Excellence in Academic Libraries Award

About the Excellence in Academic Libraries Award To recognize academic librarians and staff who work together as a team to develop academic libraries that are outstanding in furthering the educational missions of their institutions.

Administered by:

Association of College and Research Libraries logo


2016 Winner(s)

Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

The Robert W. Woodruff Library at Atlanta University Center, winner in the university category, was selected for transformative change in innovative services and programs.

“While many of us are challenged by relationships with one group of administrators, faculty, and students, the Atlanta University Center manages to effectively support the teaching, learning and research at four different institutions, deftly managing those relationships,” said Dawes. “The library has made a huge turnaround in services and programs, using assessment and data as an important component of their continuous improvement process.”

“The library strives to be characterized by innovative thinking,” Dawes continued. “Whether it’s having librarians certified in instructional design and helping faculty become excellent users of technology in their courses, developing a ‘recruit for tomorrow’ program, or having a robot ‘staff member’ provide assistance to the user community.”

“The Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library is thrilled to be selected for this ACRL award,” said Loretta Parham, CEO and director of the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library. “To be recognized for our demonstrated dedication to excellence and professional services is a validation of the collective efforts of a great library team. As a single library that is shared by the academic members of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, we are honored to work in support of student and faculty success and cultural preservation. We are truly appreciative of this recognition from ACRL.”


2016 Winner(s)

Macalester College DeWitt Wallace Library

DeWitt Wallace Library of Macalester College, winner of this year’s award in the college category, was chosen for its assessment, collaboration, and diversity initiatives and efforts.

“Macalester College impressed the committee with its use of data gathered from various assessment initiatives, including an ethnographic study, to drive their progress, leading to greater impact on their campus,” noted Dawes. “The DeWitt Wallace Library’s variety of collaborative relationships, such as those with IT and the Center for Scholarship and Teaching, among many others both on and off campus, was quite noteworthy.”

“The library’s partnership with AdvanceIT Minnesota to encourage greater female participation in STEM fields is to be commended,” Dawes added. “The program goals are to increase ‘the diversity of the future Information Technology workforce, to empower girls to engage in STEM education and fields, to bring higher education and college to the forefront for those who may need that exposure, and to create a community among girls and young women as they prepare for college and the workforce.’”

“I was absolutely thrilled when ACRL President Ann Campion Riley called me with the news,” said Terri Fishel, library director at Macalester College. “I have the pleasure of working with extremely talented, creative, and dedicated people, and this is affirmation for every one of them because each and every one contributes so much every day. I am delighted to have their work recognized by receiving this distinguished award. Thanks so much to the members of the selection committee.”

Community College

2016 Winner(s)

Hudson County Community College Library

The Hudson County Community College Library, winner in the community college category, impressed the committee with its impact on student learning, campus technology, and outreach services.

“Hudson County Community College Library staff demonstrated a clear focus on students through their active social media outreach, inclusion of students on their advisory board, and various other collaborative efforts in which students are involved,” said Trevor Dawes, chair of the 2016 Excellence in Academic Libraries Committee and associate university librarian at Washington University in St. Louis. “The library staff has done and impressive job at incorporating information literacy components across all General Education courses, resulting in a positive impact on student learning. Additionally, the library has demonstrated technology leadership across the campuses through the use of various services, such as the iPad cart and the makerspace. The solutions to meet campus needs are both high-tech and low-tech, based on the needs of the constituents.”

“Receiving this award is a great honor for our library and our college,” said Hudson County Community College Associate Dean for College Libraries Carol Van Houten. “Our achievements are the direct result of having a dedicated and creative library staff who truly care about our students. We are so happy to be recognized as an outstanding community college library!”