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Faculty launches Lynne C. Howarth Award in honour of esteemed professor and former dean

Submitted on Friday, February 10, 2023

To mark the retirement of Professor and Dean Emerita Lynne Howarth, the Faculty of Information has established a new award for master’s students researching or doing volunteer work to design and deliver information services to underserved communities. The topic is of special interest to Professor Howarth, whose recent research involved building community in settings where individuals have been marginalized by culture, physical or cognitive ability, race, ethnicity or age.

Associate Professor Cara Krmpotich, who collaborated with Professor Howarth to research memory and storytelling with seniors at the Native Canadian Centre in Toronto, said, “Lynne’s commitment and her care for people sets both her and her career apart. Her unwavering encouragement and generosity are known by everyone who has worked with her whether it was in a neighbourhood branch of the Toronto Public Library or as Dean of the Faculty.”

The new scholarship will serve as a legacy to Professor Howarth and honour the impact she had on students and colleagues over the course of her 33-year-long career at the Faculty, where she served as Dean from 1995 to 2003, and earlier earned her Master of Library Science degree and Doctorate in Library and Information Sciences. 

For the “Memory, Meaning-making and Collections” research project, Lynne Howarth worked with aboriginal groups to combine reminiscences and storytelling with object handling. The study was conducted in partnership with the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto.​ ​

Professor Howarth excelled at all three pillars of academia: teaching, research and service. She received more than $1.4 million in funding from academia and industry, published 166 academic articles, and was cited hundreds of times according to Google scholar. She also supervised 17 master’s theses and 14 PhD dissertations. During the pandemic, she was called upon by colleagues to facilitate at meetings where tough discussions were had and difficult decisions made.

Natasha Ali, PhD 2017, still seeks advice from her doctoral co-supervisor and considers her a mentor. “Professor Howarth shows everyone at U of T how to do it all with grace, humour, and compassion, and she sets the bar high,” Ali told colleagues and former students who came out to celebrate Professor Howarth’s retirement at Hart House in January.

The Faculty of Information is now inviting its community to contribute to and help launch the new Lynne C. Howarth Award for Innovative Design and/or Delivery of Information Services to Equity-deserving Communities. To further honour Professor Howarth’s contributions and support the work of future generations of student scholars, the Faculty will match all donations up to $25,000.

You can donate online to the Lynne C. Howarth Award or if you would like learn more, please email the advancement team at