Nutter named 2016 ACRL Academic/ Research Librarian of the Year

For Immediate Release
Thu, 01/14/2016


Chase Ollis

Program Coordinator


CHICAGO — Susan K. Nutter, vice provost and director of libraries at North Carolina State University (NCSU), is the 2016 Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Academic/Research Librarian of the Year. The award, sponsored by YBP Library Services, recognizes an outstanding member of the library profession who has made a significant national or international contribution to academic/research librarianship and library development.

Nutter will receive a $5,000 award during the ACRL President’s Program at 10:30 am on Saturday, June 25, 2016, at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.

“A primary criterion of the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award is to demonstrate a lasting impact on the academic library profession, and Susan Nutter has more than exceeded that standard,” said Penny Beile, chair of the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award Committee and associate director for information services and scholarly communication at the University of Central Florida Libraries. “Susan defined a vision for the library of the future, and went on to implement it through the physical transformation of the NCSU Libraries, with its pinnacle being the technology-rich and user-centered James B. Hunt, Jr. Library. As one nominator stated, her vision has reinvigorated ‘...the very idea of a library's centrality to its campus community.’”

"I don’t know that I can adequately express just what this award means to me,” Nutter said. “Throughout my entire career, I have tried to make the academic/research library strategic and essential to the university’s mission and competitiveness, to make a real difference for faculty and student success, and to contribute in a powerful way to the development of the next generations of librarians and library leaders. To be successful in doing this is what brings me the greatest joy.”

Over the course of her nearly 30-year tenure at NCSU, Nutter has been a visionary, outwardly-focused leader committed to demonstrating and heightening the value of the library in higher education. She raised the profile of the library on her campus, integrating innovative library services into the fabric of the university’s academic and research agendas and elevating the reputation of the NCSU Libraries locally, regionally and nationally. Under her leadership, the NCSU Libraries received the first ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award in the university library category in 2000.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Nutter was the driving force behind the planning, development, and construction of NCSU’s renowned James B. Hunt, Jr. Library. Opened in January 2013, the Hunt Library is NCSU’s second main library, as well as the intellectual and social center of Centennial Campus. Widely praised for its innovative services, technologies, and use of space, the Hunt Library reflects Nutter’s longstanding belief that it is the priorities and practices of the university that must shape the spaces and offerings of the library. Due to her efforts, the Hunt Library was awarded the Stanford Prize for Innovation in Research Libraries in 2014 and serves a model for other institutions looking to develop innovative learning and research spaces.

“Susan Nutter epitomizes the innovative, visionary spirit of the academic and research library community,” noted ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis. “She has been a tireless advocate for libraries, giving countless presentations and interviews sharing the success of the Hunt Library in order to inspire others to greatness. The efforts and innovations championed by Susan at NCSU are a major factor in changing the public perception of the modern library.”

In addition to her visionary leadership in the philosophy and use of libraries and library space, Nutter is also known for her unending focus on developing others in the profession. She is widely praised for her keen eye for talent, commitment to staff development, openness to ideas and innovation and ability to inspire others to enjoy their efforts while leading them to great accomplishments. Nutter’s ability to find and develop talented library professionals, many of whom have gone on to make lasting contributions in their own right, is a model worth exemplifying.

An active member of ALA and ACRL, Nutter also served as president of the Association of Research Libraries (1993); member (1987-1992) and chair (1990-1991) of the SOLINET Board of Directors; member (1995-1998) and secretary (1996-1997) of the Center for Research Libraries Board of Directors; and member of the Digital Library Federation Steering Committee (1998- present). She is also a member of the Triangle Research Libraries Network Governing Board, where she has served several terms as chair.

Nutter’s wide array of personal awards includes receiving the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science Alumni Achievement Award (1995), the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award (1999), and being named Library Journal's Librarian of the Year in 2005. The NCSU Student Government honored her with its first Jenny Chang Outstanding Student Service Award in 2008. Under her leadership, the NCSU Libraries also received the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award in 1990 and 2014.

Prior to joining NCSU in 1987, Nutter held various positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries, including serving as associate director for collections management and technical services from 1980-1987. She additionally served as a Council on Library Resources Academic Library Management Intern at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (1979-1980).

Nutter received her B.A. in American Literature from Colby College (1966) and M.S.L.S. from Simmons College (1968).

The ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year award dates back to 1978, and recent award winners include Robert A. Seal (2015); Tim Bucknall (2014); Patricia Iannuzzi (2013); Paula T. Kaufman (2012); Janice Welburn (2011); Maureen Sullivan (2010); Gloriana St. Clair (2009); Peter Hernon (2008); Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson (2007); Ray English (2006); Ravindra Nath (R. N.) Sharma (2005); Tom Kirk (2004); Ross Atkinson, (2003); Shelley Phipps (2002); and Larry Hardesty (2001).

For more information regarding the award, or a complete list of past recipients, please visit the awards section of 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) is the only individual membership organization in North America that 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