For immediate release | March 15, 2022

Baylor University Libraries presented the LIRT 2022 Innovation in Instruction Award

CHICAGO — The Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT) of the American Library Association is pleased to announce that the 2022 Innovation in Instruction Award will be presented to Baylor University Libraries. Created to recognize a library that demonstrates innovation in support of information literacy and instruction, this year’s award recognizes Baylor University Libraries’ information literacy syllabi miner project, a large-scale automated curriculum mapping project.

Developed by Amy James (Director of Instruction and Information Literacy), Joshua Been (Director of Data and Digital Scholarship), and Beth Farwell (Director of Arts and Special Collections Research), the objective of the project was to use text-data mining to find information literacy related terms and phrases within syllabi to help locate new opportunities to provide support to faculty and instructors through information literacy instruction as well as increase instructional outreach and awareness across campus.

Amy James shared the following statement upon learning about the award: “Winning the LIRT Innovation in Instruction Award is a massive accomplishment and honor. My colleagues, Joshua Been and Beth Farwell, have been integral in helping make our information literacy syllabi miner tool useful, effective, and impactful. This tool started off as a dream of mine about two years ago and with the expertise and skills of my colleagues, we were able to turn this dream into a reality. Using it to grow our instruction program here at Baylor has been phenomenal. But, seeing it come into fruition and be used by other campus libraries across the country has been especially rewarding. We are excited to share this open-source tool with everyone so that campus libraries across the world can use it to find opportunities for information literacy instruction at their institutions and reach more students, sharing with them the important skills that they need to navigate the information environment that exists in today’s world.”

And it’s their commitment to making the project open-source and their willingness to support other libraries using the tool that set the Baylor University Libraries team apart among a number of outstanding nominations for the 2022 Innovation in Instruction Award. The development of the information literacy syllabi miner provides other libraries with the ability to upload their syllabi (or other assignments) into the open-source Jupyter notebook and analyze the content to assess their own instructional programs.

The Library Instruction Round Table was started in 1977 with the intent to bring together librarians who provide library instruction across all types of libraries–academic, public, school, and special. 2022 marks the ninth year the Innovation in Instruction Award has been awarded. The Baylor University Libraries will be presented with a $1,000 cash prize and a plaque commemorating the award. Their achievement will be celebrated at a ceremony during the ALA Annual Conference in June 2022 (date and time to be announced).

Find out more about LIRT, its mission, and the awards.

The LIRT Innovation in Instruction Awards Subcommittee included Wayne Finley of Northern Illinois University (co-chair), Bridget Farrell of the University of Denver, and Maria Sclafani of Wichita State University.


Wayne Finley

Chair, Innovation in Instruction Award

Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT)