Excellence in Academic Libraries Award

ACRL's Awards program will be on hold for the 2021-2022 award season, during which time nominations will not be accepted or juried and no recipients will be chosen for any ACRL awards. For more information, please contact Lauren Carlton.



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.


GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO's sponsorship of the program supports three annual awards of $3,000 each by type of academic library (community, college, and university). Awards will be presented by an ACRL representative at a ceremony at each institution receiving the award. Further recognition of award recipients will be made at the ACRL President's Program at the annual ALA conference.

GOBI's sponsorship will cover the outright awards and provide $3,000 for travel to presentation ceremonies.

Applications are kept in the award pool for two years, and an updated application is required to remain in the pool for a third year. Applications may be updated each year, as long as they are received by the award deadline.


  1. Demonstrate how academic librarians and staff work together as a team to develop an academic library that is outstanding in furthering the educational mission of its parent institution.
  2. The criteria for recognizing excellence will emphasize "outcomes" rather than "inputs" as the best measures of quality. "Outcomes" are defined by the  ACRL Task Force on Academic Library Outcomes and reflected in the philosophy of  Standards for Libraries in Higher Education. Potential nominees are referred to these documents. An academic library may demonstrate excellence as a team of librarians and staff in furthering the educational mission of its institution through one or more of the following, or in other ways that reflect the purpose and philosophy of this award:
    • Creativity and innovation in meeting the needs of their academic community.
    • Leadership in developing and implementing exemplary programs that other libraries can emulate.
    • Substantial and productive relationships with classroom faculty and students.
  3. Agree to take responsibility for organizing and funding a recognition ceremony on campus to receive the award.


Submissions are not currently being accepted.

The applicant must agree to take responsibility for organizing and funding a recognition ceremony on campus to receive the award.

Electronic submissions are required. Applicants must complete and upload all supporting documents to the online application form. The application form must be completed in its entirety and applications must be received by the award deadline to receive full consideration. Application receipt will be confirmed upon submission. Please note: applications may not exceed 20MB.

Please also submit a high resolution photo your library (at least 300 dpi). The photo will be used to make the official announcement.

Interested parties should feel free to contact the chair and/or the members of the award committee for additional information.

Karen Munro
University of Victoria

View the full award committee roster here.