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MIT Libraries Rewards and Recognition: Spot Awards

E-Spot Awards

As of 3/13/2020, we will be implementing the electronic Spot Award System! 

Recently, Libraries’ HR has discussed the Spot Award process as many staff members go remote in the upcoming weeks. To stay connected even when social distancing, we have put together a few “E-Spot Award” options for you on the LibGuides below. The directions are as follows [and can be found in each document’s 3rd page]:


On the 1st page, complete the form with your own personal message of thanks. Make sure to sign the note – above the 2nd page!


Complete the 2nd page portion of the note by filling in the nominee’s name in the space provided.


For the time being, please submit the 1st page of this document via email to the intended recipient. Then send the 2nd page to with the EXACT subject line of “Spot Award System”. Anything without that subject line will not be counted.


Entries received by the last working day of the month will be entered into that month’s drawing, which will take place during the first week of the following month. If we are still remote by next drawing, a list randomizer will be used to determine 6 winners.


Entries received after the last working day of the month will be included in the drawing for the month following.


Thank you for your flexibility during this time. If you prefer to take Spot Awards home with you, those will be counted/collected when we return to campus. 

Spot Award Program

Mission Statement
The Spot Award Program is intended to acknowledge and demonstrate immediate and spontaneous appreciation for the contributions of individuals.


Form of Awards
The Spot Award will take two concurrent forms:


  1. a thank you note from colleague
  2. a chance to win 1 of 6 monthly awards or 1 of at least 2 year-end awards


Submission Process
A two-part, perforated thank you note will be made available to all MIT Libraries staff.  One part of the note will provide space for a library staff member to write a personalized thank you, which will serve as on-the-spot acknowledgement of an individual's contribution. The second part of the note, which will provide space to record the nominee's name, will serve as an entry blank for the monthly and/or year-end award drawing. After completing the thank you note, the author needs to separate the bottom (where the name has been entered) and send it to lib-hr in NE-36th, 7th Floor. Please do not address to one individual member of Libraries' HR - we have a special mailbox set up just for Spot Awards as-such.  The author should then send the thank you note (the top larger section of form) to the person they are nominating.  HR will place the entry blank in the pool for the monthly drawing after checking to ensure nobody is drawn more than twice in a fiscal year.  As of March 2020, we are now only accepting digital Spot Awards. Please follow the instructions at the top by mailing the recipient their half, and the bottom half to


Award Schedule
The Spot Award program went into effect on July 1, 2001. There is no set schedule for the distribution of Spot Awards, in the form of the personalized thank you note, as they are intended to be spontaneous. Staff are encouraged to complete a thank you note in a timely manner to recognize the efforts of others. Thank you notes received by Administrative Services by the last working day of the month will be entered into that month's drawing, to take place on the first working day of the following month (i.e, nominations received by July 31, 2001 will be entered into the July pool, the drawing for which will take place on August 1, 2001.)

Award Amounts
As of August 2020, in accordance with guidance from Central HR, we can no longer distribute gift cards/gift certificates as prizes for Spot Awards - apologies. We are working to find a suitable solution.

Awards, in the form of gift certificates, will total $50 per award. Gift certificates will be available in increments of $50. Please refer to the list of available places to request your award amount from until next fiscal year:

1. Amazon or Etsy

2. Target

3. Starbucks

4. Staples

5. Best Buy


7. Lyft

8. A gas card for car

9. Tech Cash/the Coop


Please note:

IRS regulations stipulate that employees may not receive cash gifts (gift cards) totaling over $100 in a calendar year.  Since our spot award gift cards are $50 each, this means that individuals who are lucky enough to have their name pulled from the monthly random drawing more than twice will not qualify to receive a gift card after the second award.  However the current R&R committee encourages us to continue to thank and recognize those colleagues nonetheless. 

Award Opportunities
All Libraries' staff, both regular and temporary (MIT Temps) will have access to the Spot Award program both in terms of demonstrating appreciation of others and receiving appreciation from others. A maximum of six awards will be presented as a result of each monthly drawing. An individual receiving multiple thank you's per month will be eligible for multiple entries in the monthly pool but will be eligible to win only one award in the that given month. In addition, a minimum of two awards will be presented at the annual Rewards & Recognition event. These awardees will be drawn from a pool comprised of those nominees submitted throughout the year who were not drawn from the monthly pool.


Selection Process
The monthly drawing for gift certificates will take place as close to the first working day of each month as possible for the previous month's awards. R&R committee members will coordinate the drawing, which will be witnessed by another member of the Rewards & Recognition Selection Team.


Program Facilitation
Administrative Services staff will be responsible for the facilitation of the program including communication efforts, maintaining supplies of award notes and gift certificates, thank you distributions, maintenance of program web site, and serving as the Institute's R&R key contact.


Program Communication will send a monthly e-mail to all-lib announcing the Spot Award recipients for that month. A website, containing information about the Libraries' Rewards and Recognition Program, is accessible via the Staff Web. This site contains a link to information about the Institute's program as well.