The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announced the recipients of the 2018 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award. Naugatuck Valley Community College’s Max R. Traurig Library proudly represented the community college category this year. Sponsored by ACRL and GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO, 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. As the winning library in the community college category, the Max R. Traurig Library received $3,000 and a plaque, presented at the award ceremony held in the library on Monday, April 9, 2018.
NVCC’s President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. opened the awards ceremony with a poem by Emily Dickinson, There is no Frigate like a Book. She recalled her own fondness for books from the days when she was a young girl in the Dominican Republic. “Books have the power to transform, like the work of the community college,” she said referencing the role of the community college to impact the lives of its students.
Irene M. Herold, Ph.D., College of Wooster and Past-President of the Association of College and Research Libraries, presented the award to the library staff with enthusiastic comments about the work done by the library on behalf of NVCC students. A more detailed account of her remarks can be found in a subsequent story, Association of College Research Libraries Focuses Spotlight on NVCC Library.
Steve Sutton, Regional Manager from GOBI Library Solutions, a speaker at the NVCC awards program represented the company that provides the funding for the program and the history of the award. He noted that “It is an incredibly prestigious award, a major achievement to receive it. There were thousands of applicants.”
GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO provides funding for an Excellence in Academic Libraries Award Program to recognize outstanding libraries in three categories -community college, college, and university library each year. GOBI's gift of $12,000 provides a $3,000 gift to each of the three winning libraries and $3,000 to support travel by an ACRL officer to the three award ceremonies.
In the official ACRL announcement, Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis noted, “I am delighted that ACRL can highlight the many amazing accomplishments of academic libraries through this award. This year’s winners demonstrate a clear commitment to student success, an entrepreneurial mindset that results in innovative programs, an engagement with the local and campus communities, and leadership in scholarly publishing. Receiving an Excellence in Academic Libraries Award is a tribute to each library and its staff for outstanding services, programs, and leadership.”
NVCC’s Max R. Traurig Library, winner in the community college category, impressed the award committee with its unique services and partnerships. “The wealth of innovation taking place at the Traurig Library, such as circulating guitars, their revision of instruction based on assessment, and their close partnerships with high schools for student transition and achievement, set them apart as forward-thinking and student-focused,” said Ann Campion Riley, chair of the 2018 Excellence in Academic Libraries Committee and vice provost and university librarian at the University of Missouri. The library’s participation in the ACRL Assessment in Action (AiA) program in 2014-15 led to an evolution in its first-year experience and information literacy instruction programs. As a result of their findings from AiA, NVCC librarians partnered with school librarians at area high schools to develop an information literacy instruction program for high school students. Students reported increased confidence in researching and demonstrated improved ability to integrate information sources into research projects.
“The staff of the Max R. Traurig Library are thrilled and honored to be recognized with this prestigious award,” said Jaime Hammond, director of library services at NVCC. “The mission and vision of our institution has been the inspiration for all of the work that we do. We are grateful to our President for all of her support, and to the students, staff, and faculty of our campus for being amazing partners.”
ACRL, based in Chicago, Ill., is a division of the American Library Association, representing 12,000 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.