ULS Outstanding Professional Development 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 Brian Lim.

Established in 2015, this award is intended to recognize librarians, archivists or curators whose contributions to providing professional development opportunities for librarians have been especially noteworthy or influential. The effect of these contributions may be the result of continuous or distinguished service to the profession, but may also be the result of extraordinarily active, innovative or collaborative work that deserves national recognition.


$1,000 cash plus a certificate for the award recipient, sponsored by Library Juice Academy. This award is administered by the ACRL University Libraries Section (ULS) and is juried by the ACRL/ULS Award Committee.


Any individual who holds, or has recently held an appointment as a librarian, archivist or curator at a public, academic or national library, archive or museum. Award recipients must be members of ACRL and ULS, or join ACRL and ULS upon receiving the award.


At least two of the following four criteria need to be met:

  • Implementing innovative or creative professional development ideas or activities that have measurably impacted library users and / or the profession.
  • Active participation in special projects, efforts or initiatives related to providing professional development opportunities that have measurably impacted library users and / or the profession.
  • Evidence of service and/or collaboration over time related to providing professional development activities that clearly benefited a number of library professionals and library users.
  • Exemplary and influential research and/or scholarship pertaining to professional development for librarians.


Submissions are not currently being accepted.

Electronic submissions through the online submission form are required. Nominations should include:

  • A full and clear description in two (2) pages or less of the nominee(s)' work as it pertains to the development and provision of high quality continuing education opportunities for librarians
  • One (1) letter of support from a beneficiary (may be a library professional or a library user) of the professional development opportunities detailing how the professional development has benefited the library profession
  • If applicable, a list of publications or research conducted by the candidate(s), with an explanation of how the research pertains to providing high quality professional development activities for librarians.

Questions should be directed to Lauren Carlton, lcarlton@ala.org.

View the full awards committee roster here.

2021 Recipients

Photo of LibParlor editorial team consisting of 4 women smiling

Nimisha Bhat, Hailley Fargo, Chelsea Heinbach, and Charissa Powell, members of the editorial team for LibParlor - Award Announcement

Previous Recipients

  • 2020 – Mary Anne Hansen - Award Announcement
  • 2019 – Lynda Kellam - Award Announcement
  • 2018 – Corey Halaychik and Ashley Maynor
  • 2017 – Alanna Aiko Moore
  • 2016 – Nicole Pagowsky