Achievement and Distinguished Service Awards

Image of Loretta Parham, 2017 ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year, receiving her award at the 2017 ACRL Conference in Baltimore

Achievement and distinguished service awards honor academic and research librarians for significant past achievements, such as publications, program development, or general leadership in the profession. Such awards include a citation, and may also involve a cash award.

Division Awards

Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award
The ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding member of the library profession who has made a significant national or international contribution to academic or research librarianship and library development. $5,000 award and plaque, sponsored by GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO.


Excellence in Academic Libraries Award
Recognizes an outstanding community college, college, and university library each year. This award is to recognize the accomplishments of librarians and other library staff as they come together as members of a team to support the mission of their institution. $3,000 gift to each of the three winning libraries, and $3,000 to support travel by an ACRL officer to the three award ceremonies, sponsored by GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO.


Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award
This award honors the life and accomplishments of Hugh C. Atkinson by soliciting nominations and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of an academic librarian who has worked in the areas of library automation or library management and has made contributions (including risk taking) toward the improvement of library services or to library development or research. Cash award and a plaque, funded by an endowment created by divisional, individual, and vendor contributions given in memory of Hugh C. Atkinson. The award is jointly sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA), and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA).


Section Awards

CLS Innovation in College Librarianship Award
Recognizes college librarians and staff who demonstrate successful introduction of innovation in their library through a new idea, method, project, or device that enhances student learning and/or faculty development and overall works to promote the library as integral to the achievement of the college's mission. $1,000 award and plaque, sponsored by the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium.


CJCLS EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Program Award
Recognizes significant achievement in the area of community college programs. $750 award and plaque, sponsored by EBSCO Information Services.


CJCLS EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Leadership Award
Recognizes significant achievement in the areas of community college leadership. $750 award and plaque, sponsored by EBSCO Information Services.


Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Conference Sponsorship Award
This conference sponsorship award honors 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. $1,200 award and plaque, sponsored by Routledge/Taylor & Francis.


EBSS Distinguished Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian Award
Honors a distinguished academic librarian who has made an outstanding contribution as an education and/or behavioral sciences librarian through accomplishments and service to the profession.


Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award
Recognizes an individual librarian who has made an especially significant contribution to the advancement of instruction in a college or research library environment. The award honors Miriam Dudley, whose pioneering efforts in the field of bibliographic instruction led to the formation of the ACRL Instruction Section (formerly ACRL Bibliographic Instruction Section). $1,000 award and plaque, sponsored by the Instruction Section.


Instruction Section Innovation Award
Recognizes a project that demonstrates creative, innovative, or unique approaches to information literacy instruction or programming. $3,000 award and plaque, sponsored by EBSCO Information Services.


PPIRS Marta Lange/SAGE-CQ Press Award
Recognizes an academic or law librarian who, through research, service to the profession, or other creative activity, makes distinguished contributions to bibliography and information service in law or political science. This award honors Marta Lange, 1990-91 Law and Political Science Section (LPSS) Chair, whose exceptional talents as a leader were enhanced by a wonderful collegial spirit. Her bright career, cut short in a fatal automobile accident in 1992, was an inspiration to others and a model of professional service. $1,000 award and plaque, sponsored by SAGE-CQ Press.


STS Innovation in Science and Technology Librarianship Award
Recognizes creative, innovative approaches to solving problems or improving products and services in science and technology librarianship. The award recognizes and promotes leadership and initiative that demonstrate impact on the academic and research community. This award is currently on hold, pending sponsorship approval.


ULS Outstanding Professional Development Award
Recognizes librarians, archivists or curators whose contributions to providing professional development opportunities for librarians have been especially noteworthy or influential. The effect of these contributions may be the result of continuous or distinguished service to the profession, but may also be the result of extraordinarily active, innovative or collaborative work that deserves national recognition. $1,000 award and plaque, sponsored by Library Juice Academy.


WGSS Career Achievement in Women & Gender Studies Librarianship Award
Honors a distinguished academic librarian who has made outstanding contributions to women and gender studies through accomplishments and service to the profession. Plaque.


WGSS Significant Achievement in Women & Gender Studies Librarianship Award
Honors a distinguished academic librarian who has made outstanding contributions to women and gender studies through accomplishments and service to the profession. The award recognizes those who have made significant one-time contributions. Plaque.


*Please note that monetary award amounts are subject to change without notice and are contingent upon donor funding supplied at the time the award is presented. Questions about these awards should be directed to the committee chairperson or to Chase Ollis, ACRL Program Officer, at collis@ala.org.