The submission deadline is now past and we are no longer taking nominations. Stay tuned for information about our winners. Good luck to all the nominees!

Recognizing effective First Year Experience (FYE) programs can impact everything from retention rates to overall student success, Credo has partnered with Case Western Reserve University to honor libraries and librarians who are innovating in the field. As libraries are tasked with supporting FYE initiatives, enterprising librarians have emerged with creative ways to teach academic skills to first year students, build connections between students and their institutions, and orient students to institutional resources.

About the FYE Innovation Awards 

The Kelvin Smith Library (Case Western Reserve University) and Credo Reference, as active participants in the FYE space, seek to recognize a librarian and library who are innovating new and interesting ways to impact first year students. Every year, one library and one librarian will receive a prize of $1,500 and award plaque in honor of their outstanding achievement. This year’s awards will be presented at the 2019 ACRL Conference in Cleveland, OH. Subsequent awards will be presented at the Personal Librarian & FYE Library Conference and ACRL, which occur on alternating years.

Last Year’s Winners! 

Winners were recognized for their innovative work at the 2018 Personal Librarian and First Year Experience Library Conference

prizeRecipient of the FYE Innovator Award - Laura Kohl, Bryant University
prizeRecipient of the FYE Innovation Award -  The Waidner-Spahr Library, Dickinson College

Check out Agents of Change: Libraries Innovating in the FYE Space 
for insights into their programs!

Interested in the First Year Experience Space? 

blog Visit the Credo FYE Blog and download the Interactive FYE GuideRead about interesting first year trends, tips for programming, and more.

The Nomination and Selection Process

Nominations will be accepted until October 1, 2018. Individuals can self-nominate or nominate someone else or a library for the appropriate awards. Nominations require answers to 5 open-ended questions with a 250-500 word count and can include supporting documents and digital resources. All nominations will also require submission of at least one support questionnaire completed by either a) a library or university administrator OR b) a partner, collaborator, or person external to library that can speak to the nominee’s success. Winners will be selected by the committee of five judges noted below. Any working professional librarian in North America (United States, Canada, Mexico) is eligible. “Professional” means a person in possession of a master’s degree in Library and/or Information Science and/or holding a position designated “professional” in a library or library service.

Conditions of Participation

Participants agree to be bound by these rules and all decisions of the award judges, whose decisions will be final. By accepting the prize, winner grants to Sponsor, its agents, and others working on their behalf the right to photograph the winner, and the right to use the winner’s name, picture, likeness and city and state of residence for advertising and marketing purposes, without additional compensation, unless otherwise prohibited by law. Content and verbiage within all entries may be used by Sponsor for marketing purposes, white labeled for anonymity unless attribution is explicitly granted by the contest entrant. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply and the winners are responsible for payment of any such taxes.


  Meet the Judges 


Brian Gray
Team Leader, Research Services

Case Western Reserve University

Brian C. Gray is the Team Leader for Research Services for the Kelvin Smith Library, Case Western Reserve University. He co-chairs the library’s implementation of their personal librarian program. He co-chaired the first two national conferences focused on personal librarian and first year experience programs. He taught technology courses for Kent State University School of Library and Information Science. He has held leadership positions for the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) and the Academic Library Association of Ohio. He holds a B.S. Chemical Engineering (University of Akron), MLIS (Kent State University), and MBA (Case Western Reserve University).


Douglas Hasty
First Year Experience Librarian

Florida International University

In 1990 Douglas was hired as FIU’s first Interlibrary Loan Librarian.  He converted the service from paper to electronic/online processing and submitting.  He served on a number of ILL-related committees locally, statewide, and nationally.  In 2000, he was promoted to department head for FIU Library’s Access Services, including ILL, and supervised staff at three campuses.  In 2011, he requested to be placed into a new position – First Year Experience Librarian.  He now liaises with librarians and university staff throughout campus as the library’s representative to the first year students.  He received his BA in History from Guilford College, his MLS from University of North Carolina in Greensboro, and is currently a graduate student in the FIU Higher Education Administration PhD program.  Douglas is originally from North Carolina and other Southern states.  He lives with his husband in Dania Beach, FL, and travels frequently to Thailand to visit in-laws and family.


Ian Singer
General Manager
Credo Reference

For over two decades Ian has been committed to innovation in the field of information services and has held leadership positions at some of the library industry’s most well-respected companies. Before joining Credo, he served as Vice President, Group Publishing for Media Source, Inc., where he was responsible for strategic planning and day-to-day operations of such prestigious publications as Library Journal, School Library Journal, and The Horn Book. Prior to Media Source Inc., he held positions at Bowker LLC and Joint Information Inc; in 1996 he co-founded eComp, a web-based executive compensation database covering all US public companies, which was sold to Aon Consulting in 2002. Ian holds a law degree from New York Law School, and a B.A. in History from George Washington University. Based in New Jersey, he currently serves on the the international advisory council for the San Jose State State University School of Information and the board of trustees for the New Providence Memorial Library.


Laura Kohl
Director of Library Services
Bryant University

Laura's areas of interest include library marketing and assessment, incorporating information literacy and evaluation of social media into the curriculum, and integrating instructional technologies and library services into the first year experience.  She is the co-author of “Establishing Credibility in the Information Jungle: Blogs, Microblogs, and the CRAAP Test.” In Online Credibility and Digital Ethos: Evaluating Computer-Mediated Communication (2013) and “Moving from Local to Global via the Integrated Library System: Cost-Savings, ILS Management, Teams, and End-Users.” In Library Technology Funding, Planning, and Deployment (2017).  Laura works closely with the Centers for Student Success and the Office of Faculty Development and Innovation to collaborate on programming for students and instructional partnership opportunities for librarians and faculty.  Her recent projects include overseeing the ePortfolio initiative in Bryant’s first-year Gateway Curriculum and co-creation of an online summer bridge course for incoming first-year students to Bryant University. Laura received a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design from UMASS Boston, a M.L.I.S. from the University of Rhode Island, and a B.A. in Anthropology from Boston University.

Ray Raymond Pun
Doctoral Student in Education

California State University, Fresno

Raymond Pun is a doctoral student in educational leadership at Fresno State. In his career, Ray has worked as the first year experience librarian at Fresno State, and a research librarian at NYPL and at NYU Shanghai. An active member of ALA, SLA and IFLA, he has also published and presented extensively in the areas of public and academic librarianship and community engagement. His publications include The First-Year Experience Cookbook (ACRL 2017) with Meggan Houlihan. Ray is also currently part of the ACRL Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee and ALA Council.