James Bain Medallion

The James Bain Medallion is awarded to a library board member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in governing a public library in Ontario.  This annual province wide award recognizes and honours the best contributions and efforts of board members who govern public libraries. James Bain was the first President of the Ontario Library Association in 1901 and Chief Librarian of the Toronto Public Library.

To apply: Complete the online nomination form by November 1
For questions or more information, contact awards@accessola.com

To view more information on eligibility and nomination procedures
To view past recipients 

2017 Award Recipient


 Donald Lynch

Six Nations Public Library Board

Don joined the Six Nations Public Library Board in 2007 during a time of flux. The library was without a CEO and needed to do a considerable amount of work before it could do any hiring. Within a matter of months Don, although new to library governance, became Chair. During his tenure, all policies for the library building were developed, a CEO was hired, and within three years, Six Nations became the first First Nation Public Library to become accredited. Don didn't just focus on his own library though; he dove into the library world. He is a regular face at OLA and the Trustee Boot Camp. Don reaches out to new trustees to ensure they understand their roles with respect to fiduciary oversight and governance, and ensure they have access to the resources they need. Don's leadership and passion for the values of inclusion and collective responsibility are truly an inspiration to all of us: Don believes our governments, politicians, and library organizations can change in his lifetime, if we all stand up together. Alexandra Yarrow, OPLA President 2016

2016 Award Recipient


Gary Price

Cambridge Public Library Board / Idea Exchange

As a forward thinking, progressive board member our winner has embraced the library as a community hub that engages families with hands on STEM learning, provides Third Age Learning programs for active seniors, and offers an abundance of cultural programs to all citizens of Cambridge. As a long serving City Councillor, Gary knows what motivates and inspires civic leaders. As Chair of the City’s Budget Task Force, he argued against funding cuts for the Library. When key funding issues arose, he made sure that Councillors came to the Library to see for themselves the community needs for enhanced service. Proof of his success is that each time that happened, Councillors agreed to the funding requests. Recently, the CEO of a neighbouring public library asked for help in getting his message heard by civic leaders. Gary stepped forward and provided him with specific strategies to use that the civic leaders would respond to. It’s an example of how generous he is with his time and his wealth of knowledge. His willingness to step forward and make bold decisions, experience, advocacy for the library, and relationships with key community stakeholders are all admirable qualities. OLBA Council and Awards' Committee