Instruction Section Innovation 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.

This annual award recognizes a project that demonstrates creative, innovative, or unique approaches to information literacy instruction or programming.


$3,000 cash and a citation for the recipient, sponsored by EBSCO Information Services. Recipients(s) are recognized during the Instruction Section Program at the ALA Annual Conference. The award is administered by the Instruction Section of ACRL.


Projects nominated for the award should demonstrate recognized creativity, quality, and innovation within the context of national trends in information literacy instruction or programming.

Note: The Awards Committee uses a rubric to narrow the pool of nominations and to guide the committee’s conversation in deciding each year’s recipient. While rubric scores are not the deciding factors for selection, the committee advises you to use the rubric as a guide when submitting your nomination packet. You can view the rubric here.


Academic librarians or academic project teams that include an academic librarian are eligible to receive the award. Recipients must have implemented their project in an academic or research library or through the aegis of a professional library organization no more than two years prior to the nomination submission deadline.


Submissions are not currently being accepted.

Electronic submissions through the online nomination form are required. Nominations must include a description of the innovative project, a letter supporting the innovative project, and sufficient supporting documentation for the committee to understand the purpose, content, impact, and innovative aspects of the program. If possible, make the project available via the web.

Questions or requests for assistance in compiling a nomination should be directed to award committee chair Michalle Gould,

View the full award committee roster here.

2021 Recipients

Photo of Alexandria ChisholmPhoto of Sarah Hartman-Caverly
Alexandria Chisholm and Sarah Hartman-Caverly, Reference and Instruction Librarians, Penn State Berks, for their Digital Shred Privacy Literacy Initiative project

Previous Recipients

  • 2020 – Sarah LeMire, Coordinator of First Year Programs, Terri Pantuso, Coordinator of Freshman Composition, and Kathy Anders, Graduate Studies Librarian, all of Texas A&M University, for their project OER Textbook for Composition and Information Literacy.
  • 2019 – Oregon State University (OSU) Libraries and Press for its Undergrad Research and Writing Studio, a dynamic and flexible space where students can develop skills in information literacy, media literacy, data literacy, and rhetoric and composition.
  • 2018 – Trent Brager, University of St. Thomas, Amy Mars, St. Catherine University, and Kim Pittman, University of Minnesota-Duluth, for their work on 23 Framework Things, a free online professional development opportunity that helps librarians engage at their own pace through readings, activities, reflection, and discussion
  • 2017 – Susan Gardner Archambault, Loyola Marymount University, and Lindsey McLean, AbbVie, Inc., for their work on Project CORA: Community of Online Research Assignments, an open access resource for faculty and librarians looking for a collaborative space to share and adapt research assignments, as well as build a virtual community of practice for educators interested in teaching concepts related to information literacy
  • 2016 – Heather Collins, University of Kansas Medical Center, and Sara Kearns and Joelle Pitts, Kansas State University, for their work on the New Literacies Alliance project, an online platform that addresses the “new” literacies required for academic success and lifelong learning and that allows students to master skills at their own pace
  • 2015 – Michelle Keba, Michael Schofield, and Jamie Segno, all of Nova Southeastern University, for their work on the software Library Learn, which hosts instructional videos for using library resources
  • 2014 – Meredith Farkas, Amy Hofer, Lisa Molinelli and Kimberly Willson-St. Clair, all of Portland State University, for their work on the software Library DIY, which assists students in finding the information they need quickly
  • 2013 – Gregory (Mike) Hagedon and Leslie Sult, both of the University of Arizona Libraries, for their work on the software Guide on the Side, which helps instruction librarians create tutorials for database instruction
  • 2012 – Joshua Vossler, Coastal Carolina University and John Watts, Webster University, for their work on a series of information literacy videos, a collaborative professional development project created in cooperation with Coastal Carolina University’s First Year Experience Program and designed to introduce first-year students to fundamental information literacy concepts
  • 2011 – Kimberly Davies Hoffman and Michelle Costello, State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo, for developing LILAC (Library Instruction Leadership Academy), a collaborative professional development project designed, organized and delivered by regional K-12, community college and college/university librarians
  • 2010 – Nancy Goebel and Dylan Anderson, University of Alberta Augustana Campus for developing WASSAIL, an information literacy assessment project
  • 2009 – The Bucknell University World War II Poster Project, developed by Abby Clobridge and David Willson Del Testa:
  • 2008 – Susan Sharpless Smith, Wake Forest University for the Embedded Librarian Project
  • 2007 – "Community Workshop Series" created by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Library’s Instructional Services Department
  • 2006 – Mary MacDonald, Jim Kinnie, Amanda Izenstark, Brian Gallagher, and Peter Larsen for "Issues of the Information Age: A Series of Continuing Public Forums at the University of Rhode Island"
  • 2005 – The Library Prize for Undergraduate Research at the University of California, Berkeley
  • 2003 – University Library, University of Michigan for Instructor College
  • 2002 – Ross LaBaugh, California State University-Fresno for InfoRadio
  • 2001 – Randy Burke Hensley, Margit Misangyi Watts, Ross Christensen, and Vicky Lebbin, University of Hawaii at Manoa for LIS 100 course, "Libraries, Scholarship and Technology"
  • 2000 – Elizabeth Dupuis, Clara Fowler, and Brent Simpson, Digital Information Literacy Office, University of Texas at Austin for TILT (Texas Information Literacy Tutorial)
  • 1999 – Education Project Team (Laura Bender, Ann Eagan, Louise Greenfield,Cathy Larson, Claire Macha, Judy Marley, Jeff Rosen, and Karen Williams), University of Arizona for RIO (Research Instruction Online)
  • 1998 – Nancy Adams, Lothar Spang, Nan Blackwell, Juliet Mullenmeister, and LaVentra Ellis, Shiffman Medical Library, Wayne State University for "Health Sciences Information Tools 2000" program
  • 1997 – Debra L. Gilchrist and Kyzyl Fenno-Smith, Pierce College for "An Abilities Model of Library Instruction" program
  • 1996 – Patricia Carroll-Mathes, Macdonald DeWitt Library, Ulster County Community College for Collaborative Information Literacy Project
  • 1995 – Paula Walker, Andrea Bartelstein, Theresa Mudrock, and Anne Zald, University of Washington for UWired Freshman Interest Groups (FIGS)