Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award for Interlibrary Cooperation

Presented by Illinois Library Association and the ILA Awards Committee in honor of Hugh C. Atkinson (1933–1986). Due in large part to his influence, Illinois garnered national recognition in statewide interlibrary cooperation. The award is supported by the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Fund and by the Valerie J. Wilford Memorial Fund established in recognition of her enormous contributions to multi-type cooperation and resource sharing. 

We are no longer accepting nominations for this award.

Not sure how to get started with your nomination?

Click here to download award nomination guidelines and requirements.

Review the Criteria and Eligibility below. 


The award shall be made annually for sustained activity and contributions having a lasting impact on librarianship, in regards to resource sharing and/or interlibrary cooperation. The recipient may be an individual, a group, a program, or an institution.


The award recipient must meet the criteria outlined. Individuals need not be librarians or ILA members, nor groups associated with ILA or with any specific library organization.  Programs may have originated in any institution or organization with or without library affiliation, and an award-winning organization may be a library, a library system or consortium, or a non-library organization.


To be considered for this award, the nominee's contribution(s) to interlibrary cooperation and resource sharing may take the form of: 

  • evidence of a sustained resource sharing or interlibrary cooperative effort over a period of years;
  • contribution should be of a permanent quality; and
  • performance should serve as a model for similar programs.
  • The written statement of support should be based on the above criteria. Attached newspaper clippings or other form of documentation, if available, to the application. 

The written statement should support one or more of the applicable criteria. Attach any supporting documentation. 

Award Winners

The recipient will receive a certificate, $500 financial award, 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 sponsor funding supplied at the time the award is presented.

Nomination Deadline

May 15

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 Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award Winners

1988    Illinois Valley Library System
1989    Illinois OCLC User's Group
1990    Doris Brown
1991    Jan Ison
1992    No award
1993    Robert Arthur Wallhaus
1994    Charles E. Hale
1995    Bernie Sloan
1996    Bridget Lamont
1997    Richard D. Wagner
1998    Don E. Wood
1999    LIBRAS
2000    James Ubel
2001    No award
2002    Bradley F. Baker
2003    Valerie J. Wilford
2004    Kristine J. Hammerstrand
2005    Jay Starratt and the Illinois State Library Automation and Technology Department
2006    No award
2007    Peggy Sullivan
2008    Sarah Long
2009    SWAN, System Wide Automated Network
2010    Vandella Brown
2011    The Literacy Suite, Waukegan Public Library
2012    ATLAS (Area Training for Librarians and Staff)
2013    IHLS Share Staff & SHARE Committees (Illinois Heartland Library System)
2014    Mattoon Middle School Media Center
2015    Richard Shurman
2016    Dee Brennan
2017    Kathleen Bloomberg
2018    Essie Harris
2019    Roz Topolski
2020    The Rock River Consortia (Dixon Public Library, Milledgeville Public Library, Rock Falls Public Library District, and Sterling Public Library)
2021    Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS)
2022    Booth Library, Eastern Illinois University
2023    Illinois Libraries Present

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