Please join us in congratulating Kent Weaver, an academic librarian in Information Technology Services in the John P. Robarts Research Library at the University of Toronto who has been awarded the Distinguished Librarians Award by CAUT. This is the first time a librarian from our institution has won this award. Here is a statement from CAUT about our colleague:
“The Academic Librarians Distinguished Service Award was established in 1994 in order to recognize outstanding contributions by academic librarians or other academic staff to the advancement of the status and/or working conditions of academic librarians at Canadian universities and colleges. The CAUT Librarians Committee recommends that this significant and prestigious award be given to Kent Weaver from the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA).
Kent has been a member of UTFA since the University of Toronto librarians joined UTFA in 1978. With his colleagues he worked to write the first librarians policy governing working terms and conditions. From that time on, Kent continued to be very involved with UTFA having served as the librarian representative on the UTFA Council, the VP University and External Affairs and will be next year’s Chief Electoral Officer. He has also served on UTFA’s Grievance, Membership and University and External Affairs committees.
He has represented UTFA at CAUT Council and at the OCUFA Board of Directors. His contribution at the provincial level included his membership on the OCUFA ad hoc Communications Committee.
Nationally, Kent has been a member of the CAUT Librarians Committee and its Chair overseeing a period in which definitive Policy Statements around issues of library governance were developed. Under his leadership the committee shifted the focus of CAUT Librarians Conferences to the substantive issues of bargaining for and by librarians. The conversations and initiatives sparked by these developments continue to reverberate on the CAUTLib listserv and at many bargaining tables.
In 2008-2009 Kent undertook along with Dr. Toni Samek (UofA), at both professional and personal risk, the first CAUT investigation into issues of academic freedom for librarians. Although the report of the Ad Hoc Investigatory Committee into the Situation of Academic Librarians at McGill remains confidential, its impact was such that following the threat of censure (again a first in that it was prompted by librarians issues) librarians at McGill now indicate there have been “certain improvements in our situation” and “the establishment of a collegial process aimed at addressing our remaining concerns.”
This watershed event for Canadian academic librarians and Kent’s “national leadership in advocacy for the importance of academic librarians to the academic enterprise” was recognized by the Canadian Library Association which in 2010 bestowed upon him their Award for the Advancement of Intellectual Freedom in Canada.
His local association and colleagues from across the entire country all attest to Kent’s unwavering dedication to promoting and protecting the academic library community. This is perhaps best reflected in the assessment that he “has been on the front-lines of all kinds of trouble.”
For that trouble, and the national change it has provoked, the Librarians Committee is pleased to forward Kent Weaver’s name to this Council as the recipient of the CAUT Academic Librarians’ Distinguished Service Award.”