A Message from our Executive Director, Mary Ladky


I’m delighted to be writing a post in my new role as Executive Director of The Children’s Book Bank, located on Berkeley Street in downtown Toronto. For me, having the opportunity to lead this wonderful organization is, no overstatement, a dream come true. The really short version of why that’s the case is this: I’ve always been a reader, always deeply connected to the reading experience, and have always believed that the act of reading is truly human: it is joyful, engaged with the other, civil (as opposed to the merely polite) and genuinely empathetic. Honesty moment: I preferred reading books to completing school work, still prefer reading fiction to non-fiction, and yearned for the chance to share my joy of reading with others. Thankfully, it’s worked out for me. Eventually, I made the connection between reading and being successful at school, completing my doctoral studies at OISE/UT in 2005. I started teaching English way back in 1988; it was a vocation which propelled me and my family to living in rural New York state, Beijing during Tiananmen Square, Montreal, Hong Kong and, finally, Peterborough, Ontario where I was fortunate enough to instruct hard-working and eager Bachelor of Education students at Trent University from 2004 until 2012. A professional highlight for me before coming to the CBB is, without a doubt, my recent visit to Tanzania where I watched and learned from the dedicated educators at the Mwanga Secondary School for Girls outside Arusha. At the heart of the school’s mission, as at the CBB, is a strong belief in supporting the independent agency of every child to succeed as a learner, a reader and, ultimately, as an informed citizen of their communities, close to home and further afield.

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