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Excellence in the name of Freda Otchere

Concordia's Margaret Robertson wins memorial award established by Dan Otchere
March 19, 2013
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By Louise Morgan

From left: Dan Otchere, Margaret Robertson, University Librarian Gerald Beasley. | Photo by Concordia University
From left: Dan Otchere, Margaret Robertson, and University Librarian Gerald Beasley. | Photo by Concordia University
Veteran Concordia library staff member Margaret Robertson has won the 2012 Freda Otchere Staff Recognition Award. 
 
The prize rewards a Concordia Libraries staff member who reflects the values exemplified by its namesake Freda Otchere, a treasured long-time library employee who died in 2004. 
 
Media and document delivery supervisor at Loyola’s Vanier Library, Robertson captured the award for her excellent contribution to the large-scale Collections Reconfiguration Project, which took place throughout 2012.
 
“I’m surprised and honoured to receive the award,” said Robertson, who credits Vanier and Webster library staff for contributing to the project’s success. 
 
“Ms. Robertson did more than simply carry out an assignment. She wanted the project to succeed,” said David Thirlwall, associate university librarian and chair of the selection committee. “She is a person of integrity, exceptional tenacity and attention to detail.”
 
Robertson (centre), seated between her aunt (at left) and mother (at right), with her sister and uncle in the back. | Photo by Concordia University
Robertson (centre), seated between her aunt (at left) and mother (at right), with her sister and uncle in the back. | Photo by Concordia University
Freda’s widower Dan Otchere, an associate professor in Concordia’s Department of Economics, was present at the touching ceremony that was held March 7 at the Geroges P. Vanier Library, as were Robertson’s family and dozens of colleagues. 
 
Originally hired in 1972 as a circulation assistant, Robertson celebrated four decades of service with Concordia last year. 
 
She has been involved with major collection projects, including the move of the Drummond Science Collection Library into Vanier in 1988, the Science Transfer Project of 2003 which moved 250,000 volumes between campuses, and the current Collections Reconfiguration Project, which has involved the installation of automated compact shelving in Vanier.
 
During her career at Concordia, Robertson held a variety of roles and witnessed many changes: in buildings, processes and most notably in technology. 
 
Robertson said, “I got to know Freda in her last 10 years at Concordia and discovered a genuinely friendly, welcoming person — with a big smile — always willing to help others and get involved with their work.” 
 
Guests at the award ceremony applaud Margaret Rosinson. | Photo by Concordia University
Guests at the award ceremony applaud Margaret Robertson. | Photo by Concordia University
The award was made possible through a generous gift from Dan Otchere. With support from Advancement and Alumni Relations, he created the Freda Otchere Endowment Fund in 2010 in honour of his late wife. 
 
Freda Otchere served Concordia University Libraries from 1970 to 2004, as cataloguer and head of database maintenance. Her exemplary service to the Concordia community is warmly remembered.
 
Related links:
“New award honours library staff member” — NOW, March 12, 2012 
“Dan Otchere gives back to honour his late wife” — Alumni Affairs, March 16, 2011
 
 

 



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