ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award

Thomas Tredway Library
Augustana College
Rock Island, Illinois


"Authentically Augustana: A Strategic Plan for a Premier Liberal Arts College," adopted in January 2005, opens with the institution’s mission statement:

"Augustana College, rooted in the liberal arts and sciences and a Lutheran expression of the Christian faith, is committed to offering a challenging education that develops qualities of mind, spirit and body necessary for a rewarding life of leadership and service in a diverse and changing world."

The plan identifies six institutional goals and proposes a detailed strategy for accomplishing each. Goal One—"Enrich our outstanding academic program to help a new generation of students develop the qualities of mind, spirit and body necessary for lives of service and leadership in our changing world"—specifically includes the Library. The College pledges to "strengthen our Library and academic information technology systems to support faculty and student research goals."

The relationship between Augustana College and the Thomas Tredway Library is symbiotic. Just as the College endeavors to strengthen the Library, so too does the Library support the College’s mission of providing a challenging, holistic education that will empower Augustana students to become leaders and servants in a dynamic, pluralistic world. To that end, the Library works to develop in Augustana students the effective information-handling habits that will not only help them to conduct classroom research, but will also equip them with the critical thinking skills necessary to access, analyze, and use information effectively both in their future careers and in personal decisions. The vision statement of the Library exemplifies this commitment:

In support of the mission of Augustana College, the Thomas Tredway Library develops and promotes access to information. In collaboration with the teaching faculty, the Library staff selects and facilitates access to all forms and formats of information, and instructs in the uses, interpretation and evaluation of information. The Library endeavors to create and nurture a place on the college campus that supports intellectual curiosity and encourages the on-going exchange of ideas. The Library seeks to provide an environment that promotes respect, diversity, and intellectual growth and excellence.

The Thomas Tredway Library has one of the finest collections among liberal arts colleges of the Midwest. In addition to 482,000 physical artifacts – books, periodicals, maps, and audiovisual resources – the Library subscribes and/or has access to roughly 90 electronic databases and 14,350 paper and electronic journals. The 85,000-square-foot building includes group study rooms, private faculty study offices, computer labs, conference rooms and a coffee shop. In addition, the Augustana Center for Vocational Reflection, established through a $2 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, is located on the second floor of the Library. Fifty-six networked computers are provided for student use, and laptops are available for check-out. A campus-wide network connects the Library's electronic resources to all of the campus buildings, and nearly all electronic resources may be accessed from off campus as well. In 2000, the Library was one of the first two buildings to provide wireless access throughout, including the Java 101 coffee shop.

The Library and its staff provide a very high level of service to the College, in many ways far above what our resources would predict. In order to bring the richest possible array of resources to campus, the Library takes advantage of many consortial opportunities. In Fall 2002, the Tredway Library joined the Illinois Library Computer Systems Organization, now known as I-SHARE. Membership in this consortium of Illinois academic libraries allowed Augustana to acquire an integrated library system and extensive system support at a fraction of the usual cost. Participation in I-SHARE has given our students and faculty quick access to the books and videos of 65 member college and university libraries, including the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. In addition, in 2004-05 the Tredway Library acquired another 8800 items for its users through its efficient interlibrary loan service. I-SHARE membership also provides other benefits, such as its recent purchase of open URL and federated search software for all members at no additional cost to them.

In addition, the Library has been a member of the Oberlin Group of Libraries since its beginning in 1984. The Oberlin Group is an informal consortium of the libraries of 75 selective liberal arts colleges. The primary purposes of the consortium are to discuss library issues of common concern, share information on best practices in library operations and services, license electronic resources of interest to member institutions, and to cooperate in resource sharing.

I. Creativity and innovation in meeting the needs of the Augustana academic community

The librarians at Augustana are well integrated into the academic community. They hold faculty rank and are eligible for and frequently elected to the Faculty Senate and faculty standing committees. They have been actively involved in the recent re-design of Augustana’s General Education requirements—especially the information literacy component—since the project began in 1998. Some librarians are academic advisors for first-year students and/or faculty advisors to student clubs.

In addition to serving as liaisons to academic departments, this year the librarians are reaching out to non-academic departments, such as the Career Center, Student Services, Campus Ministries, and the Center for Vocational Reflection. The purpose of developing these liaison relationships is to find out if and how the Library can support those campus entities, to educate them about the Library’s mission and services, and to collaborate on how the two groups can best serve students.

At the beginning of each academic year, the Library hosts a breakfast for new faculty members. The event includes an introduction to the librarians and an overview of the Library’s materials, programs, services, and philosophy of customer service. The week before classes also includes "Lunch in the Library," one or more opportunities for faculty and administrators to share an informal meal and introduction to new library resources. This year we were especially pleased to have "Lunch in the Library" serve as the midday break for the annual Faculty Retreat, attended by nearly all of the full-time faculty.

Tredway Library actively anticipates the research needs of Augustana students. Librarians provide instruction tailored to specific assignments, and they routinely create research and assignment guides for particular classes. These guides are mounted on the Library’s webpage as PDF files (choose the "Research & Assignment Guides" link from the Library homepage at

The Library is also attuned to the instruction needs of Augustana faculty. For example, Librarian Amanda Makula organized an "Instruction Database" – a collection of successful assignments that addressed information literacy competencies – as a resource for faculty who wanted to design classroom assignments that required Library research. Each assignment in the database includes an explanation of the information literacy skills that it targets and suggestions of ways that the assignment can be adapted and used in other courses. View the "instruction database" at:

This year all first-year students were required to read Tim O’Brien’s novel The Things They Carried. Librarian David Weaver proposed an online blog in which students and faculty could dialogue about themes and issues in the book, an idea which the Academic Dean pursued. (See the blog at:

Librarian Margi Rogal created a detailed research guide for finding information about the novel and the Vietnam War. (See The guide has been used by numerous first-year classes for finding literary criticism about O’Brien, reference sources about the war, primary documents, reputable websites, etc. In addition to the guide, Rogal created a display about Tim O’Brien, the novel, and the war. Some first-year classes were asked to use the information in the display to complete an assignment, and a librarian witnessed the following incident as well:

Today a first year student and her parents spoke excitedly as they came upon the Tim O'Brien display on second floor.  The student told the two adults that Tim O'Brien will speak here on Oct. 6.  Then all three of them moved in close to the map as the father pointed to the places he had been while serving in Vietnam. 


Assessment data indicates that the Library is both well-respected and highly effective in supporting the College’s mission. Data collected in first year and senior year surveys, and in triennial library-user evaluations, provide evidence for this conclusion.

The 2005 "Your First College Year" survey, created by the Higher Education Research Institute, showed that 94% of Augustana’s first-year students were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the Library and its services; the average score for the reference group (the national group of all private four-year colleges that participated in the YFCY survey in 2005) was 76%. In a survey given to Augustana seniors, 92.5% were satisfied or very satisfied with the Library and its services; their mean score for this item was 4.6 while the ACT private college user norm for the same question was 3.7.

The Tredway Library also administers its own General Satisfaction survey once each term, allowing a random sample of library users to comment on the available resources. Evaluation of library resources is consistently very positive, but if necessary, changes are made on the basis of responses. For example, some patrons requested more quiet areas for study. This request was addressed by specifically designating one room for that purpose. A second room for quiet study will likely be added in the near future, and certain floors will be informally designated for quiet study as well.

During two weeks of each year, the "Reference Desk Services Questionnaire" is handed to individual students after they have received reference assistance. Last year, 300 students returned questionnaires. The results revealed that:

  1. 95% of respondents felt that the reference librarian made them feel "very welcome and comfortable"
  2. 92% were "very satisfied" with the assistance provided by the librarian
  3. 100% reported that they would return to the same librarian for assistance in the future

Comments from the questionnaires:

  1. "I have always had a great experience with the librarians here. Very helpful."
  2. "The librarian helped me very much and was very patient. It was the best experience I have had researching."
  3. "The librarian spent lots of one-on-one time with me and it meant a lot."
  4. "I would have been searching around forever without her help."
  5. "I was very impressed with her knowledge of the Library."

In addition to student evaluations, the librarians participate in peer reviews by partnering with reference librarians from the O’Keefe Library at St. Ambrose University. On an annual basis, librarians from both institutions arrange to "shadow" one another at the reference desk. During the observation, the visiting librarian takes notes on the approachability, information-need negotiation skills, and teaching behaviors of the host librarian. Afterward, the visiting librarian summarizes his or her observations in a one-page document and sends it to the Reference Coordinator at the host library, who then shares it with the librarian who was observed. The resulting experiences and insights from this annual activity produced the article, "Floating an Idea:  Peer Observations across the Mississippi," co-authored by Augustana librarian David Weaver and St. Ambrose librarian Mary Heinzman. It is currently scheduled for publication in Public Services Quarterly.

II. Leadership in developing and implementing exemplary programs that other libraries can emulate

The Tredway Library’s culture is one of innovation combined with customer service. Librarians and staff are forward-thinking and imaginative, actively identifying and developing novel programs and services to better serve the needs of the Augustana community. While it builds on the successes of the past, the Tredway Library is not wedded to traditions or processes that are no longer the most useful ones. The entire staff is attentive to the changing needs of the higher education community in the 21st century. There is an ongoing, lively exchange of new ideas among all staff members, a willingness to try new things, and a commitment to analyzing the results of new endeavors and adapting them accordingly.

Management by team

Although there is an administrative hierarchy in the Tredway Library, it is nearly as "flat" as possible. The Library is managed largely by consensus of the Management Team, which is comprised of all full and part-time librarians plus the Head of Circulation. Weekly Management Team meetings are conducted by the library director. All policy decisions and costly resource purchases are discussed by the Management Team before implementation.

Strategic Plan

Approximately every five years, the Library’s strategic plan is subjected to major revision. The strategic planning process includes all Management Team members plus two or three staff representatives. Specific objectives are updated yearly, and the names of those responsible for leading each effort are noted. The current plan can be viewed at:

The strategic plan also guides annual goal-setting and reviews for individual Management Team members. The review process was developed seven years ago by the team members themselves. Using the goals and objectives as a format, each person notes his or her accomplishments for the year and sets goals for the next year. Every two years, peer reviews are requested from classroom faculty and fellow staff members. These documents are submitted to the Library Director and Academic Dean, who later meet with each team member.

The combination of structured, inclusive planning and annual professional reviews has resulted in clarity of vision, shared goals, and personal accountability—all essential elements of a highly productive library.

Structure and responsibilities

Although it might easily be overlooked, the organizational structure of the Tredway Library plays an essential role in its success. As mentioned above, all academic divisions of the College (each of which includes a number of departments) are assigned library liaisons. As faculty, the liaisons are voting members of their respective divisions and may represent their division on campus committees. Each librarian’s liaison duties include providing instruction, collection development, and special research assistance to faculty of the division. Established in the early 1990s, the breadth of these liaison assignments has allowed librarians to interact with faculty in many different ways, which in turn leads to more well-developed relationships. In addition, all librarians work at the reference desk every week. The diversity of tasks within each of their roles helps them to stay in touch with student and faculty needs, while the similarities between their roles helps them to better understand one another’s work, resulting in a stronger team of generalists and liberal arts librarians.

For many years, three of the reference librarians had additional responsibilities, one for overall collection management (including electronic resources), one for coordination of reference services, and one to provide leadership in information literacy and library instruction. By the late 1990s, it was clear that other areas needed similar management. A reference librarian already on staff assumed the role of displays and events coordinator. Several years later, website coordination was added to the duties of an open reference librarian position when it was advertised. Now each full-time librarian is responsible for an area of special focus in addition to his or her main role. Since the structure emphasizes the importance of library goals and clarifies duties, it has led to greater productivity and achievement for the Library (Appendix A).

Service orientation

The foundation of the Tredway Library’s excellence is its unwavering dedication to customer service and to the empowerment of each staff member to use professional judgment in providing that service at any given moment. When the new building was erected in 1990, the Library experienced something of a rebirth under a new director. Her strongest commitments were to a cheerful culture of service and, as much as possible, to daily problem-solving based on "guidelines" rather than "rules." This fit well with then-President Thomas Tredway’s statement that the new Library should be "the living room of the campus." Constant dedication to these principles over the last sixteen years is arguably the Library’s most essential characteristic.

Staff development

Each fall, before classes begin, Library Director Carla Tracy organizes a day-long workshop for all Tredway staff and librarians. This meeting is designed to provide training, foster teamwork and collaboration, and invigorate employees for the upcoming year. The 2004 workshop was presented by Kris Ryan of Quest (an instructional development consulting partnership) and coached participants on how to provide excellent internal and external customer service. The 2005 workshop was presented by Steve Barnhart of Eagle Rock Consulting, who used the Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI) to help employees understand one another’s work style and behavior in times of conflict.

Over the past five years, all Augustana librarians have attended regional and national conferences, and several have attended special institutes such as the Harvard-ACRL Leadership Conference, the ACRL Immersion School, and a series of Illinois librarian leadership workshops called "Synergy." In addition, Augustana librarians have given presentations at the national ACRL conference, the Illinois ACRL conference, LOEX, Bricks and Bytes, and the Charleston Conference on Libraries.

Online newsletter

Since 1999, Augustana’s Information Technology Services and the Library published a joint newsletter, both in paper and online. However, last year ITS and the Library decided mutually (and amiably) that each would publish separate, online-only newsletters. Near the end of the year, the Library launched "Key Words." Published four times a year, "Key Words" highlights new resources, events, projects and services at the Library. For example, the fall 2005 issue contained information about a new North American Indian art collection installed in the Library, new databases, a display of Augustana faculty publications, and a "special topic" piece about Google Scholar. Augustana students are the newsletter’s primary target audience. To view the most recent issue and the archive, visit

The Library has received inquiries about the newsletter from the libraries at Amherst College and Wellesley College, and it has provided information about the newsletter on the listserv for the Oberlin Group of Libraries, of which the Tredway Library is a member.

Items of special importance to faculty—such as subscriptions to new databases, invitations to special events in the Library, recommended readings, etc.—are published in the Academic Dean’s weekly online newsletter. A link to "Key Words" is also included at the time of its publication.

Week 7 Seminar and Librarians’ Journal Club

For the past five years, the Library has hosted a "Week 7 Seminar" during the seventh week of each trimester. The librarians identify an article of interest to the faculty – usually dealing with an issue facing American higher education – and make it available via electronic reserve on the Library’s webpage. Faculty are then invited to a discussion of the article, usually facilitated by a librarian. Last year’s themes were: "What is Conservatism?", "The Changing Multicultural World," and "The Truth About Harvard."

Last year, Augustana’s new Academic Dean established a regular, weekly time for faculty dialogue. "Friday Conversations" is a series of faculty presentations, sabbatical reports, and guest speakers, held each Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. This year, at the Dean’s invitation, the Library’s "Week 7 Seminar" became part of the "Friday Conversations" series. Participants in the fall "Week 7 Seminar" read the introduction and first chapter of Martha Nussbaum’s Cultivating Humanity: a Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.

The Librarians’ Journal Club is similar to Week 7 Seminar, but is intended as a time of discussion for the librarians. It has been in existence since 1998. Near the end of each term, one or two librarians select an article from the professional literature of library science or higher education for the group to discuss. For example, one of last year’s readings was "From the Ashes of Alexandria: What’s Happening in the College Library?" by Sam Demas, from Library as Place: Rethinking Roles, Rethinking Space.

Displays and events

One of the eight goals described in the Tredway Library’s Strategic Plan is "to develop the Library not only as a repository of resources or a gateway to information, but as a place where faculty, staff, and students communicate and collaborate intellectually, culturally, and socially." Tredway Library has a strong commitment to developing this sense of place through the use of displays and events that complement the Augustana curriculum and/or introduce the campus community to new thoughts and ideas. Events and displays also support the College’s Strategic Plan to emphasize engagement with the local Quad Cities community, a cluster of four cities along the Mississippi River border between Iowa and Illinois.

Librarian Margi Rogal organizes a major display each academic term. The display consists of objects in two or three glass pedestal cases and a 2 1/2 x 4 foot hanging poster to advertise the display. Rogal often invites faculty, students, and members of the Quad Cities community to participate in the planning of these displays.

The following list highlights examples of displays from 2002 to the present:

  1. "Around the World at Augustana" presented pictures and artifacts from Augustana international students’ home countries alongside watercolor paintings of the United States by fifth graders at Longfellow Elementary School. The librarians chose one of the paintings and incorporated it into the large poster overhanging the display; the student artist who created it received special recognition at a Library ceremony.
  2. "Ernest Oberholtzer: From Davenport to the Boundary Waters" was part of the Quad Cities’ "Ober Event" orchestrated by Librarian Margi Rogal. A collaborative endeavor of Tredway Library, the Augustana Art Museum, the Putnam Museum, the German American Heritage Center, and the Davenport Public Library, exhibits at various locations commemorated Davenport native Ernest Oberholtzer’s effort to preserve the Boundary Waters wilderness area in northern Minnesota. The event included campus lectures from three Oberholtzer experts. Over 3000 people attended some aspect of this event.
  3. "Sky Woman: Iroquois Story of Creation" displayed images of Sky Woman as interpreted by various artists, including an Iroquois Native American, Joanne Shenandoah, who visited campus.
  4. "Exposed: Modern Women in Victorian America" featured images in the popular media of 19th century America and included a lecture by College staff member Cynthia Empen.
  5. "Eulenspiegel Puppets Come to Town" – a collaborative effort of Rock Island Public Library, Longfellow Elementary School, and Augustana College – featured puppets from Indonesia, Czechosovakia, and Iowa, and several presentations by Eulenspiegel puppet-masters.
  6. "Olson-Brandelle Collection of North American Indian Art" featured art donated to the Library – Pueblo Indian pottery and Indian beadwork – and included a Library reception with special guest Richard Zane Smith, Native American ceramic artist.

In addition to the major displays, the Library creates several wall displays each year. Wall displays are placed in a glass case directly behind the Reference desk, and faculty and student groups are often involved in their creation. The following list features wall displays from the 2004-2005 academic year:

  1. "Alice Parker" (composer and arranger who visited campus)
  2. "Pierrot Lunaire" (in conjunction with a convocation and recital by Augustana faculty featuring this Schoenberg piece)
  3. "National French Week" (planned and mounted by students who participated in the summer residency in France)
  4. "Storm and Stress" (in conjunction with the Theatre department’s production of this German play)
  5. "Edward Albee and the Quad City Arts Cary Grant Residency" (in support of the Residency and of Albee’s visit to the Quad Cities and to Augustana; in conjunction with dramatic readings of selections from Albee’s play by students, faculty and alumni)
  6. "Fern Schumer Chapman" (featured book discussion of Chapman’s book Motherland: Beyond the Holocaust: A Mother-Daughter Journey to Reclaim the Past and information about Anne Frank exhibits in the Quad Cities)
  7. "What Are You Reading This Summer?" (displayed planned summer reading selections by faculty, staff and students)
  8. Student bulletin boards (eight Library bulletin boards given to different student organizations each term to showcase their group, i.e., Dance Marathon, Augustana Accounting Association, Amnesty International, Swing Club, etc.)

Special Activities


This year the Library offers a weekly word contest called "WordSlough" (named with reference to the pond or "slough" next to the Library). A chosen word with four possible definitions is posted throughout the Library and on the Library’s website. Contest participants – students, faculty and staff – who submit the correct definition are entered into a random drawing for a free beverage at Java 101, the Library café. Thus far, approximately 19 people submit entries each week. During the spring term, participants will be asked to use all the contest words from the Fall and Winter terms in an original essay. The librarians judge the essays and award the winner a special prize, to be determined. See the word of the week at: (In previous years, a similar activity called the "Quotation Contest" asked participants to identify quotations from famous speeches and books. Last year, students, faculty and staff submitted 317 entries in the contest.)

Community outreach

Individual librarians, along with other Augustana faculty and staff, volunteer weekly at Longfellow Elementary School as classroom aides, tutors, or penpals through the "Adopt-A-School" program, a local community outreach project. The Library also hosts a number of local high school English classes each year. Instruction Coordinator Connie Ghinazzi works with the students’ instructors to plan and implement literature research instruction.

Augustana College Special Collections is responsible for a unique community partnership in which local cultural heritage organizations are mentored in best practices for digitization projects. The Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive (UMVDIA) was founded in 2002 by Augustana College Special Collections, in partnership with the Davenport (Iowa) Public Library Special Collections and the Musser Public Library in Muscatine, Iowa, in response to an unmet need in this geographical area. While several cultural heritage institutions were interested in digitization projects, none had sufficient expertise to build a high-quality, sustainable project. Special Collections secured grant funding from the Roy J.Carver Charitable Trust, the Riverboat Development Authority (the charitable arm of riverboat gaming), and the Illinois State Library (ISL), a Division of the Secretary of State, using funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). With the addition of a Visual Images Cataloger, the three libraries embarked on a project to digitize historic photographs, and, more specifically, glass plate negatives. In 2003, the UMVDIA began to mentor area organizations, adding the Buffalo (Iowa) Historical Society, the Galesburg (Illinois) Public Library, the Putnam Museum of History and Natural Science (Davenport, Iowa), and the Rock Island County Historical Society (Illinois). At this time, 15 individuals at these diverse organizations have been trained in the digitization and cataloging of visual images. Because sustainability was identified as a major objective, the UMVDIA meets or exceeds known and emerging national standards. Both the Iowa Heritage Digital Collections and the Illinois State Library looked to the UMVDIA for some assistance during their own development. The archive is available at:

The Artful Library

As a tribute to the presence of original art in the Library and as a measure of the Library’s support for the artistic process among Augustana’s faculty, this fall the Library launched a year-long project, "The Artful Library." Nine faculty artists selected a work of Library art as their "muse," inspiring them to create their own piece of music, poetry, or visual art.

The chosen pieces will be tagged so that the public knows which artist is working with which piece of art. In Fall 2006, the Library will hold an event in which the artists will unveil their new creations, talk about the relationship to the Library piece that served as their "muse," and describe the process of "collaborating" with an existing piece of art.

III. Substantial and productive relationships with classroom faculty and students

Although the Augustana librarians have enjoyed strong relationships with faculty and students for many years, the recent development and debut of Augustana General Education Studies (AGES), a new general education program at Augustana College, have greatly enhanced those relationships. Striving for an educational experience grounded in the tradition of the liberal arts, AGES includes a sequence of first-year courses in liberal studies (LS). Each LS course falls into one of three themes, depending on when it is offered: Origins (fall), Birth of Modern Times (winter), or Diverse and Changing World (spring). The LS courses in each theme are linked by common questions, goals, and assigned readings. They also are connected by their emphasis on basic skill sets, including information literacy, critical thinking, creative thinking, communicative skills, and quantitative skills. Due in no small part to the well-established relationship between librarians and classroom faculty and to the librarians’ dedicated participation in the entire General Education reform process, the following statement (based on the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education) is part of the official AGES document accepted by the Augustana College faculty in May, 2001:

An Augustana graduate will be able to:  

  1. Determine the nature and extent of the information needed.
  2. Access needed information effectively and efficiently.
  3. Evaluate information and its sources critically and assess the utility of that information to the task at hand.
  4. Effectively use information to accomplish a specific purpose.
  5. Access and use information ethically and legally.  

In the months preceding the beginning of AGES, the librarians developed a specific program for the sequential infusion of information literacy into the first-year LS courses. During workshops for faculty, they introduced a matrix to illustrate and guide the effort (Appendix B). In turn, the Dean suggested that the information literacy matrix be a prototype for faculty who were working on similar plans for the systematic inclusion of skill sets into courses.

Again based on ACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, the AGES information literacy matrix for first-year LS courses states:

By the end of the academic year, an information literate Augustana College first-year student will understand:

  1. How information is organized and how to retrieve it.
  2. The best use of any form of information.
  3. How to distinguish between primary and secondary sources.
  4. How to distinguish between popular and scholarly sources.
  5. How to develop and use a search strategy.
  6. How to evaluate information for accuracy, authority, relevance, reliability, and timeliness.  

Librarians are heavily involved in the first-year LS courses. Each librarian works with several LS faculty. Librarians contact their faculty partners to offer consultation on assignments that require Library research, to provide classroom instruction related to using the print collections and online resources of the Library, and/or to supply research/assignment guides for completing an assignment. Together the librarian-professor team devises the best strategy for incorporating information literacy skills into the course. Librarians participate in meetings of the fall, winter and spring LS instructors, in order to better understand the priorities, challenges and successes of the LS program.

The information literacy program at Augustana extends beyond first-year courses. The new AGES program includes requirements in Learning Perspectives (LP) and Learning Communities (LC), sequences of courses that are usually taken by students in their sophomore, junior and senior years. To define these skills, the librarians created the document "Information Literacy Skills for Upper Level Students" as an extension of the first-year matrix (Appendix C).


Librarians have been involved in "co-teaching" select courses. For the past three years, Special Collections Librarian Jamie Nelson has traveled to Oklahoma as part of a service learning project led by history professor Steve Warren. The students conduct research on the Absentee Shawnees prior to the trip, and they conduct interviews and collect oral history accounts during the trip. Nelson leads a few of the students (those interested in historical research) in projects such as cataloging materials and handling fragile photographs in the tribal archives.

Other examples of "co-teaching" between librarians and faculty include Connie Ghinazzi’s involvement with a math/computer science senior seminar course; David Weaver’s weekly participation with the first-year Honors course; Brent Etzel’s guest lectures in a history class; and Jamie Nelson’s teaching an upper-level history class.

Special Collections

Augustana College has collected and preserved a quite remarkable collection of rare books, manuscripts, and institutional archival materials with particular strengths in French Enlightenment and Revolutionary texts, Reformation imprints, the local history of the Upper Midwest with particular emphasis on Rock Island, and the history of Augustana College. The Library strives to make these rich collections of materials more central to the curriculum of the College and more accessible to students and faculty. In fact, the Library offers stipends to faculty members interested in exploring materials in the archives for future use in teaching. Since 2001, nine stipends have been granted to faculty based on the strength of their applications and their ideas for integrating archival materials into the curriculum. Recipients are selected by Special Collections Librarian Jamie Nelson, Carla Tracy, and the Academic Dean.

Each year, Special Collections handles approximately 350 reference interactions with faculty, students, and public patrons. From 2001 to the present, nine professors have integrated Special Collections into a total of 24 courses. As a result, 181 students have paid a total of 371 visits to Special Collections during the last four years in order to interact with the materials in the archives.


The Library’s efforts to work with faculty on research instruction have resulted in dramatic increases in the number of instruction sessions held over the past three years. Excluding instruction in Special Collections, Augustana librarians conducted a total of 112 instruction sessions during 2003-2004: 69 of them for 100-level courses, 34 for upper-level courses, and 9 others. Last year, in 2004-2005, the librarians taught 153 instruction sessions: 81 of them for LS classes, 23 for other 100-level courses, 44 for upper-level courses and 2 others. Librarians partnered with 71 out of 160 full and part time faculty members across every department and discipline, and provided instructions to a total of 3573 students. (This number indicates that some students received multiple exposure to Library instruction, since the total FTE enrollment at the beginning of the year was 2275 students.) This year, 70 instruction sessions have been held thus far, as compared to 64 at the end of Fall term last year.

Some of the changes in the Library’s instruction figures are displayed in the table below. Significantly, not only has the number of Library instruction sessions for 100-level courses increased, but also the number of upper-level instruction sessions. Clearly, faculty are seeing the benefits of having specific, targeted literature research a part of their classroom instruction.

Total Number of Instruction Sessions by Year and Course Level

chart 1: Total number of instruction students by year and course level


As a result of these efforts, the Library sees much more student activity than is normal for an institution of our size. The 2005 "Your First College Year" shows that 62% of our first year students have used the Library for research or homework, compared to 40% in the reference group. That pattern is born out in broader usage statistics:

Comparison: Usage Statistics of Tredway Library and Peer Libraries  

Comparison: Usage Statistics of Tredway Library and Peer Libraries


Circulation transactions, per FTE

Total Inter-Library Loans received

Reference transactions, per week

Hours Open, per week

Gate Count, per week







Peer Group






Carnegie Liberal Arts Colleges, 1500-3000 students






In an ongoing effort to understand and meet the needs of the academic community of the College, the Library utilizes a variety of methods to assess how instruction efforts impact the information literacy skills of Augustana students.

Student and faculty evaluations

After each instruction session, students are asked to complete a short evaluation form in which they rate and comment on the overall usefulness of the session. The faculty member is also given a feedback form and asked how well the instruction served the purpose that he or she intended for the students. Library student workers compile the comments from these forms into a database and then return them to the librarians. Some statistics from the 2004-2005 year:

  1. 92% of students described the Library instruction session as "very useful" or "useful"
  2. 6% deemed the session "somewhat useful"
  3. <1% judged the session "not useful"

Comments from faculty evaluations:

  1. " Connie was very helpful and tailored her presentation to match the needs of my class. Thank you!"
  2. "The instruction was exactly at the level these students needed. It wasn’t too basic, and most students commented that they learned something."
  3. "Brent did a lot of work for this session, especially on relatively short notice. He was available for students to ask questions throughout the 75 minute segment and he gave many good and useful tips. He was friendly, open and knowledgeable."
  4. "The teaching component of the librarian’s job is a fabulous resource to the instructors."
  5. "It was great that Margi addressed so specifically the search process that will be needed for this assignment. Not only could she acknowledge how difficult some of the searching would be, but also knew what the students’ specific topics were."

Information Literacy Pre- and Post- Tests

Information literacy was one of the first components of the new General Education requirements to undergo direct assessment. Connie Ghinazzi and Carla Tracy worked with Michael Nolan, Director of Assessment and Grants, to develop a 22-question information literacy pre-test to be administered at the beginning of the school year to new first-years. Each test question matched one of the six competencies on the IL rubric.

In the fall of 2004, 382 first-year students (out of a class of 610) took the online test. At the year’s end, 88 students completed the post-test. The mean scores were 59% on the pre-test and 69% on the post-test; the median scores were 60% on the pre-test and 75% on the post-test. Ghinazzi modified the test for the 2005-2006 year and added six new questions, some of them designed to test students’ understanding of plagiarism (Appendix D). This fall, 579 students completed the pre-test; on average, students answered 62% of the questions correctly. Students will again take the post-test in the spring. Procedural changes will be made to insure that a larger number of students complete the post-test.

Students Tested with Mean & Median Scores

 Testing data

Fall 2004

Spring 2005

Fall 2005

Number of students tested




Mean score




Median score




First Year Focus Groups

The librarians also wanted to know how first-year students felt about the Library instruction they had received. Ghinazzi organized three first-year focus groups (a total of 23 students already selected at random by the College for other assessment measures) and invited them for pizza and discussion of their experiences. Students were asked about their library instruction experiences in high school, how they felt about their ability to conduct research upon entering Augustana, what they learned in their library instruction sessions at Augustana, what librarians could do to make their instruction more effective, and what research skills they anticipate they will need for their major field of study.

Students reported having between 1-4 instruction sessions throughout the year. The vast majority stated they learned new material in each session, particularly in the fall. The focus group interviews indicated that integrating information literacy into the Liberal Studies curriculum is working. These results underscore the importance of a planned, complementary approach to research and writing in the AGES program, before students are expected to do sophisticated individual research in one or more major areas of study. However, since many students mentioned that they still were not clear on how to develop a search strategy, the librarians have recently discussed methods and tools, such as concept mapping, that might help students to better understand their topics and plan their research.


The myriad programs, services, and initiatives of the Tredway Library exemplify the criteria for the Excellence in Academic Libraries Award sponsored by Blackwell’s Book Services. A strong commitment to serving the needs of the Augustana academic community, a drive to develop and implement exemplary programs that other libraries can emulate, and a dedication to fostering substantial and productive relationships with classroom faculty and students unite the Tredway librarians and staff as they work together to carry out the mission of the College. There is ample evidence, in the form of outcomes data, that the Library attains its goals of providing excellent service; enriching each student’s learning with the most educationally valuable resources; delivering outstanding instruction to best support Augustana’s goals of academic excellence and student growth; developing itself as a place where faculty, staff and students communicate and collaborate intellectually, culturally, and socially; and engaging the campus community in the life of the Library. Above all, in the ever-changing climate of academia and the dynamic nature of information management, Tredway Library recognizes the importance of being proactive, flexible, and attuned to the changing needs of the College.

Appendix A

Tredway Librarians and Staff

Administrative Services

Carla Tracy, Director of the Library
Rita Griffin, Building Secretary


Jennifer Hansen-Peterson, Head of Circulation
Christine Aden, Circulation Supervisor
Vicky Ruklic, Circulation Supervisor

Reference Services (with Liaison Group)

Brent Etzel, Reference Librarian & Library Website Coordinator (Humanities)
Connie Ghinazzi, Reference Librarian & Instruction Coordinator (Sciences)
Amanda Makula, Reference Librarian (Languages & Literature)
Marian Miller, Reference Librarian
Margi Rogal, Reference Librarian & Displays and Events Coordinator (Fine Arts)
Carla Tracy, Director of the Library (Business & Education)
David Weaver, Reference Librarian & Reference Coordinator (Social Sciences)

Special Collections

Jamie Nelson, Special Collections Librarian
Donna Hill, Special Collections Assistant (in summer)
Meredith Lowe, Special Collections Assistant

Technical Services

Mary Lang, Technical Services Librarian
Sally Cobert, Cataloging Specialist
Sherrie Herbst, Interlibrary Loan Specialist
Donna Hill, Interlibrary Loan Specialist
Ruth Ann Hyser, Serials Specialist
Kathy Jackson, Acquisitions Specialist

Information Literacy Skills for Augustana's LS General Education Courses

By the end of the academic year, an information literate Augustana College first year student will understand:

  1. How information is organized and how to retrieve it using a catalog, index, bibliography, and other locators.
  2. The best use of any form of information (e.g. books vs. articles).
  3. How to distinguish between primary and secondary sources.
  4. How to distinguish between popular and scholarly sources.
  5. How to develop and use a search strategy.
  6. How to evaluate information for accuracy, authority, relevance, reliability, and timeliness.
Seasonal Planning & Objectives

Fall- Orientation to library and how information is organized

Winter - Guided use of the six competencies

Spring - Integrated and fairly independent use of skills

Objectives -numeral indicates which competencies are included.

~Understand the purpose of the bibliographic record. Learn to read the record for various formats. (book, journal, etc.) 1

~Understand the nature of different types of publications, such as books, journals, government documents, encyclopedias, etc. 1,2

~Understand the nature and content of the reference collection and how it can be useful. 1,2,5,6

~Understand that information is organized by subject. 1,5

~Understand the purpose of indexes, databases, and bibliographies 1,5

~Understand that information must be evaluated for accuracy, authority, and timeliness. 2,6

~Begin to understand differences between primary and secondary sources. 3

~Begin to understand differences between popular and scholarly materials. 4

~Begin formulating a search strategy and refining questions in the course of research. 1,2,3,4,5,6

~Understand the purposes of citing sources and that disciplines use different citation styles. 1,5,6

~Understand how databases/indexes include different types of information. 1,5,6

~Understand when interlibrary loan is appropriate and how to use it. 1

~Distinguish between primary and secondary resources and determine when it’s appropriate to use each type and why. 2,3

~Distinguish between popular and scholarly material and determine when it’s appropriate to use each type and why. 2,4

~Formulate a search strategy that recognizes the recursive nature of research. 5

~Determine what resources/databases are appropriate to answer the question. 1

~Distill a complicated research question into searchable concepts/keywords/synonyms. 5

~Use popular and scholarly materials in an appropriate manner. 2,3

~Use primary and secondary resources in an appropriate manner. 2,4

~Discern what materials are most appropriate for research topic. 2,6

~Use appropriate citation format to document sources used. 1

Potential Exercises and Assignments - numeral indicates which competencies are included

Find a book on a topic by browsing in appropriate LC classification. 1

Find a book on a topic by searching the library catalog. Read the citation to identify key elements and location. 1,2,5

Use the reference collection to find authoritative background information and keywords for a topic. 1,2,5,6

Discuss the differences between scholarly and popular materials. 1,4,6

Discuss the differences between primary and secondary sources. 3

From various indexes and databases provided by instructor, label the parts of the record and identify their format. 1,2

Compare a website, a journal article, and a book on one topic; look at the information offered and evaluate for accuracy, authority and timeliness. 2,6

Find both a primary and secondary resource on the same topic. 3,5

Find and compare a scholarly article and popular article on the same topic. 4,5

Document a search strategy, listing databases and keywords used in searching. 1,2,5

Prepare an annotated bibliography on a topic. Use a specific citation style and include at least a reference source, book, website and an article. 1,2,4,5,6

Prepare abstract and preliminary bibliography for topic. Include keywords and databases used. 1 –6

Prepare a research log documenting how topic changes and evolves. 1-6

Submit an annotated bibliography of resources consulted in correct citation style. 1-6

Final research paper with bibliography in correct citation style. 1-6s

Information Literacy Skills for Upper Level Students

College level information literacy skills are introduced and practiced in the first year LS classes. In order to complete the research assignments in upper level courses and to develop as lifelong learners, Augustana students will need to refine these skills. Based on the ACRL Information Literacy competency standards for higher education, these more advanced information literacy concepts can be incorporated into Learning Community and Learning Perspectives courses or upper level courses in majors.

By the end of their college career, an information literate Augustana College student:

1. Determines the nature and extent of the information needed.

a. Identifies research topic, develops an investigative question, and modifies the information need to achieve a manageable focus.
b. Recognizes that existing information can be combined with original thought, experimentation, and/or analysis to produce new information.
c. Recognizes that knowledge can be organized into disciplines that influence the way information is accessed.
d. Reviews the initial information need to clarify, revise, or refine the question.

2. Accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.

a. Selects the most appropriate investigative method or retrieval system.
b. Constructs and implements effectively designed search strategies.
c. Retrieves information using a variety of methods.
d. Assesses and refines search strategy as needed.

3. Evaluates information and its sources critically.

a. Examines resource for accuracy, authority, bias and currency, the abc’s of information.
b. Recognizes the cultural, physical or other context within which information was created.
c. Justifies choice of resources as appropriate.

4. Accesses and uses information ethically and legally.

a. Uses an appropriate documentation style consistently to cite sources.
b. Demonstrates an understanding of intellectual property, copyright and fair use.
c. Demonstrates an understanding of what constitutes plagiarism, and does not represent work attributable to others as his/her own.

5. Incorporates selected information into his/her own knowledge base and viewpoint.

a. Recognizes interrelationships among concepts and combines them into potentially useful primary statements with supporting evidence.
b. Investigates differing viewpoints encountered in the literature and determines whether to use or reject them.
c. Draws conclusions based upon information gathered.

6. Uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.

a. Integrates the new and prior information in a manner that supports the purposes of the product or performance.
b. Reflects on past successes, failures, and alternative strategies and transfers knowledge gained to future endeavors.
c. Communicates clearly in a style that fits the intended audiences.


Liberal Studies Information Literacy Test
Fall, 2005

This brief test is designed to gage your knowledge of how to search for information resources. Please click on the BEST ANSWER for each question. Where there is an explanation box, please share your reasons for answering as you did. Please work alone and without consulting handbooks. Do your very best work. The test should take approximately 15 minutes.

After you answer the last question, you will receive your test score. Test results will also be shared with your Liberal Studies teacher to help him or her with classroom instruction and with the General Education Committee to improve the first- year program.

Last Name:

First name:

ID number:

Are you a member of the Teagle Study? YES NO

1. To find in-depth information on a very specific topic, your best source would be:

a- Research journal article
b- Newspaper article
c- Book
d- Encyclopedia entry

2. Encyclopedias and other reference works are useful because they often provide:

a- In-depth examinations of topics.
b- Overviews of topics.
c- The most current information on a topic.
d- Useful information for younger students, but they are not appropriate for college-level research.

3. What is the best way to find a scholarly article on a topic?

a- Page through the table of contents of print volumes of scholarly journals.
b- Use an internet search engine like Google.
c- Search an online library catalog.
d- Search an online or print index.

4. Materials in most academic library collections are arranged on the shelves by Library of Congress call numbers. Generally, materials with similar call numbers are:

a- Published in the same year.
b- All by the same author.
c- On the same subject.
d- The same format.

5. For the purpose of doing academic research, the most important difference between an internet search engine like Google and an online index available through the library is:

a- Everything found through a search engine will be full-text.
b- Online indexes will lead to many scholarly resources that search engines will not locate.
c- Internet search engines are faster and easier to use.
d- There is no significant difference.

6. A citation is a:

a- A brief paragraph that summarizes what a book or article is about.
b- A book review.
c- A description of an electronic database.
d- A record of the identifying elements of a book, journal, or website.

7. When combining search terms, which search would retrieve the GREATEST number of sources?

a- Wedding AND Marriage
b- Wedding OR Marriage
c- Marriage NOT Wedding

8. Here is a drawing of a search strategy. What does the highlighted area represent?


a- Articles about cats OR articles about dogs
b- Articles about cats NOT articles about dogs
c- Articles about cats AND articles about dogs
d- Articles about cats = articles about dogs

9. If you wanted to find a book written about the author/poet Carl Sandburg, which of these would be the best search strategy?

a- Search for "Sandburg, Carl" as a subject search.
b- Search for "Sandburg, Carl" as an author search.
c- Search for "Carl Sandburg" as a title search.
d- Search for "Sandburg, Carl" as a keyword search.


10. What type of item is this?

a- Journal article
b- Government report
c- Newspaper article
d- Book

11. What is an index?

a- A list that includes every keyword in the article or book.
b- Something that serves as a pointer or indicator.
c- An alphabetical list that includes all or nearly all items of special pertinence.
d- Both B and C

12. Title, author, publisher and date of publication are commonly found in a citation. Which element will not be found.

a- Price
b- Number of pages
c- Edition
d- All of the above will be found in a citation.

13. A peer-reviewed journal contains:

a- articles written at a level useable by people my age.
b- articles written and reviewed by experts in the field.
c- book reviews.
d- daily entries written for a class assignment.

14. Your instructor requires you to use only scholarly journal articles for a paper. If an article was written by a journalist who interviewed scholars in the field, should you use it in this paper?

a- Yes
b- No

15. What is the difference between keyword and subject heading searching?

a- They are the same thing.
b- A keyword describes an important concept in the article; a subject heading can be found in any part of the description of the article including the author’s name.
c- A keyword can be found in any part of the description of the article including the author’s name; a subject heading describes an important concept in the article.
d- A keyword can only be found in the title of an article; a subject heading is found only in the abstract of an article.

16. Which search strategy would most likely give you the LEAST number of returns?

a- Women AND France
b- Women OR France
c- Women OR France NOT Religion
d- Women AND France AND Religion

Below is a description found in an online index.

Indexing Record


The Real Reason Why Software Engineers Need Math.


Devlin, Keith


Communications of the ACM; Oct2001, Vol. 44 Issue 10, p21, 2p

Document Type:


Subject Terms:

* SOFTWARE engineering
* COMPUTER engineers

17. What type of item is this?

a- Journal article
b- Book
c- Newspaper article
d- Government report

18. What is the best way to go about finding this item?

a- Look for the author, Keith Devlin, in the library catalog.
b- Look for the title, The Real Reason Why Software Engineers Need Math, in the library catalog.
c- Look for the source, Communications of the ACM, in the library catalog or periodicals listing.
d- Look on the web using both the author’s full name and the entire book title.

19. When writing a research paper, which of the following is the best reason for selecting a web site as a reliable source?

a- It uses the exact phrasing of your topic.
b- It uses clear and easy to understand terms.
c- It is created or maintained by a reliable entity.
d- It came up on the first page in a Google search.

20. What is the most likely Web domain extension for the National Collegiate Athletic Association?

a- .com
b- .org
c- .gov
d- .sport

21. Which source would have the most scholarly worth for a college research paper on knighthood?

a- A article from the encyclopedia The Middle Ages
b- Journal of Medieval History
c- The Knighthood, Chivalry and Tournaments Resource Library (
d- A book about the history of the Great Britain.

22. You have located two books on Judaism and Nazi Germany. One was written by an expert in the field and published in 1996 in New York City. The other book was published in 1940 in Berlin, Germany. If you were studying Nazi Germany, which book would be considered a primary source?

a- The one published in New York, 1996.
b- The one published in Berlin, 1940.

23. Which account of the presidency of Abraham Lincoln would be more historically accurate?

a- One written by a newspaper editor from the Union states.
b- One written by a newspaper editor from the Confederacy.
c- One written by a newspaper editor from Canada
d- C only.
e- All could be equally accurate or inaccurate.

24. If you were studying the presidency of Abraham Lincoln from 1861-1865, which of these would be a secondary source?

a- The text of one of Lincoln’s speeches.
b- New York Times article published on January 30, 1862.
c- An article about Lincoln’s presidency published in 2004 in a scholarly journal.

25. Which of these are NOT important in evaluating the reliability of a webpage.

a- Author of content
b- Domain name (.org, .com, .edu)
c- Date of last revision
d- Professional appearance of site

26. You are writing a research paper that requires footnotes and a bibliography. As a general rule, you must cite:

a- Only phrases in which you use the exact wording as the original document.
b- Phrases with the exact or similar wording as the original document and/or the main ideas from the original document.
c- Only phrases that are also footnoted in the original document.
d- Anything that is at all similar to the original document.

Questions 27 and 28 The next two questions may have multiple answers. Choose the answer that you think is the best and explain why you answered as you did.

27A. Assume you are writing an academic research. Which of the following is most likely, as stated below, to lead to a good paper?

a- What are the effects of ads on people's purchasing decisions?
b- Does targeting advertisements to 15-25 year olds increase long-term loyalty to brands?
c- What are the psychological, sociological, cultural, and personal factors that ads appeal to?
d- Advertisement and its many roles in society


28A. Which of the following approaches, as currently stated below, is most likely to lead to a good academic research?

a- explaining both sides of a question objectively using evidence
b- explaining in detail one possible answer to a question with evidence
c- exploring a question from several points of view, offering the best answer to it based on evidence
d- exploring a subject on which the writer has firm opinions and therefore can write sincerely and forcefully.

28B. Why?

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