New Vernon Library Branch Head Aims to Take Resources Beyond the Building


Mark Christensen moved from Vancouver to the North Okanagan in April to assume the position as new Branch Head Librarian at the Okanagan Regional Library’s Vernon Branch, and readily admits he is already “dangerously in love” with the place.

Christensen’s new role marks the fulfillment of a personal dream. After a successful 7-year leadership career in retail and banking, including stints at Target, US Bank, and Royal Bank, Christensen returned to school in 2014 to pursue his Masters in Library and Information Sciences.

“I spent years researching this decision, looking at many different careers that would allow me to regularly engage in leadership, public speaking, coaching, developing staff, organization, problem-solving and helping people get the information that they need to make the best decisions for their situations”, he explains. “I found all of these opportunities in a career as a librarian.”

Christensen’s view of librarians and libraries as community leaders meshes with the Okanagan Regional Library’s vision to provide learning, innovation, creativity and a connected community.

“The Vernon Library provides more than just books and entertainment. We also offer access to knowledgeable information professionals, diverse programs, and digital resources”, he stresses. “We strive to be a place where we can tell the stories of the Okanagan and a place where we can help others navigate through the information landscape of the 21st century.” 

One of Christensen’s key aims for the Vernon Branch is to build on outreach efforts to bring the library’s resources beyond its physical walls.

“We get outside to attend meetings around community safety, take our programs and resources to schools, parks, and even the farmers market. We reach out to other community groups so that we can better know and understand the needs of the communities we serve.” 

Christensen welcomes everyone to visit the Vernon Branch Library at 2800 – 30th Avenue and to contact him at 250-542-7610.

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