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The Wilmington University Library received the 2021 Award for Excellence in eLearning: Outstanding eLearning Support for Faculty or Students from the Instructional Technology Council (ITC), an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges. The organization represents nearly 200 institutions that offer distance education courses to students in the United States, Canada, and worldwide.

Assistant Vice President and College of Online and Experiential Learning Dean Dr. Sallie Reissman submitted the nomination to ITC, which asked its members to designate an organizational unit that had built a solid reputation for outstanding services for online students. According to ITC, the students could be on- or off-campus and take fully online or blended learning courses. ITC board and independent members comprised the judging panel.

The award acknowledges the collaborative work of Library Director Dr. James McCloskey, Instructional Services and Academic Collaborations Manager Melissa Jones, and Assistant Library Director Adrienne Johnson. 

From left: Adrienne Johnson, James McCloskey, and Melissa Jones: the library dream team

“The library staff is focused on equipping WilmU students with the skills and competencies required to handle information,” says McCloskey. “This award highlights the dynamic, innovative, and customized approach WilmU librarians bring to their information literacy instruction. This collaborative effort, under the leadership of Adrienne Johnson and Melissa Jones, inextricably links the library to the research and teaching process in a systematic way.”

Johnson is equally humble. “We are honored by this recognition for the work of our entire library staff, and especially our instruction librarians,” she says. “This initiative is a prime example of how teaching faculty and librarians can work collaboratively to make an impact on student success. Our students have benefited by becoming skilled researchers, writers, and information-literate professionals.” 

The team acknowledged College of Business faculty for their insight and expertise, which was critical in this partnership. “The COB faculty worked closely with librarians while developing the Academic Research Writing (MGT6502) course,” says Jones. “There was an identified need to include information literacy instruction throughout the course to ensure student success with research and writing assignments.”

—Maria Hess

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