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PSU Librarians Win Innovation Award

Date: 02/12/2014

Portland State University librarians Meredith Farkas, Amy Hofer, Lisa Molinelli, and Kimberly Willson-St. Clair have been selected to receive the 2014 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section (IS) Innovation Award for their work on Library DIY, which assists students in finding the information they need quickly. Social Sciences Librarian and General Education Coordinator Farkas, Distance Learning Librarian Hofer, and Reference and Instruction Librarians Molinelli and Willson-St. Clair created Library DIY along with librarian Andrea Bullock (formerly of PSU, now at Clark College), with support from Mike Flakus and Chris Geib in Library Technologies and instructional designer C.K. Worrell (formerly of PSU). Drupal designer and librarian Tom Boone (from Harvard Law School) created much of the technological infrastructure for the project, with the support of funding from the PSU Office of Academic Innovation. 

Sponsored by the library database vendor ProQuest, the annual award recognizes a project that demonstrates creative, innovative, or unique approaches to information literacy instruction or programming. A prize of $3,000 and a plaque will be presented to the group during the 2014 American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

“The committee liked the DIY approach and was impressed by the scope of the project and ease of use,” said award committee co-Chairs Lori Dubois of Williams College and Susanna Eng-Ziskin of California State University-Northridge. “While many libraries have comprehensive information literacy tutorials, this project provides a model for libraries considering how to help students quickly answer questions as they are doing their research."

Library DIY is a system of learning objects designed to give students the quick answers they need for point-of-need support. The content and information architecture of Library DIY is designed to mirror a reference desk transaction; students can drill down to the specific piece of information they need rather than having to skim through a long tutorial to find what they’re looking for.

For more information regarding the ACRL IS Innovation Award, including a complete list of past recipients, please visit the awards section of the ACRL website.

Congratulations to Meredith, Amy, Lisa, and Kim for this recognition of their work!

Photo of Meredith FarkasPhoto of Amy HoferPhoto of Lisa Molinelliphoto of Kim Willson-St.-Clair


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