Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urba

CULC in The News

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.


Greater Victoria Public Library wins John Cotton Dana Award

Library’s “Change Your Mind” campaign wins top international award

Greater Victoria Public Library awarded prestigious John Cotton Dana Award for outstanding library marketing and public relations

Victoria, BC – The American Library Association announced today Greater Victoria Public Library has won the 2019 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award for marketing and public relations excellence. The award comes with a prize of 10,000 USD provided by the H.W. Wilson Foundation and will be presented at a reception in Washington D.C. in June. This is the first time GVPL has won this prestigious international award.

GVPL received the award for the Change Your Mind campaign, an integrated marketing campaign that encourages people to change their minds about what they think they know about the library and literally change their minds by using the library and reading, watching, listening and learning.

“This campaign reaches beyond our traditional user base and beyond library walls,” says Maureen Sawa, GVPL CEO. “Conversation about discovery, curiosity and human potential are taking place in coffee shops, on social media, on the bus and wherever people connect. Libraries have always changed minds, and I am proud GVPL’s promotion has succeeded in changing people’s minds about libraries.”

“The power of libraries to make a significant impact on people’s lives is unique, says Deborah Begoray, GVPL Board Chair. “This campaign shows how libraries transform communities making them stronger, more resilient and more inclusive.”

The Change Your Mind campaign includes custom graphics featuring a friendly brain, in-branch signage, and a web and social media presence all designed by in-house staff. People are invited to take an online quiz that “diagnoses” what kind of mind you have – Creative, Curious, Adventurous, Healthy or Hungry – which then provides a curated list of books and e-resources and a link to get a free library card branded with the brain types. More than 32,000 community members have completed the brain quiz.

For the latest component of the campaign, GVPL partnered with Island café chain Serious Coffee to distribute more than 400,000 co-branded beverage sleeves that delivered “Change Your Mind” messaging. The sleeves are available right now at all Serious Coffee locations on Vancouver Island and one in Powell River.

“The GVPL team presented a very inventive and creative concept that has been a natural fit with us and our guests,” says Jeannette Humphreys, special projects coordinator at Serious Coffee. “The Change Your Mind campaign is fun, informative and even prompted members of our team to renew their library card because of what they learned from the GVPL team. If we were motivated by the campaign to renew our cards, we believed that many others would do the same and our belief has been well founded.”

Libraries of all types and sizes in North America and beyond are eligible to submit an entry for the John Cotton Dana Award. Seven other libraries were awarded the prize in 2019: Vancouver Public Library, Los Angeles Public Libraries, Spokane Public Libraries, Ypsilanti District Libraries, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Saline County Library and Delaware County District Library.

Visit for more information.

About Greater Victoria Public Library

Greater Victoria Public Library builds community and supports literacy and lifelong learning by providing free access to information, space, tools and expertise. GVPL provides services and collections in 12 libraries and online at to more than 380,000 residents in 10 municipalities. The library is your place to connect, discover and imagine.

About the John Cotton Dana Award

The award is one of the most coveted and prestigious of the awards recognizing marketing and public relations excellence. Inaugurated in 1946 by the American Library Association and the H.W. Wilson Publishing Company, this award is named after the first librarian to overtly make use of public relations to publicize library activities. The award selection is managed by the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA), a division of the American Library Association.

Media Contact
Jessica Woollard, Communications Officer, Greater Victoria Public Library
Office: 250-940-4875 ext. 346 Mobile: 778-679-7228 or

Fred Reuland, Program Officer, Continuing Education, Library Leadership and Management Association, American Library Association
Office: 312-280-5032 or

Press Release


Support Materials for One eRead Canada

One eRead Canada / Un livrel Canada

Join libraries across Canada in creating an opportunity for people across the country to read one book together and share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

Joignez-vous à d’autres bibliothèques canadiennes dans cette initiative pour rassembler les Canadiens et les Canadiennes autour d’un livre et les amener à répondre à l’œuvre en partageant leurs réflexions, leur ressenti et leur expérience.

One eRead THE PROGRAM: CULC/CBUC has created an opportunity for all public libraries to participate in a Canadawide digital reading program. The program is similar to a “one book, one city” program, on a national scale and in digital format. It will run for four weeks, from June 3 to June 30. The hope is that this will be the inaugural occurrence of an ongoing program that will include French titles, and may expand to include books for other age groups in future.

DESCRIPTION : Le CULC/CBUC (Canadian Urban Libraries Council / Conseil des bibliothèques urbaines du Canada) offre à toutes les bibliothèques publiques l’occasion de participer à un club de lecture pancanadien centré sur le numérique. Cette initiative ressemble aux projets de type « One Book, One City » (un livre, une ville), sauf qu’elle se déroule à l’échelle nationale et propose un contenu numérique. L’initiative durera quatre semaines, soit du 3 au 30 juin. Nous espérons qu’elle deviendra coutume et que la littérature francophone y trouvera sa place, de même que celle pour les autres groupes d’âge.

Support Materials


  • #1eReadLivrelCanada


One eRead

THE BOOK: The selection for our inaugural program is Glass Beads by Dawn Dumont, published by Thistledown Press. Recognizing and supporting our national focus on reconciliation and the Indigenous experience, it seemed appropriate that our first book is written by an Indigenous woman. We also chose to feature a book from an independent Canadian publisher.

LE LIVRE : Le choix pour la première de cette initiative s’est arrêté sur Glass Beads de Dawn Dumont, publié chez Thistledown Press. Comme nous reconnaissons et appuyons les efforts nationaux de réconciliation et de valorisation de l’expérience autochtone, il semblait à propos de choisir un ouvrage écrit par une femme autochtone. Nous avons également choisi ce titre parce qu’il provient d’une maison d’édition canadienne indépendante.

For more information:

Pour de plus amples renseignements :


CMA Funding to Support Reconciliation Program

Canadian Museums Association Receives Government Funding for National Review of Museum Policies to Support Reconciliation Program

Ottawa, April 16, 2019 — Karen Bachmann, president of the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) is pleased to announce the support of Canadian Heritage – through the Museums Assistance Program (MAP) – for the CMA Reconciliation Program.

The project has its roots in the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action 67: “We call upon the federal government to provide funding to the Canadian Museums Association to undertake, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, a national review of museum policies and best practices to determine the level of compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and to make recommendations” (TRC page 252).

“We thank Minister Rodriguez and the Government of Canada for their vote of confidence and on-going support. These funds will assist the CMA and its members to work in collaboration with Indigenous peoples for a national review of museum policies and best practices. This critical work will inspire the development of key recommendations as we move forward,” says Bachmann.

“In 2015 the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), in line with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) , brought forward the important role that cultural and heritage institutions have to play in the reconciliation process and names museums and museum associations as essential agents of change”, says key proposal contributor, Dr. Sarah Pashagumskum. Dr. Pashagumskum is a member of the CMA Reconciliation Program Council, CMA Board Member and CEO of Aanischaaukamikw, the regional Cree Cultural Institute in northern Quebec.

“In our interconnected world, museums have become ever more essential to the preservation of cultural diversity and appreciation”, says Dr. Vanda Vitali, recently appointed Executive Director of the CMA. “I look forward to working with the CMA Reconciliation Council as they embark on this ambitious, comprehensive and inclusive process.”

To learn more, visit: