CLAO Awards

Time to blow the horn for great ideas, good work and good sense in church libraries!


Presented at the Fall Conference in Brighton, Ontario October 2, 2010

Thank you to our sponsors:BrodartResourceMate

Elsie Riva Award

Elsie Riva ran the library at Cooksville United Church in Mississauga for many years. She was secretary, treasurer, president, of CLAO and gave great reviews in Library Lines, our CLAO newsletter. But she was most known for her tireless energy in promoting her church library and an award was named in her honour.

Cathy Goring was nominated for this award because she shows the same energy and passion. Cathy organizes the Library Committee, purchases and catalogues new books, inserts weekly bulletin messages, creates beautiful displays, and hosts annual fundraisers. Cathy pioneered the idea of the host church fundraising luncheon at the spring conference in 2008. She budgeted for 80 meals, but when over 100 tickets were sold, she didn’t panic and trusted that there would be enough…the soup kept pouring out, she split the buns in half but in the end, there was extra left over…what a blessing.

The Elsie Riva Award is sponsored by ResourceMate®

President Arthur McClelland with Shirley Burhoe
Elsie Riva Award Winner: Cathy Goring (Hebron CRC, Whibty)
With Alison McCullough.

Jean Van Esch Award

The award was named after Margaret Jean Van Esch, who left us to be with the Lord in November 7, 1998 after battling cancer. Jean was membership secretary and newsletter editor for CLAO. But she was best known for starting a library at West Montrose United Church with seven books and no budget. It grew to great success.

This year the Jean Van Esch Award was presented to Shawn Lowry. He was nominated for this award because he shows the same energy and passion with the library at Westdale Park for the past five years.

The Jean Van Esch award is sponsored by Brodart®

President Arthur McClelland with Shirley Burhoe
Jean VanEsch Award Winner: Shawn Lowry (Westdale Park Free Methodist Church, Ottawa) From left to right – Alison McCullough, Shawn Lowry and Arthur McClelland.


My sincerest thanks for the Jean VanEsch Award. I was really quite surprised and happy to receive it. Thank you to all for the wonderful conferences I have attended. They have been a great help to me at our church library.

Your recognition of my work at the Westdale Park church library was really appreciated. I had a wonderful time.

Thanks to all.

— Shawn Lowry
October 2, 2010



We all know Church Librarians who have done good work. Let us know about their efforts so we can recognize their achievements. Award winners need not be Church Librarians, but realize the importance of Church Libraries and provide ideas and encouragement to those who work with them. Read  more  >>

View CLAO's Awards from 2009 >>

View CLAO's Awards from 2008 >>


2013 Awards!

Please have your
Nominations in before
February 15, 2015

Send your submission,
(with name of librarian and
church name) to:

Chair, CLAO Awards program by email at awards@clao.ca

We'd be delighted to inform your local church of your accomplishment.

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