For immediate release | January 27, 2012

2012 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award winners announced

CHICAGO — The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the recipients of the 2012 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award - Seattle Central Community College (SCCC) Library; Champlain College Library, Burlington, Vt. and the Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Libraries, Allendale, Mich. Sponsored by ACRL and YBP Library 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.

“This year’s award recipients exemplify the commitment of today’s academic and research librarians to providing quality, innovative student learning experiences,” said ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis. “Receiving an Excellence in Academic Libraries Award is a national tribute to each library and its staff for outstanding services, programs and leadership.”

The Seattle Central Community College Library, winner in the community college category, was chosen for its team support for student learning through innovative information literacy offerings.

“The award committee was impressed with SCCC’s online course, Research for the 21st Century, which is now part of the state's online learning consortium, Washington Online,” said Lori Goetsch chair of the 2012 Excellence in Academic Libraries Committee and dean of libraries at Kansas State University. “Recognizing that community college students are often juggling busy schedules between school and work, they are making innovative use of the campus courseware system to provide ‘Info in Action’ one-credit courses that allow students to take advantage of information literacy instruction in smaller segments."

"SCCC librarians have employed creative marketing and communication techniques such as posters and bookmarks that reflect their ‘Reflect-Learn-Connect’ research model that has been used by other libraries locally and nationally," Goetsch continued. "Through these initiatives and others, they have built a shared, collaborative culture with teaching faculty for student learning.”

“We are surprised and thrilled to receive this honor,” said Wai-Fong Lee, executive dean for instructional resources at SCCC. “Our library is a key resource to the college, and our staff is passionate about providing the best library possible. Although we don’t have an excellent library facility, we make up for it with quality service, strong support for innovative teaching and learning and promotion of information literacy across the curriculum. We’ve also benefited from working closely with other libraries in the Washington state community and technical college system. We are humbled to share company with the great academic libraries that have received this award."

The Champlain College Library, winner of this year’s award in the college category, impressed the selection committee with its nontraditional approach to instruction and positive student-driven environment.

“The library’s small but mighty staff have a big impact on campus, and they have fun as well, fostering community through inventive social and cultural events,” Goetsch noted. “The campus has adopted technology and information literacy as a core competency, and the library provides leadership through an information literacy program that is incremental, inquiry-based, embedded in the core curriculum and assessed through established rubrics. Surveys indicate that students have come to recognize the technology and information literacy core competency as most important to their academic success. It is clear that these librarians love what they do and spark creativity by working as team.”

"The Champlain College Library is deeply honored to receive this award,” said Janet Cottrell, director of the library at Champlain College. “This recognition from ACRL is a tribute to the enthusiasm, creativity and hard work of everyone in the library, and to the collaborative spirit of our campus. Our work is — and will remain — challenging, and this honor is a testament to what a small group of people can accomplish through innovation and dedication as we aspire to embody Champlain College's motto: ‘Audeamus — Let us dare!’ We are deeply grateful to ACRL and YBP."

Grand Valley State University Libraries, winner in the university category, was selected for the collaborative and effective approach taken to restructuring the library organization and build an innovative, agile and flexible team-based organization that is responsive to changing user needs.

“Rather than succumbing to the very difficult economic conditions in Michigan, this ‘reinvented’ library has been successful in garnering the strong support of university administration for a $70 million project to build a new library and information commons that will open in 2013,” Goetsch noted. “Reorganization has also enabled librarians to focus on information literacy initiatives that have led to the development of core competencies and scalable rubrics for assessment. One of these rubrics, ‘Research Guidance Rubric,’ is directed at faculty to assist them in developing effective research assignments for their students. Based in its success at GVSU, this rubric has been adopted by other libraries.”

"When we first began to talk about applying for the ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award, we considered whether to wait until our new building opens in 2013,” said Lee VanOrsdel, GVSU dean of university libraries. “But we didn't want our application to be about a building—as fabulous as that is going to be. We wanted it to be about our organization and our staff and the ways we have learned to work together to serve our university in exceptional ways. We are honored to be recognized by our academic library colleagues for the work we are doing here at GVSU. We are proud to bring this award to the university that gave us the support and resources to dream big."

Each winning library will receive $3,000 and a plaque, to be presented at an award ceremony held on each recipient’s campus.

Additional information on the award, along with a list of past winners, is available online at


About ACRL

ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 12,000 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. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.

About YBP Library Services

YBP Library Services, a Baker & Taylor company, provides books and supporting collection management and technical services to academic, research and special libraries in the Americas, Asia, Middle East, Australia and the Pacific Rim. GOBI, YBP Library Services’ online, interactive bibliographic information service, provides access to 4 million titles in an English language database. YBP is located in Contoocook, NH, USA. For more on the company, visit


David Free

Marketing & Communications Specialist

Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)