First Year Experience Innovation Awards Will Honor Outstanding Librarians and Libraries

In partnership with Case Western Reserve University, Credo will recognize innovation in the FYE space

BOSTON, March 16, 2017 - Credo Reference – the industry leader for information literacy, critical thinking, and research solutions – has partnered with Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) to honor outstanding innovation by librarians and libraries contributing to the first year experience (FYE).

As libraries are tasked with supporting FYE initiatives, enterprising librarians have emerged with creative ways to teach first year students academic skills, build connections between students and institutions, and orient students to institutional resources. “Librarians are critical to FYE success: they are strong collaborators to support information literacy, student engagement and assessment. These awards recognize and emphasize the important roles that librarians play in the academic communities,” commented Raymond Pun, First Year Student Success Librarian at California State University, Fresno.

Successful FYE programs can impact retention, student success, graduation rates, and more. As active participants in the FYE space, Case Western Reserve University and Credo Reference seek to find, expose and reward innovations that are successfully impacting first year students.

“The Kelvin Smith Library has invested directly in the first year experience for more than 5 years now”, commented Brian Gray, Team Leader of Research Services at Case Western Reserve University. “It was clear libraries needed to move beyond the traditional library instruction opportunities to assist in recruitment, retention, and student success. We implemented a personal librarian program that assigns a librarian to every first year student. The program focuses on relationship development that we believe led to a strong foundation for student success at a later time. We shared our experience and brought in new ideas by hosting the inaugural Personal Librarian and First Year Experience Conference in 2014. The sharing, idea generation, and common goals were energizing and have lead to future conferences every 2 years. We are excited that libraries and librarians leading in this area will be recognized by these new awards.”

“The CWRU and Credo partnership is very complementary because we are both focusing intentionally on efforts to improve FYE instruction. CWRU - through it’s FYE & PL Conference and Credo - through its reference and research platform and information literacy solutions,” explained Credo Reference’s General Manager, Ian Singer. “Building information skills for lifelong learning is in fact Credo’s mission statement, and ensuring student success in the first year, we believe, is fundamental to that journey.”

Every year, one library and one librarian will receive a prize of $1,500 and award plaque in honor of their outstanding achievement. The first awards will be presented at the 2018 Personal Librarian & FYE Library Conference in Cleveland, OH. Subsequent awards will be presented at ACRL and the Personal Librarian & FYE conference, which occur on alternating years.

Nominations will be accepted until October 1, 2017 and individuals can self-nominate or nominate someone else or a library for the appropriate awards. Winners will be selected by a committee of five judges representing vast experience in the library industry and FYE space in particular.

For more details and to submit nominations, please visit

About the Case Western Reserve University Kelvin Smith Library 

The Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) is the main library supporting the teaching and research of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, with emphasis given to the College of Arts and Sciences, the Case School of Engineering and the Weatherhead School of Management. In fall of 2012, KSL introduced a new program to provide all incoming first year CWRU students with their own Personal Librarian (PL) to serve as their point of contact with our library. In 2014, KSL hosted the inaugural Personal Librarian and First Year Experience (PL & FYE) Conference, which brought together over 150 librarians from 71 North American institutions. The PL & FYE Conference is held every other year in the spring.