ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries winners announced

Contact: Megan Griffin
ACRL Program Coordinator
For Immediate Release
January 30, 2007

ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries winners announced

CHICAGO — The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2007 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.

“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 Hostos Community College/CUNY Library, Bronx, N.Y.; Elizabeth Huth Coates Library at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas; and the Georgia Institute of Technology Library and Information Center, Atlanta.

The Hostos Community College Library, winner of the community college category, was recognized for putting the “community” in community college.

“The Hostos Library staff demonstrate exemplary partnership and leadership with faculty in developing new curricular design and revitalization through the development of new courses designed to teach information literacy, critical thinking, computer literacy, and also by creating bilingual online learning environments,” said Frances Maloy, chair of the 2007 Excellence in Academic Libraries Selection Committee and Division Leader of Access Services at Emory University.

“The library staff has absorbed the meaning of the life of the person for whom the institution is named through their bilingual, multilevel, and curriculum integrated information literacy program,” Maloy added. “Their efforts to produce the bilingual student literary and art magazine, Escriba!/Write! and to create an inviting and bilingual student-focused environment in the library are also noteworthy.”

In addition, Hostos Library is serving the broader research community by preserving unique collections about Eugenio Maria de Hostos and by creating and preserving records about the founding of Hostos Community College.

“I cannot think of a better gift for our students and our community than to receive this national recognition of excellence for their library,” said Lucinda Zoe, professor and chief librarian of the Hostos Community College/CUNY. “It is a powerful message to send to our community here in the South Bronx - you have the best and you deserve it. Winning this award is truly a testament to the commitment of the library faculty and staff, as well as our college administration, to the library and our students. It is a pleasure to serve such an appreciative and deserving student body, and I am most honored and blessed to work with an extremely gifted and generous faculty and staff. They consistently go above and beyond for our students and it shows. And now, everyone knows!”

The Elizabeth Huth Coates Library at Trinity University, winner of the college category, impressed the selection committee with its wide-ranging and innovative services for both students and faculty.

“Using the guiding philosophy of experimenting with ‘all things new,’ staff created user centric virtual and physical learning spaces as well as research spaces,” said Maloy. “The fully integrated information literacy program engages library users at all levels beginning with the first-year seminar to the ‘Focus on Faculty’ workshop series. The library’s web site incorporates chat reference, a downloadable library toolbar, federated searching and a comprehensive set of digital resources.

“The Coates Library also boasts a GIS librarian who leads the campus development of GIS research and teaching. Through the establishment of their own institutional repository called Digital Commons, they led the development of a consortial repository called the Liberal Arts Scholarly Repository (LASR). The library staff demonstrates that they know their community and extend themselves and library services to be wherever students and faculty are.”

“The Trinity library staff and I are honored to receive this award,” said Diane J. Graves, university librarian at Trinity University. “I am fortunate to have not only an amazing team of colleagues to work with, but an administration that supports the library when we want to try something innovative. Even more, Trinity's faculty and students have been a source of inspiration as they provide suggestions and feedback about what they want the library to do and be.”

The Georgia Institute of Technology Library and Information Center, winner of the university category, was selected for its impressive five-year transformation into the heart and soul of the community.

“The library staff was guided by students and faculty throughout the design and implementation of engaging and creative new services to improve student learning, faculty teaching and research,” said Maloy.

In partnership with Tech’s Office of Information Technology, the library made imaginative use of public space for two information commons, a café, a presentation room, and a multimedia center, transforming the library into a place where the community gathers. Programs like CeLIBration during Freshman Welcome Week and Tuesday Talks, a showcase for faculty research, invite the community to the library. The stimulating and engaging physical environment keeps them coming back.

“The library responded with virtual services as well,” said Maloy. “Students and faculty told library staff to move swiftly to deliver digital content in evident and relevant ways. Staff responded with SMARTech and EPAGE to produce, disseminate and archive research created at Tech and are participating in national digital archive initiatives. Tech staff also created award winning software to improve access to and usability of electronic resources and web-based services. The Georgia Institute of Technology library staff have forged a new model for the 21st century research library.”

“I’d like to thank every member of the Library staff and faculty and our OIT and CETL colleagues who participate so effectively to advance the programs of the Library,” said Richard W. Meyer, dean and director of Georgia Tech Libraries. “This award reflects your hard work, creative energy and commitment to the programs of Georgia Tech. I'm delighted and very proud to be a part of this library.”

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 25, 2007, at 1:30 p.m. in Washington D.C.

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.