Library Board

The Library Board sets strategic priorities, develops policies, and advocates for Library services. The Board also provides governance and financial oversight to the Library.

Interested in the role of a Library Trustee or want to apply? See the Information for Prospective Library Trustees

Find Library Board meetings and minutes.

Contact the Library Board of Trustees

Phone: 604-598-7300

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Library Administration

Meet the Trustees

Dulce Amba Cuenca

Dulce Amba Cuenca works in labour relations in the largest multi-professional national labour union in Canada, representing public service employees mostly in the federal sector. She has a Master of Laws degree from UBC and was called as a lawyer to both the Philippine and British Columbia bars. Dulce has worked in the field of human rights, employment, and labour law since 2006 and has travelled across BC, Yukon, and Ottawa representing workers and human rights complainants. A grateful immigrant who got her first job in Canada in 1996 by volunteering, Dulce is passionate about civic engagement and in contributing her knowledge and skills to the community. She served as Trustee of the Richmond Public Library Board for eight years. She believes that volunteerism completes any immigrant's integration in the community and unites people from diverse backgrounds to work toward a common goal. 

John Gillies

John Gillies retired as the Assistant Deputy Minister, Human Resources with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) after a 33-year career. He has previously served as a board member of numerous organizations including the Board of Governors for Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures, the National Capital CHRO Forum, and the Conference Board of Canada’s Strategic Human Resource Management Council. John has also been a member of the BC Provincial Committee on Cultural Diversity in Policing and is a past associate member of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for Patriot One Technologies where he also serves on a number of committees. John is a passionate supporter of the power of literacy and the value and importance that a vibrant public library system plays in making this a reality. He looks forward to serving as a trustee for Surrey Public Library.

Dr. Balbir Gurm (Chair)

Balbir Gurm is a registered nurse with a doctorate degree in Education (Leadership & Policy, UBC) and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Nursing who has resided in Surrey for over 30 years. She is a professor of nursing at KPU and consultant on strategic planning and cultural safety (JEDI). Balbir has provided extensive leadership on multiple community boards including Network to Eliminate Violence in Relationships (NEVR), Canadian Cancer Society, Virsa, Canada India Education Society, and currently serves as Chair of the Museum of Surrey’s Community Advisory Board. She has been honoured with numerous awards including Canadian Cancer Society’s Volunteer Leadership award, the BC Achievement Community Award, YWCA Women of Distinction Award, NNPBC Excellence in Nursing: Innovation, Darpan’s Community Crusader Award, Drishti’s Excellence in Community Engagement Award, Teaching Excellence Awards (CRNBC & NISODS), and Soroptimist’s Ruby Award.

Saman Kaluarachchi

 Saman Kaluarachchi

Saman Kaluarachchi is an author and translator. After receiving his B.A., he graduated from the Law College of Sri Lanka. He studied journalism at the University of Colombo where he was awarded a gold medal for academic performance and continued his journalism studies at Kalmar University in Sweden and Denmark. He has published 15 books and his translated works and books have been nominated for  and won numerous awards. Before migrating to Canada, he worked as a lawyer and Senior News Editor in Sri Lanka. Saman has now lived in Canada for over 15 years and has given back to his community by volunteering for the Edmonton Public Library, Surrey Arts Center, Nightshift Ministries, and as a volunteer teacher at the Buddhist Vihara Society. Saman is currently working in the telecommunications field. 

Pardeep Kooner

Bio to come.


Kulvinder Kular

Kulvinder Kular

Kulvinder Kular is a Certified Court Interpreter and Certified Translator in British Columbia. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Translators and Interpreters of BC. Kulvinder has a life-long association with the language and information sectors. He holds a Master’s degree in English and a journalism degree from Panjab University, India. He has been a news correspondent of The Indian Express, editor of a Surrey-based community newspaper and news writer for OMNI Television in Vancouver. Kulvinder has been a Surrey Public Library patron ever since he put down roots here 25 years ago and is fascinated to see the library services grow in this fast growing city.

Patria Pascal 

Patria (Patty) Bercasio Pascal

Patria (Patty) Bercasio Pascal received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of British Columbia, and her Counselling Citation from Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey. Prior to accepting a post as an English instructor in Kochang, Kyong Nam, S. Korea, she taught professional development courses at Clayton Heights Secondary. Patty worked in various settings while employed at School District #38 as a cultural interpreter/settlement worker in schools. She is a passionate advocate for cultural diversity and her efforts have been recognized through multiple awards. She published her own magazine, Glean, Voice of Diversity and self-published her first illustrated book on anti-bullying, Tom Secret: A Child's Search. As a mentor, translator and author, Patty fervently believes in the power of volunteerism.

Alisa-Thao Pham

Alisa Thao Pham

Alisa-Thao Pham, is a Settlement Worker for Surrey School District and an advocate for the importance of public resources in shaping young minds. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and a minor in Economics. Alisa has accrued over 8 years of experience aiding new immigrants in their journey to integrate into Canadian society. From the role of President of Vietnamese Students Association to teaching English to new immigrants and refugees as a LINC Instructor, and in her current role with Surrey Schools, Alisa has always believed in the power of giving and is committed to assisting new immigrant parents and their children daily. She strongly believes in the important role of local libraries which provide a treasure trove of accumulated knowledge and a community hub for residents to gather and help one another in time of need.

Rachel Smith

Rachel Smith

Rachel lives and works in Surrey City Centre and is committed to seeing the area live up to its potential. She holds a Diploma in Library and Information Services as well as early childhood education qualifications and strongly believes in the importance of libraries in the community from birth onwards. She arrived in Canada in 2017 with four young children and found the local library an invaluable resource. Rachel had a history of community volunteering before living in Surrey and is excited to continue that by supporting the work of the library team in this role. Rachel is currently enrolled in an Accounting Technician Diploma at Thompson Rivers University and works in the personal insolvency sector. 

Tanveer Sohal (Vice Chair)

Tanveer Sohal is a practicing lawyer in British Columbia and Australia, with a background in public health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences, a Master of Public Health, and a Juris Doctor. Tanveer has attended several writing programs and conferences and completed a Writer in Residency in Australia and a Writing for Animation program in Vancouver. Tanveer contributed a short story called “A Memorable Birthday” in Emerge 15 published by the Writer’s Studio Anthology. She published a children’s book called Twin Adventures, which has received numerous awards and is included in library systems across British Columbia and Ontario. Her ability to engage and inspire young readers exemplifies her commitment to education through literature.

Lisa Werring

Lisa Werring is a senior non-profit executive with 30 years of experience in the sector. Lisa is the Executive Director of the Surrey Christmas Bureau, a position she has held for the past six years. Prior to Christmas Bureau, Lisa was the Executive Director of Learning Buddies Network, a non-profit that provides free literacy and numeracy tutoring to elementary students across the Lower Mainland. Lisa also serves on the Board of Glasshouse Capacity Services Society and was a long-time volunteer with Surrey Schools and Surrey Minor Hockey. Lisa applies a consultative management style to her work, is an experienced strategic planner and fundraiser, and enjoys extrapolating the underlying story out of data and using it to find solutions and create opportunity. Lisa has been a Surrey resident and avid library user for 31 years.