Good to Know Stories of Caledon

Meet Your CPL Team, Part Two: Roop and Leah

Roop and Leah seated on bench
Written by Patti Foley

Perhaps one of the most common lingering misconceptions is that a library is just a place where you go to borrow a book. Successful libraries, like Caledon Public Library (CPL) have actually become the very heart of their communities. They still assist in the transfer of knowledge, but now on many levels and in many forms. They fuel imaginations and help launch ideas. They inspire people not just to do more but to do better. They create meaningful partnerships, collaborate and connect the communities within their community.

CPL is led and staffed by people who live and breathe a vision of library as community heart and hub. And they do it very well. Just Sayin’ Caledon is on a mission to acquaint you with the people, services, and programs at this very special Caledon organization.

The first story in our series, released last month, introduced you to Catharine, Cameron and Kelly and explored CPL Makerspaces. Today we introduce you to Roop and Leah and their roles as Directors at CPL.

Roop

Roop Sandhu, Director, Corporate Services and Projects – Caledon Public Library

As Director of Corporate Services and Projects Roop Sandhu’s role, in a nutshell, is to lead the IT and the Communications & Cultural Development divisions, as well as support the human resources and finance functions of the library. While his day-to-day duties vary greatly, they often include meetings – internal meetings working on specific projects such as a new employee onboarding program or meetings with Town staff to support specific functions or projects asset management planning. Roop also does significant work in developing policies, procedures and redesigning processes through a continuous improvement lens.

Leah

Leah Rucchetto, Director Public Services, Caledon Public Library

Leah Rucchetto, Director of Public Services, supports staff in the delivery of outstanding customer experiences in CPL’s seven branches by connecting customers to their wide range of collections and services. Leah collaborates with CPL’s amazing staff across the system to develop and strengthen library service delivery.  She is always eager to hear customer’s questions and feedback as it plays an important role in ensuring that the services offered are tailored their needs. This week, for example, staff have been supporting our Holds Lockers, and planning outreach to VolunTour Caledon to share information about the Visiting Library Service.

Roop started with CPL in December of 2022, bringing to the table an extensive background in the public sector. When I asked what inspired him to seek a position with CPL Roop gave a nod of admiration to both the library itself and to its CEO & Chief Librarian Colleen Lipp saying, “The opportunity to work in a leadership position with a growing, dynamic and innovative organization that has a strong leader at the helm was a key factor in my decision.”

Leah is a little newer on the scene, arriving in April of this year. “I have experience working as a people-leader in a smaller library system, and a larger library system, and this role provided an exciting opportunity to pull learnings from those roles together” Leah says when speaking to her inspiration to join CPL. This organization is in a unique position to rapidly grow with our quickly growing community. Being in a position to develop and support the growth of library service in Caledon, with a strong leadership team, was very enticing.”

I asked Roop what about his role at CPL brings him joy. “I am passionate about making a positive impact and difference in the lives of people in the community and employees.  I love learning about and working with different people and finding out what is important to them.  I am energized by the fact that the work I support and enable results in wonderful experiences and a positive impact for community members young and old and from diverse backgrounds. I also love finding ways to improve processes and make them better and more efficient.”

For Leah “It’s being in an environment where I can bring two things I love deeply – reading and learning new things – to the community.” She enjoys deep diving into collaboration with staff and determining how CPL can best offer a new service to customers or introduce customers to those services.

Leah continued “Library staff have a lot of passion for serving the community, and when we have exciting new services like our Makerspaces at Caledon East and Margaret Dunn Valleywood, complemented by our Creative Bug online crafting and making courses, or our K-12 online tutoring service called BrainFuse HelpNow that parents can access to help children with their homework, we want to connect as many of our customers with these resources as possible.”

I ask the pair of Directors about their goals for 2024. Both talked about the importance of developing a comprehensive and well-articulated Strategic Plan with broad stakeholder input. You can stay updated on the Plan’s development here.

“That Strategic Plan will set the foundation for our success over the next four years which will include the development of a new branch in Mayfield West within the next two to three years” said Roop. “This will be our largest branch to date.”

As well and speaking about the Plan, Leah expressed her goal of “creating a solid foundation of onboarding and orientation, and procedure and policy to help bring new staff rapidly up to speed in when they join the organization or take on a new role.”

Not unlike any organization there are, and always will be, challenges like keeping pace with an ambitious strategic agenda amidst ongoing growth challenges.

“For example, there has been an almost 36% turnover for our Leadership Team since I started which includes two of our longest serving Leaders, Kelley Potter and Mary Maw recently retiring.  My role did not exist prior to 2022 and there are more changes to come in the future” Roop points out.

When asked for closing thoughts Roop says “CPL has evolved and grown considerably over the past 10 years, and this has been accelerated at a frenetic pace since the pandemic as the Town grows and becomes more diverse. The system has so much potential, and we have just scratched the surface with exciting new initiative like the Makerspaces which we introduced only last year.”

Leah adds “Our staff are here to help! Nothing makes our day more than connecting a customer to a service, a program, or an item that will help them to take the next successful step to meet their goal, whether it be to up-skill for a new job, record a piece of music in our studio, 3D print the prototype of their new innovation, or get connected with their new favourite author. We’re here to support Caledon community members!”

See all of the extraordinary resources available for you at Caledon Public Library

Read more:

Meet Your CPL Team, part one: Catherine, Cameron, Kelly and Michelle

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About the author

Patti Foley

Having spent 25 years in Bolton, Patti remains an advocate for Caledon. As a former Regional Councillor and a long-time community volunteer she is passionate about communicating information about its issues, news, events, people, non-profits and businesses.

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