Innovative Practice Award


The process of preparing an application for a CoLRiC award can be an uplifting and positive experience.

It was great to reflect on what we’ve achieved as a team. By necessity we spend our working days focused on the immediate moment. There was so much positive feedback on the work of the learning resources centre. During difficult times, when staff feel quite vulnerable, this has given us a real morale boost.

CoLRiC’s Innovative Practice Award (CIPA) is given to a service or team that can demonstrate the value and impact of its service provision, a project or an initiative. Ideas for topics include digital literacy, virtual services, and restructuring teams/redesigning roles.

The 2021 Innovative Practice Award is sponsored by

ISOxford - employee owned


The Jeff Cooper Award 2020
The winner of the 2020 Jeff Cooper Award for Inspirational Information Professional of the Year was Benjamin Poore, Library and Study Skills Assistant, from Leyton Sixth Form College library. The judges felt that Ben was a “committed, creative and innovative individual, who is making a really impressive contribution to library service delivery”.

They were impressed by the variety of student support activities in which Ben is involved and felt that his focus on facilitating outcomes for individual learners is truly inspirational.

In response to the news, Ben said “of course it is very humbling to have my colleagues think so highly of me as to nominate me for the award – and doubly so that the judging panel would feel the same way. It is a real testament to the quality of the work that goes on here [Leyton Sixth Form College] that I am able to do things that help, I hope, enrich the life of the College and our students, and everything I have done has been thanks to wonderful colleagues”.

Best Practice Award
In 2020 we announced the call for BPA nominations shortly before we entered the Covid-19 lockdown. The circumstances we all found ourselves working in changed dramatically. What would have been considered extraordinary just a few months ago became, for many colleges, the ‘new norm.’ For our members, their priorities shifted to finding innovative ways to provide day-to-day support for students and staff. Many were busy creating and rolling out new types of services and support. Our members were making significant efforts in the face of difficult circumstances. These unprecedented circumstances impacted the quantity and type of nominations we received for our BPA.

With these considerations in mind, the Executive Committee took the decision not to award a Best Practice Award this year. Instead we celebrated the lessons shared by Highly Commending each of the entrants:

• Chichester
• Isle of Wight
• South Gloucestershire and Stroud
• St Francis Xavier


In 2019 we awarded two prizes.

Chichester College Group Libraries demonstrated excellent practice in marketing and social media. The team successfully utilised Twitter as a tool for internal advocacy and service growth; showcasing their services and embedding the library in the teaching and learning community. Jo McKenna-Aspell, Library Assistant at the Chichester College Group said ‘The aim was to create an engaging Twitter presence that would re-energise service delivery and improve both the number and quality of interactions and engagement with students and staff. Twitter has been instrumental in bringing the wider community into the libraries and cementing their place at the heart of the College. We are so grateful that we have won this prestigious Best Practice Award in recognition of what we have achieved.’

The Library at Northampton College demonstrated excellent practice in digital literacy. The DigiCap scheme helps to improve and develop IT skills and confidence in using new technology across all levels, from very basic to advanced.
Kate Brown, Learning Facilitator Coordinator at the College was delighted with the outcome. ‘Winning the Best Practice Award means so much to everybody on the team. We’ve worked hard to deliver DigiCap to as many students as possible; to ensure that they are prepared for the technological challenges they will face in employment. DigiCap has raised the standard of digital literacy in our students and they are more likely to succeed in their chosen careers.’


In 2018 there were two prize winners.

The Library at Northampton College won for demonstrating excellent practice in engaging students in numeracy skills. ‘Maths Magician’ is an original and innovative 20-week numeracy scheme developed by library assistants at the College in support of the Government’s agenda to improve literacy and numeracy in the UK. The scheme was designed to embed numeracy skills by inviting students to continually practise their maths skills through completing a weekly maths puzzle.

Northampton College’s Librarian Amy Harnaman said: ‘Maths Magician has raised awareness of the role of the Library as an indispensable service in the promotion of learning. Above all it breaks down the barrier of the general fear of maths in society and makes maths magical, not menacing.’

The Learning Resource Centres, part of Information and Learning Services at Exeter College, won for demonstrating excellent practice in digital implementation & innovation. They responded to the increasing importance of student digital literacy skills and their parity with traditional information literacy skills by evolving the traditional subject librarian role into a new Information and Digital Practitioner role. The IDPs designed and delivered new courses on topics including fake news, the opportunities and pitfalls of social media and professional online identity.

Tammy East, LRC Customer Experience Manager said: ‘Winning the Best Practice Award in Digital Implementation and Innovation is a wonderful recognition of more than a year’s hard work developing a contemporary digital literacy provision and reaching more students than we ever thought possible.’