2014 Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award Announced by the Canadian Library Association
(Ottawa, April 8, 2014) – The Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliothèques is pleased to announce that the 2014 CLA Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award is being presented to Linda Cook of the Edmonton Public Library. The CLA Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award is generously sponsored by ProQuest.
Linda Cook is an extraordinary, recognized Canadian leader whose achievements, dedication, and service to the library community has propelled librarianship and library services forward, enhancing the lives of many individuals. Linda has been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for her role as a librarian, as an astute and business-savvy CEO, for her leadership at Edmonton Public Library and the city of Edmonton, as well as her leadership nationally.
As CEO she has led Edmonton Public Library to be a trailblazer among its peers. Many firsts in Canada and North America have been initiated by Linda’s vision and leadership. EPL was the first large urban library to: implement a system wide self-check-in and returns system that freed up staff from focusing on transactional tasks to concentrate on qualitative customer interactions; hire an Aboriginal Services Librarian to meet the needs of a growing urban Aboriginal population; initiate a system wide community-led service philosophy with eighteen community librarians across the city to bring library services beyond the library walls; establish eplGO in the University of Alberta’s Cameron Library, the first public library in Canada contained inside an academic library; establish the first lending machine located in an LRT public transit stations; and employ outreach workers at the Stanley Milner branch through the Safe Communities Initiative Fund program to positively impact Edmonton’s downtown community by assisting high risk individuals using the library.
While fully engaged with her role as CEO, Linda has dedicated herself to supporting other librarians and library staff. She has been very generous in sharing her knowledge, experience, and strategies with her colleagues. For fifteen years she was an Adjunct Professor teaching and mentoring new librarians at the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta.
She has been a mentor for the Northern Exposure to Leadership Institute, a voluntary role she has performed over the past ten years. Similarly, Linda has volunteered with many library associations, serving as president of the Canadian Library Association, the Library Association of Alberta, and vice-chair of the Canadian Urban Public Libraries Council and chair of The Alberta Library. She makes a point of attending and participating in many conferences to keep her mind, her practices, and her institution sharp and forward thinking.
Linda has also contributed the library perspective and values through her involvement in other organizations, including the Glenora Rotary Club, President of the Downtown Business Association, Legal Aid Alberta board member, and Canadian Public Lending Commission board member. Linda was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her leadership and oiutstanding services to the Capital Edmonton region. The Diamond Jubilee Medal recognizes citizens who have made real and lasting contributions to the quality of life in Alberta and Canada.
As the Mayor of the City of Edmonton, Don Iveson, says, “through her community involvement locally, provincially, and nationally, Linda demonstrates her vision and passion for public libraries and how they make a difference in people’s lives.”
The CLA Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award will be presented at the CLA Closing Ceremonies, to be held Saturday May 31 during the CLA National Conference and Trade Show in Victoria. The Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliothèques is Canada’s largest national and broad-based library associations, representing the interests of public, academic, school, and special libraries, professional librarians and library workers, and all those concerned about enhancing the quality of Canadians through information and literacy.
Keith Walker, Chair, 2014 CLA Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award Jury