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MIT Libraries Rewards and Recognition: Spot Awards

E-Spot Awards

An update for 3/1/2021:

Hello everyone!
In the spirit of gratitude and Random Acts of Kindness Week, I wanted to present a hopefully easier way to enter your colleagues in for a Spot Award drawing. Brand-new designs available below!

The instructions are fairly straightforward:
-    Download a Spot Award word doc. and fill out your thanks to the intended recipient. 
-    Then enter their name in the Google Form, which will remind you [if you haven’t already] to send your thanks to that recipient!

Please feel free to forward any questions you might have to

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 located in the top box of this page.


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.)

The offerings for requests from winners can now be fulfilled via any of the following [for the $50 prize value]:

  • MIT Press
  • MIT Coop
  • Books of Appreciation, in partnership with MIT Press Bookstore
  • MITAC, for small denomination tickets (Butterfly Place, NE Aquarium)
  • Taza Chocolate for locally made chocolate, hot chocolate, women-owned business
  • Serenade Chocolatier for locally made chocolates and gift boxes, women-owned business
  • Harbor Sweets for locally made chocolates and candy, women-led business
  • Recreo Coffee for locally roasted, family-farm grown coffee, women-led business
  • Indigo Coffee Roasters for locally roasted fair-trade coffee, women-owned business
  • Mystic Coffee Roasters for locally roasted, fair-trade coffee, women-owned business

Please be sure to email with your prize of choice!

Please note:

IRS regulations stipulate that employees may not receive cash gifts totaling over $100 in a calendar year.  Since our spot award prizes 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.