University celebrates contributions of influential librarian, Margaret Macdonald, with honorary degree

The University of Lethbridge is proud to celebrate the contributions of Margaret (Maggie) Macdonald, an influential member of the Alberta library community, by presenting her with an honorary degree at the 2018 Spring Convocation ceremonies.

Macdonald’s vision allowed the Chinook Arch Regional Library System to become a technology leader in the delivery of library services, allowing many small rural libraries to offer services usually only available in larger centres.

“Margaret Macdonald has had a profound influence on rural literacy in our province and long been a leader in using technology to enhance library services,” says U of L Chancellor Janice Varzari. “We’re excited to highlight her important work and pleased she has accepted our offer of an honorary degree.”

The U of L will present Macdonald with a doctor of laws, honoris causa, at the Spring 2018 Convocation III Ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, June 1, 2018 in the 1st Choice Savings Centre gymnasium.

Margaret (Maggie) Macdonald

Margaret Macdonald was a visionary who built the Chinook Arch Regional Library System to be at the forefront of technology driven library service.

With Macdonald as CEO, Chinook Arch was the first library system in Alberta to build and maintain a wide area network for its members. Working with two other library systems, Macdonald gained financial support from Alberta’s Rural Development Fund and matching funding from a private foundation to place videoconference equipment in libraries and to enhance capacity to offer programming.

In collaboration with the Kainai Board of Education, Macdonald secured provincial funding for the Kainai Public Library to join the Chinook Arch system, making it the first public library operating on a First Nation in Alberta.

In the provincial library community Macdonald served as Chair of the steering committee for the Alberta Public Library Electronic Network and as Chair of the Board for the Alberta Library (TAL), a consortium that facilitates collaboration among Alberta libraries.