Former RCMP officer shares story of resilience

Picton Branch of the Prince Edward County Public Library. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

Public libraries owe a lot of our ability to work efficiently to our partnerships, including with other libraries.

If you have ever borrowed a book through interlibrary loan, you’ve benefited from that partnership. Occasionally, we have the opportunity to meet with librarians from around Ontario to share ideas. I recently attended a virtual meeting of librarians working in outreach and programming and as a result of that conversation connected with the Brockville and Rideau Lakes Public Libraries. We decided to co-host an author conversation with Laurie White.

Laurie will join us March 24 at 7 p.m. to talk about her book 10-33: An Officer Down Steps Back Up. The memoir covers her journey of trauma, loss, and grief, and the way that has evolved one into of hope, resilience, and post-traumatic growth. Laurie was born in Brockville and joined the RCMP in 1996.

In November 1998, while stationed at her first posting in Kitimat, B.C., Laurie was attempting to execute a search warrant when she was shot in the right leg with a sawed-off rifle. The damage was so severe that her leg had to be amputated 5 inches below her knee. In 2000, Laurie received the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal as well as the Medal of Valour from the International Association of Women in Policing. In 2007 she received the “E” Division Commanding Officer’s Commendation. In 2008, Laurie was inducted into her high school hall of fame and has since had a park in her hometown commemorated to her. In 2010 Laurie received the Commanding Officer’s Letter of Appreciation and in 2012 she received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. Register to join us at peclibrary.org or call (613) 476-5962.

BRANCH EXPANSION UPDATE We are excited to share construction is proceeding, and we are closer to reaching the fundraising finish line. There’s still time to donate online at loveyourlibrary.ca. If you drop by the library and look out the back window, you can almost imagine the learning, reading, and connection that will take place in the new rooms. To allow the construction crew to have access to the lower level of the library, the computer lab and children’s room have relocated upstairs. Unfortunately, this means there will be interruptions to the availability of the elevator and washrooms. If you call before visiting we will let you know whether they are available. We apologize for the inconvenience – please know it’s in service of an improved and more fully accessible building with vastly improved washrooms. If you need home delivery, books by mail, or curbside pickup as a result of the elevator unavailability please don’t hesitate to ask.

-Liz Zylstra