January 30, 2008

Editors: A photo of University Librarian Jeff Trzeciak can be downloaded

"The Oscar" for best academic library goes to McMaster University

Named top library in North America

Hamilton, ON - McMaster University’s library has been named the top academic library in North America. It is the first Canadian academic library to receive the Excellence in Academic Libraries Award, granted yearly by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

The award was announced late yesterday in Chicago.

“This is like winning the Oscar for best film,” says University Librarian, Jeffrey Trzeciak, who joined McMaster’s Library in 2006 from Wayne State University. “Receiving this international recognition is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the staff here at the McMaster University Libraries. We are totally rethinking how the library operates, how it is used, how it is perceived. We strive for a fresh approach to campus library services.”

Previous winners of the award include Georgia Tech University, the University of Virginia, and Cornell University Library.

The award recognizes a library that represents excellence in one or more of the following: creativity and innovation in meeting the needs of their academic community; leadership in developing and implementing exemplary programs that other libraries can emulate; substantial and productive relationships with classroom faculty and students.

ACRL cited McMaster’s focus on user-centered innovations and services.  The Library recently joined the Center for Research Libraries, which gives users access to millions of resources such as 800,000 doctoral dissertations from outside North America (including those of Albert Einstein, Dag Hammarskjold and other Nobel laureates) and some of the earliest African-American newspapers.  As well, renovations and the reconceptualizing of library space resulted in the award-winning Mills Learning Commons and the acclaimed Health Sciences Library. 

Despite the recent recognition, library staff will not be resting on their laurels. Plans are in the works for an exciting and brash overhaul of the H.G. Thode Library of Science & Engineering.

McMaster’s complete application can be downloaded from the ACRL website


McMaster University, a world-renowned, research-intensive university, fosters a culture of innovation, and a commitment to discovery and learning in teaching, research and scholarship. Based in Hamilton, the University, one of only four Canadian universities to be listed on the Top 100 universities in the world, has a student population of more than 23,000, and an alumni population of more than 130,000 in 128 countries.


For more information please contact:

Jane Christmas

Manager, Public & Media Relations

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 27988


Michelle Donovan

Public Relations Manager: Broadcast Media

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 22869