Important dates

Nominations are now closed. Thank you to all those who made a submission.


These awards pertain to library services, which are defined as library activities and resources that provide a direct benefit to the public.

Examples of a library service include:

  • collections for borrowing
  • programs for the public
  • outreach

Examples of library activities that are not a service include:

  • internal support functions such as fundraising
  • public relations/marketing

A maximum of four awards may be granted.

Awards are granted to the board of the library or system delivering the service being recognized.

Winning library boards deliver services in a coordinated and planned manner that is responsive to community needs. The service under consideration for an award should respond to documented community needs.

Information about the library service being nominated may be shared freely with other libraries.

Award nominees agree to allow Public Library Services Branch (PLSB) to publicly announce and share information about the service which has been nominated, including submitted photos and photos of the winners with their awards.


Awards are open to all public and system library boards in Alberta.

Nominated library boards must be compliant with current legislation.

How to nominate

Library boards can apply or be nominated for the Minister’s Awards.

Step 1. Read the full award rules

2020 Minister's Awards for Excellence in Public Library Service Award Rules (PDF, 134 KB)

Step 2. Complete the nomination package

Fill out the Nomination form included in the 2020 Minister's Awards for Excellence in Public Library Service Award Nomination Package (DOCX, 58 KB).

Include the following documents in your application package:

  • 2020 nomination form
  • answers to the Critical Information questions listed on the nomination form
  • any other supplementary documents or images you may wish to provide

Step 3. Submit the nomination package

Nomination packages are accepted in electronic format.

Please email your completed nomination package to the Public Library Services Branch at [email protected] with the subject line “Minister’s Awards Nomination”.

Once the nomination is received, confirmation of receipt will be sent to the nominator.

After you apply

Nominations will be considered for a Minister’s Award if the services the nominations are based on have been substantially and successfully completed or implemented. Evidence should indicate that the service has achieved its desired outcomes.

Adjudication of the Minister’s Awards will be by a jury of staff selected from and/or by PLSB.

Adjudication will be objective and impartial, with quantified scoring and evaluation of submissions.

Selection criteria will include:

  • quality of service delivered
  • quality of planning
  • fit of service with community needs

Award recipients

Each recipient will receive:

  • a sculpture and certificate
  • recognition by the Minister, or his designate
  • presentation of the award at the Alberta Library Conference in Jasper

Recent recipients


City of Camrose Library Board for their Snacks in the Stacks Program

Snacks in the Stacks offers a wide array of healthy food choices to kids who come to the library after-school. Camrose Public Library works with Alberta Health Services to ensure the snacks are in line with the Canada Food Guide and has partnered with University of Alberta students at the Augustana campus to help serve the snacks. The program has reached an amazing 6,400 kids so far and an average of 26 children benefit from it every day. The program helps families living with food insecurity, creates a welcoming environment for kids and teens in the library, and promotes healthy eating and lifestyle choices.

Town of Carstairs Library Board for their Annual Parenting Fair

Carstairs has many families with young children and the library identified a need to highlight and make parents aware of all the community supports available to them. The library created and hosts an annual night where local groups have on-site booths and share information with parents. In the 6 years that it has been hosting the Parenting Fair, the Carstairs Library has partnered with nearly 60 organizations. These range from Parent Link and Family and Community Support Services centres to Scouts Troops and Judo Clubs as well as local small businesses. The public library brought them all together.

Town of Morinville Library Board for their Indigenous Canada Learning Circle (also recipient of the 2018 YOU Libraries award)

The Indigenous Canada Learning Circle leveraged the University of Alberta’s Massively Open Online Course called 'Indigenous Canada' and made it available to anyone at the Morinville Public Library. Using a learning circle format, the Morinville Library gave people a safe place to learn and work through information about Indigenous and Canadian history as well as discuss their opinions and questions around the important and complex issue of reconciliation. The series of weekly programs at the library as well as online material, reached a staggering 135,000 people.

Parkland County Library Board for their Wi-Fi Hotspots Program

The Wi-Fi Hotspots Lending Program provides internet access to individuals or households in Parkland County who have limited internet or cannot afford internet. This program partnered with TELUS – who have donated 8 smart hubs with unlimited data to 4 library sites. Each library also has a lendable Chromebook for patrons to borrow. The library stated in its application, “The Wi-Fi Hotspots Lending Program is innovative as it provides something that many residents may take for granted – access to the internet. In the digital age, this is an essential and valuable service. This service fosters an enjoyment of technology and an increase in digital literacy skills for all ages.”

Past recipients

Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Library Service – Previous recipients


Connect with the Public Library Services Branch:

Phone: 780-427-4871
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

803, 10405 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4R7

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