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University of Maryland Recognized as a Recipient of the 2020 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)

UMD named as one of three recipients for the award recognizing university libraries delivering exemplary services and resources to further their educational mission.


Adrienne Lim , 301-405-1668


The University of Maryland has been announced as one of three recipients of the 2020 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). Sponsored by ACRL and GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO, the award recognizes the staff of a college, community college, and university library for programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution.

“My colleagues and I are thrilled and grateful to receive this prestigious award from ACRL,” said Adriene I. Lim, dean of libraries at the University of Maryland. “We strive to ensure that our values of compassion and inclusion drive our strategies and that a culture of innovation informs the design of our library programs and services. For this reason, it’s even more of an honor and validation when other library leaders recognize our work, because they know the dedication and resourcefulness it takes to advance those aspirations every day.”

The University of Maryland Libraries, recipient in the university category, was selected for its contributions to digital humanities scholarship and its engagement with students, faculty, and outside partners.

“The University of Maryland Libraries stand out amongst their peers for the development of a robust library staff culture of innovation, as well as their extensive collaborations and engagement with the university’s core curriculum, students, and faculty,” said Cheryl Middleton, chair of the 2020 Excellence in Academic Libraries Committee and associate university librarian for research and scholarly communication at Oregon State University. “The influence and impact of the libraries’ partnerships can be seen throughout the institution.”

“The libraries successfully built a relationship with the Student Government Association that resulted in increased funding to the library along with a successful crowdfunding campaign that resulted in $13,000 from the student body to support the Top Textbooks Program,” Middleton continued. “Additionally, the $60 million ‘Fearless Fundraising Campaign’ the library is participating in to endow library fellows, digitization, archivists, and the Top Textbooks Program illustrates their ongoing commitment to sustaining digital services in the future.”

The libraries’ contributions to the university’s digital humanities scholarship are illuminated by numerous projects and programs. Through its GIS and Spatial Data Center, the library has facilitated a student mapathon of buildings and roads in international disaster areas as part of a broader humanitarian effort to assist Doctors without Borders and is working to create a virtual wayfinding app to link coordinates with library rooms, services, and call numbers to help users find what they need.

“I am delighted that ACRL can highlight the many contributions that academic libraries make to their institutions,” said ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis. “This year’s recipients demonstrate a clear commitment to student success and equity, a creative and inventive approach to developing innovative programs, and engagement with their local and campus communities. Receiving an Excellence in Academic Libraries Award is a tribute to each library and its entire staff for outstanding services, programs, and leadership.”

The libraries are also conducting numerous digitization efforts of its special collections, including historic Maryland newspapers, AFL-CIO newspapers, back issues of its student newspaper, rare audio recordings of community-based radio stations from the National Federation of Community Broadcasting Archives, and materials related to Alice in Wonderland. Additionally, since 2005 the libraries have partnered with the National Diet Library of Japan to preserve and provide digital access to publications issued in Japan during the first four years of the Allied Occupation from 1945-1949.

Each library will receive $3,000 and a plaque, to be presented at an award ceremony held on each recipient’s campus.

Additional information on the award, along with a list of past recipients, is available in the awards section of the ACRL website.

About the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 40,000 students,10,000 faculty and staff, and 280 academic programs. As one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright scholars, its faculty includes two Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners and 58 members of the national academies. The institution has a $2.1 billion operating budget and secures $514 million annually in external research funding. For more information about the University of Maryland, College Park, visit

About ACRL

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 10,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning, transforming scholarship, and creating diverse and inclusive communities. Find ACRL on the web, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

About GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO

GOBI® Library Solutions from EBSCO offers more than 17 million print and e-books to academic, research and special libraries worldwide. From streamlining workflows to partnering with library staff, GOBI Library Solutions is committed to providing the best solution for libraries’ acquisition, collection development and technical service needs. For more than 40 years, the mission has remained same—to partner with libraries in providing access to the broadest selection of scholarly content available. For more information, visit the GOBI Library Solutions website at:

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