ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award

Letter from Interim Provost

December 2, 2002

Betsy Wilson

Chair, Selections Committee

ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award

Association of College and Research Libraries

50 E. Huron Street

Chicago, Illinois 60611

Dear Ms. Wilson,

It is my pleasure to write a letter in support of the J.Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library's application for the ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award.

Over the past several years the university library has undergone a transformation. The library has truly reinvented itself, not only with regard to the quality and quantity of electronic resources, but in terms of basic functions and expanding support services. For example, the library now offers a wide range of programs to faculty and students that serve to expand access and assist them in their evaluation and use of information. It has also led the way for supporting technological applications in learning and scholarship. The new Student Technology Experts Program (STEP), Blackboard training for faculty and students, and a large variety of other special seminars and workshops have been instrumental in providing training and in meeting the technological needs of the campus. In addition, the library's contribution to the university's Classroom Enhancement Committee has been significant in conducting a needs assessment and in establishing new standards and guidelines for equipping classrooms that are appropriate for different pedagogical styles.

The library has also been engaged in all sorts of partnerships both on and off campus that have served to maximize Loyola's collections as well as increase the technical access and capabilities of the campus. The collaboration with Tulane and the working group on the Macintosh G-4 classroom and eMac lab project are examples of such projects with implications for enhancing collections and access, respectively. Overall, the library has proven to be particularly proactive in staying abreast of the innovations and advancements in the field of information technology.

The library's team-based organization has enabled it to expand its services and programs well beyond what one might normally expect of a library with a modest sized staff and budget. Indeed, the library's emphasis on collaboration and team work has made it a model of the kind of learning organization we hope the university will become.

The university's strategic goal states, "As a Catholic, Jesuit university, Loyola University New Orleans seeks to be one of the leading comprehensive universities in the nation, as measured by the quality of its faculty and staff, the strength of its curricula, the effectiveness of its support services, and the excellence of its graduates. In pursuit of this goal, the University fosters a rigorous, critical education that is dedicated in the Ignatian tradition to truth, service, and justice." The library supports this goal through its excellent information resources and services, its instructional programs that promote skill in finding, critically evaluating, and using information, its creative implementation of technology applications and tools for scholarship, teaching, and learning, and its productive partnerships and collaborations both on and off campus.

I am delighted that the library has applied for the ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries award, and I enthusiastically support its application.


Dr. Lydia Voigt

Interim Provost