The Jake Epp Library has hired a new Library Director.

Emmalyn Latigay comes to Steinbach with nine-years library experience. She is currently working on her Master of Library and Information Sciences, having moved to Canada from the Philippines in 2020 as an international student.

Latigay has lived and worked in her home country for several years, as well as Saudi Arabia where she worked for Saudi Aramco in their international school as a librarian for four years. She tells us about her time there.

“So basically, I was providing activities for children from one to three years old, three to six, 6 to 12 and adults, and some of the family members that were visiting there as well. So, it was a really cool experience because I was able to work with people from around the world.”

She says the experience of working in Saudia Arabia was different than she expected. “I had fun. Most of the children there, they spoke English. They were from countries like Russia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, and India. People from all over the world.”

Latigay expresses that she loves libraries because she enjoys seeing people grow.

“I think the library makes a very big contribution to that. Growing up in the Philippines, we had Public Library, and I was always there. I like to discover things, like the habitat of monkeys, how they live, where they live. So, when I was a kid, I would always go there just to play with those exhibits and read books, which continued into high school.”

Latigay says, after receiving her Bachelors degree in the Philippines, she was hired as a librarian, back at her former High School. “I was able to apply all my learnings from my Bachelor’s program with book selection, cataloging, all aspects of librarianship.” She was doing all that while also being a substitute biology teacher.

Fastforward nine years, Latigay is now getting ready for her move to Steinbach. Currently living in Ontario, she says she has met the other Jake Epp Library librarians during online conversations and through emails.

Steinbach Jake Epp Library

And what will Latigay bring to the Steinbach Jake Epp Library?

"I told them in the interview that I was hoping to create a library wherein certain demographics of the population can learn more about their hobbies or their interests. For example, for people that just had a baby, I'm planning to partner with the hospital to give them a toolkit of how they can take care of their babies. And then create maker-spaces, which I don't think they have yet. Also bring in speaker-spaces, 3D printing, something like that. I’d also bring in more information technology for the older people, and then a lot of activities like ‘walk with seniors’, and stuff like that.” 

"I would also like to create a development plan and strategic plan to amalgamate the city library with the rural ones. Where I can use my management experience and lay out some plans and implement them as well.”

Latigay says what she is most looking forward to is getting to the know the culture of Steinbach.

“For me, I have lived in many different places. I have moved from place to place, and I know, that even if you live in a certain area, the people there have a rich culture and that's something that I enjoy. I like to try food from different countries. I like to be acquainted with people and I want to volunteer in the community. So, that's what I'm looking forward to doing there.”