Leslie Weir honoured with OCUL Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Posted on: 17 October 2018
  • By: Anika

Toronto, October 17, 2018 –  The Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) is pleased to recognize the leadership and exemplary career achievements of Leslie Weir through the OCUL Lifetime Achievement Award.


OCUL Lifetime Achievement Awardee Leslie Weir with OCUL Directors. Left to right; Karen Keiler, Larry Alford, Leslie Weir, Vivian Lewis
OCUL Lifetime Achievement Awardee Leslie Weir with OCUL Directors. Left to right; Karen Keiller, Larry Alford, Leslie Weir, Vivian Lewis

Following her early career at the National Library of Canada and the Statistics Canada Library, Weir joined the University of Ottawa library where she went on to hold the positions of Associate University Librarian and then University Librarian from 2002 to 2018. As University Librarian, Weir oversaw the first strategic plan for the library and championed the library as a key strategic partner within the University. She was also instrumental in establishing the University of Ottawa’s bilingual School of Information Studies (ÉSIS). Her mentorship and support of the next generation of librarians continued through her teaching at the School.
Weir has made a significant contribution to OCUL during her three terms as University Librarian at the University of Ottawa, not the least of which being her seminal role in the establishment of Scholars Portal in 2002, the technological service arm of OCUL. She served as Chair of the Scholars Portal Operations and Development Committee (SPOD) from its inception until 2010 and was OCUL Chair from 2010 to 2012.
Speaking of this contribution, University of Toronto Chief Librarian, Larry Alford, explained, “She understood in those early years both the power of collaboration and the growing importance of technology coupled with the power of the web to revolutionize information.  She knew that Ontario’s libraries could only leverage that power by working together.” 
Her contribution to the Ontario library community continued with her term as President of the Ontario Library Association in 2017, and nationally as the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) President from 2007 to 2009.
As President of Canadiana.org from 2012 to 2016, Weir oversaw the introduction of the Heritage Project, in collaboration with Library and Archives Canada, to digitize and make openly accessible some 60 million heritage archival images and launched the discussion with the Canadian Research Knowledge Network about a possible merger.
Her leadership and strategic vision were also evident as one of the founders of CRKN, the Canadian Research Knowledge Network and as a member of the preceding Canadian National Site License Project (CNSLP) Steering Committee. She served on the Board of CRKN from 2001 to 2009 and again from 2011 to 2015.
Internationally she has served on the board of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), the board of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the board of the Council of Library and Information Resources. Weir has also been active in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
Universally respected for her strategic vision and leadership, Weir’s tenacity and her ongoing encouragement and support of colleagues exemplify what it is to be a library leader in a rapidly evolving information landscape. In 2015 she received the Canadian Library Association Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship, and the CRKN Ron MacDonald Distinguished Service Award in 2016.
“Libraries in Ontario and right across the country have benefited enormously from Leslie’s vision combined with her willingness to devote time and hard work to the many challenges and transitions over the past decades,” said Wayne Jones, Carleton University Librarian and Chair of OCUL.
OCUL would like to recognize, congratulate and thank Leslie Weir for her contribution to librarianship in Ontario and beyond.



About the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL)
OCUL is a consortium of Ontario’s 21 university libraries. Its strength lies in its commitment to work together to maximize collective expertise and resources. OCUL enhances information services in Ontario and beyond through collective purchasing and shared digital information infrastructure, collaborative planning, advocacy, assessment, research, partnerships, communications, and professional development.
For further information contact John Barnett, OCUL Executive Director
E: john.barnett [at] ocul.on.ca  P: 416-946-0578