Presentation of the Galler Award to Christine Jacobs

ImageOn behalf of the Awards Committee – Maria Morales, Lisa Milner and myself - it is an absolute pleasure to announce the recipient of this year’s Anne Galler Award ... Ms Christine Jacobs.

Our association created this award many years ago, as a means to recognize an individual who has enriched librarianship in Quebec and made a lasting contribution to the profession. Specifically, this award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated achievement in:

  1. Significant leadership role in the Quebec library community;
  2. Exemplary career performance, serving as a model for colleagues in the library profession; and
  3. Contributions to professional and/or scholarly activities, including ABQLA.

I will now call upon Linda Toivanen, a colleague of Christine’s at John Abbott College, to help present the award:

Linda: Good evening.

It is with pleasure that I relate to you some of the contributions Christine Jacobs has made to librarianship. She has a very extensive and impressive resume and will now have more accolades to add to it! I am gong to start you off with what I know about MLS Christine.

In 1996 Christine joined the teaching staff full time at John Abbott College (JAC) where she continues to teach in the Information and Library Technologies (ILT) program. The ILT program is two or three years long and graduates library technicians. During her first years at the College Christine helped to redesign the ILT program and create new courses structured to transition learning to a competency and abilities based curriculum. Christine is recognized within the College as an expert in competency based curriculum. Many libraries in Montreal and around Quebec have Christine to thank for their confident and skilled JAC library technicians!

For all the years Christine has been at JAC she has either chaired or co-chaired the ILT department. Always a very knowledgeable and understanding leader Christine is a role model, collaborator and mentor for staff, both within and outside the Department. She is always gracious with her advice and leads with integrity.

Christine’s resume tells you how she continues to work professionally as a librarian outside the College and that she updates herself on new developments and technologies so she can be ever better in her career. Her resume doesn’t say anything about the infinite patience and care she takes with every student that comes through her door. I share an office with Christine and I will tell you. ILT students are of varying ages, backgrounds and abilities and she listens to understand them and their circumstance. She then works to make it possible for each individual student to attain their goals. In 2003 she instituted an ILT Peer Training Program, just one example of her "going to bat" for student success. She has, tacked to her bulletin board, a dozen JAC Special Teacher certificates awarded to her by ILT students .

In 2007 Christine was nominated for the Association of Canadian Colleges Teaching Excellence Award. Such is the regard and respect her students and colleagues have for her.

Even when on a much deserved sabbatical from the College, Christine continued to contribute professionally, but this time from half a world away. In 2007 she spent time in Ghana working at the Temale Institute of cross-cultural studies where she provided training in library software and database enhancement. At an elementary school library, also in Ghana, she delivered professional staff training programs and led by example. Each year, since her Ghana visit, Christine organizes a used-book sale at John Abbott to benefit this library.

This is what I know of Christine. There is so much more detail that could be added about the contribution she has made to our profession. After obtaining her MLS from McGill in 1983 she pursued her interest in indexing and abstracting starting her own company CM Jacobs Information Management Services which she still runs today.

Before joining the College her work at the National Film Board in film indexing was widely recognized. She served as a part-time instructor in the library studies program at Concordia teaching indexing. She continues to publish professionally, present workshops and papers at Canadian and International conferences and is a long standing contributing member in a number of professional organizations.

Christine has been a mentor in the McGill School of Information Studies Mentorship Program, she has been a member of ALA Accreditation committees on several occasions and she makes time for local community service work.

I think of Christine Jacobs as one or our professions ‘unsung heroes’ and am so pleased to see her recognized with this year’s Anne Galler Award for Outstanding Library Service. Congratulations Christine!

Sincerely submitted by Linda J. Toivanen, MLS


I would like to add briefly to the accolades that Linda has so eloquently mentioned…

Christine has also performed a number of meaningful volunteer activities throughout her career. I would like to highlight one in particular as it has had substantial impact on our profession.

The annual, collaborative CODE fundraiser, is a highly-anticipated tradition in Montreal’s library community, that has taken place for close to 30 years.

CODE’s aim is to promote literacy and education in the developing world. In several countries in Africa and the Caribbean, the organization works to empower students and teachers through accessibility to books, educational training, volunteer support, and community partnerships.

Since 1995, this fundraiser has contributed more than $45,000 to CODE, with over $160,000 in donations raised through other organizations that match or leverage the initial contribution.

Serving as the ECC, SLA rep, Christine helped to coordinate the annual CODE fundraiser from 1994-1998 during Anne Galler’s tenure on this organizational committee . Since this time, she has continued to play a role in this philanthropic event by volunteering her time, along side Linda, selling products from Dix Milles Village and donating a portion of the sales to this worthy cause.  She was so passionate about this work, that in 2008, as Linda mentioned, she travelled to Ghana for two months.

Christine’s longstanding dedication and tireless efforts for our profession, should serve as an inspirational role model to students and fellow colleagues.

So – on behalf of the Anne Galler Awards Committee, please join me in congratulating Ms Christine Jacobs who is the recipient of this year’s award.