University Library

Library Prize for First-Year Seminar Students

University Library annually awards research prizes to three first year seminar students, nominated by faculty members, for excellence in research and use of library resources. Pictured below are our 2019-20 finalists: Nora Krukowski, first place winner; Madison Martinez, second place winner; and Emily Massey, third place winner.


$1,000 to be divided as follows:

  • 1st place $500
  • 2nd place $300
  • 3rd place $200

Eligibility and Qualifications

Any student who completes a research project/paper in a Core 100 course is eligible to be nominated. Research by the student should show evidence of substantial use of library resources and indicate academic excellence, including employing effective library research and information literacy skills, constructing arguments supported with evidence, and citing sources appropriately.

Nomination Process

Any faculty member who teaches a first year seminar course during the academic year may nominate one or more students for the award. Faculty must submit a nomination letter, a copy of the assignment, and a complete, unmarked copy of the student's work using this submission form. Nominated students will be contacted by a librarian and asked to submit a one to two page reflection of their library and research experience. Paper files should be in PDF format and multimedia files in a format conventional for the media.

Submission Deadlines

Fall 2020 Courses:

  • Deadline for faculty nominations: December 11, 2020
  • Deadline for student reflections: February 26, 2021

Spring 2021 Courses:

  • Deadline for faculty nominations: May 14, 2021
  • Deadline for student reflections: June 25, 2021

Three finalists will be announced during the following fall semester. Students who do not return to Xavier the fall after their first year are ineligible to receive prizes.


The finalists and their nominating faculty for the 2019-20 courses will be recognized virtually during the fall 2020 and prizes awarded by November 20, 2020. The finalists will receive monetary awards and the first place winner will have his or her name added to a plaque displayed in the library. All finalists agree to have their work added to the library's digital repository, Exhibit, as an example of excellent scholarship.

Judging Panel

  • Mr. James Green, Head of User Experience and Assessment, University Library
  • Mrs. Alison Morgan, Assistant Director of Public Services, University Library
  • Ms. Christine Mueller, Instruction and Reference Librarian, University Library
  • Ms. Megan Kickbush, Head of Access Services, University Library

Criteria for Evaluation


The nominated projects will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Sophistication, originality and/or unusual depth or breadth in the use of library collections, including, but not limited to, printed resources, databases, primary resources, and materials in all media
  • Exceptional ability to locate, select, evaluate, and synthesize library resources in the creation of a project in any media that shows originality and/or used appropriately in support of the topic
  • Citations for all materials done correctly in a standard format appropriate to the discipline
  • Evidence of the applicant's research strategy, research process and personal learning.

Faculty Nomination

Nominations should include evidence of the following:

  • Student's use of diverse library resources and collections in any format, appropriate to the length and subject matter of the project
  • Student's ability to select, evaluate, and synthesize library resources into the creation of the project
  • Student's growth as a researcher during the course
  • Correct citation of any footnotes, endnotes, internal documentation, and/or bibliography according to an accepted form of documentation (ALA, MLA, etc.)

Student Reflection

Nominated students must submit a reflection of approximately 250 words (1 page) describing their experience in using information resources and library services. Students should explain their research strategy and how they used and evaluated the resources found. The following questions should be addressed in the reflection:

  • How did you begin your research? Explain how you came up with your research query/topic.
  • How did you discover your sources? Which library databases or other information sources did you use? Explain particular techniques or strategies that you used while searching and discovering information. Did you need to use OhioLink or Illiad to get materials?
  • Did you seek research assistance from a librarian, a professor, or someone else? If so, how did this interaction impact your research process? Was there anyone in particular who gave you the inspiration to turn your research in a different direction?
  • How did you select and evaluate the sources you found? Explain which criteria you used for selecting sources.
  • What did you learn during the research process that will help further your academic or professional career?
  • How do you feel you grew as a researcher during the course?
  • Is there anything that could have improved your library research experience?


For more information, please email or contact a librarian.