OLA and Divisional Awards

Do you have a co-worker, colleague, supervisor or anyone in your library staff that goes above and beyond and deserves recognition?
Check out the numerous Awards offered by OLA and divisions and be sure to nominate!

OLA Awards

The OLA Board of Directors bestows an honourary life membership on a member who has made an outstanding contribution to the libraries of Ontario through his or her work within the Association. The work done must be seen as significant by members from more than one type of library. This award is presented on an irregular basis. A plaque is presented to commemorate the occasion.

To apply: Complete the online nomination form by November 1
For questions or more information, contact awards@accessola.com

To view more information on eligibility and nomination procedures
To view past recipients

The President’s Award for Exceptional Achievement acknowledges an outstanding action or contribution that has in a major or unique way enhanced or furthered librarianship in Ontario. The selection is at the full discretion of the President of the OLA. Awards are only given if there is something of true historic significance to recognize.

The Ontario Library Association Board of Directors established the Award for Intellectual Freedom in 1997 to recognize the courage shown by individuals and organizations in defending the rights of library patrons to full access to information. In 2000, the Award was renamed the Les Fowlie Intellectual Freedom Award in memory of the former Chief Librarian of Toronto Public Library whose efforts on behalf of intellectual freedom in Canada are legendary.

The OLA Media and Communications Award was established to reward individuals and companies that present libraries and librarians in a constructive light, breaking down stereotypical images often associated with the profession.

The Ontario Library Association recognizes the Ontario librarian, teacher-librarian, technician, library worker or department who has made a substantial achievement to their institution and/or the library profession in the area of technical services.

To recognize excellence in library building projects in Ontario. Two categories: New Library Buildings and Library Architectural and Design Transformation.
OPLA Awards

This award has been developed to recognize unique partnerships with the Ontario Library Association. This partnership must demonstrate significant contributions and commitment to the association, its programs and services through this venture. This individual, corporation, group or association has provided connections, support and exposure outside the regular OLA audience adding great value to the OLA.

The Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship was previously offered by the Canadian Library Association (CLA). OLA began to administer the award after CLA’s dissolution in 2016 . This award is presented to a candidate that has demonstrated exceptional success in enhancing the public recognition and appreciation of librarianship.

ABO-Franco Awards

Le Prix Micheline-Persaud est un prix destiné à honorer une personne, un groupe ou une institution qui s’est distingué dans le développement et la promotion des services de bibliothèque en français en Ontario. Le Prix est nommé en souvenir de notre regrettée collègue et amie, Micheline Persaud. Micheline s’est distinguée pendant de longues années en demeurant particulièrement active et impliquée dans le monde des bibliothèques jusqu’à son décès.

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OCULA Awards

The OCULA Award for Special Achievement honours exceptional achievement(s) in at least one of the following areas over the past 2 years:

  • Service to OLA/OCULA and any other library organization, or
  • Research and publication in areas of academic librarianship, or
  • Planning and implementing a library program which serves as a model to others.

To apply: Complete the online nomination form by November 1
For questions or more information, contact awards@accessola.com

View OCULA Award for Special Achievement’s Policy and Rubric

To view past recipients

To recognize an individual working in libraries in Ontario who has made an outstanding contribution to academic or research library development.

The OCULA Lifetime Achievement Award honours exceptional achievements in the following areas:

  • Service to library committees, associations or organizations, and
  • Scholarly activities in areas of academic librarianship (e.g. conference presentations, research, publications, editing a book, blogging, etc.) and
  • Planning and implementing a library program which serves as a model to others.

In addition, this award honours an individual who has served as a role model or mentor in academic libraries.

To apply: Complete the online nomination form by November 1
For questions or more information, contact awards@accessola.com

View OCULA Lifetime Achievement Award Policy and Rubric

To view past recipients

To promote OCULA to LIS and library technician students and provide an opportunity to participate in the OLA Super Conference.

To apply: Complete the online application form by November 15
For questions or more information, contact awards@accessola.com

View OCULA lightning Strikes Student Award Policy and Rubric

To view past recipients

The Ontario College and University Library Association (OCULA), a division of the Ontario Library Association, launched a residency program in Ontario for new librarians in March 2009. OCULA will award $11, 700 toward the funding of this position to the successful academic library within an academic year.

The intention of the residency program is to enhance recruitment of new librarians to academic librarianship and encourage entry-level professional work and research experience in an academic or research library setting. Through this program, college and university library administrators can apply for funding towards the compensation of a new librarian for a minimum of 8 months to a maximum of 12 months. Length is dependent on the institution and funding. This residency program is the first in Canada to be funded by a library association. We are excited to launch a call for proposals for the New Librarian Resident Award 2019. Deadline: March 15, 2019.

Please view the 2019 Call for Proposals document for more information in regards to the selection criteria, required documentation, timeline, and selection process.

For questions please contact Melissa Macks Member Engagement Officer, Ontario Library Association

OLBA Awards

The W.J. Robertson Medallion is presented by the Ontario Library Boards’ Association to a public librarian who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of public library service in Ontario.

William John Robertson was a founding member of the Ontario Library Association. The thirty three “originals” that established the first constitution at the first Annual meeting of the Association in April, 1901, were a very distinguished and active group and W.J. Robertson was among the most prominent.

Robertson became the fourth President of the Association in 1905 – the first trustee to be elected into the position. Robertson was twice chair of the St. Catharines Free Library Board.

This provincial award recognizes and honours significant contributions to the library profession. The President of the Ontario Library Boards Association presents the medallion at the annual Public Library Awards dinner held in conjunction with the Ontario Library Association’s annual Super Conference.

Note: The James Bain Medallion is presented by the Ontario Public Library Association and awarded to a library board member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in governing a public library in Ontario.

To apply: Complete the online nomination form by November 1

For questions or more information, contact awards@accessola.com

To view more information on eligibility and nomination procedures

To view past recipients

This award is given to a Public Library Board [or two Public Library Boards that participated in a collaborative effort] that has demonstrated a high level of collaboration and innovation to produce outstanding results.

A high-performance Public Library Board can be defined as a group of people with specific roles and complementary talents and skills, aligned with and committed to a common purpose, and who consistently show high levels of collaboration and innovation to produce superior results.
A high performance Public Library Board is regarded as tight knit, focused on their goal, and have supportive processes that will enable any board member to surmount any barriers in achieving the board’s goals. Within the team, individual board members are highly skilled and are able to interchange their roles. Also, leadership within the team is not vested in a single individual; instead the leadership role is taken up by various team members, according to the need at that moment in time.

To apply: Complete the online nomination form by November 15
For questions or more information, contact awards@accessola.com

To view more information on eligibility and nomination procedures

To view past recipients

OLITA Awards

The Technology Advancing Libraries Award recognizes a project that demonstrates leadership in the application of technology to benefit library users, enhance library operations, and extend partnerships. The award is presented annually at the OLITA AGM during the OLA Super Conference.

To apply: Complete the online nomination form by November 1
For questions or more information, contact awards@accessola.com

To view more information on eligibility and nomination procedures
To view past recipients

Sample Submission

OPLA Awards

The James Bain Medallion is awarded to a library board member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in governing a public library in Ontario. This annual province wide award recognizes and honours the best contributions and efforts of board members who govern public libraries. James Bain was the first President of the Ontario Library Association in 1901 and Chief Librarian of the Toronto Public Library.

Note: The W.J Robertston Medallion (Public Librarian of the Year) is presented by the Ontario Library Boards’ Association to a public librarian who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of public library service in Ontario.

To apply: Complete the online nomination form by November 1
For questions or more information, contact awards@accessola.com

To view more information on eligibility and nomination procedures
To view past recipients

The Ontario Public Library Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a library staff member who has given life long service to the profession and has contributed significantly to the growth and innovation of public libraries in Ontario. The President of the Ontario Public Library Association presents the award at the annual Public Library Awards Gala held at the Ontario Library Association’s annual Super Conference.

To apply: Complete the online nomination form by November 1

For questions or more information, contact awards@accessola.com

To view more information on eligibility and nomination procedures

To view past recipients

The Children’s or Youth Services Librarian of the Year Award (formerly called Children’s Librarian of the Year award, and prior to that the Children’s Services Merit Award) is given to honour a children’s librarian who has made a positive impact on children’s or youth services librarianship.

To apply: Complete the online nomination form by March 15 each year.

To view more information
To view past recipients

OPLA’s Award for Leadership in Adult Readers’ Advisory is an initiative of the Readers’ Services Sub-Committee of OPLA. The purpose of this award is to honour excellence in readers’ advisory service to adults.

To apply: Fill out Application Form Accepting Nominations until March 18

To view more information
To view past recipients

This award is to honour excellent library staff working with children or youth. The award can be given to an individual or group. It can be a service-based project, a unique program, a community partnership, an outreach endeavour or an advocacy effort that you feel should be recognized and celebrated.

To apply: Complete the online nomination form by March 15 each year.

To view more information
To view past recipients

The Ontario Library Association recognizes the Ontario librarian, teacher-librarian, technician, library worker or department who has made a substantial achievement to their institution and/or the library profession in the area of technical services. This award is about recognizing those who help with the efficiencies and improved access to materials. Awards like this foster innovation, create an environment to share ideas and support high morale among technical service workers.

To apply: Complete online nomination form by November 1

To view more information on eligibility and nomination procedures
To view past recipients

OSLA Awards

This Award is given to honour a teacher-librarian who has demonstrated leadership in the implementation of school library programs through Collaboration and Inquiry – based learning. Projects, programs and activities cited should exemplify the vision of Together for Learning in their School Library/Learning Commons.

To apply: Fill out Application form

To view more information on eligibility and nomination procedures
To view past recipients

To honour a school administrator who has brought his or her influence to bear on the development of effective school library information centres and of school library program both in a school board and among his or her peers.

To apply: Fill out application form by November 1

To view more information on eligibility and nomination procedures
To view past recipients

To honour individuals or organizations outside individual schools or school boards which have provided significant support to teacher-librarians and school library information centre development in Ontario through exceptional projects and activities.

To apply: Fill out Application form

To view more information on eligibility and nomination procedures
To view past recipients

The Ontario Library Association recognizes the Ontario librarian, teacher-librarian, technician, library worker or department who has made a substantial achievement to their institution and/or the library profession in the area of technical services. This award is about recognizing those who help with the efficiencies and improved access to materials. Awards like this foster innovation, create an environment to share ideas and support high morale among technical service workers.

To apply: Complete online nomination form by November 1

To view more information on eligibility and nomination procedures
To view past recipients