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Emily Russel Award

The Emily Russel award was established to recognize outstanding contributions to Christian librarianship. Follow this link to read about the history of the Emily Russel award and the qualifications for nomination. The 2022 nomination deadline is March 15, 2022.

Nominate a librarian for the Emily Russel Award

Questions can be directed to Janelle Mazelin, Executive Director at or (937)766-5499 (fax).

Due to the unusual season of the 2020 ACL Conference, the 2020 and 2021 Emily Russell Awards were given in 2021. Continue to scroll to read more about the two recipients. 

2021 Recipient: Carol Reid


Generously sharing her time, prayers, encouragement, and wisdom, this nominee for the Emily Russel Award is known as an advocate for libraries and librarians. She is noted for her clear communication style and engaging teaching methods.  

Among several criteria that may be considered for the Emily Russel award are special achievement in the librarian’s own home community, contribution to library literature, and professional organization activities. This nominee served her college’s library for over 30 years, bringing it into the digital age. When her college moved to a newly designed campus, she orchestrated the library move in such a way that no library movers were needed, and students were welcomed into the moving process; they were integral to the move and celebrated. 

Professionally, this nominee has worked tirelessly to communicate the value of libraries through workshops on accreditation and library administration, both at ACL and ABHE. She has served as an accreditor, appeals board member, seminar presenter, and a commissioner for the Association of Biblical Higher Education. She helped revise the Library Guidelines for ABHE Colleges and Universities. Her work with accreditation has strengthened both the libraries and librarians of Christian higher education. 

Currently serving as the editor for her denomination’s publishing house, as well as a data services librarian, this nominee is known in her church and community as an engaging Sunday School teacher, musician, active member of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, and Women Nationally Active for Christ. She contributes to numerous publications, including The Christian Librarian, and Reference Point. A member of the Association of Christian Librarians since 1989, she has used her talents in faithful service. She has the unique distinction of being recognized for over 25 years of service to the Board. Her service to ACL includes serving as Board Secretary, Director of Special Projects, Board Treasurer, FACL president, Nominations Team Coordinator, Spiritual Encouragement Coordinator and Editor, BCS Secretary, and twice on the Conference Program Team. At the annual conference, she is known for her presence and participation in worship and prayer. Her work is collaborative and inclusive, inviting others to take part in the work and the fun of being a Christian librarian.

For her significant contributions to her own library, publications, and volunteerism that has shaped both ACL and ABHE, the Association celebrates with deep gratitude, Carol Reid and her outstanding service. 

2020 Recipient: Alice Ruleman


Some people are especially gifted at creating hospitable spaces for those who are new to a group and making beneficial connections for those who aren’t quite sure where they fit. This nominee for the Emily Russel Award excels in providing warm welcomes, energizing conversations, and ad hoc adventures. 

Among several criteria that may be considered for the Emily Russel award are publication or contribution to library literature and professional organization activities. This librarian has published articles in Technical Services Quarterly, New Library World, Library Hi Tech News, Brick & Click Libraries, Journal of Access Services, and (of course) The Christian Librarian. Not only have they enriched the library-related literature regarding technology trends, but they’ve also given workshop and poster presentations on those topics at ACL annual conferences over the years. 

Despite staying busy with articles, research projects, and a state library association, this nominee has served the Association of Christian Librarians in numerous ways: by providing board-level leadership as a director at large and as vice president; by serving for many years as the News & Views editor for TCL; by coordinating and serving on the Nominations team, and by leading or participating in task forces like the Book Award planning group and the CPI Product Task Team. Former ACL President Frank Quinn has noted that this nominee engaged in all of this service while working at a public university, a challenge that this person turned into an opportunity. When librarians affiliated with Bible Colleges or Liberal Arts institutions convened their section meetings during the conference, this nominee convened the unofficial Sui Generis section so those working outside Christian higher education could also gather for networking and conversation. Sui Generis, as you likely know, means “of its own kind” or “in a class by itself.” That sounds about right to me.

For her contribution to library literature, her volunteerism and generous support of the Association of Christian Librarians, and her wholehearted embodiment of the love of Christ in every context, the Association celebrates with deep gratitude, Alice Ruleman and her outstanding service. 

Recipients of the Emily Russel Award are:

2021 Carol Reid 1999 Stephen P. Brown 1984 Alberta Chaffe
2020 Alice Ruleman 1997 Eve Kiewitt 1981 Ruth Butler
2017 Sharon Bull 1997 Lois Lehman 1979 Dorothy Spidell
2015 Nancy J. Olson 1993 Lois Luesing 1978 Ora Ann Sprague
2009 Woodvall Moore 1988 Nancy Dick 1976 Shirley Wood
2001 Ron Jordahl 1986 Ivy Olson 1975 Miriam Waggoner
2000 Barbara K. Nelson     1974 Susan Schultz