Purposely Awakened, November 2, 2016 —

Robert W Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center, Location: Atlanta GA, Architect: Shepley Bulfinch


The Atlanta University Center (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library is the winner of the 2016 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award. This is the first time that a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Library has received this national honor.

“This award is a stamp of recognition to the staff here and the programs we offer our students” says Loretta Parham, CEO and Library Director. “This brings an immense endorsement to the level of education that is provided at the AUC, it proves that an HBCU can bring as much value, and expertise as a library at a predominantly white institution. And we do it with much fewer resources.”

The AUC Woodruff Library competed against hundreds of national university libraries. After a competitive selection process, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and YBP Library Services, selected the AUC Woodruff Library as its winner, recognizing the library’s staff, programs and resources which further the educational missions of the institutions they serve.

The Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library serves the students and faculty at Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College and Spellman College. “While many academic libraries are challenged by relationships with one group of administrators, faculty, and students, the Atlanta University Center manages to effectively support the teaching, learning and research at four different institutions, deftly managing those relationships,” says Trevor Dawes, chair of the 2016 Excellence in Academic Libraries Committee.

Fondly known as “Club Woody” to its students and alumni, the AUC Woodruff library is heralded as a safe learning and social destination in the academic village. “Each year we continue to see the ‘Club Woody’ definition evolve,” chuckles Parham.

“We’re not offended by that title at all. People give nicknames to things that are near and dear to their heart. This is a welcoming space where students can visit with their friends, meet for classes, work on projects, engage in educational activities, and discuss social and political issues” she adds.

The AUC Woodruff Library has holdings of over 1.5 million items in all formats, and its Archives Research Center is a well-known destination for the preservation and documentation of African American history and culture. It houses items from the historic Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Papers, the Asa G. Hilliard Collection, the Walter Rodney Collection, the C. Eric Lincoln Collection and the Tupac Shakur Collection.

To learn more about the AUC Woodruff Library visit www.auctr.edu.