Johanna Foster, right, and Francesca Holyoke, chair of CAUT’s Librarians’ Committee, pose together during the CAUT council meeting Nov. 28.
CAUT has awarded Johanna Foster top honours for service and achievements of benefit to academic librarians.
Foster, an information services librarian at the University of Windsor, received the Academic Librarians’ Distinguished Service Award at CAUT Council last month. The award is only given when merited to recognize outstanding service and contributions to the advancement of the status and/or working condition of librarians at Canadian universities and colleges.
“Johanna’s record is that of a 37-year career involved with all facets of academic librarianship,” said Francesca Holyoke, CAUT Librarians’ Committee chair, while presenting the award. “As has been the case for many in the academy, her first job at Windsor’s Leddy Library was a leave replacement. From there she has gone on to positions in nearly every department and in nearly every capacity, including department chair and a stint as an administrator.”
Working through the Windsor University Faculty Association from the start, Foster was “at the fore of many of the changes both in the work and the workplace of academic librarians at Windsor,” Holyoke said, “and by extension and example of librarian and collective agreement issues at the regional and national levels.”
Foster was a librarian representative on the negotiating team for the first collective agreement after certification in 1976, in 1980 she became the first librarian and female president of the faculty association, and in 1982 was chief negotiator when members of WUFA went on strike — the first faculty strike in Canadian history at an Anglophone university. She has also chaired or served on numerous WUFA committees and is still active in the association. Her long-time involvement with other advocacy groups includes service with the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations where she held the executive portfolio for librarians and served as treasurer, and CAUT.
“Council’s decision to bestow the award takes into account the recipient’s successes in making academic librarians effective and strong participants in the teaching and research life of the university,” Holyoke said. “At a time when the practice of academic librarianship in under growing pressure across the country, Johanna’s work and example are especially commendable and truly distinguish her for this award.”