Falvey Memorial Library won the Excellence in Academic Libraries award this month, which is bestowed annually by the Association of College and Research Libraries. This honor recognizes “the staff of a college, university and community college library for programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution.” 

This year, $3,000 was distributed to Villanova University and to two other institutions, all of whom receive a plaque, to be presented at an award ceremony held on each recipient’s campus.

Among the recognized were Walla Walla Community College Library located in Walla Walla, Washington, and Rollins College Olin Library located in Winter Park, Florida. 

As one of the most prestigious awards accessible to the nation’s research libraries, the Excellence in Academic Libraries Award highlights the accomplishments and impressive undertakings of the collective library personnel.  

Falvey was recognized for its  outstanding digital initiatives and communal spirit in every level of the organization.  

Lisa Hinchliffe, chair of the 2013 Excellence in Academic Libraries Committee and professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was especially interested in the Falvey Memorial Library, which was granted the award in the university category. 

“Through true collaboration across all levels of the organization, Falvey Memorial Library has leveraged expertise and enthusiasm to engage itself in serving all aspects of Villanova University’s mission,” Hinchliffe said in a statement to University Media Relations. 

Specifically, Falvey Memorial Library was recognized for its dedication to collective tradition.  

“The Learning Commons furthers this philosophy by integrating library services and resources with other campus educational centers in support of student learning and the additional event spaces create a true public forum for the intellectual life,” Hinchliffe said. 

“The library’s work in digital initiatives, particularly the partnerships with other Catholic universities and the creation of vuFind, demonstrates the commitment to working collaboratively with the broader library profession. vuFind is a quintessential example of local work having global impact.” 

Regarded as a “national tribute,” the Excellence in Academic Libraries Award’s importance cannot be stressed enough.  

Mary Ellen K. Davis, ACRL executive director, said the award recipients are committed “to student learning and focus on continuous innovation and integration with the campus community that exemplify today’s best academic and research libraries.”  

With such an impressive application, Villanova stands out among other universities in research availability. 

University librarian at Falvey, Joseph Lucia, said he could not be more proud of the university’s success.  

“We are thrilled to receive this recognition for the achievements of Falvey Memorial Library,” Lucia said in an e-mail.

“The ACRL Excellence Award represents for us the highest level of peer endorsement of our efforts to create an innovative ‘commons-centered’ model for academic library service and success in the digital era. There are many extraordinary academic libraries doing many creative things at this time so it is difficult to stand out from the pack.  We are truly honored to have been selected.”



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