Eric Stackhouse, Chief Librarian of the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, has been named the 2006 recipient of the Norman Horrocks Award for Library Leadership. The award was presented on September 30, during the annual conference of the Nova Scotia Library Association.
The award was established to honour leadership in the Nova Scotia library community and is given by the Nova Scotia Library Association for distinguished contributions to the promotion and development of library service in the province. The award is named for Dr. Norman Horrocks, an Officer of the Order of Canada and Professor Emeritus at the Dalhousie University School of Information Management. Dr. Horrocks is an internationally known library educator, writer and editor.
Eric Stackhouse is an innovator and risk-taker, who has consistently shown creativity and leadership in the public library community and beyond. His fearless management style and willingness to think “outside the box” have resulted in major improvements in his own library system, the communities in his region, and in libraries throughout the province.
His belief in the power of information technology to transform communities has led him to take leadership roles within the Community Access Program and other technology-related initiatives. He is presently Chair of the Nova Scotia CAP Association and has represented Nova Scotia on national CAP bodies. He is also Chair of the Nova Scotia Digital Collections Initiative, a multi-sector group dedicated to adding Nova Scotia content to the Web. In 2003, he organized an Innovation and CAP Summit which brought together IT innovators from across Canada for an intensive three-day meeting. In addition, he has partnered with Service Nova Scotia to develop the Business Room, a web-based information portal of information for the business community.
Stackhouse has made his library an agent for community development in Pictou and Antigonish counties. Under his leadership, several of his library branches have been renovated and expanded, and the branch in River John has a whole new facility, an outstanding example of what can be accomplished through community effort in a very rural area. A new development project he champions concerns the effective development of public spaces, and a workshop he has organized on the topic for municipalities, libraries and government officials has just been held. His partnership with the RCMP has resulted in the award-winning Adopt-a-Library literacy program which offers incentives for youth to improve their literacy skills through use of the library.
Stackhouse is a sought-after speaker and has presented several times at Canadian Library Association Conferences. In 2005 he was invited to give the keynote address at the Library Association of Ireland’s National Conference on Innovation. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and received his Masters of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Western Ontario. Prior to joining the staff at Pictou-Antigonish in 1997, he was employed at Eastern Counties Regional Library and London (Ont.) Public Library as well as the Harriet Irving Library at the University of New Brunswick.
His focus on working with individuals and communities to show what public libraries can really accomplish has resulted in a number of awards both for him and for the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library. These include the Canada Post Literacy Award for Community Leadership, the Random House of Canada Friends of the Year Award, the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce Technology Achievement Award and three Industry Canada LibraryNet Best Practices awards.
For further information contact:
Trudy Amirault, Chair
Horrocks Award Committee