Innovation Award

The Rethinking Resource Sharing (RRS) Innovation Award recognizes and honors an individual or institution for changes they have made to improve users’ access to information through resource sharing in their library, consortium, state, province or country. The purpose of the award is to showcase innovation in resource sharing around the world and to encourage other librarians and libraries to make changes in their resource sharing operations to improve service to library users. RRS looks for efforts in which people have taken the initiative to address a need on their own rather than waiting for others to provide solutions for resource sharing challenges. We understand that COVID-19 has required everyone’s complete attention and has led to much change in our work and lives. However, we hope that this call for nominations allows everyone to think of the positive things we do in our work and that you’ll share those with us.

The 2019 Innovation Award winner was Allen Jones, Director of Digital Libraries & Technical Services at The New School Libraries for developing request service functionality creating a completely streamlined, user-centric approach to resource sharing.

The Rethinking Resource Sharing Innovation Award consists of a $500 cash award and a citation honoring the winning nominee(s). Atlas Systems is once again generously sponsoring the 2020 award.


Individuals, library institutions, and/or consortia from around the world may be nominated for the award. Individual nominees must have been employed in a library (anywhere in the world) and have held some responsibility for their institution’s resource sharing services at the time the innovation was implemented. Innovations must have gone live (been made available to library users/staff), at least as a pilot or trial, prior to April 2020. The innovation should be no older than three years.

Application process:

Self-nominations as well as nominations for other individuals, institutions or consortia are accepted. Nominations should consist of a clear description of the new service or change in service that has improved resource sharing for library users in your institution, consortium, etc. Please be sure to include the following information:

  • Describe the new service or changes made to an existing service.
    • How has it improved users’ access to information or otherwise improved resource sharing services?
    • How long has this innovation been implemented (pilot or trial implementations OK as long as service is available to a sizable group of library users)?
    • How did your library/consortia decide that a change was needed in this area?
    • How did you overcome barriers to implementing this service?
  • Provide statistics or other indicators of the positive impact of your innovation
  • Describe briefly the library or consortium in which this resource sharing idea is in place (e.g. size of institution, number of requests processed and filled, etc.)
  • Describe how your user-centered service relates to one or more of the seven principles of the Rethinking Resource Sharing Manifesto
  • Comment on the likelihood that this change will be a permanent one. What steps are you taking to insure that the improvement in service will continue?
  • Comment on ways that other institutions might be able to replicate your success or otherwise benefit from your service innovation


The Rethinking Resource Sharing Innovation Award Committee will evaluate nominations based on the contribution they make to a user-focused service that has improved resource sharing. Factors considered in selecting the award winner(s):

  • Impact on users
  • Scalability
  • Sustainability
  • Ability for other libraries/consortia to replicate or benefit from the innovation
  • Initiative and risk-taking

The deadline for applications is Sunday May 31, 2020.  Send nominations and/or questions to CJ de Jong, chair of the Rethinking Resource Sharing Innovation Award Committee at