CLS Innovation in College Librarianship Award

The award is administered by the College Libraries Section of ACRL and is presented at the CLS Friday Feast 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.


$1,000 award and plaque, sponsored by the SCELC.


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. Canadian academic libraries are eligible if at least one nominee is an ALA member and if the nominee(s) can demonstrate their institution's status is comparable to the Carnegie classification of Baccalaureate or Masters Colleges and Universities.

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. Letter of recommendation, if self-nominating. Otherwise, the letter of nomination will serve as the letter of recommendation.
  4. Written description (maximum 1,000 words) of a new idea, method, project or device that enhances student learning and/or faculty development and works to promote the library as integral to the achievement of the college’s mission.
  5. Describe (maximum 500 words) the impact that it has had (or is anticipated to have) on the library and how it supports the college’s mission.
  6. Describe (maximum 500 words) what other librarians can learn from the experience and how it could be replicated in other libraries.
  7. Include evidence of work or a link to the project (i.e. what does the project look like?). This could be a syllabus, slide presentation, photos of event, a LibGuide on the project, etc.
  8. Completion of the online form.

The selected recipient will provide a statement describing the impact that the project has had on their library. This statement will be used in the announcement for the following year's award call for nominations.

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.

Information and Assistance

Questions or requests for assistance in compiling an nomination should be directed to Susan A. Schreiner, Pittsburg State University, T: (620) 235-4888, E-mail: or Chase Ollis,

View the full award committee roster here.

2019 Recipient

Photo of Bill Jones and Ben Rawlins of SUNY Geneseo
Bill Jones and Ben Rawlins, both of the State University of New York (SUNY)-Geneseo Milne Library

Previous Recipients