On Feb. 1, the Ontario Library Association named Markham Public Library CEO Catherine Biss as librarian of the year. The W.J. Robertson Medallion is awarded to a librarian who demonstrates outstanding leadership in the advancement of public library service in Ontario.

Bliss began her career at the local library in 1996 and has been CEO since 2002.

“Catherine has helped revolutionize and digitize literacy in Markham,” says Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Over the years, I have had the privilege of working with her and learning from her. Congratulations on this outstanding achievement in excellence. I cannot wait to see where she takes the Markham Public Library next.”

Bliss has been part of the national library landscape for many years, serving as chairperson of the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (2012 and 2013) and, currently, as chairperson for the Centre of Equitable Library Service, where she advocates on behalf of those with print disabilities. She also actively supports leadership development in her mentorship of aspiring library leaders.

Photo: Catherine Biss, Markham Public Library CEO.