Congratulations to College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Library, recipient of a 2019 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award – the most prestigious national award for academic libraries. Chosen by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) for its creative innovation, the CWI Library was top among community colleges.
“The College of Western Idaho is a college and library that did not exist ten years ago. Now, this library provides a model of best practice for what can be accomplished with creativity, will power, and goodwill,” noted Herold, chair of the 2019 Excellence in Academic Libraries Committee. “In a decentralized campus, the library was innovative in looking at how to function and provide communal space to support student and campus needs as a library, maker hub, and mobile classroom. Of their many noteworthy activities, the inclusion of student employees in implicit bias training, the development of a chatbot named ‘Patronus’, and micro-credentialing initiative stood out. They provide service with respect and dignity. As noted by a student response from the Library’s 2018 annual survey, ‘The library, to be honest, is freaking amazing.’”
The CWI Library has made micro-credentialing a major initiative since launching its Information Literacy Badging Program in Blackboard in January 2017. The badges, online modules with multimodal instructional content, simple webpages, and librarian-produced videos, are available to all faculty and credit students. Upon completion of the program, participants receive a “Research Basics Meta-Badge.” The badging program has extended the library’s reach across campus, and inspired other departments and institutions, including neighboring Boise State University, to develop similar initiatives.
“We are humbled and thrilled by this recognition from our academic library colleagues,” said Kim Reed, director of library services at CWI. “This award shows it’s not things, such as a big endowment or a state-of-the-art facility, but rather people who make a library great. As a young community college library, our most valuable asset is our talented, collaborative, innovative team of staff who consistently rise above everyday demands to guide our students towards greater academic and career success. The CWI Library’s greatness derives directly from our amazing staff.”