The Edmonton Public Library is being recognized as the top of the stack, becoming the first Canadian library to be named Library of the Year by Library Journal magazine.

"In library land it's like winning the Stanley Cup ... actually, it's like winning the Academy Award for best picture,” Linda Cook, CEO of the library.

The magazine considered libraries across North America, but this is the first time the top honour had been awarded to one outside of the United States.

"I think what they were looking for was innovation, they wanted to see community programs that could be emulated by other libraries...and that fits in so well with our mission statement which is 'we share,’" Cook said.

Cook thinks EPL's outreach and social programs were one of the things that convinced the judges to pick it for the award. 

On top of the recognition, the award comes with a $10,000 prize, which Cook says will be put towards the EPL’s literacy programs.

Hear Linda Cook discuss the award with CBC's Radio Active