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Manitoba Library Worker Profile: Laranda Bailey

Posted in Profiles

To showcase the interesting and important work being done by libraries across the province, MLA interviews one library worker each month about the unique work they do in order to deliver library services to Manitobans.

This month we’re interviewing Laranda Bailey, the new Head Librarian & Administrator at Border Regional Library. Laranda has been in her new position since July, and before that was a Senior Librarian at Border Regional since May 2020. She is also a part of a few community organizations as part of her position, and recently joined the MLA’s Communications Committee to help spread the rural library love. Laranda is also a grain, cattle and chicken farmer, and has some other animals running around including their dog (Fela), cat (Artemis), goose (Celeste), duck (Harley), turkey (Eunice), and goat (Ferguson).

Can you tell us a bit about your library system or branch?

Border Regional Library is a three branch library in southwestern Manitoba with branches in the communities of Virden, Elkhorn and McAuley. Our library system officially started in 1959 and is still going strong. I remember coming to the library a lot as a kid to take out books and take part in programs they offered and I’m glad to be a part of helping it to continue and grow as a valuable community space.

What is something happening at your library that you’re excited about?

We are planning to do a major renovation at our main branch in Virden in 2024 and that’s very exciting to have coming up as our building hasn’t been updated since I was a kid. It will be nice for the kids to have a space where they aren’t disturbing other patrons since our library is currently one open space. We’re hoping that a renovation will also create a curiosity in the community, and become a more welcoming space that people want to come to and be in.

What is one thing you wish more people knew about your work or your library?

I wish more people just knew about our library! We’ve heard from lots of people in our community that they didn’t know there was a library, that they haven’t been to the library since they were a kid, or that they didn’t know that we have so many fun kids programs. And the library is about more than just books, there’s computers, programs, author readings, and all sorts of fun activities, so come in and find out what we’ve got going on.

What are you reading/watching/playing right now?

Right now I’ve just finished reading some books for our library book club, Book Lovers by Emily Henry and my staff read along, The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix. Between the library and farming, there’s never much down time but I’ve found enough time to read 65 books so far this year even though I’m currently in a lull. Audiobooks and podcasts have become such a helpful way for me to continue to read or learn new info while I’m doing other tasks and I’ve been really enjoying The Happiness Lab podcast from Dr. Laurie Santos.

We’re always looking for more library workers to feature each month! Are you doing something interesting at your library that you want to share, or you know someone in the province that is? Reach out to us at