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Information Literacy


2017 American Library Association (ALA) Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects

In 2017, the augustana human library received the ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects. Citations are awarded each year by the ALA President at the International Relations Round Table (IRRT) International Librarians Reception during the ALA Annual Conference to recognize innovative contributions to international librarianship. Recipients must have designed and implemented of a highly visible innovative library service which is unique and improves existing library services for users. The service should draw attention to the potential of libraries to create positive change, and it must be sustainable and have the potential to serve as a model for other libraries.

2015 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Women and Gender Studies Section (WGSS) Award

Nancy Goebel, head librarian at the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta, is the winner of the 2015 Association of College and Research Libraries [ACRL] Women and Gender Studies Section [WGSS] Award for Significant Achievement in Women and Gender Studies Librarianship. The WGSS award honors a significant or one-time contribution to women and gender studies librarianship.

In 2009, Nancy adapted the idea of a living library from a human rights NGO program in Denmark for an academic context. Conducted twice a year, the augustana human library is an opportunity for students, faculty, staff and community members to learn about the experiences of another person in a structured and safe space for both the Reader and the Human Book. The goals of the augustana human library are to create opportunities for individuals to learn and share experiences, develop tools for mutual respect and respect for human dignity and to provide occasion for Readers to reflect on their own experiences and prejudices. Students are encouraged to think about and explore the connections between what they learn from the human library conversations and traditional scholarly materials and research, providing rich opportunities to see first-hand how qualitative work can inform and deepen our knowledge of the world.

"The committee was so impressed by the impact this unique and innovative program is having on the Augustana community," said award Chair Heather Tompkins, reference and instruction librarian for the humanities at Carleton College. "Many of the narratives in the human library in 2014 focus on experiences deeply relevant to women and gender studies: students, and community members, including balancing motherhood and school, challenging transphobia, and healing from sexual abuse. Nominators spoke at length about the ways this project fosters connections, promotes understanding, and provides deep learning experiences."

"The words engagement, compassion, and life-changing came up frequently when faculty who have been involved with the human library, either as Human Books, Readers, or professors using this resource in their courses," noted Tompkins. "One recommender said, 'The notion of human libraries being a place to promote understanding and compassion through exploring prejudice and stereotyping by the narratives of those volunteering to be read is powerful. The augustana human library helps our fundamental humanity emerge through bringing people together for inquiry and dialogue.' Nancy’s leadership and role in positioning the library as a leader and facilitator in this kind of inquiry and dialogue make it an exemplary program to serve women and gender studies students and faculty, and to encourage thoughtful engagement with gender on campus and in the community."

Nancy herself notes that the success of the augustana human library is also due in large part to the many contributions of the Augustana Library staff. Kara Blizzard and Tanya Pattullo, in particular, have been integral to research, coordination, and promotion of events.

For more information regarding the ACRL WGSS Award for Significant Achievement in Women and Gender Studies Librarianship, or a complete list of past recipients, please visit the awards section of the ACRL website.  

Adapted from:

2010 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section (IS) Innovation Award

Nancy Goebel, head librarian, and Dylan Anderson, Web applications specialist, at the University of Alberta Augustana Campus have been selected to receive the 2010 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section (IS) Innovation Award for developing WASSAIL, an information literacy assessment project.

"The Instruction Section Awards committee chose the WASSAIL information literacy assessment project for the ACRL Instruction Section Innovation Award because of the creators' forward-thinking approach to assessing student learning locally and sharing methods universally," said award committee Co-Chair Emily Rogers, assistant professor and reference librarian for instruction at Valdosta State University. "Using this software, librarians can systematically track, store and analyze assessment data to measure and improve student learning. Furthermore, in a truly collaborative spirit, the project planners expanded WASSAIL's utility by making it open source and therefore available for local adaptation by any library. In its purpose, content and potential for widespread use, WASSAIL is truly an innovative contribution to information literacy and instruction librarianship."

2010 Innovation and Technology Award for WASSAIL Programming

Augustana Campus Web Applications Specialist Dylan Anderson was named one of two winners of the University of Alberta Information Technology and Innovation Awards, as announced by the office of the Vice-Provost in April, 2010. This award is given to those projects demonstrating innovative use of technology in support of research, teaching, administration or the campus experience. Dylan’s contributions to WASSAIL met the award committee's considerations for the impact of the innovation, the size of the community affected and the novelty of the idea. WASSAIL is no longer only a local concept, for as Dylan states, “When we built WASSAIL, I thought it was just something Augustana wanted – I didn’t realize it was something the world wanted!”

2007 CTCL Innovation Achievement Award

The Augustana Campus Library of the University of Alberta has been honored as the recipient of the 2007 CTCL Innovation Achievement Award, a national award presented annually by the CTCL section of the Canadian Association of College and University Libraries division of the Canadian Library Association.

This award was presented to recognize the Augustana Library’s multi-faceted Information Literacy program which included 21 discipline specific Information Literacy credit courses, traditional bibliographic instruction sessions, ongoing assessment, an annual Information Literacy in Academic Libraries Workshop, professional presentations, an Information Literacy DVD, and awards for excellence in Information Literacy for both students and faculty. The award was presented at the 2007 Canadian Library Association Conference in St. John’s, Newfoundland. As a representative of the Augustana Library was not in attendance at the conference, an acceptance speech video was prepared in lieu.

2006 EBSCO Customer Success Case Study

In 2006 the Augustana Campus Library was featured by EBSCO as a "Customer Success Case Study" which they describe as "a repository of best practice examples from libraries in all markets, sharing their experiences and successes on such topics as technology integration, promoting library resources to students, building relationships with faculty, and linking research skills to curriculum." The Augustana Library was honoured to be featured in this way...the first Canadian academic library to receive this honour.