BCLA Coaching Program


BCLA is committed to supporting members by providing innovative and relevant opportunities for development and growth. The pandemic that began in 2020 will have lasting effects on how we work, engage with colleagues and communities, reflect on past goals and objectives, and plan for the future. Recognizing this, the BCLA Board of Directors allocated reserve funding to pilot a subsidized professional coaching service in 2021, to provide support for BCLA members during this time of change.

The BCLA coaching pilot project will pay for 50% of the cost of each coaching session for up to ten sessions per member. Coaching is being done by three professional coaches, who are working with BCLA to create this program and build capacity among BCLA members.

BCLA’s hope is that that this pilot will provide the evidence we need to build a more robust coaching program, perhaps with other library partners, in the future.

What can coaching do for me?

People seek out coaching because they want something to change or improve in their lives. Coaching provides opportunities for individual reflection and active experimentation, resulting in personal and professional growth.

Coaching can help:
  • Boost confidence

  • Increase effectiveness

  • Improve relationships

  • Resolve conflict

  • Make meaningful change

Book a free consultation

It is important to understand what coaching is, and what it is not.

Coaching is:
  • A partnership. With a coach, you have someone who is 100% committed to your learning and growth.

  • About asking questions, offering new perspectives, setting goals, finding momentum, and getting unstuck.

  • About the whole person. We believe our emotional, psychological, spiritual, and physical selves are deeply interconnected.

  • 100% confidential and bound by the ethics and rules set out by the International Coaching Federation.

Coaching is not:
  • Mentoring (advice giving)

  • Therapy (healing dysfunction)

  • Consulting (telling you what to do)

  • Performance management

When to seek a counsellor rather than a coach

Issues best handled by a counsellor or psychologist include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, suicidal ideation.

Find a counsellor
Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre

How It Works

  • Ensure your Individual BCLA membership is current (this program is only available to BCLA Individual members, not Institutional members.) You may renew your membership here. Not sure if your membership is current? Email manager@bcla.bc.ca.
  • Book your initial 15 minute consultation using the form below
  • If you and the coach decide to work together, you’ll generally book two 60 minute sessions each month.
  • Real change takes time. That’s why the typical coaching relationship lasts for 4-6 months.
  • Your cost is $65.00 (The full cost of each 60-minute session is $130.00. BCLA pays the balance. )
  • Payment of $65.00 is made at the time of booking.


The BCLA Coaches come with their own unique skill sets and areas of focus. They are all professionally trained coaches and have lived experience of library work. Find a coach who suits you.

Book a free consultation
Patricia Chong

MBA, CPCC (Certified Professional Co-Active Coach)

I believe that change is always present in our lives, in both subtle and obvious ways. Sometimes it is internally motivated, and other times it is imposed on us. And while navigating change can be exciting, it can also be difficult, scary or simply confusing. I’m committed to supporting you to make positive and meaningful change. I invite people to go deeper and discover what is true for them. As you get to know yourself, your values, and your own unique way of contributing to the world, you’ll learn to trust yourself. As a people leader for 20+ years in the public library and business sectors, I have always enjoyed supporting people to thrive and grow. As a coach, I listen deeply, ask powerful questions, and create a safe and courageous space for exploration. I bring a mindful, compassionate, and intuitive approach to coaching. As a coachee, you will discover new perspectives and develop a broader awareness of what’s possible. Most importantly, you will find the motivation, strength and confidence to make the right choices and take action towards meaningful change.

Open to any topic — particular areas of interest include: life transition; leadership growth, career exploration; retirement; starting a passion project or business; exploring issues of diversity and inclusion; mindfulness coaching.

My position at the Vancouver Public Library means I’m unable to coach VPL unionized staff.

Andrea Freeman Coach
Andrea’s waitlist is now open. Book a 15 minute consultation to see if you’d like to work together in the future.
Andrea Freeman

MLIS, CPCC, ACC (Associate Certified Coach)

I trust that humans are uniquely capable of influencing their future, rather than being limited by the past. I believe that people have their own unique genius — a distinct way of being, creating value, and organizing for action and work, rather than a predetermined ideal. As a coach, it’s my job to reflect what I see in you and match this with what you want to explore, learn, and achieve. Working with me is a mixture of uplifting, challenging, and very practical. Each session you’ll walk away with something you can immediately apply. In addition to my private coaching practice, I also work as a leadership coach and team facilitator with the boutique consulting firm SGR Partners. In this work, I teach people how to navigate complex situations, leverage their physical presence, and influence the world around them to create positive change. Prior to my work in coaching and leadership development, I was a librarian and manager for 15 years in special, health and public libraries.

Open to any topic — particular areas of interest include: work related challenges including interpersonal conflicts, supervising staff, giving and receiving feedback; building effective relationships with your colleagues and boss; communicating in a way that is impactful; presentation and speech skills; how to lead and influence from any position.

Book a free consultation
Cara Pryor

MA, MLIS, MA (Spiritual Care)

I believe that difficulty — a conflict, a loss, a sense of isolation – can be an invitation into deeper, more intimate connection with ourselves and the world around us. To accept this invitation means asking ourselves profound questions, while bringing both kindness and curiosity to understanding what matters most. It means connecting with our deepest aspirations for our lives, and re-evaluating our priorities and occupations. As a coach, I bring spaciousness, kindness, and a deep interest in accompanying clients on their journeys. My work is to hold space for the reality of isolation, anger, or loss — while also supporting your own capacity to walk your path with integrity, resilience, and love. I currently work as a spiritual care practitioner at Vancouver General Hospital, where I use the skills of coaching and counselling to help clients connect with their own sources of strength and wisdom during difficult times. What matters in this work is a client’s desire to explore their own inner landscape – not a particular spiritual identity. It is my privilege, again and again, to witness the human capacity to find meaning and purpose in the midst of life’s most challenging moments. My coaching practice is supported by ten years as a public librarian specializing in community development and leadership, as well as a dedicated mindfulness meditation practice.

Open to any topic — particular areas of interest include: Work-related issues such as interpersonal conflict, career dissatisfaction, career transition, personal ethics; life transitions such as illness and loss; mindfulness coaching and spiritual/meaning-centred exploration.

Book a free 15 minute consultation with a coach today!

Book a free consultation

All information provided through participation in the BCLA Coaching Pilot is collected and stored under the conditions of the BCLA Privacy Policy Information may be accessed by BCLA staff or contractors, including coaches, for the exclusive use of providing the service. Participation in the program requires use of the Acuity platform, which may store information in countries outside of Canada. You may review Acuity’s Privacy Policy (Square Space) for​ more information. Coaching sessions take place via Zoom or Google Meet. You may review their Privacy Policies for more information.