Library Foundation

Our mission is to enable the citizens of Calgary to have the best public library in the world.

The Library Foundation was created in 1999 to provide an opportunity for individuals, businesses and foundations to participate in building a library system for today and future generations.


More than a century ago, Annie Davidson and founding members of the Calgary Women’s Literary Club stirred our city to action and secured the public and financial support to build the first library. They saw the library as an investment for their families and generations of Calgarians that would follow. Andrew Carnegie’s donation of $80,000 in 1908 helped to build this library and lives as a legacy of one of Calgary’s first large philanthropic gifts.


The Calgary Public Library Foundation is proud of these entrepreneurial roots and we are pleased to carry on this work today. Funds raised by the Foundation do not replace the Library’s core funding, but enhance collections, programs and services. Through the generosity of our donors, we can help ensure that knowledge, information, programs and services are accessible to all Calgarians.

Ellen Humphrey

President and Chief Executive Officer

As a former member of the Executive Leadership Team and long-time staff member at the Calgary Public Library, Ellen is proud of the positive impact the Library has on the lives of Calgarians of every age, ability, ethnic origin and financial capacity.

Prior to joining the Library Foundation in September 2017, Ellen held various roles at the Library, including Manager, Human Resources, Manager, Customer Services and Interim Chief Executive Officer. As Deputy Chief Executive Officer, she provided leadership, direction and focus for partnership development and volunteer resources, acted as a liaison with the Library Foundation and was a support for the Calgary Public Library Board.


Brent Buechler

Vice President

Brent is inspired by the Public Library’s ability to help all Calgarians to achieve their potential. Brent believes in the power of possibilities and that the Library Foundation is at a unique time to lead in building a great city. His past work experience includes science centres, museums, and national partnership development at Imagine Canada.


Joan Inwood

Director, Corporate Operations

As one of the original employees of the Library Foundation, Joan has had the pleasure of seeing the organization grow. In addition to managing the Library Foundation’s finances and human resources, Joan is part of the Executive Team and manages the Impact Team. Previously, she worked in the CEO’s Office at the Calgary Public Library, but her checkered past includes everything from radio DJ and cemetery worker to legal assistant.


Tracy Johnson

Director, Strategy & Support

Born and raised in Vancouver, Tracy came to Calgary to attend university and stayed because she enjoys the city so much. She joined the Library Foundation in 2013 and has held a variety of roles that have made her an integral component of the team and the go-to person for the Add In Campaign. As the Director of Strategy and Support, Tracy leads the Communications and Events Team and works closely with all areas of the organization.


Christine Gingerick

Director, Donor Relations

Christine grew up in Calgary and has been a passionate supporter of the Calgary Public Library since discovering Dr. Seuss! As the Director of Donor Relations, Christine ensures that donors are connected to the areas that matter most to them and are aware of the impact of their gifts. Prior to joining the Calgary Public Library Foundation, Christine was a seasoned financial services professional who worked for RBC Investor Services, Royal Trust and RBC Bank.


Robin Padanyi

Donor Relations Officer

Growing up walking to the library to read Roald Dahl books, Robin now gets to pass on that love of reading. Not a week goes by without Robin or his wife going to the Nicholls Family Library for story-time with their son or to pick up a recent stack of holds. Before joining the Calgary Public Library Foundation, Robin lived and worked in Edmonton’s inner city and saw firsthand the opportunities that the library offers to newcomers and the homeless community.


Courtney McLaughlin

Manager, Direct Response & Social Enterprise

Born and raised in Calgary, Courtney has many happy memories of time spent at the Louise Riley Library. After studying and working in Berlin and London, Courtney is thrilled to call Calgary home once again and credits existing and future spaces, such as the New Central Library, for providing the cultural and social threads that make our city a fantastic place to live. At the Library Foundation, Courtney is proud to contribute to all broad-based annual giving programs and to lead on social enterprise initiatives with the goal of creating the best public library in the world.


Philip Vernon

Grants and Reporting Coordinator

As an Immunologist and a published author of crime fiction (writing as P. J. Vernon), Philip has spent most of his life in a library of one kind or another. In his grant development role, Philip is driven by the higher social purpose libraries serve and the desire to tell the Library’s story to funding organizations, policymakers and the public. A South Carolina transplant, Philip’s thrilled to be living and working in Calgary alongside his partner and two wily pups.


Samantha Grace

Database Administrator 

Samantha is the resident whiz of the Library Foundation’s database. Among her other duties, she manages incoming donations, provides support for Direct Mail Campaign and processes orders made through the Library Store. Outside of office hours, Samantha is a talented seamstress who creates her own costumes and is the proud owner of Miss Ursa, a rambunctious dog and a cat named Rinoa.


Gloria Essex

Creative Director

Gloria is the creative vision behind the Library Foundation. With a keen eye for detail and the ability to communicate an array of materials visually, she ensures that the Library Foundation is seen as relevant, important and appealing to Calgarians. Always up for a creative challenge, Gloria enjoys brainstorming and working as part of a dynamic team. She is a lover of art, design and musicals.


Rachael Terner

Manager, Communications

As a born and raised Calgarian, Rachael grew up visiting the Library and credits her love of reading for her decision to work in communications. In addition to developing proposals and materials for the Library Foundation, she curates content for internal and external audiences and is responsible for the voice of the organization. Rachael never tires of hearing people’s library stories, and working on the Add In Campaign has highlighted the many ways that the Library not only changes people’s lives, but contributes to a better Calgary.


Alexandra Runge

Lead, Stewardship & Events

Alexandra is a graduate of Ryerson University with a background in event management. She believes libraries like the New Central Library are vital to the quality, diversity and vibrancy of life in a global city. She is thrilled to be a part of the fabulous team working to usher in this historic chapter in the story of Calgary’s libraries.