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Press Release

For Immediate Release

Michael Ridley named 2010 Miles Blackwell Outstanding Academic Librarian

(Ottawa, April 19, 2010) The Canadian Library Association (CLA) and the Canadian Association of College and University Libraries (CACUL) today announced that the recipient of the 2010 Miles Blackwell Outstanding Academic Librarian Award is Michael Ridley, Chief Librarian and Chief Information Officer at the University of Guelph.

Nominators described Mr. Ridley as a “tireless builder – of ideas, of collaboration, of commitment, and most importantly, of bridges between diverse communities.”  He is “constantly challenging the status quo and pushing the boundaries,” encouraging individual librarians and the profession to “expand our vision, embrace change, and create new value through partnerships.”  He is “extremely articulate”, “combines intuitive insight with creative outlook,” and is “the consummate teacher – willing to share, willing to explain.”  In the poetic words of one supporter, “he is a man for this season and for all seasons.”

Mr. Ridley has been a founding member and prominent leader of many groundbreaking initiatives in the Canadian library community.  He proposed the development of the Ontario Digital Library, now implemented as Knowledge Ontario.  He was a driving force behind the establishment of the TriUniversity Group of Libraries (TUG), a model of regional consortial library services on whose experience many have fruitfully drawn.  Over a decade ago, he was instrumental in developing the unique collaborative partnership that is the University of Guelph’s Learning Commons, exemplifying a holistic vision of the library as a social learning space.  Through his publications and presentations, he engages audiences in topics ranging from the impact of technology to the possibility of a post-literate world.

Mr. Ridley has served the profession through many prominent institutions.  Through significant roles with the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), he helped to build knowledge infrastructure and foster an internationally competitive research environment in Canada.  He has voluntarily served with the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL).  He has been the President of the Ontario Library Association (OLA) and the Canadian Association for Information Science (CAIS), and has forged connections between the library and information technology communities through the Canadian University Council of Chief Information Officers (CUCCIO). 

The Miles Blackwell Award for Outstanding Academic Librarian is generously sponsored by YBP Library Services.  Since 1987, CACUL has recognized leaders, mentors, thinkers, and champions of academic librarianship through this award.  The Miles Blackwell Award will be presented to Mr. Ridley at the CACUL Annual General Meeting on Friday, June 4, during the CLA National Conference in Edmonton, Alberta.

The Canadian Association of College and University Libraries (CACUL) is a division of the Canadian Library Association (CLA). CLA is a national association representing the interests of public, academic, school and special libraries, professional librarians, library workers, and all those concerned about enhancing the quality of life for Canadians through information and literacy.  For details, visit

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Wendy Rodgers, CACUL Director of Awards and Chair, 2010 Miles Blackwell Award Nominations Committee, (709) 737-4439,