In 2021, the Preston Township Library Office opened its doors to the community. The Library Office is located at 1900 Trunk 7 in the W5 Mall.
Throughout this past year, the Preston Township Library Office team has been busy planning community events, literacy initiatives, and digital access programs. In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the Library Office's opening, our staff wanted to say "hello!" and introduce themselves. They are the creative minds behind community Library services and the smiling faces when you walk into this special space.
Programming and Community Engagement Manager, Eastern District
Chanae Parsons is indigenous to the historical Black Heritage community of Lucasville with ancestral lineage to Cherry Brook/Lake Loon, and a loving mother to her son, Cairo. She is a strong professional with a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Dalhousie University and is pursuing a Master of Education focused in Adult Education, Women’s Leadership, and Community Development from St. Francis Xavier University. Chanae is both passionate and experienced in youth engagement with a demonstrated history of working in the non-for profit field. She is skilled in leadership, program creation and facilitation, research, project management, critical thinking, diversity and inclusion, and public speaking.
As the Manager of Programming and Community Engagement for the Eastern District of the Halifax Public Libraries, Chanae oversees the development and implementation of programming and community engagement strategy for one of four regions of the municipality, as well as youth services across all branches.
Programming and Community Engagement Lead, Eastern District
Originally from the U.S., Ashlee Norton graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with her Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) and moved to Canada after marrying a Newfoundlander. She began her career with the Halifax Public Libraries in 2012, working in several branches and as a rural Community Librarian. She has a passion for literacy and loves facilitating community-led initiatives accessible to all that improve life for everyone. In 2020, she led the team that was awarded the Miss Amyoony Award of Staff Innovation and Impact for helping the Library connect with community when the Library’s physical spaces were closed.
Ashlee's current role is the Programming and Community Engagement Lead covering the Eastern District, a position that allows her to meet amazing people from all over Dartmouth, Cole Harbour, the Preston Township, Musquodoboit Valley, and the Eastern Shore. She is excited to introduce herself to the Preston Township communities and to work with Chanae, Renise, Nicole, and Crystal to help provide meaningful programs.
Community Specialist, Preston Township
Renise Cain is an African Nova Scotian from Canada’s largest indigenous Black Community, North Preston. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and a diploma in Counseling Skills and Social Human Services. She is a Community Specialist at Halifax Public Libraries, focusing on community outreach and engagement in the Preston Township.
Renise brings an impressive balance of community leadership and involvement into a role she has held since 2014. Her focus has been creating and building positive relationships and providing library services between the Black communities and Halifax Pubic Libraries. Her passion for literacy has been welcomed in the communities. She has seen success with her adult and youth programming and was the recipient of the Halifax Regional Library Board Staff Innovation and Impact Award in 2019.
Community Specialist, Preston Township
Nicole Johnson hails from the historic community of East Preston, which is one of the four Indigenous African Nova Scotian communities that make up the Preston Township. She is a PROUD daughter of her Village. Nicole is a known as a woman of initiative with a creative spirit, who is a lover of life with a heart for people, community, and effective change.
As a natural-born leader, Nicole has an unwavering persistence to advocate and implement positive, productive change for the betterment of others. As a Community Specialist at Halifax Public Libraries, her focus in on community outreach and engagement in the Preston Township.
Crystal D. Mulder
African Nova Scotian Community Specialist, Regional Role
Crystal is a seventh-generation African Nova Scotian with roots tracing as far back as the Black Loyalists, as well as the War of 1812 Refugees. As a child of the soil with deep roots, Crystal calls the community of Lake Loon/Cherry Brook home, a place where multiple generations of her family, both immediate and extended, still reside. Crystal holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from St. Mary’s University and a Master’s in Education from Mount St. Vincent University.
Crystal has been an employee of Halifax Public Libraries for almost 28 years. She is instrumental in the design and implementation of African Heritage Month programming and regional initiatives. She has also been a Branch Operations Supervisor, responsible for the daily operation of Dartmouth North Public Library. Currently, Crystal has taken on the new role of African Nova Scotian Community Specialist, a position that entails working with the African Nova Scotian community to strengthen current partnerships and to develop new partnerships within the municipality of Halifax.
Come Celebrate Community Together!
Join Chanae, Ashlee, Renise, Nicole, and Crystal on April 14, 11:00am-1:00pm at the Preston Township Library office (1900 Trunk 7, East Preston) to celebrate the Library Office's one-year anniversary. The festivities include: a photo booth, kids' crafts, door prizes, refreshments, and giveaways.
See you there.