David W. Lewis named 2018 ACRL Academic/ Research Librarian of the Year

For Immediate Release
Wed, 02/14/2018


Chase Ollis

Program Officer



CHICAGO — David W. Lewis, dean of the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) University Library, is the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) 2018 Academic/Research Librarian of the Year. The award, sponsored by GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO, recognizes an outstanding member of the library profession who has made a significant national or international contribution to academic/research librarianship and library development.

Lewis will receive a $5,000 award during the ACRL President’s Program on Saturday, June 23, 2018, at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

“David Lewis is a visionary in academic libraries, and he has shared his vision widely over an illustrious career,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Fabbi, chair of the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award Committee and dean of the California State University-San Marcos University Library. “The award committee noted that David has been inclusive in his leadership and service, which has benefited academic librarianship at many levels. An example of this is his leadership of the Indiana Shared Print Project. He has left no groups behind.”

"The past recipients of this award include many librarians I have looked up to and admired throughout my career,” Lewis said. “Joining their company is an exceptional honor. You like to think that the work you are doing is making a difference, but it is often hard to know. To receive this recognition is a wonderful affirmation. I am at once surprised and deeply grateful.”

Celebrated as a champion of disruption, Lewis’ decades-long career as an academic library leader has been characterized by a record of accomplishments in the areas of academic technologies, digital humanities, open access to scholarly and educational resources, library integration into campus and community life, and innovative service development. Through his leadership, the IUPUI University Library has developed a model program of digitally disseminating unique scholarship, data, and artifacts created by university faculty, students, and community partners.

The IUPUI Center for Digital Scholarship, which creates digital collections and advocates for the rights of authors, fair use, and open access, launched in 2013. The center implements and promotes best practices for the creation, description, preservation, sharing, and reuse of digital scholarship, data, and artifacts. Lewis was also instrumental in the adoption of an open access policy by the IUPUI faculty in 2014. The policy demonstrates the university’s commitment to disseminating research and scholarship through the IUPUI ScholarWorks institutional repository.

“David Lewis epitomizes the academic and research library profession’s commitment to transforming higher education and the scholarly communication landscape,” noted ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis. “He has long been a leader in the open access and digital scholarship movements, as well as advocating for the adoption of new technologies in libraries and higher education.”

Lewis’ extensive record of publications, presentations, and professional service ranges across the future of library collections, library space, the library and open access, scholarly communication, and provocative thinking about the future of the academic library. He has presented at a number of major library conferences, including the ALA Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting, Coalition for Networked Information events, EDUCAUSE, and several ACRL conferences.

His book “Reimagining the Academic Library” (2016) represents a culmination of decades of leadership in thinking about how new and disruptive technologies require a major shift in the ways academic libraries and librarians go about their work. Lewis is also the author of numerous articles including “User-Driven Purchase Give Away Library” in EDUCAUSE Review (2010), “Library Budgets, Open Access, and the Future of Scholarly Communication: Transformations in Academic Publishing” in College & Research Libraries News (2008), “The Innovator’s Dilemma: Disruptive Change and Academic Libraries” in Library Administration and Management (2004), and "What If Libraries Are Artifact Bound Institutions?" Information Technology and Libraries (1998).

He has additionally published a variety of articles in College & Research Libraries, including “From Stacks to the Web: the Transformation of Academic Library Collecting” (2013), “The Inevitability of Open Access” (2012), “A Strategy for Academic Libraries in the First Quarter of the 21st Century” (2007), and "Making Academic Reference Services Work" (1994). His 1988 article "Inventing the Electronic University" was selected as one of seven landmark articles to be reprinted in the 75th anniversary special issue of College & Research Libraries in 2015.

Lewis’ record of service to ACRL includes acting as chair of the University Library Section (ULS) Policy and Planning Committee (1989-91), serving as a member of the ULS Executive Committee as member-at-large (1991-94), and as ULS liaison to the ACRL Board of Directors (1992-94). He additionally served as a member of the Digital Preservation Network Business Models Working Group (2013-14), member (2014-present) and chair (2015-present) of the DSpace Steering Group, and member of the Open Scholarship Project Advisory Board

Prior to becoming dean of the University Library in 2000, Lewis served in a variety of leadership positions at IUPUI including deputy university librarian (1998-99), associate executive director of university libraries (1996-98), and head of public services 
(1993-96). His work prior to joining IUPUI includes serving as head of the Research and Information Services Department at the University of Connecticut (1988-93) and Lehman Librarian at the Columbia University Herbert H. Lehman Library (1983-88).

Lewis received his B.A. in History from Carleton College and his M.S. in Library Service from Columbia University. He also earned a certificate of Advanced Study in Library Management from the University of Chicago and a Certificate in Advanced Librarianship from Columbia University.

The ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year award dates back to 1978, and recent award winners include Loretta Parham (2017); Susan K. Nutter (2016); 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); and Shelley Phipps (2002).

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 nearly 10,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) 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 acrl.org, Facebook at facebook.com/ala.acrl and Twitter at @ala_acrl.

About GOBI® Library Solutions from EBSCO

GOBI® Library Solutions from EBSCO offers over 15 million print and e-books to academic, research and special libraries worldwide. From streamlining workflows to partnering with library staff, GOBI Library Solutions is committed to providing the best solution for libraries’ acquisition, collection development and technical service needs. For more than 40 years, the mission has remained same—to partner with libraries in providing access to the broadest selection of scholarly content available. For more information, visit the GOBI Library Solutions website at: gobi.ebsco.com.