Children's or Youth Services Librarian of the Year Award

The Children's or Youth Services Librarian of the Year Award (formerly called Children’s Librarian of the Year award, and prior to that the Children's Services Merit Award) is given to honour a children's librarian who has made a positive impact on children's or youth services librarianship.

To apply: Complete the online nomination form by March 15 each year. 
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2019 Award Recipient


Alison Yntema 

Oshawa Public Library

Alison Yntema is a quintessential librarian, showcasing the public library as a great equalizer and source of empowerment. Her empathetic and professional approach to all is appreciated by customers, the community, and her colleagues. A true champion for children’s library services, Alison consistently gains the trust and affection of children, their parents, educators, and organizational partners. She is an enthusiastic supporter of the “Battle of the Books” program in Durham Region, taking a lead role in the planning and delivery for both primary and high school students. An early initiative of Alison’s is our Home School Club which she developed several years ago. This program provides networking and support opportunities for both parent-teachers and their home-schooled children. Alison is always generous with her talents, sharing her professional, customer service, and technological skills with her colleagues. She provides and/or arranges support for children’s outreach events at all 4 library branches, regularly taking the lead on annual community events. Alison is a member of the Durham Region Welcome to Kindergarten Committee, and has worked with the Coalition for Action against Bullying for Durham Region, promoting anti-bullying, including the Pink Shirt campaign.  A tireless advocate for children and youth library services, Alison is a most worthy recipient of this award. Ellen Stroud, Director, Service Design & Delivery

2018 Award Recipient


Kelley England

King Township Public Library

Kelley England is a dynamic leader in Children and Youth in Ontario. As the Manager of Children and Youth Services at the King Township Public Library, Kelley is a key member of the leadership team. She continues to improve the calibre of programming for her young audience which includes STEAM-based programming. Kelley also serves as an excellent ambassador for library services through her vigorous outreach and engagement with community partners. She works very closely with Township Parks, Recreation and Culture staff to engage not only children, but also teens, and is a facilitator for the local Mayor's Youth Action Team. Through these efforts she consistently raises awareness of the value of library service, all the while encouraging and modelling a culture of life-long learning to children, teens, educators and parents alike. Her contributions to the profession, including serving on the Child and Youth Services and Child and Youth Expo committees, as well as her "day job", being a Children and Youth Services Manager in a multi-branch library system, highlight her dedication to the field and demonstrate that Child and Youth Services is a rewarding career choice with endless opportunities to both grow and inspire growth. Rona O'Banion, CEO, King Township Public Library

2017 Award Recipient


Julie Brandl

London Public Library

Julie's passion for children's and youth services is infectious and her commitment to the field is extraordinary. The total number of years combined that she has served on Children's and Youth Services committees in our library system, our city, and beyond is 68 years. This includes serving on committees at Child Reach, London Festival of Trees, CYSC at LPL, TVNNELP, the Early Years, Family Centres, the Child and Youth Network, London's Healthy Kids Community Challenge, and many more. She has an amazing ability to connect with her colleagues, with the students she teaches, with community partners, with parents, and of course, with children. Julie has taught me so much about children's and youth services and how important these are for healthy and happy communities, she has led by example by always going above and beyond, she has exemplified true compassion for children and youth in our community through her unwavering commitment and genuine emotion, and she has given myself and many others the confidence we needed to sing in front of a room full of children or speak in front of a group of parents. Julie is such an inspiration. Megan Paquette, London Public Library