CNIB awarded the Dr. Dayton M. Forman Memorial Award for 2016 to the late Rosemary Kavanagh for her dedication and tireless efforts over the years to ensure that people who are blind or partially sighted had access to equitable library service.
The award, established by the CNIB Library Board in 1996, recognizes outstanding leadership in the advancement of library and information services for Canadians living with vision loss or print disabilities.
“I’ve known Rosemary since she joined the senior CNIB staff as Executive Director of the Library in 1991,” said Jim Sanders, past CNIB President and CEO. “I witnessed first-hand the almost immediate transformation of CNIB Library services. She was at the forefront of the analog-to-digital conversion of both the production and distribution of alternate format materials, and I continue to benefit personally by the unprecedented access to information that was for so long unavailable to those of us with print disabilities.”
Rosemary constantly imagined new ways to offer services for CNIB library users and, more generally, people with print disabilities. She was a strategic thinker who was passionate about the role of non-profits in societal development and change, particularly as it related to people with vision loss.
“My mother was passionate about education and felt it was the lynchpin of transforming society,” said Laura Kavanagh, Rosemary’s daughter. “To my mother, the cornerstone of education was information, with access to this information being the most powerful thing that you could give to someone. She would have been thrilled to receive this acknowledgement and award.”
Rosemary is remembered for her commitment, passion, and her achievement in helping advance library services for those with print disabilities at home and abroad.