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ACL Award for Excellence in Innovation


Colorado Christian University Clifton Flower Library in Lakewood, CO

Dean of the Library: Gayle Gunderson 

Staff Size: 5.15 (4 professional and 1.15 paraprofessional staff members)

Topic: Email Template to ‘Book A Librarian’ Research Appointments

The 2022 Award for Excellence in Innovation is awarded to Colorado Christian University and the Clifton Fowler Library staff for the development of a tool to standardize research appointments. The creation of an email template, while a small item, is a huge and wonderful step forward. This tool improved efficiency and standardized the service across all staff and has a definite connection to the library mission statement that specifically “fosters resource exploration.” This project was well executed and effective although it will continue to be enhanced over time. This innovation creates a noticeable impact on all library patrons who use the service. This template is easily replicable by any ACL library. Gayle Gunderson, Dean of the Libray, and Joren Roth, Instruction and Outreach Librarian, will be doing an in-person presentation at the 2022 ACL Annual Conference on this award-winning innovation.

Is your library doing something new and innovative? Consider sharing by completing an application. 

ACL member libraries provide a variety of innovative and new services, programs, and resources to their campus communities. The ACL Award for Excellence in Innovation seeks to recognize these member libraries who are seeking to improve library service on their campus. As ACL member libraries have varying staff sizes and serve a wide variation of populations, this award recognizes that what is innovative for one library will differ from another library and that each library is committed to serving their unique campus community. In addition, innovation may be exhibited in a wide variety of ways which may include one-time events, an annual program, or an ongoing service as examples. 
2023 DEADLINE: October 15, 2022 


Criteria to apply:
  1. A staff member of the applying library must be a current ACL member.
  2. The innovation must be something you have implemented for the first time or significantly updated in your library within the past academic year (12-18 months).
  3. Winning applicants must be willing to present their library innovation as a workshop or poster presentation at the following year’s ACL conference and/or write an article about their innovation for The Christian Librarian.
Judging Criteria:
Applications will be judged based on the innovativeness of the idea for their campus and staff size. Excellence will be based on the following factors:
  • Impact on the library
  • How the innovation helps the library to better achieve its mission
  • Impact on their campus, specifically students or faculty, or the wider community
  • Extent to which the innovation was implemented at optimum levels
  • Sustainability of the idea (if applicable)
Applications will be judged by a committee of ACL members representing various sized institutions. Judges will not be from libraries that have submitted applications.
ACL Award for Excellence in Innovation winners will be recognized with a plaque. Winning libraries are encouraged to arrange an opportunity for the plaque to be announced at a time and place where this recognition can be celebrated by their entire campus and administration. A letter to the library director and to the college or university administration will be sent from ACL. The college or university will also be included in a list on the ACL website with a brief summary of the innovation.



2021 - Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Library