Chief Librarian Recognized for National Contributions

April 21, 2010 - News Release

University of Guelph chief librarian Mike Ridley has been named the 2010 Miles Blackwell Outstanding Academic Librarian by the Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliotheques and the Canadian Association of College and University Libraries (CACUL).

The prestigious award is presented to an individual who has made significant national or international contributions to academic librarianship and library development.

Mike Ridley“I am overwhelmed and delighted by this tremendous honour from my colleagues,” says Ridley, who also serves as U of G’s chief information officer. “Librarianship is a highly collaborative field; we build on the strengths of each other every day. I am able to contribute because of the fabulous professionals I work with at Guelph and across the country.”

Ridley was recognized for his work in leading a number of groundbreaking initiatives in the Canadian library community. He was the first to propose the development of the Ontario Digital Library, now implemented as Knowledge Ontario. Knowledge Ontario is a collaboration of libraries, cultural heritage organizations and educational institutions that gives all Ontarians access to online licensed electronic sources.

He was a driving force behind the establishment of the TriUniversity Group of Libraries, which is a unique administrative co-operation among the University of Guelph, Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo. The partnership allows for an integrated online library system and a collaboration of information resources and service development among the three universities.

Here on campus, Ridley was instrumental in developing U of G’s unique Learning Commons. Located on the first floor of the McLaughlin Building, the Learning Commons brings together services that support students in their learning, writing, research, numeracy and use of technology.

Ridley has also served the library profession through his work with several prominent institutions.

While working with the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, he helped build knowledge infrastructure and foster an internationally competitive research environment in Canada. He is a former president of the Ontario Library Association and the Canadian Association of Information Science, and served with the Canadian Association of Research Libraries and the Ontario Council of University Libraries. He also forged connections between libraries and information technology communities through his work with the Canadian University Council of Chief Information Officers.

The Blackwell award will be presented to Ridley at the CACUL annual general meeting June 4.

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University of Guelph
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