The OLBA W.J. Robertson Medallion

The W.J. Robertson Medallion 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.

William John Robertson was a founding member of the Ontario Library Association. The thirty three "originals" that established the first constitution at the first Annual meeting of the Association in April, 1901, were a very distinguished and active group and W.J. Robertson was among the most prominent.

Robertson became the fourth President of the Association in 1905 - the first trustee to be elected into the position. Robertson was twice chair of the St. Catharines Free Library Board.

This provincial award recognizes and honours significant contributions to the library profession. The President of the Ontario Library Boards Association presents the medallion at the annual Public Library Awards dinner held in conjunction with the Ontario Library Association’s annual Super Conference.

To apply: Complete the online nomination form by November 1
For questions or more information, contact

To view more information on eligibility and nomination procedures
To view past recipients
2018 Award Recipient


Catherine Biss 

Markham Public Library
Under Catherine’s leadership, Markham Public Library has grown from a decentralized system of branches to an award-winning sophisticated urban library.  Catherine’s vision for innovative and collaborative library service has resulted in a number of innovations at Markham Public Library, focused on customer experience and community engagement. A former chair of CULC and the current chair of CELA, Catherine has served on numerous boards and professional committees. Her work with NELI as a professional mentor has inspired new generations of leaders, as has her internal leadership of her own staff. Michelle Sawh and Andrea Cecchetto, Markham Public Library

2017 Award Recipient


 Karen DeLuca

Arnprior Public Library
Karen is a dynamic and energetic person who always has some new initiative that she is striving to incorporate to the many services already available at the Arnprior Public Library. Karen has created community partnerships in order to complete her initiatives, from service clubs to the recent iPod project with the Grove Nursing Home. Her staff are encouraged to think outside of the box and to bring forward new ideas - nothing is too daunting for Karen to accomplish. Our patrons always give Karen high praise - she has made our Library the community hub for Arnprior and the surrounding communities. Maureen Sly-Havey, Board Chair, Arnprior Public Library Board