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  • Portal:Libraries and the Academy 2018 Johns Hopkins University Press Award for Best Article
  • Marianne Ryan

The Best Article Award Committee has announced the selection of "Developmentalism: Learning as the Basis for Evaluating Information" as recipient of the 2018 Johns Hopkins University Press Award for the best article featured in portal: Libraries and the Academy during 2017. Written by Mark Lenker, the article appears in volume 17, number 4 (2017), pages 721–37, and can be accessed at

The criteria used in the selection process for this award include the quality of research methodology; the extent to which the article places library issues in a broader academic or higher education context; the degree to which the article makes a significant contribution to the literature or the advancement of knowledge; and the timeliness, originality, and overall quality of writing. After an assessment of all articles in volume 17 and independent review of those nominated by Editorial Board members, the committee chose Lenker's piece as the 14th annual recipient of this award. The author will receive a plaque from the Johns Hopkins University Press and a cash prize.

As noted in the committee's report, Lenker's insightful article is a well-written, genuine thought piece that covers educational theory in a way that is clear and highly accessible. At the same time, it is somewhat unsettling, challenging accepted practices within libraries and showing their limitations. The essay is an excellent synthesis of the idea of developmentalism; it sets an original and cogent argument within a conceptual framework and elevates the discourse about information literacy, effectively placing it into a broader philosophical discussion within the academy. The article asks, "What does it mean for information to be good?" One of its answers is "Good information has a disruptive impact on one's current thoughts and feeling, thereby creating an occasion for learning and growth." The author offers the reader an opportunity to learn something new and applicable to teaching the complex process of evaluating sources. As such, the article's interdisciplinary relevance makes it useful to a broader audience, including but not limited to those teaching composition, rhetoric, and critical thinking.

Mark Lenker is a teaching and learning librarian in the Department of Educational Initiatives at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. After his article was published but before receiving this award, he became a member of the Editorial Board of portal: Libraries and the Academy.

Sincere thanks to this year's Best Article Award Committee members for their thoughtful efforts to identify a worthy recipient: Carol Pitts Diedrichs, Maribeth Slebodnik, and Mary Casserly (chair). [End Page 1]



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