British Columbia Library Association

Alice Bacon

It is with sadness that I pass on the news of Alice Bacon’s passing on July 30th, 2018. Alice was a life time member and avid supporter of BCLA. The BCLA Alice Bacon Professional Development Award is named in honour of Alice Bacon and is intended to financially support members of the BC library community who would otherwise be unable to attend the annual BC Library conference. Over the past 5 years this award has helped almost 50 people attend the conference, mostly people living outside the lower mainland and students. Last year one Alice Bacon Professional Development Award recipient wrote about the value of this financial support saying:

As a member of a remote community the conference is of particular value. Like most libraries we have diverse board members and staff with a range of opinions and experience and change can be slow to reach small northern towns. Reporting back on the BCLC’s chosen keynote speakers and sessions show how our libraries’ activities and priorities tie into larger professional values and current areas of focus in the field.

The professional development award bearing Alice Bacon’s name, and supporting the values and ideals that she exemplified, has influenced BC library  community members since it was founded.  Many of Alice Bacon’s other achievements and contributions are described in her obituary below.

Best regards, Annette

BACON _ Alice Ann, died peacefully at North Shore Hospice on July 30, 2018, thirteen years to the day after the death of her beloved husband Bryan. Alice is survived and mourned by her stepdaughters Sarah (Don), Elizabeth (Rob), stepson Matthew (Lila), step granddaughters Nicole (Peter), Caroline (Andrew), Abigail, Katelyn and Lauren, step grandson Nathan, and step great-grandsons Liam and Harrison, as well as her loving cousins in British Columbia and the United States and many friends and former colleagues. Born in Vancouver in 1932, Alice attended Magee High School and gained a BA at UBC in 1953. During this time she enjoyed her singing roles in Theatre Under The Stars productions. She worked briefly for BC Tel in Kitimat, where she was crowned Miss Kitimat in 1956, before embarking on what proved to be a distinguished career in librarianship. Alice received her BLS degree in 1962 and worked initially at the Vancouver, Bellingham and Burnaby Public Libraries before becoming the Lower Mainland Coordinator for the BC Library Services Branch, the role in which she was to have a major impact on public library development in the Province. Alice was instrumental in setting up and managing the Province-wide Taped Books Service and also played a significant role in the establishment of the Greater Vancouver Library Federation in 1975. For these and other contributions, Alice was presented with the rarely-bestowed Helen Gordon Stewart Award and named an Honorary Life Member of the BC Library Association. Alice was an adjunct professor in the 1990s at UBC’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS). In their busy retirement, Alice and Bryan travelled extensively in the United Kingdom and continental Europe. Following his death, Alice continued to travel with close friends. She also became an avid sports fan, regularly attending Vancouver Canucks, BC Lions and Vancouver Whitecaps games. Utilizing her quick intelligence and innate mastery of detail, Alice delighted in besting acknowledged hockey experts among her wide circle of friends, regularly winning their hockey pools. The family extends special thanks to the staff of Nurse Next Door for their attentive care of Alice during the past few months. At Alice’s request there will be no service. A reception for family and friends to celebrate her life will be held at a date to be announced. Flowers gratefully declined. To honour Alice’s generous nature and the lively and warm personality that captivated so many of us, donations in her name to the North Shore Hospice or the BC Library Association’s Alice Bacon Professional Development Award would be appreciated.