The Mississippi Mills Public Library (MMPL) took home several impressive awards at the annual Public Library Awards gala, held last week in Toronto in conjunction with the Ontario Library Association Super Conference 2024.
Christine Row, CEO of the MMPL, received the W.J. Robertson Medallion for Public Librarian of the Year.
Awarded to a public librarian who demonstrates outstanding leadership, this provincial award recognizes and honours significant top contributions to the library profession. In her acceptance speech, Row described how libraries emerged as essential community hubs after facing the challenges of the Covid years.
“When it became apparent in Mississippi Mills that children were experiencing significant learning loss through the closures, teachers reached out to us for help,” Row explained. “Seniors flocked to the library looking to connect online with loved ones. The library continues to be where people come to keep warm and cool, to learn and to connect. It’s a place that builds community, combats loneliness and celebrates every person.”
At the same awards gala, MMPL received the Angus Mowat Award of Excellence for spearheading the Lanark County Libraries’ Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program for youth aged eight to 17. In November 2023, Row was awarded the 2023 Lanark County Award of Excellence for the Lanark Libraries STEM program, and now, provincially, this innovative and collaborative program is recognized. Thanks to funding from the Elizabeth Kelly Foundation and Lanark County, the STEM workshops will run again in all Lanark County libraries throughout the summer of 2024.
Finally, MMPL received its latest Provincial Certificate of Accreditation – as one of only 36 libraries to meet the conditions set by the Ontario Public Library Guidelines Monitoring and Accreditation Council. Ontario has approximately 260 public libraries and so this certificate is a significant achievement. MMPL has twice met and exceeded the guidelines.
Mississippi Mills Public Library has branches in Almonte and Pakenham. The library’s website, catalogue and current programs are at www.missmillslibrary.com. You can also join their e-newsletter and follow the library on Facebook. The library’s mission is to inspire lifelong learning, provide equitable access to information, advance knowledge and strengthen our community.