CLS Innovation in College Librarianship Award

The award is administered by the College Libraries Section of ACRL and is presented at the CLS Friday Fest at the ALA Annual Conference. Administration of the award is conducted by the Leadership Committee and strives to offer a monetary award from a sponsor identified by CLS.

The purpose of the CLS Innovation Award is to recognize 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.

The award call for applications should be prominently displayed on the CLS website, as well as social media outlets for CLS. The committee chair should work with the sponsor to promote the award at their booth at the annual conference.


This award is pending sponsorship approval. Prior to the 2015 award season, the award consisted of a $3,000 award donated by ProQuest.


As nominee(s), the librarian(s) must have demonstrated 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.


At least one of the nominees must be an ALA member to be eligible for this award.
Nominees must be in an academic library setting at institutions fitting the Carnegie classifications of Baccalaureate or Masters Colleges and Universities.

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

Nomination Process & Submissions

Electronic submissions are required. All electronic attachments should be emailed to Nominations should include the following:

  1. Name, address, e-mail and phone number of self-applicant or the person you are nominating.
  2. Letter of nomination (including self-nomination) (no more than 1,000 words)
  3. Written description of 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. Describe the impact that it has had (or is anticipated to have) on the library and how it supports the college’s mission. Describe what other librarians can learn from the experience and how it could be replicable in other libraries.
  4. CV is required.
  5. Letter of recommendation, if appropriate. 
  6. Completion of the online form.

The selected recipient will provide a statement after the project, to be used in the announcement for the following year’s award call for nominations, to describe the impact that the project has had on their library.

If possible, please submit a high resolution photo of the nominee (at least 300 dpi). The photo will be used to make the official winner announcement immediately after the ALA Midwinter Meeting.

Submission Deadline: Friday, December 2, 2016

Information and Assistance

Questions or requests for assistance in compiling an nomination should be directed to Leah McGinnis Dunn, University of North Carolina at Asheville, T: (828) 251-6545, E-mail: or Chase Ollis,

View the full award committee roster here.


2016 - Barbara Merolli, College of the Holy Cross
2015 - Melinda Beland, Angie Cox, Melissa Gevaert, Anna Hollingsworth and Linda McLaury, all of the University of Northern Iowa’s Rod Library
2014 - Tish Hayes, Terra B. Jacobson and Troy A. Swanson, all of the Moraine Valley Community College (MVCC) Library
2013 - Erin T. Smith and Jamie P. Kohler, both of the Westminster College McGill Library
2012 - Anne Burke, Adrienne Lai, and Adam Rogers, all of North Carolina State University Libraries
2011 - Catherine Haras and Teresa Portilla Omidsalar, both of California State University at Los Angeles
2010 - Sigrid Kelsey and Angela K. VandenBroek, both of Louisiana State University
2009 - Bruce Connolly and Gail Golderman, both of Union College