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Past Award Winners

Current Awards


This award is for an individual or organization responsible for increasing the relevancy and impact of library service through partnership, collaboration, and building trust where little had previously existed. The winner may be engaged in service delivery, professional development, marketing, or community-led library work.  Achievements may originate with a library or an individual, or with a community partner. The BCLA Building Better Communities Award evolves from the Association’s commitment to open access and inclusion. BCLA advocates for libraries and library services for all British Columbians. This includes barrier-free facilities, open and equitable access to library services, and environments free of racism, religious intolerance, and violence. BCLA believes that people, communities and organizations need universal access to information, ideas, and works of the imagination for their social, cultural, educational, democratic and economic well-being. Recognizing that it takes significant time for many projects to mature and for those involved to demonstrate the impact of the work or the success of the idea, the BCLA Building Better Communities will consider submissions based on work done in the two years prior to the date of the award application.


2022 Whistler Public Library
2021 North Vancouver City Library and North Vancouver District Public Library and West Vancouver Memorial Library (Take-Home Technology) and
2021 Tania Thomas (Somali Programs at Surrey Libraries)
2020 Paul Taylor and North Vancouver District Public Library
2019 West Vancouver Memorial Library and Vancouver Island Regional Library
2018 Susan Pierce
2017 Smithers Public Library

BCLA CHAMPION OF INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM AWARD (on hiatus pending Intellectual Freedom Statement review)

This award is given to an individual or organization that demonstrates significant advancement of intellectual freedom in the public realm for the benefit of British Columbians. The BCLA Board recognizes that our members have a diversity of opinions on the application of intellectual freedom principles. Further, we recognize there are many more conversations to be had, many more voices to hear, and many more debates ahead. As a Board, we commit to working with members to evolve our statements and awards to reflect intersecting interests and values. This is an award for librarians and library staff that champion intellectual freedom issues in their libraries, their communities, their province or their country. The winner could also be a journalist, or media outlet, an organization dedicated to free speech and challenging expected norms, a lawyer, policy maker, or community leader. The BCLA Champion of Intellectual Freedom Award grows out of the Association’s commitment to uphold the principles and tenets of intellectual freedom including the right to seek, receive, hold and disseminate information from all points of view—a foundation of a democratic society. Recognizing that it takes significant time for many projects to mature and for those involved to demonstrate the impact of the work or the success of the idea, the BCLA Champion of Intellectual Freedom Award will consider submissions based on work done in the two years prior to the date of the award application.


2022 British Columbia Historical Textbooks Project Team
2021 Allison Jones and Karen Ng (Organizing Ideas Podcast)
2020 Ashley Machum and Christopher Stephenson, Okanagan Regional Library
2019 Baharak Yousefi
2018 no award presented
2017 OpenMedia


This award is given to an individual or organization that has created an innovative approach to address a barrier, solve a problem, provide a powerful new insight, or introduce an original idea in the library field. This is an award for thinkers, analysers, innovators, dreamers, and doers. An individual winner may have completely solved a problem or fully developed a new idea, or may have been a significant contributor to a larger team project. The winner may be an organization responsible for a considerable contribution to the library community, a contribution that helps the library community as a whole and strengthens the “idea” of library in our society–or the recipient may not be from the library community, but has made a notable contribution to the relevance of libraries. The BCLA Eureka Award grows out of BCLA’s commitment to analyzing, supporting, and participating in the ongoing evolution of libraries and library services. It is linked to BCLA’s stated core value to support and encourage creativity and innovation. It takes time and commitment to build an idea up from a concept into a project or program through assessment, modifications, and evaluation. With this in mind, the BCLA Eureka Award will consider submissions based on work begun in the five years prior to the date of the award application.


2022 Robbyn Lanning, Camosun College Library
2021 Steering Committee, Making Research Accessible in the Downtown Eastside Initiative
2020 Community Scholars Program, Simon Fraser University
2019 Thompson-Nicola Regional Library
2018 Tim Atkinson
2017 Arca Collaborative Digital Repository / Vancouver Public Library’s Inspiration Lab


In 2013 BCLA, introduced the BC SRC Community Story Award in order to recognize and honour those stories that described the impact of BC SRC on participants and library staff. Each year the BC SRC presents the award to an individual whose story best demonstrates how important BC SRC is to children and community members. 


2022 Mel Edgar (Powell River Public Library)
2021 Kate Longley (North Vancouver City Library) and Danielle Wing (North Vancouver District Public Library)
2020 Kate Inman (Squamish Public Library)
2019 Genevieve Carmody (Pemberton)
2018 Ardie Burnham (Okanagan Regional Library)
2017 Selina Powszedny (Squamish)
2016 Lise Kreps (Burnaby Public Library)
2015 Miranda Mallinson (Vancouver Public Library)
2014 Beverley Rintoul (Rossland Public Library)


Honorary Life Memberships are conferred upon members of the Association at or within five years of normal retirement age. Individuals must have made substantial and recognizable long standing contributions to BCLA and to library service in the province. The award consists of a plaque and honourary life membership in the Association.

  • Melanie Houlden
  • Maureen Allen
  • Alice Bacon
  • Lois M. Bewley
  • Margaret Brunette
  • Margaret Burke
  • Brian Campbell
  • Maryann Cantillon
  • Ross Carter
  • Sylvia Crooks
  • Enid Dearing
  • Sheila Egoff
  • Mary Anne Epp
  • Colin William Fraser
  • Margaret Friesen
  • Percilla Groves
  • Nancy Hannum
  • Robert Harris
  • Ken Haycock
  • Mary Leask
  • Jim Looney
  • Bob MacDonald
  • Eleanor Mercer
  • Jack Mounce
  • Judy O’Mara
  • Daphne Parr
  • Samuel Rothstein
  • Keith Sacre
  • Basil Stuart-Stubbs
  • Aileen Tufts
  • Flora Watson
  • Diana Wilimovsky
  • Alan Woodland

Historical Awards


This award recognizes an individual who has made a substantial contribution to librarianship in British Columbia and has moved library service forward in the Province over a period of more than one year.  The person may have planned and implemented an exemplary library program, actively promoted libraries and librarianship, or served the profession and the field in a distinguished way. A plaque is presented to the recipient.


2015-2016 Joanne Richards, Michael Burris
2014-2015 Carla Graebner
2012-2013 Edel Toner-Rogala
2010-2011 Joyce Pinsker
2009-2010 Rhian Piprell
2004-2005 Maryann Cantillon
2000-2001 Cate McNeely
1997-1998 Deb deBruijn, Janice Litton
1996-1997 Lynn Copeland, Janice Douglas


This award is given infrequently to recognize an outstanding or important career in librarianship involving a visible or readily identifiable achievement that brings honour to the entire profession.  A nominee must be a resident of B.C. during the period of accomplishment leading to the honour. The award consists of a plaque and honorary life membership in the Association.

2010-2011 Marnie Swanson & Paul Whitney
2009-2010 Lynn Copeland
2008-2009 Greg Buss
2005-2006 Brian Campbell & Jim Looney
2004-2005 Ken Haycock
2002-2003 Nancy Hannum
1992-1993 C. William Fraser
1991-1992 Basil Stuart-Stubbs
1988-1989 Harry Newsom
1987-1988 Lois Bewley
1985-1986 Margaret Burke



1996-1997 Greater Victoria Public Library



This award will be presented to an individual, organization or business who/that has a record of support of libraries, literacy, public access to information and the overall aims and objectives of libraries. The award is intended for non-library personnel. Winner must have a demonstrated record of support to libraries and/or library aims and objectives that is regional or provincial in scope. Support is defined as significant financial support or, in-kind contribution or, library advocate in the public arena.The award will consist of a plaque. 


2014-2015 Micheal Vonn (BCCLA)
2010-2011 Dave Obee (Author, The Library Book)
2009-2010 Law Foundation of BC for LawMatters
2008-2009 Darrell Evans (BC FIPA)
2007-2008 Larry Moore (OLA)
2005-2006 Yosef Wosk (LAB)
2004-2005 Irving K. Barber (UBC)
2003-2004 Ben Dayson (RPL)
2002-2003 Don Hoglund (Fund Development Committee)
2001-2002 Andrea Deakin (OUC)
2000-2001 Kwok-Chu Lee (RPL)
1999-2000 Prince George Spruce Kings (PGPL)
1998-1999 Canfor Corporation (Houston PL)










These institutional awards recognize outstanding achievement during the preceding year in the following categories:

  1. Building Projects: this may be either a new building or a substantial renovation of facilities completed since April of the previous year.
  2. Programs or Services: this may be a new or an on-going service, a special  event or a series of events, or a special project.
  3. Advocacy or Marketing: this may be a new or ongoing advocacy or marketing program, a special event or series of events with a focus on advocacy or marketing, or a special advocacy or marketing project.

All types of libraries are eligible for these awards.  Normally, one award is given in each category. A plaque is presented to the recipient.


Building Project
Burnaby Public Library for Bob Prittie Metrotown Branch First Floor Renovations

Program or Service
Public Library InterLINK for NewToBC

Advocacy or Marketing
Surrey Libraries for their Literacy Day Report


Building Project
SFU-WAC Bennett Library
Creston Valley Public Library

Program or Service
BC ELN for WriteAway online collaborative tutoring service

Advocacy or Marketing
Vancouver Island Regional Library for Librarians on the Radio


Building Project
Vancouver Island Regional Library: Cumberland Library and Cowichan Lake Library

Programs & Services
Prince George Public Library – Library Gay-Straight Alliance

Advocacy or Marketing
Prince George Public Library for their “Don’t Read These Books” advocacy campaign


Building Project
Salt Spring Island Public Library

Programs & Services
Burnaby Public Library – “Embracing Diversity: Sharing Our Stories and Rhymes.”

Advocacy or Marketing
Nelson Public Library for their campaign “A Taste of Nelson.”


Building Project
Brown Family House of Learning, Thompson Rivers University

Programs & Services
Vancouver Public Library – First Nations Storyteller in Residence program

Advocacy or Marketing
Prince George Public Library for their campaign “CKPG Commercials.”


Building Project
Camosun College Libraries – Lansdowne and Interurban Libraries

Programs & Services
Fraser Valley Regional Library and Surrey Libraries for Festival of Aboriginal Arts
Richmond Public Library – International Living Room at the O Zone

Advocacy or Marketing
Richmond Public Library – Weekly Book Review in Richmond Review Newspaper


Building Project
Burnaby Public Library – Tommy Douglas Branch

Programs & Services
Surrey Public Library for Storytimes to help learn English

Advocacy or Marketing
Richmond Public Library – Health Literacy Project


Building Project
North Vancouver City Library

Programs & Services
Fraser Valley Regional Library for Aboriginal Outreach Services
Irving K. Barber Learning Center, UBC for BC History Digitization Project


Building Project
North Vancouver District Library – Lynn Valley Library

Programs & Services
Richmond Public Library – “Ralphy Card Campaign”
Electronic Health Library of BC – “e-HLbc”


Building Project
no award

AskAway Reference Service


Building Project
New Westminster Public Library

Richmond Public Library – “Healthy Living Series”
Coquitlam Public Library / Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) Reading Link Challenge”


Building Project
North Vancouver City Library

Richmond Public Library – “Read for Success” ESL Book Club


Building Project
Surrey Public Library, Semiahmoo Branch

North Shore Public Libraries – “North Shore Writers Festival”


Building Project
no award

Vancouver Public Library – “One Book, One Vancouver”


Building Project
Vancouver Island Regional Library, Courtenay Branch

Prince Rupert Public Library – “New First Nations Library Card”


Building Project
Merritt Library

New Westminster Public Library, “125 Years of Serving the Public”


Building Project
Fernie Heritage Library

Trail and District Public Library, “Winning the Referendum”


Building Project
Richmond Public Library – Ironwood Branch

BCLA First Nations Interest Group


Building Project
Squamish Public Library

Richmond Public Library – Internet Training


Building Project
UBC- Walter C. Koerner Library

Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) – Reading Express Service
Library Services Branch – Internet Access Training for Public Libraries


Building Project
Capilano College Library

Program or Service
GVPL for its founding role in the Victoria Freenet


Building Project
Richmond Public Library for its Information Kiosk

Fernie Public Library for its Canada 125 Sister City initiative with Knowlton Quebec
Coquitlam Public Library for its “Culture Through Music” program


Building Project 
Burnaby Public Library – new main branch building

Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) – First Nations series of programs


New Westminster Public Library – 125th Anniversary Celebrations
Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) – 60th Anniversary Celebrations


Building Projects
Castlegar and District Public Library
Penticton Public Library

GVLF – Prize winning series of video tapes (Connections)


Building Project
Okanagan College for their business information centre

Friends of the Fort St. John Public Library for their book on Peace River Trivia
Legal Services Society – services to the community


Building Project
UBC – Library Literacy Program – Library Skills Lab

Vancouver Community College Library for its service: CILS
BC College & Institute Library Services Clearinghouse for the Print Impaired
GVLF for its Videotape Program: Access: serving disabled persons in the library


The President’s Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the British Columbia Library Association. Recipients are selected annually by the current BCLA President and are recognized for their tireless efforts on behalf of BCLA and the library community at large (nominations are not taken from the membership).

2015-2016 Anita Cocchia
2014-2015 Leanna Jantzi
2013-2014 Ben Hyman
2012-2013 Christopher Kevlahan
2011-2012 Debbie Schachter
2010-2011 Christina de Castell
2009-2010 Deb Thomas
2008-2009 Mary Anne Epp, Michael Burris
2007-2008 Rita Avigdor, Colleen Smith
2006-2007 Rob Golbeck
2005-2006 Barbara Jo May
2004-2005 Ann Curry
2003-2004 Ron Clancy
2002-2003 Chris Peppler
2001-2002 Paul Whitney
2000-20001 Information Policy Committee, Sylvia Crooks
1999-2000 Brian Campbell
1998-1999 Ted Benson, Jim Looney
1997-1998 Christian Kruse
1996-1997 Catherine Whitely
1995-1996 Miriam Moses