Library innovator honoured

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Ernie Ingles

For more than two decades, Ernie Ingles was chief librarian of the University of Alberta, but his vision to make information available to all—student or not—embraced the entire country, particularly Western Canada. Two long-time friends of Ingles have stepped forward to ensure lasting recognition of this visionary bibliophile. 

“Today’s library user and researcher has a lot to thank Ernie for,” says Dale Askey, the U of A’s chief librarian. “In this world of instant access to information—some helpful, some harmful—through the internet, Ernie knew that physical books and manuscripts offer a deeper and more profound view into history and culture.”

Ingles passed away on Sept. 17, 2020, at the age of 71.

Former U of A chancellor Ralph Young, ’73 MBA, ’16 LLD (Honorary), and his wife, Gay, made a gift to expand the university’s collection of Western Canadian heritage materials and requested that a special space be named in Ingles’ honour.

The Ernest (Ernie) B. Ingles Reading Room is located in Bruce Peel Special Collections, a donor-supported research and teaching library on the University of Alberta’s North Campus. The library houses more than 100,000 rare books and other significant archival materials. Before the COVID-19 pandemic significantly scaled back travel, it drew researchers from around the world.

Full story by Niall McKenna here

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