iSchool alumna garners innovation award from Association of College and Research Libraries

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Meredith Farkas (MLIS ’04)

Florida State University School of Information alumna Meredith (Gorran) Farkas was recently honored with a 2014 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section Innovation Award.

Farkas collaborated on with other faculty members at Portland State University, where she is a general education instruction coordinator, to develop the software Library DIY, which assists students in find the information they need quickly.

The ACRL annually recognizes a project that demonstrates creative, innovative or unique approaches to information literacy instruction or programming.

“My frustration with a lot of library tutorials is that they’re supposed to be for point-of-need use, but they’re designed similarly to how we teach in the classroom,” Farkas said. “We designed Library DIY to work much more like a reference desk transaction, where students can easily get to just the information they need to move forward with their research.”

Farkas, who earned a Master of Science in Library and Information Studies (MLIS) at Florida State in 2004, received the award with colleagues Amy Hofer, Lisa Molinelli and Kimberly Wilson-St. Clair. A prize of $3,000 and a plaque will be presented to the group during the 2014 American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas in June.

“I’m really thrilled that this approach has touched a chord with so many other librarians and that it’s being replicated at other institutions,” Farkas said. “We’ll soon be open sourcing the Library DIY infrastructure so that other libraries can easily replicate what we created.”