ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries winners announced

Contact: Megan Griffin
ACRL Program Coordinator
(312) 280-2514

For Immediate Release
January 28, 2009

CHICAGO — The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has announced the recipients of the 2009 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award: The Moraine Valley Community College Library, Palos Hills, Ill.; the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University, Roanoke, Va.; and the University of Minnesota Libraries – Twin Cities. Sponsored by ACRL and Blackwell’s Book Services, the award recognizes the staff of a college, university and community college library for programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution.

“Receiving an Excellence in Academic Libraries Award is a national tribute to a library and its staff for the outstanding services, programs and leadership they provide to their students, administrators, faculty and community,” said ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis. “It is wonderful to learn of the innovative programs and services being offered by these three exemplary institutions.”

The Moraine Valley Community College Library, winner of the community college category, was recognized for creating an environment that fosters numerous relationships with partners outside those traditionally associated with libraries.

“The selection committee was impressed to read that a librarian co-chaired Moraine Valley’s Academic Quality Improvement Program committee,” said Pamela Snelson, chair of the 2009 Excellence in Academic Libraries Selection Committee and college librarian at Franklin & Marshall College. “The staff is exceptionally supportive of students – the staff raised money for a Library Student Scholarship for their student workers.”

“It is my pleasure to work with the great group of people at the Moraine Valley Community College library,” said Sylvia Jenkins, dean of Academic Development and Learning Resources. “We accomplish so much because of everyone's dedication to student success. I'm honored that the hard work of the library staff is being recognized by ACRL and Blackwell's Book Services."

The staff of the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University, winner of the college category,
impressed the selection committee with its “can do” attitude that has resulted in many innovativeand creative programs.

“The library’s Green program, an emphasis in the university’s strategic plan, displays forward thinking -- far ahead of the curve both in content and partnership with student body,” Snelson said. “The campus dining hall book mobile program is a program members of the selection committee are eager to emulate at their libraries.”

“The entire staff of the Wyndham Robertson Library is deeply honored to receive this award,” said Joan D. Ruelle, University librarian. “It is especially delightful to be recognized for our sometimes unusual approaches to outreach; kickball and karaoke are not always perceived as direct pathways to more successful information literacy programs.

The University of Minnesota Libraries, winner of the university category, was praised for developing excellent strategies to successfully transform and rebrand the libraries to secure a highly valued position on campus.

“The libraries understand the importance of the process of conducting scholarship and have implemented programs to support behaviors rather than product,” said Snelson. “By ‘getting in the flow of users,’ the libraries have moved out of their comfort zone and shifted into an engagement-centered model for all library services and programs.”

"We’re immensely proud of the success we’ve had in integrating our expertise and resources into
the life of the campus,” said Wendy Pradt Lougee, university librarian and McKnight presidential professor at the University of Minnesota. “To have our staff’s innovative work recognized by the ACRL community is quite simply wonderful."

Each winning library will receive $3,000 and a plaque, to be presented at an award ceremony held on each recipient’s campus. The winners also will receive special recognition at the ACRL President’s Program during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, July 13, in Chicago.


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.