For immediate release | February 5, 2014

Farkas, Hofer, Molinelli and Willson-St. Clair win 2014 ACRL IS Innovation Award

CHICAGO — Meredith Farkas, Amy Hofer, Lisa Molinelli and Kimberly Wilson-St. Clair, all of Portland State University, have been selected to receive the 2014 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section (IS) Innovation Award for their work on the software Library DIY, which assists students in find the information they need quickly. Farkas is general education instruction coordinator, Hofer is distance learning librarian and Molinelli and Wilson-ST. Clair are reference and instruction librarians at Portland State.

Sponsored by ProQuest, the annual award recognizes a project that demonstrates creative, innovative or unique approaches to information literacy instruction or programming. A prize of $3,000 and a plaque will be presented to the group during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

“The committee liked the DIY approach and was impressed by the scope of the project and ease of use,” said award committee co-Chairs Lori Dubois of Williams College and Susanna Eng-Ziskin of California State University-Northridge. “While many libraries have comprehensive information literacy tutorials, this project provides a model for libraries considering how to help students quickly answer questions as they are doing their research."

Library DIY is a system of learning objects at Portland State University that is designed to give students the quick answers they need for point-of-need support. The content and information architecture of Library DIY is designed to mirror a reference desk transaction; students can drill down to the specific piece of information they need rather than having to skim through a long tutorial to find what they’re looking for.

Farkas holds master’s degrees in Social Work and Library and Information Science from Florida State University. Hofer holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Molinelli holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons College. Willson-St. Clair holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

For more information regarding the ACRL IS Innovation Award, or a complete list of past recipients, please visit the awards section of the ACRL website.


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.


Chase Ollis

Program Coordinator