Director, School of Library and Information Studies at the University.

As Chief Librarian and Director of Libraries at the University he achieved some prominence for strategic planning initiatives, technology planning, the creation of the library consortium, the development of the province-wide Health Knowledge Network (HKN), the planning and building of a Canadian university’s first remote storage and document supply facility (the BARD — Book and Record Depository), and award winning outsourcing, cost-containment initiatives.

His crowning achievement was the founding of the Northern Exposure to Leadership Institute, now acclaimed world-wide as a landmark contribution to professional leadership development.

Ernie was a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s Expert Panel on the status and future of Canadian libraries and archives. Together they prepared the report entitled: The Future Now: Canada’s Libraries, Archives, and Public Memory.

Photo of Matthew Boyd

Matthew Boyd

Director 2017-2019
Greater Victoria Public Library
On the BCLTA board since 2017.

Matthew is the Planning Manager at BC Transit with over 12 years of experience helping communities around British Columbia create efficient and effective public transit systems. Leveraging this experience, he regularly provides transportation theory colloquiums at post secondary institutions across the province including UVIC, UBC and VIU.

His passion for creating happy and healthy communities has led him to many volunteer opportunities including as a director for the Friends of Mount Doug Park Society, a trainer at the City of Vancouver Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness Program, and a trustee for the Greater Victoria Public Library and BCLTA. He is also the host of the Monorail City podcast which shares fun stories about happy cities. In his free time he enjoys coaching his children’s baseball team, playing guitar and spending time with his family in beautiful Saanich, BC.

Photo of Austin Uzama

Austin Uzama

Director 2018-2020
Surrey Libraries
On the BCLTA board since 2018.

Austin is a career teacher. He started his teaching career in Japan in 1994. Since then, he has taught K12 to post secondary students in different countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, and now in Canada. Austin was born in Edo State Nigeria and left Nigeria at an early age for Japan and called Tokyo home until he left in 2011 after the March 11th earthquake, tsunami, & Fukushima Nuclear Plant radiation leak.  

Surrey is now his home and where is lives with his wife and 4 daughters. Austin work as part-time teacher with Abbotsford School District and with the Catholic Independent Schools of Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA). He is also a Sessional Lecturer and Researcher at UBC. As well, Austin volunteers as the Youth Director for the Knights of Columbus, Council #7015, where he mentors and organizes basketball workshops and free basket shooting in CISVA’s elementary schools. When he is not teaching or volunteering, Austin spends time with his wife and daughters travelling around B.C. and playing tennis.   

Photo of Barry Avis

Barry Avis

Director 2018-2020
Vancouver Island Regional Library
On the BCLTA board since 2018.

Barry is a longstanding and committed advocate for libraries and communities on Vancouver Island. He is currently in his second year as Chair of the Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) Board of Trustees, andpreviously sat on VIRL’s Board from 2003 – 2011.

He is also the 2018 winner of the BCLTA Library Advocate Award.

At the municipal level, Barry has served the Town of Qualicum Beach as a Councillor on two occasions, from 2002 – 2011 and again from 2014 – present (his current term ends in 2018). He plans to seek re-election in 2018.

In 2013, he ran provincially for the NDP in the riding of Qualicum Beach.

For six years, Barry was a director for the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC), serving as the Vice President for two years. He is also the previous Chair of Arrowsmith Water Services and has sat on numerous committees during his time on Qualicum Beach Council.

Over the course of his career in the manufacturing sector, Barry spent 35 years working at the senior management level and held the role of Operations Control on two occasions at a pharmaceutical and technology company.

He and his wife have lived in Qualicum Beach for the past 18 years.


Photo of Barbara Kelly

Babs Kelly

Executive Director

Babs has successfully used a community engagement approach for supporting the development of organizations and boards for over 25 years. She has worked for a variety of non-governmental agencies, businesses, and for the public sector, including public libraries in Ontario, Saskatchewan and BC. She has extensive experience in communications, governance, facilitating community forums and dialogues, and with building community partnerships and involvement. Working part-time for BCLTA is ideal as it allows her to continue to work with public libraries while pursuing creative and artistic projects.

Photo of Jan Thomas

Jan Thomas

Administrative Assistant

Jan has served as the administrative assistant for Heritage BC for more than 25 years, ably supporting this not-for-profit organization to deliver annual and regional conferences, annual general meetings, newsletters, website, and government advocacy activities to a province-wide membership.  BCLTA is lucky to have her in-depth knowledge of association management at work for BC public libraries.