Rita M. Cox
Dr. Rita M. Cox, D. Litt.C.M., born in Trinidad & Tobago, is recognized as a ’Canadian Icon” who is a Librarian by profession. She is known internationally as a gifted story-teller, educator, activist, pioneer, a patriot and admired as a leader in her community. She has been described as “an exceptional individual who, through her love for the spoken and written word, has inspired people of all ages and has opened the literary world to her audiences”. Dr. Cox joined the Toronto Public Library as a children’s librarian in 1960. In 1972, she became the Head of the Parkdale Branch, and launched literacy programs and other initiatives that promoted multiculturalism through Toronto. During her tenure, in 1973, Dr. Cox pioneered the library’s Black Heritage and West Indian Resource Collection which was renamed in 1998 to the Black and Caribbean Heritage Collection. It soon became the most comprehensive collections of its kind in Canada with over 16,000 titles. In 2006, the collection was renamed The Rita Cox Black heritage and Caribbean collection, materials for which are in four Toronto Public Library Branches and today, continues to be a source of pride in the community. After her retirement in 1995, from the Toronto Public Library, Dr. Cox was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1997. She was appointed a Citizenship Court Judge by the Government of Canada in 2000.