Category Archives: Awards

ACRL Seeks Nominations for 2016 Awards

Santa Fe College Excellence in Academic Library Award Ceremony

Last year, ACRL celebrated its 75th anniversary of advancing learning and transforming scholarship in the higher education community. A major part of this celebration included honoring the outstanding achievements of academic and research librarians. Made possible by generous corporate support, the annual presentation of ACRL’s awards, grants, and fellowships enables ACRL to honor the very best in academic librarianship. This year, ACRL once again seeks to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of its peers.

Members are an integral part of ACRL’s successful awards program. ACRL urges members to nominate colleagues whose work has influenced their thinking and growth as an academic librarian, and whose contributions merit recognition by the profession. Member nominations will ensure that the pool of candidates for each award remains both competitive and distinguished. Nominations and supporting materials for most awards must be submitted by December 4, 2015.

Outstanding achievement and distinguished service awards are:

  • Excellence in Academic Libraries Award (sponsored by YBP Library Services), recognizes academic libraries that are outstanding in furthering the educational missions of their institutions. A $3,000 award is given for each type of library (e.g. college, community college, and university).
  • Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award (sponsored by YBP Library Services), awards $5,000 and recognizes an outstanding member of the academic or research library profession.
  • Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award (sponsored by ACRL, ALCTS, LLAMA and LITA), provides a cash award and recognizes outstanding achievements (including risk-taking) in the areas of library automation, management, development and research.
  • Law and Political Science Section Marta Lange/SAGE-CQ Press Award (sponsored by SAGE-CQ Press), provides a $1,000 award and recognizes a librarian who has made distinguished contributions to bibliography and information service in law or political science.
  • Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award (sponsored by the ACRL Instruction Section), provides a $1,000 award and recognizes an individual librarian for significant contributions to the advancement of instruction in a college or research library environment.
  • Instruction Section Innovation Award (sponsor pending), honors librarians who have implemented innovative approaches to information literacy at their respective institutions or in their communities. Deadline: November 30, 2015.
  • College Libraries Section Innovation in College Librarianship Award (sponsor pending), honors librarians who demonstrate a capacity for innovation in working with or serving undergraduates or instructors in the areas of programs, services, and operations; or creating innovations for library colleagues that facilitate their ability to better serve the library’s community.
  • Community College Learning Resources Leadership/Library Achievement Awards (sponsored by EBSCO Information Services), recognizes outstanding achievement in library programs and leadership. The awards will be presented to two recipients, who will each receive $750.
  • Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Conference Sponsorship Award (sponsored by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group), provides a $1,200 conference sponsorship award to honor any individual ACRL member working in the field of, or contributing to the success of, distance learning librarianship or related library service in higher education.
  • Women & Gender Studies Section Award for Career Achievement, recognizes an individual librarian for career achievement in the area of women and gender studies librarianship.
  • Women & Gender Studies Section Award for Significant Achievement, honors a distinguished academic librarian who has made outstanding contributions to women and gender studies through accomplishments and service to the profession.
  • University Libraries Section Outstanding Professional Development Award, (sponsored by Library Juice Academy): $1,000 award to recognize librarians, archivists or curators whose contributions to providing professional development opportunities for librarians have been especially noteworthy or influential.

Publication awards are:

  • Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab Exhibition Catalogue Awards, (sponsored by Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab, American Book Prices Current) recognizes outstanding catalogues published by American or Canadian institutions in conjunction with library exhibitions. Deadline: October 15, 2015.
  • Ilene F. Rockman Instruction Publication of the Year Award, (sponsored by Emerald Group Publishing) awards $3,000 to recognize an outstanding publication related to instruction in a library environment that was published in the last two years. Deadline: November 30, 2015.
  • Science and Technology Section Oberly Award for Bibliography in the Agricultural or Natural Sciences, this biennial award is given in odd-numbered years for the best English-language bibliography in the field of agriculture or a related science. Deadline: December 2, 2016.

Research award:

  • WESS-SEES De Gruyter European Librarianship Study Grant, (sponsored by the Walter de Gruyter Foundation for Scholarship and Research): provides a €2,500 grant to support research in European studies with an emphasis on librarianship, the book trade, resource documentation and similar information-science related topics.

More information, including submission procedures, past winners, criteria and contact information, is available in the awards section of the ACRL website or by contacting ACRL Program Coordinator Chase Ollis at (312) 280-2521.

Robert A. Seal Named 2015 ACRL Academic/ Research Librarian of the Year

Robert A. SealRobert A. Seal, dean of university libraries at Loyola University Chicago, is the 2015 ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year. The award, sponsored by YBP Library Services, recognizes an outstanding member of the library profession who has made a significant national or international contribution to academic/research librarianship and library development.

Seal will receive a $5,000 award during the keynote session at 4:15 pm on Thursday, March 26, 2015, at the ACRL 2015 Conference in Portland, Oregon.

“Bob’s impressive record of leadership in academic libraries was reflected in the letters from colleagues across the profession supporting his nomination,” noted Tyrone Cannon, chair of the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award Committee and university library dean at the University of San Francisco. “Bob’s spirit of collegiality, support for colleague development, resource sharing on the global stage and his articulation of the importance of the 21st century learning commons which places academic and research libraries at the center of higher education, underscored the committee’s choice.  Bob truly epitomizes the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year.”

“Needless to say, I am humbled and honored to be named Academic/Research Librarian of the Year by ACRL,” Seal said. “I have been fortunate throughout my career to have had wonderful mentors and colleagues who have helped me along the way and from whom I have learned so much.  This is without a doubt the most important recognition an academic librarian can receive and I am grateful to my staff who nominated me and to the committee for their decision.”

Over the course of his career, Seal has demonstrated his commitment to developing the academic library in a number of ways. Known as a staunch advocate for international library cooperation, his ability to share information in a bilingual environment has made Seal a strong advocate for breaking down barriers and extending partnerships between libraries in the U.S. and Latin America. In addition, Seal is recognized both as a strong, visionary leader and as a caring mentor to new and experienced academic librarians. Having led libraries at a number of institutions, he is widely known for his commitment to hiring and developing innovative staff along with recognizing their contributions to the library and campus communities. Seal’s focus on developing human, along with physical, resources has earned him a reputation for re-envisioning the academic library.

One of Seal’s major accomplishments is the planning and construction of the LEAF award-winning Loyola University Klarchek Information Commons. He was the driving force behind the development of the commons, which serves as a model of “green” library buildings and as a hub of student activity and learning on campus. Situated on the shore of Lake Michigan, the commons optimizes the advantages of its natural setting to provide an environment conducive to the highest levels of intellectual attainment. Under Seal’s leadership and commitment to community engagement, the Klarchek Information Commons has placed the library at the heart of Loyola’s campus life and serves as an inspiration for similar projects at other institutions in Chicago and beyond.

“Bob’s outstanding work in developing the information commons model, along with his truly global focus, demonstrate important contributions to the profession and academy,” added ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis. “I am inspired by his sense of community and commitment to teamwork and collaboration. Bob epitomizes the innovative, visionary spirit of the academic and research library community.”

Seal is widely recognized as an expert on resource sharing and the development of library spaces, including the information commons model of academic library services. He has shared his global perspective on library services at a wide range of domestic and international conferences and meetings including the ALA Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting, AMIGOS Digital Library Conference, Argentinian Library Association, Coalition on Networked Information (CNI), Illinois Library Association, Mexican Library Association, Shanghai International Library Forum, and Texas Library Association, among many more.

He has an extensive publication record in the area of resource sharing, among other topics, including “Interlibrary Loan: Integral Component of Global Resource Sharing” in “Models of Cooperation in U.S., Latin American and Caribbean Libraries” (2003), “International Interlibrary Loan: Key Component of 21st Century Resource Sharing” in Resource Sharing and Information Networks (2002), “Reference 2001: A Director’s Admonitions” in portal: Libraries and the Academy (2001), “Mexican and U.S. Library Relations” in Advances in Librarianship (1996), “Academic Branch Libraries” in Advances in Librarianship (1986), and “Circulation Service Desk Operations: Costing and Management Data” in College and Research Libraries (with Pat Weaver-Meyers and Duncan Aldrich, 1985).

Seal additionally served as a member of the Journal of Library Administration editorial board from 2009-12, editing special issues on special collections in academic libraries (2012); trends, issues, and innovation in academic libraries (2011); and information commons (2010).

An active member of ALA and ACRL, Seal also demonstrates his global view through being an active in the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), where he served as treasurer of the Document Delivery and Resource Sharing Section from 2008-13. He additionally served as a member of the OCLC Board of Trustees from 2004-10 and was a long-time member of the OCLC Members Council, culminating in a term as council president from 2003-04. Seale has been a board member of the Chicago Collections Consortium since 2012, currently serving as the group’s treasurer. He further demonstrated his commitment to sustaining the future of librarianship by serving as a member of the Dominican University Graduate School of Library and Information Science Advisory Board from 2006-14.

Prior to joining Loyola as dean of university libraries in 2005, Seal served as dean of the library at Texas Christian University from 1994-2005, university librarian at the University of Texas at El Paso from 1985-1994, director of library public services at the University of Oklahoma from 1981-85, and in a variety of positions at the University of Virginia from 1972 until 1981.

Seal received his B.A. in Astronomy from Northwestern University (1971) and M.L.S. from the University of Denver (1972).

The ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year award dates back to 1978, and recent award winners include Tim Bucknall (2014); Patricia Iannuzzi (2013); Paula T. Kaufman (2012); Janice Welburn (2011); Maureen Sullivan (2010); Gloriana St. Clair (2009); Peter Hernon (2008); Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson (2007); Ray English (2006); Ravindra Nath (R. N.) Sharma (2005); Tom Kirk (2004); Ross Atkinson, (2003); Shelley Phipps (2002); and Larry Hardesty (2001).

For more information regarding the award, or a complete list of past recipients, please visit the awards section of the ACRL website.

About ACRL
The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.

About YBP Library Services
YBP Library Services, a Baker & Taylor company, provides print and digital content, supporting collection management and technical services to academic, research and special libraries throughout the world. GOBI3, YBP’s acquisition and collection development interface, provides access to more than 10 million titles. YBP is located in Contoocook, N.H., USA. For more on the company, visit

2015 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award Winners Announced

ACRL is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award – Santa Fe College Lawrence W. Tyree Library, Gainesville, Fla; Amherst College Frost Library, Amherst, Mass.; and Purdue University Libraries, West Lafayette, Ind.. Sponsored by ACRL and YBP Library Services, the award recognizes the staff of a college, university, and community college library for programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution.

“These three deserving recipients demonstrate the commitment to student learning, digital scholarship, and data research services, with a focus on continuous innovation and engagement with the campus community, that exemplifies today’s best academic and research libraries,” said ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis. “Receiving an Excellence in Academic Libraries Award is a national tribute to each library and its staff for outstanding services, programs, and leadership.”

The Lawrence W. Tyree Library of Santa Fe College, winner in the community college category, was chosen for emphasizing its innovation and passion for distance instruction, financial literacy, and community.

“The Lawrence Tyree Library demonstrated how their staff brings creativity and innovation to their community,” said Steven Bell, chair of the 2015 Excellence in Academic Libraries Committee and associate university librarian for research and instructional services at Temple University. “This is evidenced within their model information literacy initiative that makes use of strategies such as flipped instruction, virtual learning for distance students, and a commitment to use active learning techniques in the classroom. So passionate are the Tyree librarians about extending high quality learning to distance students that several librarians achieved certification as Quality Matters online course reviewers, and their own online library instruction course was the first at Santa Fe to pass the rigorous Quality Matters review.”

“Tyree Library also helps students become financially literate, becoming only the second community college since 2007 to receive a $100,000 ‘Smart Investing @ Your Library’ grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation,” Bell continued. “The committee also took note of the commitment to delivering on-campus programming from mystery nights, to relationship building with faculty, and a wonderful collaboration with their education program to deliver a STEM-focused reading program to elementary education students in their city.”

“We are humbled, thrilled and very happy for this recognition,” said Lawrence W. Tyree Library director Myra Sterrett. “The L.W. Tyree Library has a great staff, and we all constantly pull together to ensure the library is part of the fabric of the college. This award is a reflection on the tireless efforts and contributions of our entire library community. Nothing beats recognition from one’s peers, and we thank you so much!”

Frost Library of Amherst College, winner of this year’s award in the college category, impressed the committee with its transformation to focus on its objectives of teaching students research skills, promoting and enabling universal access to information, and creating a new model of academic publishing.

“Amherst’s Frost Library emerged as a clear example of what it means to hold oneself to high standards and to set the bar even higher for what it means to achieve excellence as a college library,” noted Bell. “Frost Library received considerable attention in 2013 when it announced the establishment of the first academic press in the United States dedicated to the publication of scholarly monographs solely under an open access model. While that alone would qualify Frost Library for distinction, there is much more to the impressive accomplishments found in their award application. To vastly improve its delivery of instruction, a new unit was created and five positions were dedicated to integrating the library into student learning. Members of this unit played important roles in tutorials and seminars made possible by a Mellon grant to the college.”

“Frost librarians are truly teaching collaboratively with their faculty,” Bell added. “Along with colleagues from Swarthmore and Haverford, Amherst is exploring ways to track students over their undergraduate career to measure and assess their ability to produce quality research Amherst is also considered a leader among its peers by maintaining high ethical standards to promote the production and sharing of publicly accessible content, while resisting publisher efforts to force unfair business practices on academic libraries.”

“Our library has an extraordinary staff,” said Bryn Geffert, librarian of the college at Amherst College. “They’re exceptional in every way: smart, adaptable, selfless, creative, and tireless. I take this award to be as much an ‘excellent library staff’ award as an ‘excellence in academic libraries’ award.”

Purdue University Libraries, winner in the university category, was selected for its numerous outstanding initiatives.

“Purdue University Libraries succeeds by being experimental, taking risks, innovating and leveraging collaboration with their faculty, graduate and undergraduate students to push the boundaries of what research university libraries can accomplish for their community, locally, and globally,” said Bell.

“Whether it’s their information literacy initiative that features their participation in Purdue’s IMPACT (Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation) curriculum, a commitment to renovate and create library spaces that are highly intentional about student learning and collaboration with faculty or engaging in course redesign with their faculty, what most impressed the committee was Purdue’s profession leading and cutting edge work in the area of research data services.”

“Where Purdue excels among this year’s strong pool of university applicants is in their support of faculty research, through their Library Scholars Grant program, which provides faculty members with grants for travel to special collections at other institutions in support of their growth as scholars,” Bell continued.

“The faculty and staff of the Purdue University Libraries are proud of the progress that we have made to define the role of the 21st century research library within its university community,” said James L. Mullins, dean of libraries and Esther Ellis Norton professor at Purdue University. “To have our creativity, innovation, and dedication recognized through this important award is a wonderful honor.”

“The final decision in each category was truly difficult,” Bell noted. “This pool of candidates speaks volumes about the amazing work that academic librarians perform on behalf of their communities – as well as the global community of learners and researchers – to advance learning and transform scholarship.”

Each winning library will receive $3,000 and a plaque, to be presented at an award ceremony held on each recipient’s campus.

Additional information on the award, along with a list of past winners, is available on the ACRL website.


About ACRL

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.

About YBP Library Services

YBP Library Services, a Baker & Taylor company, provides print and digital content, supporting collection management and technical services to academic, research and special libraries throughout the world. GOBI3, YBP’s acquisition and collection development interface, provides access to more than 10 million titles. YBP is located in Contoocook, N.H., USA. For more on the company, visit

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