Announcing the winner of the CoLRiC Innovative Practice Award 2023

In April 2023 the Council for Learning Resources in Colleges (CoLRiC) announced a call for nominations for its annual national awards. As part of our celebratory 30th anniversary celebrations we wanted to showcase ‘creativity, value and impact’ with submissions that demonstrated the quality, excellence and organisational impact of library and learning resource service provision on the teaching, learning and student experience. All nominations were reviewed, scored and shortlisted by a judging panel comprising an external library and information services expert and members of CoLRiC’s Executive Committee.

CoLRiC is delighted to announce that the winner of its prestigious Innovative Practice Award for 2023 is Bradford College Library for its ‘The Art of Problem Solving’ initiative, designed to develop skills to demystify maths and build resilience.

The Award is presented to a library and learning resources team in recognition of:

  • Innovative service development or exceptional enhancements to existing services
  • A commitment to student academic, personal or vocational development and lifelong learning
  • Engagement and collaboration with academic staff, curriculum colleagues, professional support services and students.

Bradford College Library impressed the judging panel for several reasons:

  • Proactive engagement with students and the College community beyond library walls
  • Significant potential for sustainability with plans already afoot to develop the initiative over 2024
  • Evidence of value and impact through feedback and supportive statements
  • A potential numeracy/mathematics skills blueprint for other Colleges to follow.

‘The award is highly deserved by this amazing team at Bradford College. From its inception to its outcome, collaboration was at the heart of the project’s success. Staff from the Library team, the Learning, Teaching and Assessment team and the Maths team created an innovative way for learners to develop critical thinking skills whilst also improving their maths skills, which prepared them for their exams and improved their universal skills. The award demonstrates how working together can transform lives of both staff and learners.’ 

Timothy Lupton, Head of Department of Learning, Development and Innovation

‘We are absolutely delighted that this innovative and collaborative project has been recognised by CoLRiC. This project has sought to find innovative ways to support student engagement in maths while also developing the transferable skills of problem-solving and critical thinking. The ongoing work of the library team, in collaboration with colleagues across the college, to support our students in their wider skills development is something we are proud to celebrate. It is fantastic that this has been recognised nationally.’

Sarah Applewhite, Vice Principal, Quality, Teaching and Learning

 Special thanks go to Emma Duffield for being the external judge for this award, and to CoLRiC’s valued sponsor IS Oxford Ltd. Emma is Sales Manager at IS Oxford and a Library and Information Management Consultant.

‘The submission from Bradford College was a great example of a simple idea that was effectively employed. It was innovative, extended beyond the walls of the library and demonstrated great collaboration with teaching staff. Well done to all involved.’

Partnerships and dialogue with students, teaching and support staff are essential to develop and deliver relevant, flexible and dynamic student services. We want to encourage you all to showcase your creativity, enthusiasm and proactivity in the delivery of library and learning resource services by contributing articles to our e-newsletter CoLRiC Impact and participating in the members’ only discussion forum.

2024 isn’t far away, so start preparing your award nominations for next year!

Look out for a feature on this award-winning team project in the next issue of our e-newsletter CoLRiC Impact.


Since its inception in 1993, the Council for Learning Resources in Colleges (CoLRiC) has been the voice of Further Education and Sixth Form College Libraries and Learning Resource Services, encouraging and celebrating creativity, enterprise and innovation.

We are an independent organisation that represents a diverse group of college librarians and learning resource professionals across the UK, advocating and championing quality and exemplary practice across the educational sector; supporting our members in evidencing the impact and value that they bring to teaching, learning and the student experience.

All our members have access to a portfolio of CoLRiC publications and resources. These include free attendance at online seminars, discussions and presentations, four issues of our e-newsletter CoLRiC Impact published over an academic year and access to our private members’ discussion forum.