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.

Note: The W.J Robertston Medallion (Public Librarian of the Year) is presented by the Ontario Library Boards' Association to a public librarian who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of public library service in Ontario. 

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 

2019 Award Recipient


 Patricia Symon

Bruce County Public Library Board
Patricia is a force and an inspiration to Bruce County Public Library's board. For the past two years, Patricia's passion for libraries comes through in her advocacy. As current CEO, I continue to see how she believes strongly in the contributions and connections that libraries make in their communities. Patricia's quick wit makes her a joy to work with on the board. Her wealth of experience continues to educate both new and continuing board members. Nicole Charles, Bruce County Public Library

2018 Award Recipient


Shelagh Harris

Richmond Hill Public Library Board
Shelagh Harris has served on Richmond Hill Public Library Board for nearly 20 years. She served as Board Chair from 1999 to 2007, a period of extensive growth for the library, including opening Richmond Green Branch, a joint facility between the library and the York Region District School Board. Shelagh is an inspiration to her fellow Board members, setting a fine example of commitment , engagement and responsibility, faithfully attending meetings and contributing informed discussion.  She encourages her fellow trustees to support the OLBA, and promotes the SuperConference offerings annually.  She is unfailingly eloquent when called upon to advocate for libraries as community hubs, as well as their role in cultural development, and has advanced partnerships with service groups that have enhanced library offerings. She truly deserves recognition as a exceptional Board member. Louise Procter Maio, Richmond Hill Public Library