ACRL selects Excellence in Academic Libraries winners

Contact: Mary Ellen Davis


ALA News Release

For Immediate Release

February 2001

ACRL selects "Excellence in Academic Libraries" winners

The winners of the 2001 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award are the Austin (Texas) Community College (ACC) Library Services, the Earlham College Libraries in Richmond, Ind., and the University of Arizona Library in Tucson.

Sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and Blackwell's Book Services, the award recognizes the library staff of a community college, a college and a university for outstanding programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational missions of their institutions.

Each winning library receives $3,000 and a citation, to be presented at ceremonies held on the recipient's campus. Each of the winning libraries receives a special recognition at the ACRL President's Program during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference held June 14-20 in San Francisco.

"The creativity and quality of the applications for the 2001 award indicate the high regard in which it is held by the profession," said Althea Jenkins, ACRL executive director.

The ACC Library Services, winner in the community college category, emphasized its creative strategies for meeting the needs of a diverse student body, its flexibility and its Connections Resource Center, a national model of excellence in providing a broad range of services to parents and childcare providers.

"Austin Community College exemplifies the commitment to service and contribution to student learning that can occur when staff collaborate to achieve results, even when resources are limited," said Award Selection Committee Chair Maureen Sullivan.

Julie Todaro, director of the ACC Library Services, said, "The ACC Library Services faculty, professional/technical and classified staff members are the reason we won this award. In the 16-plus years I have been here, I have witnessed incredible commitment to service, seemingly unending talent, ongoing learning, great humor and a willingness to take risks and continuously reach out to the academic and local community. I am thrilled that the organization as a whole has been recognized, especially because - as a highly focused, but greatly decentralized institution - we seldom have an opportunity to look at the complete picture. To win an award, especially this award, for our "big picture," is a great honor."

The Earlham College Libraries, winner in the college category, were commended by Sullivan and the award selection committee for "almost 40 years of excellence in contributions to student learning; in partnering with faculty; and in the transformation of the educational program of Earlham College. Earlham College librarians have made significant contributions to the college, to regional associations, to ACRL and ALA, and to the development of library instruction and information literacy programs across the nation."

Len Clark, provost of Earlham College, responded, "All of us at Earlham have watched the great teaching and learning going on in the Earlham libraries, and are so proud of Tom Kirk, Sara Penhale and their colleagues; they've honored Evan Farber's legacy and adapted his passionate commitment to library service in a decade of new challenges. We appreciate the chance this award from ACRL provides for us all to celebrate their outstanding work."

The University of Arizona Library described its emphasis on teams, a culture of assessment and the importance of outcomes in its winning application in the university category.

Sullivan and the award selection committee remarked, "[University of Arizona Library] has consistently been among the first to tackle the difficult challenges of changing systems, structure, work processes and individual competencies. Its record of accomplishment consistently shows the creativity, innovation, leadership and sustained excellence that this award recognizes."

"It is a great honor to win this award and a testament to staff at the University of Arizona Library," said Carla Stoffle, dean of the library. "It has been a privilege to work with colleagues who are creative, hard working and committed to excellence. Each day staff gives 150 percent to reach our goal of being a user-centered organization. Our support from administration, the community, students and faculty have made the ongoing journey to excellence adventurous and rewarding."

ACRL, the largest division of the ALA, is a professional association of academic librarians and other interested individuals. It is dedicated to enhancing the ability of academic library and information professionals to serve the information needs of the higher education community and to improve learning, teaching and research.