For immediate release | January 11, 2016

2016 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award winners announced

CHICAGO - The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the recipients of the 2016 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award – Hudson County Community College Library, Jersey City, New Jersey; Macalester College DeWitt Wallace Library, Saint Paul, Minnesota; and the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta, Georgia. 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.

“These three deserving recipients demonstrate commitment to student learning, information literacy, and assessment, with a focus on continuous innovation and engagement with the campus community, that exemplifies today’s best academic and research libraries,” 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 Hudson County Community College Library, winner in the community college category, impressed the committee with its impact on student learning, campus technology, and outreach services.

“Hudson County Community College Library staff demonstrated a clear focus on students through their active social media outreach, inclusion of students on their advisory board, and various other collaborative efforts in which students are involved,” said Trevor Dawes, chair of the 2016 Excellence in Academic Libraries Committee and associate university librarian at Washington University in St. Louis. “The library staff has done and impressive job at incorporating information literacy components across all General Education courses, resulting in a positive impact on student learning. Additionally, the library has demonstrated technology leadership across the campuses through the use of various services, such as the iPad cart and the makerspace. The solutions to meet campus needs are both high-tech and low-tech, based on the needs of the constituents.”

“Receiving this award is a great honor for our library and our college,” said Hudson County Community College Associate Dean for College Libraries Carol Van Houten. “Our achievements are the direct result of having a dedicated and creative library staff who truly care about our students. We are so happy to be recognized as an outstanding community college library!”

DeWitt Wallace Library of Macalester College, winner of this year’s award in the college category, was chosen for its assessment, collaboration, and diversity initiatives and efforts.

“Macalester College impressed the committee with its use of data gathered from various assessment initiatives, including an ethnographic study, to drive their progress, leading to greater impact on their campus,” noted Dawes. “The DeWitt Wallace Library’s variety of collaborative relationships, such as those with IT and the Center for Scholarship and Teaching, among many others both on and off campus, was quite noteworthy.”

“The library’s partnership with AdvanceIT Minnesota to encourage greater female participation in STEM fields is to be commended,” Dawes added. “The program goals are to increase ‘the diversity of the future Information Technology workforce, to empower girls to engage in STEM education and fields, to bring higher education and college to the forefront for those who may need that exposure, and to create a community among girls and young women as they prepare for college and the workforce.’”

“I was absolutely thrilled when ACRL President Ann Campion Riley called me with the news,” said Terri Fishel, library director at Macalester College. “I have the pleasure of working with extremely talented, creative, and dedicated people, and this is affirmation for every one of them because each and every one contributes so much every day. I am delighted to have their work recognized by receiving this distinguished award. Thanks so much to the members of the selection committee.”

The Robert W. Woodruff Library at Atlanta University Center, winner in the university category, was selected for transformative change in innovative services and programs.

“While many of us are challenged by relationships with one group of administrators, faculty, and students, the Atlanta University Center manages to effectively support the teaching, learning and research at four different institutions, deftly managing those relationships,” said Dawes. “The library has made a huge turnaround in services and programs, using assessment and data as an important component of their continuous improvement process.”

“The library strives to be characterized by innovative thinking,” Dawes continued. “Whether it’s having librarians certified in instructional design and helping faculty become excellent users of technology in their courses, developing a ‘recruit for tomorrow’ program, or having a robot ‘staff member’ provide assistance to the user community.”

“The Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library is thrilled to be selected for this ACRL award,” said Loretta Parham, CEO and director of the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library. “To be recognized for our demonstrated dedication to excellence and professional services is a validation of the collective efforts of a great library team. As a single library that is shared by the academic members of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, we are honored to work in support of student and faculty success and cultural preservation. We are truly appreciative of this recognition from ACRL.”

“While it may sound cliché, the final decision in each category was very difficult,” Dawes noted. “In the end, all of the nominated libraries do outstanding work for their constituents.”

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 on the ACRL website.


About ACRL

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) 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.

About YBP Library Services

YBP Library Services provides print and digital content, supporting collection management and technical services to academic, research and special libraries throughout the world. GOBI, YBP’s acquisition and collection development interface, provides access to more than 13 million titles. YBP has 300 employees with customers in 63 countries and is headquartered in Contoocook, N.H., USA. For more on the company, visit


Chase Ollis

Program Coordinator