Information Professional Award

SLA Western Canada Chapter established the SLA WCC Outstanding Information Professional Award to recognize and honour members of WCC who have made a significant contribution to the profession. Any member who has made a contribution worthy of acknowledgement can be nominated for the award. This award recognizes our colleagues who have:

  • mentored new librarians
  • raised the profile of a professional issue
  • contributed to library and information education
  • acted as a role model by volunteering in professional associations
  • conducted research in the information field
  • contributed to professional development through conference papers, articles, or blogs
  • implemented a new technology and shared the information with colleagues
  • developed a community of practice

The award, consisting of a cash award and a certificate, is presented at our Annual General Meeting.

Starting in 2016, the OIP award is awarded in alternating years with the Alice Solyma Professional Development Bursary. No OIP award will be made in 2016 and nominations will be accepted again in Fall 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2021, etc.

The OIP Nomination Form is available for future reference.

Award Winners

2016 – Starting in 2016, the OIP award is awarded in alternating years with the Alice Solyma Professional Development Bursary. No OIP award will be made in 2016 and nominations will be accepted again in Fall 2017.

2015 – Richard Matiachuk, Vancouver, BC Richard Matiachuk during his time as Public Services Librarian at Regent College, and Sessional Instructor at the University of the Fraser Valley, has been extremely effective at building bridges between budding information professionals and SLA, especially in the age of shrinking professional development funds. He is a quiet leader with a knack for building consensus, who has enthusiastically volunteered his time on the Board of the WCC, and to help organize activities at the 2014 SLA Annual Conference.

2013 – Christina de Castell, Vancouver, BC Christina de Castell is director, resources & technology at Vancouver Public Library, responsible for service and strategy for print and digital collections, websites and library systems. She is a member of the Canadian Urban Libraries Council ebook task force, the ReadersFirst leadership working group, the IFLA eLending Working Group, and an eBook blogger.

2012 – Debbie Millward, Vancouver, BC Debbie Millward has contributed to the growth and development of the library community in British Columbia and beyond through her work at Pacific Newspaper Group, as an advocate for special libraries within the newspaper industry nationally and internationally, through her work as adjunct faculty at SLAIS UBC teaching the Special Libraries Course, and taking on leadership roles including President of SLA Western Canada Chapter. Debbie’s lengthy career and ongoing development of new librarians deserves note and recognition within the SLA Western Canada Chapter, and beyond.

2011 – Alice Solyma, Victoria, BC Alice is an exemplary SLA member, always willing to help out. She has been a member since 1984 and has consistently been active in the Chapter. For the Chapter, she was Vancouver Island Director from 1993 – 1999 and has been instrumental in finding most of the Chairs from Vancouver Island since. Alice has also held several Division offices within SLA, including: Secretary, Environment & Resource Management (1984 – 1986 and 1989 – 1990); Section Chair, Forestry Section of DERM (2008); Vendor Relations, Taxonomy Division (2011). In 2011, Alice arranged a successful session at the Annual Conference on Evidence Based Forestry. Alice is a firm believer in SLA values, promoting networking among her colleagues in Victoria and providing mentorship to new members of the profession. Alice has been a mainstay in Victoria for many years and is a key member of the Natural Resources Canada Library team.

2010 – Patricia Cia, Vancouver, BC Patricia has been a very active participant in SLA Western Canada Chapter for many years, starting with Treasurer in 1996, before moving into the roles of Bulletin Editor, Web Master, Director of Communications, and finally President in 2001-2002. Not only has Patricia been an important leader of our chapter, she has also held several significant positions in SLA International, including: Chapter Cabinet Chair (2005-2006), Director in the Leadership and Management Division, and as Member of the Awards and Honors, Endowment Fund Grant, Annual Conference Advisory Council, and Nominating Committees. Patricia’s contributions received special recognition when she became a Fellow of SLA in 2007. Those who have had the pleasure of working with Patricia appreciate her knowledge, dedication and reliability. She embodies the ideal described in the SLA “Competencies of an Information Professional.”

2009 – Barbara Holder, Vancouver, BC An active member of SLA and SLA WCC and other library organizations, Barbara was WCC chapter president in 1999/2000. She was instrumental in organizing WCC’s first pan-chapter meeting, Convergence 2000. Under her leadership the first Strategic Plan was created; chapter governance procedures and processes were improved. In 2001, Barbara led the planning of the first regional SLA conference involving Pacific Northwest and Oregon chapters. She has also been a director and chair (2007) of SLA Environment and Resource Management Division. Her volunteer work includes the role of Coordinator of “The Global Forest Decimal Classification Unit” of IUFRO (International Union of Forest Research Organizations). Barbara is an advocate for special libraries and librarians. She has spoken on panels, in classrooms, and at student-organized events about special librarianship. She has written numerous articles for Wired West about advocacy, marketing, and other issues.

2008 – Carol Williams, Vancouver, BC Congratulations to Carol Williams, the winner of the 2008 Outstanding Information Professional Award. Carol has been an important part of SLA WCC for many years and although recently retired, continues to participate in our events. Carol recently retired from the BC Securities Commission, where she raised the profile of information professionals, and built and developed both the information and records services for the Commission. Carol was also actively involved in SLA WCC, holding the position of president in 1998 and guiding the chapter in its early years as the first virtual chapter. Over the years Carol has acted as both a leader and a mentor to many new information professionals, and has inspired and encouraged many members of the SLA WCC Chapter.

2007 – Debbie Schachter, Vancouver, BC Debbie is the recipient of the 2007 Outstanding Information Professional Award including $500 and a black resin/pewter box engraved with an eagle & bear First Nations’ design. Chapter members nominated Debbie for her contributions to both the Chapter and the profession. Debbie has served on the chapter board since 2002, and regularly volunteers for committees in addition to her formal responsibilities as a board member. She has garnered international recognition as a regular columnist in  Information Outlook. Debbie shares her knowledge with students by teaching at UBC SLAIS as an adjunct faculty member, at Langara College’s Library Technican Program as sessional faculty. and speaking at student events at UBC and Langara College. With her professionalism, and calm dependability, Debbie has been, and continues to be, a mainstay of the special library community in the Lower Mainland, and a role model for new information  professionals.