Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award

Icon that links to nomination submission form 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. This award is 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).


The nominee must be a librarian employed in one of the following during the year prior to application for this award:

  • University, college, or community college library
  • Non-profit consortium, or a consortium comprised of non-profits that provides resources/services/support to academic libraries

The nominee must have a minimum of five years of professional experience in an academic library or in a non-profit consortium or a consortium comprised of non-profits.

Applications are kept in the award pool for two years. Applications may be updated each year, as long as they are received by the award deadline.


The nominee must have demonstrated achievement (including risk-taking) that has contributed significantly to improvements in the areas of library automation, library management, and/or library development or research.

Submission Procedures

Electronic submissions through the online nomination form are required. The nomination form must be completed in its entirety. Nominations must be received by the award deadline to receive consideration. Individuals may nominate themselves or others. Nominators are encouraged to solicit additional letters that would help the committee understand the full scope of the nominee’s contributions.

Supporting documents to accompany the nomination form include:

  • a letter from you supporting the nomination
  • a current vita for the person being nominated
  • as many letters as you wish from other librarians supporting the nomination
  • a high resolution photo of the nominee (at least 300 dpi), which will be used to make the official announcement immediately after the ALA Midwinter Meeting

All letters of support should be compiled by the nominator and uploaded through the nomination form as a single PDF (max size 20MB).

Information and Assistance

If you have questions, please contact the Chair of the Atkinson Award Committee, Holly A. Tomren, or Chase Ollis at

View the full award committee roster here.

2020 Recipient

Photo of three recipients of the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award
Beth Denker, George Machovec, and Rose Nelson, Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries

Press Release

Previous Recipients

  • 2019 – John Price Wilkin | Press Release
  • 2018 – Larry P. Alford | Press Release
  • 2017 – Mark Sandler | Press Release
  • 2016 – James L. Mullins | Press Release
  • 2015 – Brian Schottlaender | Press Release
  • 2014 – Anne R. Kenney | Press Release
  • 2013 – Lisabeth A. Wilson | Press Release
  • 2012 – John F. Helmer | Press Release
  • 2011 – Carol A. Mandel | Press Release
  • 2010 – Paula T. Kaufman | Press Release
  • 2009 – Ray English | Press Release
  • 2008 – No recipient
  • 2007 – James G. Neal
  • 2006 – Nancy M. Cline
  • 2005 – Paul M. Gherman
  • 2004 – Jerome Yavarkovsky
  • 2003 – Wendy Pradt Lougee
  • 2002 – Harold W. Billings
  • 2001 – Larry Frye
  • 2000 – Kenneth Frazier
  • 1999 – Susan K. Nutter
  • 1998 – Arnold Hirshon
  • 1997 – William Gray Potter
  • 1996 – Thomas W. Shaughnessy
  • 1995 – Nancy L. Eaton
  • 1994 – Dorothy Gregor
  • 1993 – Richard De Gennaro
  • 1992 – Miriam Drake
  • 1991 – Donald E. Riggs
  • 1990 – Russell Shank
  • 1989 – Thomas Michalak
  • 1988 – Richard M. Dougherty

Sponsorship provided by American Library Association Divisions: ACRL/ALCTS/LLAMA/LITA