OPLA Lifetime Achievement Award

The Ontario Public Library Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a library staff member who has given life long service to the profession and has contributed significantly to the growth and innovation of public libraries in Ontario. The President of the Ontario Public Library Association presents the award at the annual Public Library Awards Gala held at the Ontario Library Association’s annual Super Conference.

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


Susan Downs

Innisfil IdeaLAB & Library
There is no one who better exemplifies a lifetime dedicated to providing the best possible library service than Susan Downs. With her passion for our library, our community, and the library world, she has challenged us to examine what our communities need from our libraries now and to thrive in the future. Her vision, leadership and intrepid approach to challenges have made the Innisfil ideaLAB & Library a lodestar in the industry.Her curiosity, willingness to experiment, and ability to learn from glorious failures have created a strong and constantly evolving library system. This fearlessness has made Susan a leader in her field; sharing guidance to libraries across Canada, the United States and Europe. An early adopter of the makerspace trend; Susan embraced the hacker ethic and created a model for makerspaces in libraries. Her heart, kindness, and empathy allow Susan to forge powerful connections with staff, stakeholders and the community. Her boundless energy, strength of character and ability to see potential inspire a collaborative team that shares their Chief Librarian's delight in its role of creating a library that embraces challenges, champions our vision and strengthens our community. Jayne Asseltine, Innisfil IdeaLAB & Library

2018 Award Recipient


Susanna Hubbard Krimmer

London Public Library
Susanna's vision for libraries extends beyond traditional library services and includes the enhancement and expansion of library services to all areas and users in the community - in an effort to serve identified community needs.  Susanna recognizes the need for libraries to be innovative in their use of tools and information to achieve great results for users. Susanna's strong grasp of industry standards and her participation in province-wide committees (former President, OLA) and associations have inspired the progressive direction of London Public Library and by extension, libraries across the province.  Susanna takes the time to develop other leaders in the library community, taking the time to engage coworkers, fellow colleagues and the community. Scott Courtice, London Public Library Board