The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) named Kelvin Smith Library the university recipient of the 2019 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award. Sponsored by ACRL and GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO, the award recognizes the staff of a university library for programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution.

Kelvin Smith Library was selected for its collaborative approach to problem solving and will be presented with a plaque and $3,000 at an award ceremony open to the campus community Tuesday, April 9, at 3:30 p.m.

About the award

“The Kelvin Smith Library partners to solve community problems and applies what they do to solve problems within their own community,” said Irene M.H. Herold, chair of the 2019 Excellence in Academic Libraries Committee and librarian of the college at the College of Wooster. “As quoted in their nomination, ‘Research can be used for the advocacy of communities experiencing disruption and inequality,’ and the Kelvin Smith Library is a shining model of this.”

Three of the library’s noted achievements were the Freedman Fellowship for Digital Scholarship program, which has awarded more $90,000 to faculty and student research since 2010; using space assessment data and feedback to make continuous changes to the library; and its National Personal Librarian Conference.

Programs supported through the Freedman Fellowship for Digital Scholarship have included:

  • A sexual assault kit initiative using ArcGIS visual mapping software to plot assault data;
  • Undergraduate student research on race and education in Cleveland Heights; and
  • 3-D imaging of artifacts from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to increase their accessibility through a virtual reality experience.

“We are elated to receive this important recognition of the collaborative achievements of our highly motivated and creative staff, who work tirelessly to ensure student success, advance research and provide a conducive environment to stimulate a love of learning,” said Arnold Hirshon, associate provost and university librarian. “Our culture is one of unceasing reinvention, with a commitment to continuous exploration, experimentation, systematic program development and rigorous assessment. Being the recipients of the ACRL award inspires us to persevere in our never-ending pursuit to provide pioneering, vibrant, and highly user-centric programs, services, and facilities for our university community.”