Contact: Megan Griffin
ACRL Program Coordinator
For Immediate Release
February 3, 2009
CHICAGO – Jack E. Fritts Jr., director of library services at Benedictine University, has been named the 2009 recipient of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Distance Learning Section (DLS) Haworth Press Distance Learning Librarian Conference Sponsorship Award. This annual award, sponsored by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, honors an ACRL member working in the field of, or contributing to the success of, distance learning librarianship or related library service in higher education.
Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group will present the $1,200 award and plaque at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Chicago during the DLS discussion group meeting at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 12.
“The committee chose Jack Fritts as this year’s award recipient due to his impressive record of accomplishment through more than 20 years of service to distance learners,” said Jerilyn Marshall, chair of the DLS award committee and head of the Reference and Instructional Services Department at the University of Northern Iowa’s Rod Library. “He has served in a variety of roles throughout his career: as a librarian, director, educator, technologist and consultant. His mentoring skills and his interest in seeing distance learning librarians and librarianship develop and succeed were mentioned several times in the nomination letters we received.
“Jack has long been involved as an active participant in the Distance Learning Section of ACRL and its predecessors,” Marshall continued. “Most recently he was one of the leaders in the successful effort to develop ACRL’s new Standards for Distance Learning Library Services.”
Prior to becoming director of library services at Benedictine University in 2002, Fritts was executive director of the Southeastern Wisconsin Information Technology Exchange (SWITCH) from 1997-2002. He additionally worked at the National-Louis University Library in Evanston, Ill., where he served at assistant university librarian for library technology (1996-97), assistant university librarian for public services and automation (1992-96), coordinator of public services (1990-92) and public services librarian and coordinator of interlibrary loan (1988-90).
Fritts has served as a consultant for the Technology Continuum, where he conducts workshops to train teachers on how to use the Web collaboratively. He also worked with the North Suburban Library System as a trainer during his tenure at National-Louis University and additionally taught adult education courses at National-Louis University, Rosary College and Oakton Community College.
Fritts received both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education from the National College of Education and earned his Master of Arts in Library and Information Science from Rosary College.
ACRL is a division of the American Library Association, representing nearly 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments.