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

Community College

2018 Winner(s)

Naugatuck Valley Community College

The Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) Max R. Traurig Library, winner in the community college category, impressed the award committee with its unique services and partnerships.

“The wealth of innovation taking place at the Traurig Library, such as circulating guitars, their revision of instruction based on assessment, and their close partnerships with high schools for student transition and achievement, set them apart as forward-thinking and student-focused,” said Ann Campion Riley, chair of the 2018 Excellence in Academic Libraries Committee and vice provost and university librarian at the University of Missouri.

The library’s participation in the ACRL Assessment in Action (AiA) program in 2014-15 led to an evolution in its first-year experience and information literacy instruction programs. As a result of their findings from AiA, NVCC librarians partnered with school librarians at area high schools to develop an information literacy instruction program for high school students. Students reported increased confidence in researching and demonstrated improved ability to integrate information sources into research projects.


2018 Winner(s)

State University of New York (SUNY), College at Geneseo

The State University of New York (SUNY), College at Geneseo Milne Library, winner of this year’s award in the college category, was chosen for its programming and outreach efforts.

“A strong commitment to open access to scholarship and educational resources, their Summer Library Research Academy, and work with local high schools, along with great partnerships and inspiring letters of support from across their community, highlighted the strength of the Milne Library’s programs and outreach,” noted Riley.

In their Access Opportunity Programs (AOP) Summer Library Research Academy, SUNY Geneseo research and instruction librarians work to acclimate incoming first-year students to the rigors of college and familiarize them with the library’s resources and services. The program, a four-week crash course in college-level research skills, includes a library scavenger hunt, annotated bibliography, collaborative research paper, and poster session. The AOP Summer Library Research Academy received the 2016 ALA Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT) Innovation in Instruction Award.


2018 Winner(s)

Virginia Commwealth University

The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Libraries, winner in the university category, was selected for its transformative services, initiatives, and role within the campus community.

“From their many events and partnerships to scholarly publishing and information literacy initiatives and a strong commitment to the arts, along with their innovative digital history and data management projects, the VCU Libraries demonstrate exemplary planning and actions that contribute to the library’s central role in the work of the university,” said Riley.

Among the libraries’ numerous initiatives is the Scholarly Communications and Publishing Division, which supports VCU faculty, staff, and students in disseminating open scholarship. Its programs include the Open Access Author Publishing Fund to encourage publishing in open access journals; the “Mapping the KKK” digital humanities visualization project, in collaboration with VCU’s history department; and the “Social Welfare History Project,” a national online information portal documenting the social welfare movement’s impact on the United States.