Bill Ptacek (1950-2019) was a visionary who pushed libraries to evolve and respond to community needs. Heralded as one of the most important library leaders in North America, Bill was committed to challenging assumptions and introducing new people to the library throughout his career.
During Bill’s tenure as Chief Executive Officer of Calgary Public Library, he led a number of initiatives including a full rebranding, a new catalog and website, free Library cards, the growth of the Library Foundation, and a system-wide collection refresh and redesign.
He was passionate about early literacy initiatives, including building 12 early learning centres and opening three new locations, including the new Central Library. He would often suggest new and radical ideas, including installing a firetruck inside the Library, which became the New Adventures of Engine 23, a popular early learning initiative.
Bill always had the next big idea. Donated funds will be used at the Library’s discretion to support projects that honour his adventurous spirit.
The Bill Ptacek Fund for Innovation honours Bill’s ability to inspire greatness in us all, and the legacy he left for the Calgary Public Library.