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Awards Received


Governor General’s History Award for Community Programming – The Calgary Heritage Initiative Society’s Century Homes Calgary project recently announced as recipient of a Governor General’s History Award for Community Programming. The award honours excellence in educational and public programming and celebrates the very best in Canadian achievements. The project engaged citizens in researching 500 century-old Calgary homes, with the resulting digital data base housed at Calgary Public Library. The Library will be represented at the awards ceremony at Government House in Ottawa by Carolyn Ryder, one of our Community Heritage and Family History specialists.

CCVO – Calgary Nonprofit Innovation Awards – At a ceremony on September 13, 2012, the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations presented the Library with an Innovation Award for its version of Dragon’s Den. The winning proposal was for the development of a Welcome to the Calgary Public Library video production available in 10 languages. This project demonstrates a new internal process taken to bring fresh ideas to life and engage employees. It has benefits for library clients through service improvements and also as a boost to employee morale and retention. The Calgary Public Library recognized that innovation is not just external-facing but also an important part of internal culture, giving staff permission and encouragement to innovate. It is a positive example of innovation in a sector that strives to stay relevant as advancing technology continues to evolve ways of accessing information and resources. The award was accompanied by a presentation of $2,500.

Calgary Child’s Magazine – Publisher’s Award of Distinction – At a ceremony in mid-March, the publishers of Calgary’s Child magazine awarded the Library their highest honour – the Publisher’s Award of Distinction at the Parents’ Choice Awards. The award is given to local organizations that support and share Calgary’s Child Magazine's vision of encouraging, educating and empowering families in Calgary. The Library received the award in recognition of how completely the Library is woven into the lives of children in our community. The Library’s full range of resources, programs, approachable staff and family-friendly facilities all contribute to maximizing the potential of children and to enhancing the quality of life of families.

Runner Up for the 2012 First Calgary Financial Community Vision Award – In recognition of this nomination, the First Calgary will donate $250.00. The nomination was to highlight an individual or organization that has promoted or enhanced the lives of Calgarians through work within the local voluntary sector. Community contributions would include volunteering or giving back to society in a variety of unique ways. The nomination was submitted on behalf of all CPL volunteers who are engaged in various Library programs, give back in unique ways and how they impact the lives of Calgarians.

Best Miscellaneous Costume Award – Calgary Stampede – More than 350,000 live spectators and a million television viewers worldwide watched our Stampede Parade entry complete with show-stopping storybook characters, boot-stomping beats, sparkling cowboy regalia and custom ‘Inspiring Life Stories’ float on July 6. The Library’s energetic staff volunteers earned the well-deserved Best Miscellaneous Costume Award for not only the Stampede’s centennial parade, but also representing the Calgary Public Library during its centennial milestone.


The Urban Libraries Council’s Innovations Initiative Award – Winner in the category of Civic and Community Engagement, for innovations in advancing civic and community knowledge, initiating activities to promote civic engagement, and collaborating with civic organizations and institutions. The Library received this award for the sum of its activities – a blog, forums and programming – during the 2010 civic election.

Finalist for the Alberta Emerald Awards – For the Library’s commitment to preserving, protecting, and enhancing Alberta’s Environment. The Library’s Community Eco-Action Plan was launched to improve its own environmental footprint and provide leadership, programs, information, and resources that would assist all Calgarians in leading a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Best Miscellaneous Costume Award – Calgary Stampede – From Elton John on horseback to Lady Gaga rockin’ out on the parade route, the ‘Music Lives at the Library’ entry entertained audiences and won the Calgary Stampede’s Best Miscellaneous Costume Award.


Lion’s Award – Winner in the category of Advocacy and Awareness from the Calgary Heritage Authority. This award recognizes the efforts of individuals or institutions in increasing public awareness of heritage issues. The award acknowledges the Library’s Community Heritage and Family History Blog, a cornerstone of the Calgary Public Library website that illustrates and promotes the richness and diversity of Calgary’s heritage.

Urban Library Council Innovations Initiative Award – In the Public Safety category. For the Library's program "It's a Crime Not to Read" awarded by the American Urban Library Council in Washington, D.C.

Minister's Award for Innovation in Public Library Service – For the Library's "Living Library" program. This inaugural Award for Innovation recognizes new library programs or services, or new and improved methods of program/service delivery.

Canada Post Community Literacy Award – In the educator category. This award recognizes literacy learners and the community-based organizations that support them.

Best Miscellaneous Costume Award – Calgary Stampede – Blue-ribbon miniature donkeys carrying book bags joined our nod to the Calgary Public Library’s Summer Reading Adventure. They certainly added to audience smiles and judge’s agreement to award the Best Miscellaneous Costume Award for 2010 Calgary Stampede Parade.


Rs of Excellence Award (Institutional Category) from the Recycling Council of Alberta – For the Library's outstanding contributions to waste reduction, recycling and resource conservation in Alberta. This award recognizes the Library's many green initiatives, including the hybrid vehicle replacement buying program, the “Eco Heroes” Summer Reading Adventure, participation in pond and river clean-ups, recycling initiatives (paper, plastic, and compost) and the Eco blog on the Library's website.

Literacy Alberta Award of Excellence (Organization Category) – For the Library's outstanding contributions to the advancement of literacy in Alberta. The Library received this award for the strength of all its literacy programs for adults and children including programs for: Reading, Writing, Technology, English Skills, and Cultural literacy.

Certificate of Recognition from the Canadian Council on Learning – For the Library's Reading Advantage adult literacy program. The program was selected by the Canadian Council on Learning’s “Sharing the Flame” program, which celebrates innovative and effective practices across the country in five learning categories. Reading Advantage was selected in the adult learning category. A description of the program will be included in an “Ideas Book” to be posted to the Canadian Council on Learning’s website.

Local Heroes Award from the Canadian Urban Institute – Presented to the Library's volunteers. The Canadian Urban Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in urban areas across Canada and internationally. Part of its prestigious Urban Leadership Awards program, Local Hero Awards honour individuals or groups whose actions make a difference in the lives of the people in their community.

Gold Award for Best Green Marketing – From the Summit International Creative Awards for the Library’s “Green Before Green Was Cool” special event. This year’s awards featured entries from 26 countries, and was judged by an international panel that included creative directors from Canada’s prestigious doug agency; America’s Ogilvy One Worldwide, EvoLogue, and MFX; Ireland’s Bloom Agency; Japan’s Stellar; and more. “Green Before Green Was Cool” highlighted how library use is a simple, effective way for people to reduce their impact on the planet’s resources.

2009 Hermes Creative Gold Award – From the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals—for one of five direct mail pieces in the Library’s fall promotional campaign. “Another Great Thing To Do In Bed—Read” was styled after a hotel Do Not Disturb door hanger, and was recognized in the direct marketing category for the creative and mischievous way it drew attention to the Calgary Public Library.

2009 Welcoming City - Wild Card Award from The Disability Action Hall – Presented to the Central Library for being free to all and the best place to meet friends and hang out. The Disability Action Hall is a project of the Calgary Scope Society.


International Federation of Library Association's Marketing Awards – For the Library's "Neatest People" campaign. The competition included entries from 16 different countries and marks the second time that the Library's marketing programs have been recognized by IFLA.

Calgary Heritage Authority's 2008 Lion Award – In the category of Building Restoration, for the Memorial Park Library refurbishment and renovation project. The award recognized the Library's contribution to the preservation and protection of Calgary's historic resources for the enjoyment of all Calgarians and future generations.

Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Stewardship of Information Heritage – From The EMC2 Corporation's Heritage Trust Project, for the Library's role as “guardian, guide and advocate” of its community heritage and family history collections, specifically archival photographs relating to the history of Calgary.

Best Miscellaneous Costume Award – From the Calgary Stampede Parade Association, for innovative costuming in the Library's parade.


Immigrants of Distinction Award from the Calgary Immigrant Aid Society – Awarded in the category of Organizational Diversity, for being "an organization that has made outstanding achievements in implementing diversity initiatives in the workplace or has made significant contributions in serving ethnically diverse client groups." The Library's submission highlighted many of CPL's achievements in services to new Canadians and the World Languages community.

Premier's Education Award – Recognizing a significant contribution in making Library programs and facilities barrier-free. This award was part of the Premier's Council Awards of Excellence program.

Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award – For the program, "It's a Crime Not to Read," presented at the American Library Association Annual Conference. The programming award has been given out since 2000, and the Calgary Public Library was the first Canadian library to win.

Bronze medal in the Summit International Marketing Awards – For the Library's "Cheap & Easy" advertising campaign, which promoted the two most popular features of using the Library.

Best Miscellaneous Costume Award – From the Calgary Stampede Parade Association, for innovative costuming in the Library's parade entry.


John Cotton Dana Award – For outstanding library public relations. The Library was honoured for its 2006 program, "The Great Alberta Reading Challenge," in which all libraries across the province were invited to join in a friendly competition with prizes for the highest participation.

Community Spirit Award – Large Organization – From the Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre of Calgary (DDRC), recognizing the Library for genuinely welcoming all persons - including those with developmental disabilities - to enjoy the programs and services the Calgary Public Library offers.

SirsiDynix Building Better Communities Award – Recognizing the innovative use of technology to improve communities. The Library was one of five libraries out of 130 nominations worldwide to receive this inaugural award sponsored by software maker SirsiDynix.


Alberta Library Trustees Association Honorary Life Membership Award – Presented to Judith Umbach, Calgary Public Library Board Chair, for providing ongoing excellent service to the community by:

  • Providing leadership in the library community
  • Serving as a trustee in public libraries or public library systems in the province, or making a significant contribution to the library community
  • Serving libraries in capacities beyond their local library or system board
  • Exhibiting a strong, supportive, trusting relationship with their library staff

Alberta Library Trustees Association Award of Excellence to the Calgary Public Library Board – This award acknowleds library boards that have enabled and supported their libraries to provide ongoing excellent service to their communities over a five-year period.

Calgary Educational Partnership Foundation, Mayor's Excellence Award – Presented to the Library and our partners (the Calgary Police Service, the Calgary Board of Education, the Calgary Separate School District, and the Rotary Clubs of Calgary South, East, and Sarcee), in the category of Literacy Support and Enhancement for the, "It's a Crime Not to Read" program.

John Cotton Dana Award – For outstanding library public relations. Billed as the most prestigious award of the American Library Association, the Library was honoured for its ongoing efforts to reach out to people and attract new library users through mass-media advertising and targeted promotions. The Calgary Public Library first won the John Cotton Dana Award in 2002, which marked the first time since the 1970s a non-U.S. library received the prize.