Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year Award

Presented by the Illinois Association of College and Research Libraries (IACRL) Forum and Library Juice Academy.

Submit a nomination

Not sure how to get started with your nomination?

Click here to download award nomination guidelines and requirements.

Review the Criteria and Eligibility below. 


Established in 1985, this award recognizes an Illinois librarian who is making an outstanding statewide contribution to academic or research librarianship and to library development.


The recipient must be a personal ILA member or be employed at an institution that is an ILA member. The recipient must have distinguished himself/ herself in notable service to the forum and to the Illinois Library Association, as well as exhibited leadership and exemplary library service in an academic setting.


To assure equitability of representation of awardees among the various types of academic libraries and constituencies represented in the forum’s membership, the awards committee will give consideration, on a revolving basis, to these factors in the selection process. Individuals nominated should have demonstrated achievements in such areas as:

  • service to the organized profession through ILA, the IACRL Forum, and related organizations;
  • significant and influential academic or research library service;
  • contributions to academic or research library development through research or publications; or
  • planning or implementing a library program of exemplary quality.

Nominees do not have to meet all the above criteria.

Award Winners

The recipient will receive a certificate, a financial award totaling $500, and have their name added to the plaque at the Illinois State Library.

Please note that monetary award amounts are subject to change without notice and are contingent upon donor funding supplied at the time the award is presented.

Nomination Deadline

June 2

Nomination Submissions

The nominator’s statement of support should address all criteria under the individual awards as outlined. Nominator must submit the nomination form and attach all support statements, letters, and documentation, etc. required by the award’s criteria. 

If a group, department, or organization is chosen as the award winner, the individual members of the group will be collectively recognized. If more than one individual nominates the same person, only one nominator will be invited to attend the Award Ceremony. ILA must receive all nominations by May 15.

Previous Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year Award winners

1986    Doris Brown
1987    Hugh C. Atkinson
1988    Clayton Highum
1989    Donna Goehner
1990    Arthur H. Miller, Jr.
1991    Charles E. Hale
1992    Judith A. Harwood
1993    Elaine Rast
1994    Melvin J. Klatt
1995    Bradley Baker
1996    Pamela Gaitskill
1997    John A. Whisler
1998    Thomas Kilpatrick
1999    Carolyn A. Sheehy
2000    Sue Stroyan
2001    Arthur P. Young
2002    Jay Starratt
2003    Gary Newhouse
2004    Mary H. Munroe
2005    no award
2006    Earl Shumaker
2007    no award
2008    Allen Lanham
2009    John W. Berry
2010    David Carlson
2011    Paula Kaufman
2012    Charlotte Johnson
2013    Carla B. Tracy
2014    Susan Swords Steffen
2015    Dennis Krieb
2016    Pattie Piotrowski
2017    Lian Ruan
2018    Rob Morrison
2019    Gwen Gregory
2020    Molly Beestrum 

2021    Susan R. Franzen 

2022    Michelle Nielsen Ott

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