Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urba

CULC in The News

New CEO of London Public Library Announced

The London Public Library Board is pleased to announce that Michael J. Ciccone has been appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer of London Public Library (LPL). Mr. Ciccone will assume this role at the end of August, when Susanna Hubbard Krimmer retires after 29 years at LPL, 11 years as CEO& Chief Librarian.

With his experience building relationships on a national level and success as an advocate for public library services, the London Public Library Board is confident in their selection of Mr. Ciccone as LPL’s next CEO. “We are very excited to find a candidate who so clearly values inclusion, diversity and accessibility and has leveraged these values to lead a significant organization from the start-up phase to international recognition”, says Mariam Hamou, Chair of the London Public Library Board. “Michael is a collaborative, professional leader that will be able to build upon the existing strengths and achievements of LPL to meet the future opportunities of library service head on.”

Mr. Ciccone is a champion of equitable library service and has extensive leadership experience in public libraries in the United States and Canada. Most recently, Mr. Ciccone served as the Executive Director of the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA), a national non-profit organization that supports public libraries in the provision of accessible collections to Canadians with print disabilities in the formats of their choice, including audio, braille, and electronic text. CELA launched in 2014, and, under Mr. Ciccone’s leadership, has become internationally recognized. There are now more than 600 public library systems in Canada who are members of CELA, and their patrons have access to more than 650,000 items in accessible formats.

Mr. Ciccone has held management and administrative roles at Hamilton Public Library and the New York Public Library. He is one of the founders of Loan Stars, a readers’ advisory tool for Canadian library staff. He also serves on the board of eBound Canada, the digital arm of the Association of Canadian Publishers, acting as an ambassador between the Canadian publishing industry and public libraries.

Mr. Ciccone is looking forward to immersing himself in the London community, meeting key stakeholders and getting to know the staff, Board members and patrons of LPL. “I want to thank the London Public Library Board for providing this incredible opportunity and entrusting me with this responsibility” says Mr. Ciccone. “I’m assuming leadership of an organization that currently has a wonderful reputation and my plan is to build on that foundation and provide Londoners with the best possible public library experience available. I believe that public libraries provide their communities the ultimate public good and my approach to service delivery is based on that principle.”

Catherine Biss, Board Chair for the Centre for Equitable Library Access and CEO, Markham Public Library thinks this new role will be a good fit for Mr. Ciccone, LPL, and the library profession. “Michael brought a unique blend of skills and experiences when he came to CELA almost 5 years ago. His library knowledge combined with his network of colleagues has supported the achievement of CELA’s Strategic Plans”, Ms. Biss says. “I look forward to continuing to work with Michael as a fellow Ontario library CEO on the challenges and opportunities that face public Libraries. It is good to know we will have an expert on the accessibility file within our leadership group.”

The London Public Library Board looks forward to working with Mr. Ciccone to build upon the success and contributions of Susanna Hubbard Krimmer, who announced her plans to retire to the Library Board and staff in late 2018. The Board worked with Prime Management Group Inc. to conduct the search for Ms. Hubbard Krimmer’s successor as CEO.


Some recent media interviews - more to come


Vickery Bowles New ULC Chair

Vickery Bowles, the city librarian at Toronto Public Library, is the 2019–2020 Urban Libraries Council Chair.


Vancouver PL wins the John Cotton Dana Award

VPL and GVPL were two of the seven winners announced yesterday. Congrats to both BC Libraries for winning the 2019 John Cotton Dana Award.

Information about the Vancouver project is available on the ALA website:

In the Fall of 2018, Vancouver Public Library’s research confirmed that their rooftop garden still captivated Vancouverites even though it had always been inaccessible to the public. With an opportunity to renovate the top two floors where they created a gallery, a quiet reading room, and an eighty-seat theater, they also undertook redeveloping the rooftop garden as a publicly accessible outdoor, green space. These spaces, especially the rooftop garden soon became the focal point of messaging inviting patrons to “Get Lost in the Rooftop Garden.” Marketing efforts highlighted the fact that these new spaces offered places for collaboration, creation, and connection helping to change perceptions of what a modern library can be. Through their PR and creative marketing efforts, they generated 215 media stories reaching 36.5 million hits, increased web visitation, increased engagement through social media and also resulted in a 13 percent increase in visitors to the library.


Milton PL wins the ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects

MPL Celebrates Another Win for its Quest Milton App

Tuesday May 13th, the American Library Association announced that MPL’s Quest Milton app was selected to receive the 2019 American Library Association Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects.

Recipients of the ALA Citation for Innovative International Library are selected by a committee of the International Relations Round Table (IRRT) through a nomination process to recognize innovative contributions to international librarianship. IRRT is a Round Table of the American Library Association with a mission to develop the interests of librarians in activities and problems in the field of international library relations.

This marks the second time this year that MPL has been recognized for innovation through the development and success of the Quest Milton app. MPL was recently announced as the recipient of the ALA’s 2019 John Iliff Award for Innovation which honours the best in public library service, innovation and outreach.

Launched in February 2018 and the brainchild of MPL’s Chief Librarian, the gaming app is the first of its kind for a Canadian Public Library. The development of the app was completely funded through a provincial grant from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and uses gaming technologies to engage new users in connecting with MPL and its partners.

“To say I was delighted at the news that we would be receiving the 2019 John Iliff Award for innovation from the American Librarian Association would be an understatement. And today, to find out that in addition we are also the recipients of the ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects really is fantastic and something of which we are incredibly proud,” shares Mark Williams, Chief Librarian.

To learn more about the ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects, visit:

Visit Milton Public Library in-person or online at and Be Inspired today. A Visit Will Get You Thinking.