CLA Announces the Winner of the New CLA / Alan MacDonald Mentorship
(April 26, 2012, Ottawa) - The Canadian Library Association /
Association canadienne des bibliothèques is pleased to announce
that the first recipient of the new CLA / Alan MacDonald Mentorship
Award is Kae Elgie, Manager of Information Services, Region of Waterloo
Library. This new award recognizes individuals who have
demonstrated a commitment to mentoring activities either within their
workplace or in an association. Alan was a natural mentor. Always
positive, always receptive to new ideas, always ready to see potential,
he inspired those around him to strive for and realize their dreams. He
was also a fierce champion of Canadian enterprise. As
beneficiaries of Alan’s spirit, the founders of the Canadian
Electronic Library are proud to sponsor this award.
Elgie has worked tirelessly to create co-op and contract positions
for her mentees. Many of these positions were financially
supported through grants which Elgie wrote, administered and reported
on, in addition to creating work plans, hiring, supervising and
mentoring the students and graduates. Much of the funding came
from the Community Access Program (CAP) for public libraries, of which
Elgie is a consistent advocate. She continues to engage staff and
the library committee to advocate for funding for the CAP program; she
knows its significance in connecting Canadians, especially through their
public library. Kae has encouraged young CAP staff to capture
statistics as well as wonderful anecdotal evidence for CAP reports of
how computer access at public libraries has changed lives.
Mentored by Kae, some CAP staff have also advocated for CAP funding
directly to local MPs, an opportunity that few young people rarely
Elgie has furthered excellence in serving the needs of rural
communities in Waterloo Region through the projects that her mentees
have undertaken. Hundreds of community members received computer
training; staff learned tips on using new online research tools; an
analysis of community demographics helped with understanding the
changing Waterloo Region community; links were made with the small
business community; and computer training has increased confidence and
skills in many users, particularly seniors.
In addition to hiring and mentoring at RWL, Elgie has shared her
enthusiasm for librarianship in other ways. She taught the Public
Libraries course at Faculty of Information & Media Studies at
University of Western Ontario, presented sessions at library
conferences, and has also been a mentor of young librarians through
library associations’ mentoring programs.
Elgie is a strong advocate for the profession of librarianship.
She sincerely enjoys working with and mentoring young people,
particularly library school students and graduates, and gives them
valuable work experience and support to further their careers. She
acts as references for them and keeps in touch with them. She
infuses them with an enthusiasm for librarianship and its many
possibilities: Kae is a firm believer that public libraries make a
difference. She encourages and mentors library staff and students
through her example and dedication to the profession.
Elgie’s passionate commitment to mentoring has provided
countless numbers of university students and recent MLIS graduates with
valuable experience and support to further their careers.
The CLA / Alan MacDonald Mentorship Award will be presented at the
CLA Closing Ceremonies, to be held Saturday, 2 June during the CLA 2012
National Conference and Trade Show at the Ottawa Convention Centre in
The Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des
bibliothèques is Canada’s largest national and broad-based
library association, representing the interests of public, academic,
school and special libraries, professional librarians and library
workers, and all those concerned about enhancing the quality of life of
Canadians through information and literacy.
- 30 -
Media Contact: Vera Keown, Chair, CLA/Alan MacDonald Mentorship Award