BCLTA Board and Staff

Please contact the Executive Director, Jerrilyn Schembri, 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.

2020 BCLTA Board Meeting Schedule

January 7
February 4
March 3 or April 7
April 19 (post AGM Board Orientation)
May 5 or June 2
September 1 or September 8
September 25 – 26 (Board Retreat)
November 3

Board of Directors

Photo of Mike Gagel

Mike Gagel

President 2019-2021
Board Chair, Prince George Public Library Board
On the BCLTA board since 2016

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

As a volunteer, Mike has been on the BCLTA board since 2016, and serves as Chair of the Prince George Public Library Board and its Policy and Governance Commitee, and sits on its Local History Committee. Mike is active in other areas of his community as well. He volunteered with Parent Advisory Councils at the school and district levels, and has been a Scouter with Scouts Canada since 2011. As a Scouter, Mike has been successful with grant applications totaling over $12,000 to support Scouting initiatives in and around Prince George.
As an avid reader, Mike’s interests include medieval European history, and science fiction and murder-mystery novels. He takes full advantage of his Hoopla and OverDrive accounts, and has downloaded many, many audio and ebooks. Some of his other interests include Maker initiatives, birding, backyard astronomy, and travel.
Photo of Rhonda Sherwood

Rhonda Sherwood

Treasurer and Vice President, 2018-2020
Vancouver Public Library Board
On the BCLTA board since 2018

Rhonda  brings thirty years of wealth advisement expertise and passion to Raymond James. Rhonda’s career began in 1989 at a bank-owned firm. Throughout her career, she advanced into many different roles, including: personal banking officer, financial planner and investment manager. Prior to joining Raymond James in 2016, Rhonda spent fifteen years as a trusted and successful wealth advisor at the full-service brokerage arm of her previous firm.

Rhonda graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Liberal Arts diploma, and has additionally earned her Certified Financial Planner®, Financial Management Advisor, and the Responsible Investment Advisor Certification (RIAC). RIAC certification provides foundational and in-depth training on the identification and implementation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors to consider when making investment decisions. Rhonda is also securities and insurance licensed.

Rhonda is a passionate advocate within her industry. She has previously volunteered her expertise on a panel for a self-regulating body that oversees and sets financial planning standards and practices. She also puts a high value on education and has acted in an advisory capacity with a local college’s personal finance program and with an industry led publication. Rhonda currently mentors young adults and women through different associations.

Rhonda believes in the importance of giving back to her community. She is vice chair of the Vancouver Public Library Board and chairs its Services, Finance and HR Committee. Rhonda is also a director/treasurer for the BC Library Trustees Association. She has previously volunteered on the City of Vancouver’s Women’s Advisory Committee, a civic agency appointed by Vancouver City Council to advise council and staff on enhancing access and inclusion for women and girls to fully participate in city services and civic life.

Rhonda cares deeply about the rights and well-being of animals. She practices veganism and devotes her time and resources to many animal advocacy projects..

Erin Carlson

Director 2019-2021
Okanagan Regional Library Board
On the BCLTA board since 2019

Erin lives and works in Summerland. She has been on the ORL board since 2015 and is serving her second term on council in Summerland. It is also her second time serving on the BCLTA board. 

Growing up she was always at the local library and learned at a young age that libraries have something to offer to every citizen. She believes that libraries are critical infrastructure for communities and should be recognized as such by all levels of government.

Dave Clark

Director 2019-2021
Cranbrook Public Library Board
On the BCLTA board since 2019

Dave brings a wealth of skills to his board work, is insurance and mutual funds licensed, and is a Certified Financial Planner®, with over 20 years experience with a national company.

Dave’s passion for public libraries began when he received his first library card for the Chilliwack Public Library at the age of six. As well as being the Chair of the Cranbrook Public Library Board, Dave is the board vice-chair for a local charitable thrift store.

Elysia Glover

Director 2019-2021
Greater Victoria Public Library Board
On the BCLTA board since 2019

Elysia (she/her) is a settler of English, Scottish, German and Austrian descent living on the unceded, traditional and ancestral territories of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples, today known as the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. A citizen representative for the City of Victoria to the Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL)  Board, Elysia is grateful for the opportunity to serve libraries, their communities and their trustees through her work on the GVPL and BCLTA boards. 

Elysia is passionate about the power of access to inclusive, effective education and has worked as a teacher, facilitator and learning assistant in a variety of school and community settings in Canada, the U.S. and South East Asia. Growing up, access to libraries was fundamental in cultivating her lifelong love of learning. She is a graduate of the United World College of South East Asia and she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours and a teaching certification from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. 

She currently works as the Executive Director of a non-profit working to grow economic opportunities for communities facing barriers. She also co-produces the largest spoken word poetry festival for youth on Vancouver Island. Outside of work, she loves writing, spending time outside, and supporting the local arts community.

Brenda Leigh

Director 2019-2021
Vancouver Island Regional Library Board
On the BCLTA board since 2019

Brenda is the current Chair of the Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) Board, representing 38 library branches in BC, spread over a huge territory.   Brenda is also a Regional Director for Oyster Bay-Buttle Lake (Area D) of the Strathcona Regional District and serves on many other Boards and Commissions on behalf of her community.  A graduate of SFU, Brenda has always recognized that access to knowledge and education is one of life’s great equalizers. For more rural and remote communities their libraries are the link to the outside world and to literacy, social connections, and opportunities that may otherwise be beyond one’s reach.
Brenda was first elected in 1993 and is serving in her 26th year of local government.  She has been an enthusiastic VIRL Library Board member and has worked hard to ensure that library services throughout the Vancouver Island and BC Coastal regions are the very best they can be for all communities in the VIRL system.  She is very fortunate to be able to work with a very progressive library board and staff who know how to deliver optimum library services and literacy to all communities within the budget constraints that we face.
From Brenda:

Of all the services that are provided by local government, libraries are the heart and soul of our communities and library services are more popular than even our recreation centres and are in increasingly high demand. I have nothing but admiration for our Library Trustees who are protecting and maintaining our public library systems year-after-year and are so dedicated and passionate about our librarians. It is really very heartening to witness their effort and commitment as they volunteer their time to guarantee the future viability of this wonderful public service.

Caty Liu

Director 2019-2021
Richmond Public Library Board
On the BCLTA board since 2019

Caty is a Senior Operations Analyst with extensive experience and knowledge in the budgeting, financial analysis and business operations of the non-profit housing sector in BC. Caty has successfully completed the Chartered Professional Accountant program and a leadership program at the Justice Institute of BC. Most recently, Caty has been selected to participate the 2019 Women’s Executive Network Wisdom Mentoring Program.

Caty always looks for opportunities to develop new skills and find meaningful ways to give back. Caty has mentored students through her alma mater and the CPA Western School of Business.  In 2018, Caty began to serve as a Board Trustee at Richmond Public Library. In her spare time, Caty loves reading and testing recipes in the kitchen.


Jerrilyn Schembri

Executive Director

Pic and bio coming soon!

Photo of Barbara Kelly

Babs Kelly

Director for Learning & Development

Babs (she/her) 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 workshops, 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 other projects.

Photo of Jan Thomas

Jan Thomas


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.