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 that 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 its 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 ongoing service as examples.

Left to Right: Vanessa Washburn, Lexie Hobby, Kris Ann Hudson, Rebekah Gryskiewicz, Nicolas de Freitas

Southwestern Assemblies of God University, Waxahachie, Texas

Nelson Memorial Library
Interim Library Director: Kris Ann Hudson
Topic: Developing a easy cataloging method using free tools

The 2024 Award for Excellence in Innovation is awarded to the Nelson Memorial Library staff of Southwestern Assemblies of God University. The library was selected to receive this award for their innovation and outstanding work in developing a cataloging method that allows people with no cataloging training (including work study students) to perform original cataloging using exclusively free tools. This method uses Google Forms, Google Sheets, and MarcEdit to create original MARC records that will pass validation checks.

Make plans to attend Kris Ann’s workshop on Monday (6/10) during the 2024 ACL Annual Conference to learn more about their innovative cataloging method and tools.

“This idea is innovative not just for our library, but for libraries everywhere because cataloging is hard. This method allows any library with access to a Google account and MarcEdit the ability to enter a book’s information into an easy-to-understand Google Form, export the Form data from the Google Spreadsheet it automatically creates, import the spreadsheet into MarcEdit to create the MARC record, and apply a MarcEdit Task List to clean the MARC record. Entering the book’s information into Google Forms is so simple it can be completed by anyone able to carefully read directions and locate information on the book. Setting up some of the formulae in Google Sheets and the import profile in MarcEdit from scratch can be rather complicated, but the Nelson Memorial Library hopes to provide the needed formulae and settings files freely to anyone who wants to use it. This method can allow a solo librarian to save precious time… “
Kris Ann Hudson

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


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.

Past Recipients

2023 – Russell School of Ministry – Elliott Library

2022 – Colorado Christian University – The Clifton L. Fowler Library

2021 – Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Library