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January 2017

Alt text: Library interior with curved seating and red carpet.

Alt text: Library interior with curved seating and red carpet.

Santa Clara University Awarded 2017 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award

University Library recognized for delivering exemplary services and resources

Santa Clara University Awarded 2017 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award

SANTA CLARA, Calif., January 25, 2017 — Santa Clara University won the university category in the 2017 Excellence in Academic Libraries award. The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO sponsors the award, which recognizes the staff of academic libraries for programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further their institution's educational mission.

“Having our transformation recognized through this award by ACRL is deeply meaningful,” said Jennifer Nutefall, university librarian. “It is through our amazing staff that we truly live the Library's vision to be a vibrant and vital center for learning, inspiring both intellectual pursuits and community engagement.”

Over eight months in 2013, the University Library staff gathered recommendations on a redesign to improve service and efficiency, and to meet students’ changing needs. This effort led to a large-scale space assessment of the The Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Technology Center and Orradre Library, resulting in new approaches to instructional areas, expansion of study spaces, and refurbishing worn-out furniture.

Physical changes included the creation of additional public seating on the first floor and re-envisioned classroom space to afford greater active learning approaches. Staff responsibilities and position descriptions were also updated and key positions were reallocated. A personal librarian program was developed for transfer and international students to establish one-on-one relationships with librarians for personalized research assistance.

Additionally, the library now leads annual course design workshops for faculty and works with faculty to integrate materials from Archives & Special Collections into the curriculum.

“The committee was impressed by Santa Clara University Library’s intentional, user-centered, and data-driven approach to their services, collections, and spaces,” said Karen A. Williams, chair of the 2017 Excellence in Academic Libraries Committee. “The library staff actively gather information from students and faculty to drive changes, whether it is through committee participation, focus groups, advisory boards, or surveys.”

“The Library continues to pursue opportunities to implement dynamic services and collections that support evolving student and faculty needs,” said Nutefall.

Two other institutions also received awards this year. Miami Dade College Learning Resources received the award in the community college category and The Columbia College Chicago Library was the winner in the college category.

Additional information on the award, along with a list of past winners, is available on the ACRL website.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Media Contact: Tina Vossugh| | (408) 554-5126

About ACRL
The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing nearly 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the web at, Facebook at, and Twitter at @ala_acrl.

About GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO
GOBI® Library Solutions from EBSCO, formerly YBP Library Services, offers over 13 million print and ebooks to academic, research and special libraries worldwide. From streamlining workflows to partnering with library staff, GOBI Library Solutions is committed to providing the best solution for libraries’ acquisition, collection development and technical service needs. For more than 40 years, the mission has remained same—to partner with libraries in providing access to the broadest selection of scholarly content available.



Awards, Press Release, Staff, University Library
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