Brandi Gillett: Creating a sense of belonging and community with the public library

By Fayrose Akkacha

Brandi's hometown: Halton Hills, Ontario


Libraries have always been a special place for MLIS graduate Brandi Gillett—places filled with boundless shelves of information, offering both knowledge and a sense of community. Whenever she arrived in a new city, the public library was the first place Brandi would visit. For Brandi, the Public Library wasn’t just a place for books. It was a place to access information on community services and meet new people.

The importance of that sense of belonging and community was never far from Brandi's mind, and it eventually led her to enroll in the Master of Library & Information Science program at Western University in London.

"Whether it was volunteering in a library, a library user, or as a board member. It was always in the back of my mind that I should pursue this as a career. And I finally just did."

While in the program Brandi considered the challenges and changes facing Public Libraries today. She is now using what she learned in her schooling to make the library more accessible to various groups of people and increase their sense of belonging and community. Brandi believes that the robust and diverse curriculum of the program gives students what they need to address pressing issues.

Fun Fact

Brandi participated in a race to 'Dive in All Five' of the Great Lakes in less than 12 hours.

"The courses reflected the real challenges and struggles that the public libraries are facing," says Brandi.

Brandi now works as a Community Librarian at Halton Hills Public Library in the town of Halton Hills. Through her work, she aspires to make libraries a place of community and connection for everyone.

Profiles in the Meet Our Students section are written by students in the Master of Media in Journalism & Communication program, who are enrolled in MMJC 9604 - Professional Writing.