2016 Urban Leader Award Winner
The Urban Libraries Council (ULC) is pleased to present Mayor Don Iveson of Edmonton, Alberta in Canada with the 2016 Urban Leader Award in recognition of his work to ensure that Edmonton Public Library (EPL) is a key player in citywide initiatives and support critical library capital and fundraising projects initiatives.
Mayor Don Iveson understands that libraries are vital to the community and served on EPL’s Board of Trustees for six years during his time on the City Council. A vocal supporter of library services, Mayor Iveson also voted in favor of needed EPL capital projects, including the rehabilitation of EPL facilities and the construction of new buildings in underserved areas of Edmonton. With his help, the City Council approved nearly $100 million in funding for EPL, leading the way to award-winning, iconic new libraries throughout the city. He was also a critical advocate for the City Council’s approval of a $62.5 million budget for the rehabilitation of the Stanley A. Milner Library. Mayor Iveson also offers his time and connections to help raise money for EPL fundraising initiatives, including calling on Edmonton’s development community to “Complete the Fleet” and raise the final $100,000 needed for EPL's Literacy Vans.
With his support, EPL is a key player in city-wide initiatives including leadership committees focused on ending homelessness and poverty in Edmonton, advocating for Indigenous Peoples and inaugurating 2015 as the "Year of Reconciliation," and establishing Edmonton as a Learning City. Recognizing the critical role public libraries play in providing essential learning opportunities to all Edmontonians, Mayor Iveson recommended EPL as the home for the City of Learners initiative, which seeks to create an ecosystem of lifelong learning in the community. When EPL was ready to launch the initiative to the public, not only did he attend the event and bring media, but he also participated in the learning demonstrations and shared three new skills he planned to learn in 2016, encouraging Edmontonians to do the same.