The library receives the Excellence in Academic Library award


work at the Dewitt Wallace Library. The library was recently awarded the University Library Excellence Award in the College category by the Association of College Research Libraries. Photo by Josh Koh ’18.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) recently awarded Dewitt Wallace Library in Macalester with the 2016 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award for the college category.

The Hudson County Community College Library in Jersey City, New Jersey won the “Community College” category and the Robert W. Woodruff Library at the University Center of Atlanta in Atlanta, Ga., Won the “University” category. .

“This year’s ‘academic’ award was one of my colleagues from the Oberlin group at Atlanta University Center, which is Spelman and Morehouse Colleges… so it was really cool to be able to win the same year that she was,” said Terri, director of the library. Fishel said.

The process itself was arduous. On behalf of the Dewitt Wallace Library staff, Angi Faiks, Terri Fishel, Katy Gabrio, Beth Hillemann and Jacki Betsworth wrote an entry explaining why Macalester deserved the award. Even though the page limit was 10 pages, Macalester’s request was 15 because they felt there was too much to include for just 10 pages.

“You’re limited to 10 pages and we made 15, we rigged a bit. And then that request is reviewed by a committee, ”Fishel said.

The ACRL aims to reward libraries that implement successful programs that other libraries can replicate. In the official press release announcing the winners, ACRL was particularly impressed by Macalester for “her assessment, collaboration and diversity initiatives and efforts”.

The library implemented programs such as a workshop with AdvanceIT Minnesota to introduce young underrepresented women to STEM fields such as computer science and robotics on a college campus through a week-long workshop in Macalester. It also exposes young women to the idea of ​​a future with higher education.

Other successful programs launched by the Macalester Library include more library teaching programs, assessment of students and the library itself, publication of more faculty and student work, review of physics and a review of American studies.

Library staff credit the new programs and enhancements to existing programs for making the library a more attractive choice for the price.
The Macalester Library is exceptional, for the quality of its staff and its dedication to promoting the mission of the College.

“They are one of the best resources we have… I’m approaching my thirteenth birthday here and it amazes me how much every staff member here wants to help every person who walks through the door to be successful. in everything they are trying to accomplish. We hate to say no to anyone, ”added Katy Gabrio, deputy director of collection development and discovery.

In the future, library staff have said they hope to start a diversity-in-residence program.

“We got the approval to go ahead and continue to develop the grant… now we’re just talking to people and then writing the proposal,” Fishel explained.

The program would attract young librarians from historically under-represented library backgrounds to Macalester.

While the Dewitt Wallace Library in Macalester has some exceptional programs, library staff want some to be used more by students.

Among these are research consultations with librarians who can share new approaches to questions and can save students considerable time.

“If you talk to a librarian, they’ll come up with strategies that will save you time and help you make effective use of the resources we have that you might not even necessarily know we have,” Fishel said.

Fishel notes that there has been a sharp increase in the number of consultations in recent semesters, which means more students are taking advantage of this service.


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