ACRL honors the 2015 award winners, part 1: A recognition of professional development

Chase Ollis


Brian Schottlaender wins Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial award


Brian Schottlaender

Brian Schottlaender, Audrey Geisel university librarian at the University of California-San Diego, has been named the winner of the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award. Schottalender will receive a cash award and citation during the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

Named in honor of one of the pioneers of library automation, the Atkinson Award recognizes an academic librarian who has made significant contributions in the area of library automation or management, and has made notable improvements in library services or research.

“Brian is a visionary giant in the Hugh Atkinson mold,” said Nancy J. Gibbs, Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award committee chair and former head of the Acquisitions Department at Duke University. “He has eloquently articulated a vision for the 21st-century academic library, while finding balance with the need for physical resources, services, staff, and space. He understands we must work collaboratively in order to address the most challenging concerns facing libraries today. The Hugh Atkinson Award recognizes risk taking as a value in library management, and Brian has demonstrated taking calculated risks that have proven transformational for libraries. This is evident in just a few of the initiatives he has shepherded: the Western Regional Storage Trust; Hathi Trust, Pacific Rim Digital Library Alliance, and Chronopolis, an effort in extensible digital preservation.”

“Brian has served as president of ALA/ALCTS and is currently the ALA councilor from that division,” continued Gibbs. “He has served as president of the Association of Research Libraries and has recently been elected chair of the new Board of Governors of the Hathi Trust. In each instance Brian has brought his commitment to the library community, helping to restructure and provide a vision for the future, shaping ideas into outcomes. His commitment to academic libraries, scholarly research, and the library community as a whole are truly impressive. He can always be counted on to provide leadership, collaboration, and a keen understanding of the shifts occurring today as libraries address solutions to shared problems for the future.”

Schottlaender has also received the Margaret Mann Citation (2001), the Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award (2007), and the Melvil Dewey Award (2010).

The Hugh C. Atkinson Award is jointly sponsored by four ALA divisions: ACRL, Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, Library Leadership and Management Association, and Library and Information Technology Association. The award is funded from an endowment established to honor Hugh C. Atkinson.

Donations to the endowment may be sent to Chase Ollis, ACRL, 50 East Huron St., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

Sibley named Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Conference Sponsorship Award winner


Christina Sibley

Christina Sibley, distance education librarian at Arizona Western College, has been named the recipient of the Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Conference Sponsorship Award.

This annual award, sponsored by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, and administrated by the ACRL Distance Learning Section, honors an ACRL member working in the field of, or contributing to, the success of distance learning librarianship or related library service in higher education.

Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group will present the $1,200 award and plaque at the ALA Annual Conference.

“Christina ‘Tina’ Sibley exemplifies all the qualities of an outstanding distance learning librarian: innovative thinking, active engagement with her learning community, leadership, and a passion for helping students succeed,” said award chair Jennifer Hill of Johns Hopkins University. “She was reaching out to distance students and implementing programs long before distance learning was widespread in higher education.”

“Tina has been working at Arizona Western College for the past ten years, where she has built a support system for distance students and faculty and provides leadership for her colleagues and professional peers,” continued Hill. “Tina more than fulfills all of the responsibilities of a typical distance education librarian, such as embedding in online courses, creating tutorials and other instructional materials, and providing leadership on copyright issues surrounding online content for courses, but also goes above and beyond by partnering with nearby public libraries in her district to implement new programs. She does all of this and more at a rural, community college library with a small staff, and still finds time to share her knowledge by participating in local conferences and mentoring her peers and colleagues.”

Sibley has served on several ACRL and Arizona Library Association committees, and served on the editorial board for the Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning.

Excellence in Academic Libraries Award winners

The 2015 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award winners are Santa Fe College Lawrence W. Tyree Library, Gainesville, Florida; Amherst College Frost Library, Amherst, Massachusetts; and Purdue University Libraries, West Lafayette, Indiana. Sponsored by ACRL and YBP Library 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.

“These three deserving recipients demonstrate the commitment to student learning, data research services, and digital scholarship, with a focus on continuous innovation and engagement with the campus community, that exemplifies today’s best academic and research libraries,” said ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis. “Receiving an Excellence in Academic Libraries Award is a national tribute to each library and its staff for outstanding services, programs, and leadership.”

The Lawrence W. Tyree Library of Santa Fe College, winner in the community college category, was chosen for emphasizing its innovation and passion for distance instruction, financial literacy, and community.


Staff of Lawrence W. Tyree Library at Santa Fe College.

“The Lawrence Tyree Library demonstrated how their staff brings creativity and innovation to their community,” said Steven Bell, chair of the 2015 Excellence in Academic Libraries Committee and associate university librarian for research and instructional services at Temple University. “This is evidenced within their model information literacy initiative that makes use of strategies such as flipped instruction, virtual learning for distance students, and a commitment to use active learning techniques in the classroom. So passionate are the Tyree librarians about extending high-quality learning to distance students that several librarians achieved certification as Quality Matters online course reviewers, and their own online library instruction course was the first at Santa Fe to pass the rigorous Quality Matters review.”

“Tyree Library also helps students become financially literate, becoming only the second community college since 2007 to receive a $100,000 ‘Smart Investing @ Your Library’ grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation,” Bell continued. “The committee also took note of the commitment to delivering on-campus programming such as mystery nights, to relationship building with faculty and a wonderful collaboration with their education program to deliver a STEM-focused reading program to elementary education students in their city.”

“We are humbled, thrilled and very happy for this recognition,” said Lawrence W. Tyree Library director Myra Sterrett. “The L.W. Tyree Library has a great staff, and we all constantly pull together to ensure the library is part of the fabric of the college. This award is a reflection on the tireless efforts and contributions of our entire library community. Nothing beats recognition from one’s peers, and we thank you so much!”

Frost Library of Amherst College, winner of this year’s award in the college category, impressed the committee with its transformation to focus on its objectives of teaching students research skills, promoting and enabling universal access to information, and creating a new model of academic publishing.

“Amherst’s Frost Library emerged as a clear example of what it means to hold oneself to high standards and to set the bar even higher for what it means to achieve excellence as a college library,” noted Bell. “Frost Library received considerable attention in 2013 when it announced the establishment of the first academic press in the United States dedicated to the publication of scholarly monographs solely under an open access model. While that alone would qualify Frost Library for distinction, there is much more to the impressive accomplishments found in their award application. To vastly improve its delivery of instruction, a new unit was created and five positions were dedicated to integrating the library into student learning. Members of this unit played important roles in tutorials and seminars made possible by a Mellon grant to the college.”


Staff of Frost Library at Amherst College.

“Frost librarians are truly teaching collaboratively with their faculty,” Bell added. “Along with colleagues from Swarthmore and Haverford, Amherst is exploring ways to track students over their undergraduate career to measure and assess their ability to produce quality research. Amherst is also considered a leader among its peers by maintaining high ethical standards to promote the production and sharing of publicly accessible content, while resisting publisher efforts to force unfair business practices on academic libraries.”

“Our library has an extraordinary staff,” said Bryn Geffert, librarian of the college at Amherst College. “They’re exceptional in every way: smart, adaptable, selfless, creative, and tireless. I take this award to be as much an ‘excellent library staff’ award as an ‘excellence in academic libraries’ award.”


Staff at Purdue University Libraries.

Purdue University Libraries, winner in the university category, was selected for its numerous outstanding initiatives.

“Purdue University Libraries succeeds by being experimental, taking risks, and innovating and leveraging collaboration with their faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students to push the boundaries of what research university libraries can accomplish for their community, locally and globally,” said Bell.

“Whether it’s their information literacy initiative that features their participation in Purdue’s IMPACT (Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation) curriculum, a commitment to renovate and create library spaces that are highly intentional about student learning and collaboration with faculty or engaging in course redesign with their faculty, what most impressed the committee was Purdue’s profession leading and cutting-edge work in the area of research data services.”

“Where Purdue excels among this year’s strong pool of university applicants is in their support of faculty research, through their Library Scholars Grant program, which provides faculty members with grants for travel to special collections at other institutions in support of their growth as scholars,” Bell continued.

“The faculty and staff of the Purdue University Libraries are proud of the progress that we have made to define the role of the 21st-century research library within its university community,” said James L. Mullins, dean of libraries and Esther Ellis Norton professor at Purdue University. “To have our creativity, innovation, and dedication recognized through this important award is a wonderful honor.”

“The final decision in each category was truly difficult,” Bell noted. “This pool of candidates speaks volumes about the amazing work that academic librarians perform on behalf of their communities—as well as the global community of learners and researchers—to advance learning and transform scholarship.”

Each winning library will receive $3,000 and a plaque, to be presented at an award ceremony held on each recipient’s campus.

Hinchliffe wins IS Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award


Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, coordinator for information literacy services and instruction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is the winner of the ACRL Instruction Section’s (IS) Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award. The award honors Miriam Dudley, whose efforts in the field of information literacy led to the formation of IS. The honor recognizes a librarian who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of instruction in a college or research library environment.

Hinchliffe will receive her $1,000 award, along with a plaque, at the IS program during the ALA Annual Conference.

“The Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award was created to honor librarians who have made especially significant contributions to the advancement of instruction in a college or research library environment, and no one is more deserving of this recognition than Lisa Hinchliffe,” said award chair Christy Stevens, head of reference and instruction at Cal Poly-Pomona. “Indeed, the breadth and depth of Lisa’s contributions to instruction librarianship cannot be overstated. Lisa is a prolific contributor to library instruction and information literacy scholarship, having authored or coauthored more than 44 journal articles and 10 book chapters.

“As a member of the ACRL Immersion Program faculty since 2003, Lisa has worked with hundreds of librarians, helping them to become skilled teachers, instructional leaders, and information literacy advocates at their institutions,” continued Stevens. “She has also been an active member of ACRL and IS, serving as section chair from 2005–06, and later as ACRL president from 2010–11. During her term as president, Lisa successfully foregrounded the educational role of libraries through the Value of Academic Libraries initiative. She is an outstanding, internationally recognized leader in the profession whose scholarship, professional service, and participation in the Immersion Program have shaped the teaching and assessment philosophies and practices of countless instruction librarians around the world.”

Keba, Schofield, and Segno win IS Innovation Award


Michelle Keba

Michael Schofield

Jamie Segno

Michelle Keba, Michael Schofield, and Jamie Segno, all of Nova Southeastern University, have been selected to receive the ACRL IS Innovation award for their work on the software, Library Learn (http://sherman.library.nova.edu/sites/learn), which hosts instructional videos for using library resources. These modular videos can be viewed asynchronously on demand whenever a patron needs guidance. Keba is reference and instructional librarian II, Schofield is web services librarian, and Segno is reference/outreach librarian II.

The annual award recognizes a project that demonstrates creative, innovative, or unique approaches to information literacy instruction or programming. The award will be presented to the group during the ALA Annual Conference.

“Library Learn addresses so many key issues that we all struggle with, and the committee was excited by the possibilities presented by the platform,” said award committee chair Susanna Eng-Ziskin of California State University-Northridge. “Online video tutorials are nothing new to libraries. Librarians have been creating them for years, but the ability to efficiently organize, maintain, and update instructional videos has not been sufficiently addressed.

“Library Learn is an exciting organizational platform that allows libraries to create permalinks that won’t change when a video is updated, is mobile first and will tailor its design to any device, is ADA accessible, and is available to students at point of need by automatically detecting what type of video to display, based on the users’ search queries on the library’s website.”

Seal named Academic/Research Librarian of the Year


Robert A. Seal

Robert A. Seal, dean of university libraries at Loyola University Chicago, is the 2015 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.

Seal received a $5,000 award during the keynote session on March 26, 2015, at the ACRL 2015 Conference in Portland, Oregon.

“Bob’s spirit of collegiality, support for colleague development, resource sharing on the global stage, and his articulation of the importance of the 21st-century learning commons which places academic and research libraries at the center of higher education, underscored the committee’s choice,” noted Tyrone Cannon, chair of the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award Committee and university library dean at the University of San Francisco. “Bob truly epitomizes the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year.”

“Needless to say, I am humbled and honored to be named Academic/Research Librarian of the Year by ACRL,” Seal said. “I have been fortunate throughout my career to have had wonderful mentors and colleagues who have helped me along the way and from whom I have learned so much. This is without a doubt the most important recognition an academic librarian can receive, and I am grateful to my staff who nominated me and to the committee for their decision.”

One of Seal’s major accomplishments is the planning and construction of the LEAF award-winning Loyola University Klarchek Information Commons. He was the driving force behind the development of the commons, which serves as a model of “green” library buildings and as a hub of student activity and learning on campus. Seal is widely recognized as an expert on resource sharing and the development of library spaces, including the information commons model of academic library services.

He has an extensive publication record in the area of resource sharing, among other topics, including “Interlibrary Loan: Integral Component of Global Resource Sharing” in Models of Cooperation in U.S., Latin American and Caribbean Libraries (2003) and “International Interlibrary Loan: Key Component of 21st Century Resource Sharing” in Resource Sharing and Information Networks (2002).

Seal additionally served as a member of the Journal of Library Administration editorial board (2009–12). An active member of ALA and ACRL, Seal demonstrates his global view through being active in the International Federation of Library Associations, where he served as treasurer of the Document Delivery and Resource Sharing Section (2008–13). He additionally served as a member of the OCLC Board of Trustees (2004–10) and was a long-time member of the OCLC Members Council, culminating in a term as council president (2003–04). Seale has been a board member of the Chicago Collections Consortium since 2012, currently serving as the group’s treasurer.

Prior to joining Loyola as dean of university libraries in 2005, Seal served as dean of the library at Texas Christian University (1994–2005), university librarian at the University of Texas at El Paso (1985–94), director of library public services at the University of Oklahoma (1981–85), and in a variety of positions at the University of Virginia (1972–81).

Copyright © 2015 Chase Ollis

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