ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries winners announced

Contact: Megan Bielefeld

ACRL Program Coordinator

For Immediate Release

February 7, 2006

ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries winners announced

CHICAGO — The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2006 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award. Sponsored by ACRL and Blackwell's Book 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.

“Receiving an Excellence in Academic Libraries Award is a national tribute to a library and its staff for the outstanding services, programs and leadership they provide to their students, administrators, faculty and community,” said Mary Ellen K. Davis, ACRL executive director.

This year’s recipients are the Thomas Tredway Library at Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill., and the Rochester Institute of Technology Libraries, Rochester, N.Y. An award in the community college category was not made this year.

The Thomas Tredway Library at Augustana College, winner of the college category, demonstrated success at implementing innovative library programs in order to enhance its involvement with faculty and students on campus.

“The Tredway Library at Augustana College provides an impressive range of services, well beyond what would be expected by a library of its size and resources,” said Julia Zimmerman, member of the 2006 Excellence in Academic Libraries Selection Committee . “The staff has developed a number of exciting and often quite innovative collaborations with faculty, academic support units, and student groups. They are committed to accountability and assessment, with results that show that students and faculty place a very high value on the library as a vital contributor to academic life and ‘the living room of the campus.’”

The Rochester Institute of Technology Libraries (RIT), is the winner of the university category, and was selected for its impressive implementation of a new strategic planning process.

Over the past few years, the RIT library system has reinvented itself from the ground up,” said Zimmerman. “A very creative strategic planning process launched in 2004 involved the entire library staff, giving them responsibility for intensive outreach to campus constituencies. The result was an extensive reorganization that focused the organization on using cutting-edge technologies to bridge the library with faculty and students in innovative, highly effective ways. RIT is trying things that few other libraries have tried – and with excellent results.”

Each winning library will receive $3,000 and a plaque, to be presented at an award ceremony held on each recipient's campus. The winners also will receive special recognition at the ACRL President's Program during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference on Monday, June 26, 2006, at 1:30 p.m. in New Orleans.

ACRL is a division of the American Library Association, representing 13,000 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.