UW News

February 12, 2004

UW earns crown as top academic research library

The University of Washington Libraries has received the 2004 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award, which recognizes the top university research library in the country. The award is presented by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and Blackwell’s Book Services — the venerable international book seller based in London.

The award recognizes the entire staff of a university library for programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution. The University of Washington Libraries was cited for excellence in all three areas stipulated in the criteria:

  • Creativity and innovation in meeting the needs of the community
  • Leadership in developing model programs which other universities emulate
  • Substantial and productive relationships with faculty and students

The Libraries was selected for its proven success at developing technological initiatives, and leading the academic community in the implementation of new library programs and services. It was lauded for developing exemplary programs, including innovative digital collections and services, information literacy for the University campus, an exemplary assessment centered culture, model strategic planning efforts, and creative staff development and training.

“The University of Washington Libraries is a dynamic, impressive and collaborative organization,” said Mary Reichel, chair of the 2004 Excellence in Academic Libraries Selection Committee. “It truly is leading the way for all academic libraries as the library of the 21st century.”

The Libraries UWired program received special mention. In Uwired, the Libraries works collaboratively with other campus offices to promote and support effective uses of technology by students and faculty.

“This award goes to the superb librarians, staff and student assistants who dedicate themselves to serving the mission of the University of Washington and connecting people with knowledge for life,” said Betsy Wilson, director of University Libraries. “They have earned this award by what they do day-in and day-out. It’s a very proud day for the UW Libraries and a red-letter day for the University.”

The president of ACRL and a Blackwell representative will travel to Seattle to present the award and a check for $3,000 in a University-wide ceremony to University President Lee Huntsman on May 17.