CALGARY March 18, 2022 —The Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL) is pleased to recognize Brenda Smith of Thompson Rivers University with its 2022 Outstanding Contribution Award. This award, which may be given annually to an individual or team working in a member library, recognizes exemplary contributions to the consortium. These contributions should enhance service in multiple COPPUL libraries and have an impact throughout the region.
Ms. Smith was awarded for contributions in the area of resource sharing, in particular for her leadership role in bringing the resource sharing community together through her work as chair of the COPPUL ILL Working Group during the 2000s, and again as the co-chair of the COPPUL Resource Sharing Community until 2021. As noted by CJ de Jong, Brenda’s “commitment to the resource sharing community has been exceptional with no other individual stepping up like she has.” During Brenda's leadership role of the COPPUL ILL Working Group, the national resource sharing agreement with the other regional consortia (OCUL, CAUL, and BCI, nee CREPUQ) was established in support of COPPUL's strategic goals. The national resource sharing agreement facilitated processes and reduced fees related to the sharing of library materials between academic libraries within Canada. It also established the commitment of interoperability between ILL systems across the country that ensured that all the aforementioned consortia maintained the ability to communicate effectively through ILL systems between each other.
Brenda was also instrumental in developing COPPUL’s ILL Policies and Procedures to ensure everyone had a reference point for resource sharing as a COPPUL member. This document was used for many years and when it was reviewed a few years ago, Brenda was once again instrumental in providing important input. As co-chair of the Resource Sharing Community, Brenda provided access to all past documentation from the COPPUL ILL Working Group, which will provide value as a historical resource to COPPUL. When establishing the Resource Sharing Community, Brenda always worked hard to achieve the group's goals, providing a strong voice for building community, and showing great commitment to resource sharing. With all the groundwork she has contributed to COPPUL’s Resource Sharing Community, COPPUL resource sharing has been set up for success and will continue to flourish for years to come.
As noted by Jean Blackburn, Vancouver Island University “Brenda is a superlative librarian whose advocacy and leadership in the areas of resource sharing, information literacy and open education have contributed hugely to COPPUL and its members… It is impossible to quantify the extent of the benefits realized by the higher education community as a result of Brenda’s foundational work in this area.”