In August 2004, Sonia Lewis was appointed the new Chief Executive Officer of KPL. Previous to her move to Kitchener, Sonia was the Director of Service Development at the Burlington Public Library. She led the major expansion and renovation project for the Central Library from community consultation and political decision-making to selecting architects and supervising trades. Her prior experience is in sales and marketing in the information technology industry and she remains active in community information technology groups. Ms. Lewis is past president of the Ontario Library and Information Technology Association.
Mentor to: Allison Standen, Convergent Library Technologies, Inc., Barrie
I consider one of the most influential people in my life to have encouraged me to consider librarianship and the perhaps slightly unusual route of considering the vendor side of the industry, to be Sonia Lewis. I worked in the Burlington Public Library system for almost 10 years and during that time I spent several of those years working directly in the Administration department where I had the opportunity to get to know Sonia. As a teenager, I was very impressed by the time she took to get to know what interested me, not just academically but also my career aspirations. I was interested in continuing my studies in french language, she had gone to the Université de Laval. I pursued French literature at McMaster University, she gave me her University literature books. I debated between teaching and library school, she outlined how she had worked for a time with Utlas and gained a tremendous amount of experience in technology, as well as a built a network of colleagues within the library community in a very short time. I went to UWO's library school, graduated, worked for a time as a cataloguer and then went to work for a large ILS vendor and travelled, built up my knowledge of technology and the role of it in libraries, made lots of friends, and built a strong community of colleagues and supporters who have continued to stand by me in my new career as a partner in two companies that serve the library industry. I was interested in getting more directly involved in the library community, Sonia nominated me for a spot as Councilor on the OLITA council - I am now a Councilor and have increased again my knowledge of our industry, and gained a wider collegial network. While we may not have the occasion to speak too often now, Sonia, has been a significant influence on many of the decisions that have got me where I am, and for that I am thankful that my first job at 14 years of age brought me into contact with her.
Copyright © 2006 Ontario Library Association.