The High Library

Mission Statement: The High Library partners with Elizabethtown College students, faculty, and staff to promote learning and discovery as we educate for service. We are committed to connecting people with ideas and to creating an intellectual and cultural commons—both physical and virtual—where individuals can experience the power of sharing information. The Library stimulates, inspires and engages our community by offering resources and support for creative and critical inquiry.

Quick Facts

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Research Help


Librarians are eager to assist with all stages of the research process, from finding and evaluating sources to formatting citations. If you need help, visit the reference desk on the main level, or call, text or email to schedule an appointment.

Student Employment

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The High Library and the Hess Archives provide a variety of exciting job opportunities in circulation, interlibrary loan, acquisitions, and cataloging. Check for current openings on the Student Employment webpage, or send your résumé to Laureen Bogel (x1451).

Suggestion Box

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Share your feedback with the library. Add your ideas to the suggestion box at the main entrance, or send your comments to Sarah Penniman (x1428). We look forward to hearing from you!

Goal 1: Provide reliable access to information resources to educate the college community for lives of service and leadership as citizens of the world.

Goal 2: Provide professional expertise: help students discover the resources needed to enhance classroom success and to navigate diverse cultural perspectives; provide direction and vision for the College with regard to intellectual property, information technology and digital initiatives.

Goal 3: Create the commons: support spaces that allow students to work singly and in groups to acquire new habits of mind.

Goal 4: Partner with students, faculty, staff and other offices at the college to fuel motivation, catalyze curiosity and foster purposeful life work.

Goal 5: Deepen campus engagement with the community and the world to expand intellectual horizons and help our scholars apply and integrate their learning. Pursue supplementary capital to support this goal and other special projects.

The major functions of The High Library are as follows:
  1. Educational Role and Discovery: Develops and supports information-literate learners to discover information in all formats and use needed information.
  2. Collections: Provides access to collections of sufficient quality, depth, diversity, format and currency to support the research and teaching mission of the institution.
  3. Space: Provides diverse users with an intellectual commons where they can interact with ideas in both physical and virtual environments to expand learning and facilitate the creation of new knowledge.
  4. External Relations: Engages the campus and broader community through multiple strategies in order to advocate, educate, and promote the value of its resources and services.

Early History

Elizabethtown College's first library was housed on the second floor of Alpha Hall from 1900 until 1903, when it was moved to the building's first floor.

In 1910 the library was moved to Rider Hall, where in 1928 a reading room was added to expand the size of the library.

alpha hall

1930s - Rider Hall

By 1935 there was an effort by the Board of Trustees to build a new library, but the Great Depression scuttled those plans.

During the World War II era, the College began the process of meeting requirements to pass the Middle States Association accreditation.

1930s view of library in rider hall

1960s - Zug Memorial Hall

One of the concerns to be addressed for accreditation was a stipulation the College needed to build a library commensurate with its educational goals and aspirations. A fund- raising effort was initiated, and on April 9, 1949, ground breaking began on the new library. At a cost of $160,000, the Zug Memorial Library was dedicated on October 20, 1950; named in honor of Samuel R. Zug, one of the founders of Elizabethtown College. The new facility had capacity for 50,000 volumes, even though in 1950 there were only 16,500 volumes in the collection.

zug hall in the 60s

Zug Expands

It did not take too many years before Zug's capacity was reached, and in 1965 a wing on each end of the library was added,thereby expanding the library's capacity to 100,000 volumes for a student population of up to 1200.

zug under construction in 1965

The 1980s and Today

In the mid-1980s, a capital campaign was begun under President Gerhard Spiegler's leadership. One of the campaign's goals was to raise enough funds to erect a new library.

With the help of a generous gift from the High Foundation of Lancaster, the new library's construction began on March 14, 1989, and the building dedication was on September 22, 1990. The new library was named in honor S. Dale High, a class of 1963 graduate of Elizabethtown College.

The High Library has a capacity to house 250,000 volumes and is equipped with conference rooms, study carrels and group study spaces. The main floor also contains a smart classroom for research instruction and student use.

high library exterior on sunny day

s dale high

The resources of the High Library are available for use by visitors in the building. The collection includes general circulating materials, reference items, current and archival periodicals, databases, microforms, CDs, videos and DVDs. The library also houses Church of the Brethren and Elizabethtown College’s archives.

All of the library’s collection is available for guests in the library. If you would like to check out library materials, we invite you to become a Friend of the High Library.  For an annual $20. membership fee, you can check out the library’s circulating materials and have in-house access to other library resources.

To get a membership card, present your current driver’s license at the library circulation desk, along with cash or check (payable to ‘Elizabethtown College’). The membership will begin immediately and continues for one year from date of issue. Cards can be issued to high school students who are 16 and older.

Guests and Friends of the High Library have limited access to the library computers but can have access to College’s wireless network. Information on connecting to the wireless network is available at the circulation desk.

Anna Carper Excellence in Library Research Award 2018-2019
In 2009, the High Library, in honor of its 20th anniversary, inaugurated the Anna Carper Excellence in Library Research Award. The purpose of the program is to reward excellent scholarship by students enrolled in the First-Year Seminar who make valuable use of the print and electronic collections of the High Library as well as other available information resources. In celebration, we will be awarding one grand prize of $500 and honorable mentions of $100 each. The Anna Carper Excellence in Library Research Award is supported by an endowment funded by the Carper Family and named after Anna M. Carper ‘41, Librarian of the College from 1960 to 1986.

The Library is an essential component of inquiry-based learning and of the First-Year Seminar. The Anna Carper Excellence in Library Research Award is intended to recognize that the library is a “laboratory for scholarship,” from the first year of college study onward. The award identifies those first-year students who have demonstrated exemplary integrative skills in using library resources.

Any student enrolled in a First-Year Seminar at Elizabethtown College is eligible to submit a research paper completed as part of the First-Year experience. Projects must be nominated by the professor responsible for the course. Each FYS instructor can submit 1-3 of the best research papers in their respective seminars.

Evaluation Criteria
Successful projects will demonstrate

  • facility in locating, selecting, organizing and synthesizing information
  • thoroughness in the research process
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • use of a broad range of research tools, as demonstrated by appropriate citations

Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of two faculty members and one librarian.

Application Procedure
Faculty should submit nominations via email to by January 14, 2019. Please include the student’s name and email, title of the paper, and FYS section. Faculty may also submit nominations by filling out the Anna Carper Award Nomination Online Form.

Nominees will be notified by library staff. Student’s application should consist of a clean (ungraded) copy of the paper, including bibliography. Papers should be double-spaced; there is no minimum or maximum length.

Please ensure that your paper is complete and submitted on time. Submissions will not be returned.

Nominees will receive more detailed instructions about submitting their paper in an email message sent to their College email account.

Calendar of important dates
Faculty nominations due: January 14, 2019
Nominees notified: January 21, 2019
Applications from nominees submitted: February 4, 2019
Recipients notified: March 15, 2019
Awards bestowed: April 16, 2019, during Scholarship and Creative Arts Day