ETS Best Emerging Technology Application Award

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Established in 2019, the ETS Best Emerging Technology Application Award offers $3,000 to an individual or group in recognition of a technology application that benefits the library and its patrons. This award is sponsored by Chatstaff and LibraryH3lp.

Winners will also have the opportunity to share their project as part of the RUSA Podcast series.

Award Categories

Two $3,000 awards will be given, one in each of the following categories:

  1. Develops an original technology or significantly modifies an existing technology for an entirely novel use that benefits the library and its patrons.
  2. Utilizes an existing technology and applies it in a novel way that benefits the library and its patrons.


The award jury is composed of members of the ETS Best Emerging Technology Application Committee. Each written application is evaluated using the following criteria:

  1. Creativity of the use of technology to improve library and patron services
  2. The impact on the local library and its users
  3. The potential impact on other libraries and their users
  4. Sustainability of the technological application
  5. How the project addresses equity, inclusion and accessibility

Refer to the Award Rubric for a more detailed description of the criteria


The award is open to any library employee or group of library employees, provided that the following conditions are met. Neither ALA nor RUSA membership is required. International librarians are eligible. Applicants may only apply for one category and may not apply after winning the prior year.

  1. The award application describes an implementation of a technology that has directly impacted a library and its patrons.
  2. The implementation took place no more than 2 years prior to the date of the application deadline.

How to Apply

To submit an application, please complete the online form. Deadline for submissions is February 23rd, 2024. For ease of use, here is a document view of the form content.

Questions, suggestions for potential applicants, or difficulties with the online form should be directed to Beth Caruso at or Megan Benson,

Award Recipients

2023: Matthew Toro, Robert Cowling, Eric Friesenhahn and Jill Sherwood for 3D Explorer and Janet Lee and Tegest Hailu, M.D. for the Kindle Early Language Learning

2022: Eric Schares, Engineering & Collection Analysis Librarian, Iowa State University and Kelvin Watson, Executive Director, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District

2021: Elisandro Cabada, Brandon C. Dang, William H. Mischo, David Tamayo, Robert Wallace

2020: Corey Wetherington and Scott Wagner for developing, testing, deploying, and sharing ShelfReader (Webinar)