Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.
The 2008 Princeton review rated the St. Olaf library as the ninth best college or university library in the nation. Together, the St. Olaf and Carleton libraries and Information and Instructional Technologies provide a variety of carefully selected resources that mirror the breadth and depth of the undergraduate curriculum. The partnership between the libraries and Information and Instructional Technologies provides access to regional, national, and international networks, databases, and other sources of information and ensures the availability of academic resources to the entire community.
St. Olaf’s Libraries and Special Collections
Twenty-six staff and more than 100 students purchase, organize, and make available a rich blend of materials and access points. The Bridge collection of St. Olaf and Carleton contains over 1.3 million items, including videos, DVDs, sound recordings, software, and microforms. The St. Olaf portion of this collection is housed in three separate libraries: Rølvaag library (the “main” library), the Halvorson music library, and the library in the new science center. The libraries subscribe to thousands of print and electronic periodicals, and are a partial depository for federal government publications.
While the Bridge collection provides the fundamental resources for undergraduate research, it also has a number of unusual strengths. St. Olaf, for example, has especially strong holdings in the fields of religion, Scandinavian literature and history, mathematics, and music. St. Olaf is also one of the few places where extensive materials can be found for the study of the culture and church life of Norwegian Americans.
Strong consortial relationships with libraries throughout the United States ensure the availability of materials necessary for vitually all types of research.
The St. Olaf Libraries are distinguished by an instruction program that teaches students to conduct research in the disciplines taught at St. Olaf. Librarians work with specific assignments in classes and provide research assistance at the reference desks in Rølvaag (over 60 hours per week) and the science and music libraries. The libraries are open 110 hours per week when class is in session, with extended hours late in the semester and during exams.
The Howard V. and Edna H. Hong Kierkegaard Library, located within the Rølvaag Library building, is the major research collection outside of Denmark for the study of the thought of the Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard. The library was presented to St. Olaf College in 1976 by the Hongs, who gathered the collection to support their translation into English of the complete works of Kierkegaard, published in 26 volumes by Princeton University Press. The Library is directed by Professor Gordon Marino, a Kierkegaard specialist and professor in the Philosophy Department. Especially during the summer, the library offers programs that bring students and visiting scholars together for research seminars and private study as well as study of Danish for the purpose of reading Kierkegaard texts in the original language. More than 50 scholars a year come to the Library from all over the U.S. and around the world. The collection includes 11,000 book volumes as well as 4,000 periodical and newspaper articles, non-print media, and archival materials. The collection is open Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m-5:00 p.m. during the academic year, with extended hours in the summer months. Access to the collection at other times is available by appointment. The collection is open to anyone with interest in the study of Søren Kierkegaard, including St. Olaf and Carleton students, faculty, scholars, pastors, and other visitors. For further information, consult the Kierkegaard Library website at www.stolaf.edu/collections/kierkegaard.
Located in the Rølvaag Library Building, the Shaw-Olson Center for College History contains official records and publications, private papers, photographs, books, periodicals, audio and visual recordings, and museum artifacts that record and illustrate the history and life of the college. These materials provide historical information about the Board of Regents, the faculty, the student body, alumni, academic departments, the curriculum, administrative offices, campus services, college organizations, and campus activities. The mission of the archives is 1) to preserve materials that reflect the college’s identity; 2) to make these materials available to scholars, students, alumni, and other interested researchers; and 3) to promote attention to the college's history. The collection may be searched electronically with Fram at http://fusion.stolaf.edu/archives/. Fram identifies paper records and artifacts, indexes abstracts of all articles in the student newspaper, The Manitou Messenger, and provides full text searching for the St. Olaf magazine. The Center for College History also provides work opportunities for some students and occasional internships for majors in appropriate departments and programs.
The Norwegian-American Historical Association
Housed in the Rølvaag Library Building, the Norwegian-American Historical Association (NAHA) has been sheltered by St. Olaf since its founding in 1925. With an international membership of nearly 2,000, NAHA has two goals: to publish scholarly books on Norwegian-American history (90 books have been published so far) and to be a national center for research in Norwegian-American history by collecting and maintaining printed and manuscript materials produced by Norwegian-Americans or concerning their history. Printed materials are incorporated in the college library collection and other materials (such as diaries, journals, newspapers, periodicals, and records of organizations) in a separate archive. The oldest, out of print publications are available on the NAHA website at: www.naha.stolaf.edu. Both students and the public are invited to use this center for research in Norwegian migration.
Information and Instructional Technologies
Information and Instructional Technologies (IIT) provides computers, software, A/V technologies, and support services to the entire St. Olaf community. All campus computers — including Macintoshes, PC-compatible, and Linux-based systems — connect to a campus network that provides free access to e-mail, software servers, electronic storage spaces, the Internet, and Internet 2.
Public labs are located in all the academic buildings and residence halls and provide equal access to equipment and software for all students, whether or not they are enrolled in a course requiring the use of the computer. In addition to the public facilities, 19 departments share or have their own specialized computing labs. This brings the total number of computers available for student use to more than 730, or a student-computer ratio of 4:1. Multimedia editing facilities are also available and used heavily.
Computing use is not limited to out-of-class assignments as nearly all of the St. Olaf faculty rely on some form of computing technology in their teaching, e-mail notifications or discussions and use of Moodle — the campus course management system — being the most popular. All college classrooms are equipped with appropriate technologies and are updated or added to each year.
Over 97 percent of all students have their own computer on campus; many also have their own printer. Students who own a computer can connect to the campus network and the Internet in their own rooms in all of the eleven residence halls, using either the wireless network or a wired connection. Wireless access is also available in many of the academic buildings. Students can access their course assignments, check e-mail, review their grades, view their tuition bills, or just surf the web from the comfort of their rooms.
IIT employs 23 full-time professionals and nearly 70 student employees who support the computing needs of the entire campus — students, staff, and faculty. A campus help desk and student computing consultants are available nearly 95 hours per week during the academic year, including assistance in the evenings.