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 Jeff Cooper Inspirational Information Professional of the Year Award for 2023 is Lakshmi Banner, Library Services Team Leader at Bradford College.
The Jeff Cooper Inspirational Information Professional of the Year Award is named in honour of CoLRiC’s founder and presented to an outstanding and enthusiastic individual who has a proven commitment to library and learning resource services. It celebrates proactive and dedicated individual contributions to:
➢ Creative and innovative teamworking
➢ Student academic, personal or vocational development and lifelong learning
➢ Engagement and collaboration with academic staff, curriculum colleagues, professional support services and students.
Lakshmi’s contribution impressed the judging panel for several reasons. She has been a great advocate for the service across the College, successfully campaigning for two new academic skills roles supporting English, critical thinking, structuring assignments, creating documents and presentations and independent study skills. Her contribution to the ESOL Global Learning Project has been outstanding.
Emma Luby, Senior Library Assistant at Bradford College praises her passion and drive:
‘Lakshmi has completely changed the working environment of the library in the most positive ways. Her tireless energy and enthusiasm to support staff and students has enabled the entire team to go from strength to strength in delivering an outstanding service.’
Lakshmi is elated to receive the award:
‘I am honoured. With so many talented and creative professionals throughout our sector, I really feel proud to be the recipient this year. Obviously, any recognition must be shared with the whole of the library team who are enthusiastic and forward thinking. Our collective aim is to create an inclusive and inspiring space and service to motivate all our students to achieve the best of their potential. I am excited about what we have already accomplished and look forward to further innovative projects in the future.’
Timothy Lupton, Head of Department of Learning, Development and Innovation writes:
‘Lakshmi is one of a kind, she is relentless in her pursuit to develop herself and her team. Her passion to provide an outstanding service has meant she is always researching about how she can be innovative in her approaches to support the staff and learner experience at Bradford College. Lakshmi’s kind and passionate personality has meant she is always there for the learners and puts others before herself. Lakshmi has been at the centre of reshaping and inspiring the team, providing everyone who uses the library services at Bradford College an outstanding experience.’
Special thanks go to Liz McGettigan, Senior Consultant, Future Library Strategy, Technology and Design at The Design Concept, for being the external judge for this award.
‘This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to change lives and empower students and WOW! I can’t think of a more worthy winner than Lakshmi. Leadership, enthusiasm, passion, energy – she has delivered all of it in abundance! It’s incredible in the current financial climate that Lakshmi has managed to introduce two new library and academic skills coaches into the team. This is incredible evidence of advocacy and influence! Congratulations Lakshimi.’
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 ‘Spotlight on…’ interview with Lakshmi 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.