Apply for Cutting Edge recognition

Submit your nomination for best library practices using cutting-edge technology

The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) and the Library & Information Technology Association (LITA) are soliciting nominations (.docx) for best library practices using cutting-edge technology.  Nominations are due by November 15, 2013, and winners will be announced as part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 24-28, 2014.

“Cutting edge” refers to tested and successful implementations of technological advancements used in services such as:

  • Improvements in traditional services and processes by inventing/re-inventing/twisting technology
  • Introduction of new, innovative services that are flexible and responsive to community needs
  • New technology-enabled methods for connecting libraries to their communities
  • Funding initiatives or organizational models that ensure library information technology will remain current

Nominations:

  • Must involve the use of technology
  • Must be a novel idea or implementation of a service
  • Must be able to be documented for replication by other libraries
  • Must be for a library that has been involved in the development of the service or product (can’t just buy something off the shelf) or has significantly enhanced the product for added value

Nominations may be made for work in any of the following areas sample areas:

  • Application development (apps)
  • Architecture and design
  • Circulation (sorting, remote distribution, materials handling, delivery mechanisms)
  • Collaboration
  • Collections
  • Community services (to include equity, outreach, programming and assessment of services)
  • Curriculum development
  • Curation
  • E-government services
  • E-resources management services
  • Instruction/information literacy
  • Integration of common core standards
  • Knowledge creation
  • Open source
  • Pathfinders
  • Patron services (to include self-services and privacy protection)
  • Participatory services (e.g., student-created content, community polling, wikis)
  • Professional development
  • Readers’ advisory
  • Reference services
  • Staff management (use of self-scheduling, recruitment and evaluation)
  • Unique missions
  • User interface
  • Web services
  • Other

Nominations should include the following:

  • A description of the project/service
  • An explanation of how the service/procedure is cutting-edge
  • Information about the evolution of the project (identification of need, why it is novel, funding sources/options, challenges, how success was measured, and recommendations)

Applicants may also submit supporting materials in a variety of media, such as Flickr, YouTube, video, audio, blogs, etc.).

Libraries of all types (K-12 school, college and university, public and special) and library organizations (including state library agencies and library consortia) are encouraged to apply.

A joint committee of members from the Subcommittee on America’s Libraries for the 21st Century and LITA will review all nominations and may conduct selected interviews or site visits to identify those libraries that are truly offering a best practice or most innovative service. Libraries or library service areas will be publicized via the OITP and LITA websites, as well as highlighted through ALA publications and programs at the ALA Annual Conference in 2014. 

A Word file of the nomination form is available online and may be emailed or faxed to Larra Clark at lclark@alawash.org or fax 202-628-8419.

Learn more about the program and past winners on the OITP website