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Meet the Champions


Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library

Jen Turner sits on the Board of Directors for the Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library. During the day she is the Manager of Public Policy and Engagement for BGC Canada (formerly Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada). Jen has worked across the non-profit sector in public policy, government relations, evaluation, and community engagement. In her spare time, she loves reading and dabbling in circus and strength sports.

Jen is representing Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez, a poignant multi-voiced novel about the troubled life in the inner city living in low-income neighbourhoods.


Barrie Public Library

Shakir is a passionate and loving human with a creative and change-making mindset. Throughout his life, he has been driven to celebrate every event, connect with new people, build relationships, and create awareness of the most important things in life. Shakir enjoys traveling, exploring, giving back to the community, and spreading the joy of love. And while Shakir does that, he strives to live in gratitude, as his name means ‘Grateful’!

Shakir is representing How to Calm Your Mind – Finding Presence and Productivity in Anxious Times by Chris Bailey, a crucial guide to achieving calm, navigating anxiety, and staving off burnout.


Essa Public Library

Lover of all things literature and laughter, meet Amy Kiezebrink of Angus. Wife, mother, graphic designer, writer and sarcasm specialist. When she’s not chasing around her three boys and doing copious amounts of laundry, she loves reading anything and everything to a point where her “to be read” list is getting out of hand. Along with owning her own Beauty and the Beast library, her goal is to write and design her own book on the adventures of motherhood.

Amy is representing The Maid by Nita Prose, a Clue-like, locked-room mystery, and a heartwarming journey of the spirit.


Innisfil ideaLAB & Library

Dr. Raj Grover is the Medical Director of the Medical Imaging Department at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, and a member of both the Innisfil Public Library and RVH Foundation Board. He is a passionate community champion and father of two eager readers. Dr. Grover has a keen interest in how our public institutions can support healthy communities and reflect the diversity and needs of our residents.

Raj is representing On the Ravine by Vincent Lam, a thrilling novel that compassionately explores the doctor/patient relationship, addiction and loss.


Midland Public Library

Roberta Douglas is a proud wife, mother of three children, and a new grandma to a beautiful granddaughter. She enjoys long walks, hot yoga and curling in the winter, and spending time with family and close friends. Roberta’s family owns and operates Bell Falls Family Campground, the Royal Tea on King Boutique & Gift Shop, and the Georgian Bakery, a longtime community favourite. Roberta is the proud mama bear of a brain tumour warrior, and looks forward to building a local charity walk to support her son and others with similar journeys.

Roberta is representing Breast Cancer After The Diagnosis by Jayne Pritchard, a chronicle of the author’s three-year period of emotional ups and downs, including several setbacks.


New Tecumseth Public Library

Melissa is a feminist, advocate and maker who values community, friendship and a good book. After studying Women’s Studies at York University, Melissa settled in Alliston with her young family and made this community her home. For over 10 years, she has worked as a Front Line Women’s Counsellor and Advocate at My Sister’s Place, South Simcoe’s only Women and Children Shelter. All her life, people have been drawn to Melissa’s creative spirit, old soul and listening ear.

Melissa is representing Women Talking by Miriam Toews, a tale of women claiming their own power to decide.

Ste. Marie

Ramara Public Library

Jane has been an avid reader since the age of 4. She received a B.A. in French and Spanish and trained as a secondary school teacher. She taught in Sarnia and eventually went on to work for her provincial union. She retired and moved to beautiful Brechin where she and her husband enjoy a rich social circle and a dizzying array of volunteer activities. She is a stepmother to four grown children and a grandmother of 12. She is the current Chair of the Ramara Public Library Board. 

Jane is representing A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny, a crime mystery novel which delves into the nature of evil, sensitively exploring the impact of dreadful events.