Library History

Library Mission & History




Mission Statement


The Sueltenfuss Library empowers members of the OLLU Community to pursue wisdom in a dynamic and complex information environment by fostering inquiry, discovery, and learning through quality resources.



Vision Statement


The Sueltenfuss Library will transform its traditional library services and collections to an omnipresent, integrated knowledge resource that engages students and faculty in 21st century learning and scholarship.



Library Strategic Plan 2020-2025


Goal One: Develop library collections that meet the current and evolving needs of OLLU students and faculty


  • 1.1 Create Collection Development policy to provide guidelines for acquisition and deaccessioning of library materials
  • 1.2 Initiate library-wide deaccessioning project of the library’s physical collection
  • 1.3 Assess needs for Special Collections and University Archives materials and policies
  • 1.4 Assess the need to expand online collections for online and distance programs
  • 1.5 Create task force to evaluate potential Textbook Collection and Open Educational Resources initiatives
  • 1.6 Create institutional repository


Goal Two: Create a better user experience for students and faculty through the acquisition and implementation of current and improved technology services


  • 2.1 Develop new workflows that improve online discoverability in new ILS
  • 2.2 Implement study room reservation system
  • 2.3 Evaluate the need and feasibility of implementing technology check-out (laptops, portable DVD players, chargers, tablets, etc.)
  • 2.4 Develop partnership between library and university IT to better support current and future technologies


Goal Three: Expand and enhance library services to students and faculty both on and off campus to meet their evolving needs


  • 3.1 Evaluate student and faculty needs of the main campus, online campus, and satellite campuses to expand services
  • 3.2 Enhance availability of chat service
  • 3.3 Advocate for the hiring of additional library staff/faculty
  • 3.4 Formalize policies and procedures for library ADA services
  • 3.5 Collaborate with Student Advocacy and Support to demonstrate the value of library services and how they positively impact student success and retention rates


Goal Four: Update library space to create modern, usable, and flexible environment for library users


  • 4.1 Create task force to evaluate ways to update and modernize library space including architectural renovations
  • 4.2 Incorporate environmentally sustainable practices into library operations and procedures
  • 4.3 Investigate options to bring food and beverage services to the library


Goal Five: Create comprehensive outreach strategy to increase visibility and awareness of the library and its resources and services


  • 5.1 Improve communication efforts to faculty regarding library collections and services
  • 5.2 Form Marketing Committee to create strategies for social media outreach, library branding, and library events planning
  • 5.3 Identify sources of additional funding for outreach initiatives
  • 5.4 Produce Library Email Newsletter each semester
  • 5.5 Form library advisory council
  • 5.6 Create student-centered Library Club
  • 5.7 Create Friends of the Library group including alumni and community members


Goal Six: Create a scaffolded information literacy foundation for students at all levels through comprehensive instructional efforts


  • 6.1 Improve instruction for online and distance students through ongoing assessment of current instruction practices
  • 6.2 Enhance comprehensive first-year information literacy experience
  • 6.3 Formalize instruction assessment plan
  • 6.4 Create more instruction sessions for upper level undergraduate and graduate discipline-specific research courses
  • 6.5 Create McNair Scholars mentorship program
  • 6.6 Offer regularly scheduled targeted research workshops





Sister Elizabeth Anne Sueltenfuss


Sister Elizabeth Anne Sueltenfuss

In September 2000, University President Sally Mahoney dedicated the Sueltenfuss Library in honor of Sister Elizabeth Anne Sueltenfuss, the fourth president of Our Lady of the Lake University.


Sister Sueltenfuss, President Emerita, had a long and distinguished association with the University. She became a student at the then Our Lady of the Lake College in 1937 and received her BA from the University in 1944. In 1963, she received her PhD in microbiology from Notre Dame. She entered the convent of the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1937. After teaching in high schools in Oklahoma and Louisiana, she became a member of the University faculty in 1949 with a teaching career in the sciences. In 1978, she became President of the University.


Her impressive tenure as president was marked by educational leadership, by the creation of a weekend college for non-traditional students, and by the construction of several new buildings. An active leader in the San Antonio community, she generously contributed her time and effort to a wide variety of civic and educational institutions, serving at one time as an active member of 35 organizations. She assumed major leadership roles in educational endeavors which addressed educational concerns with inadequate school completion and performance rates of poor and minority students.


Sister Sueltenfuss created the In Libris Veritas capital campaign which funded the construction of the library. A list of the library's donors can be found here.


Sister Sueltenfuss retired from Our Lady of the Lake University in 1997. She passed away on December 19, 2009 at the age of 88.




Library Mural


"La Historia Chicana" Mural


La Historia Chicana Mural by Jesse Trevino



Jesse Trevino made his mark in the art world as the first Mexican American to exhibit at the Smithsonian, but long before the rest of the world grew to love his work, Our Lady of the Lake University had great appreciation for his masterful art. He was originally from Mexico and moved to San Antonio when he was young. He served this country in the Vietnam War and tragically lost his right hand during battle. Though for some this loss may have ended their hopes and dreams of becoming a famous artist, Jesse didn’t let his physical disabilities deter him.


After a recuperative period, Jesse came to Our Lady of the Lake University to explore his options as an artist and complete his bachelor’s degree in art. Jesse has attributed his learning to paint with his left hand to Sisters Tharsilla Fuchs and Ethel Marie Corne. During his studies here, he completed the 100 foot mural “La Historia Chicana”. It was the first of his grand works with his left hand, painted on the walls of the popular student union (now the bookstore). Jesse’s pride of the West Side, San Antonio, and Our Lady of the Lake University is evident in the composition that depicts Mexican-American history, flowing seamlessly from one generation to the next.


As Jesse’s fame grew and his status as an international artist elevated, so too did the prominence of his mural here at the university. In 1981, it was relocated from the student union to the St. Florence Library reading room. During the design phase of the Sueltenfuss Library in the 90’s, architectural detail was intentionally made for the purpose of exhibiting this mural in the best possible light.


Today “La Historia Chicana” has a prominent place on the second floor of the Sueltenfuss Library where it is available for all to enjoy. Likewise, Jesse Trevino has a special place in the heart of Our Lady of the Lake University and was awarded an honorary doctorate for his lifetime artistic achievements. Both originals and reproductions of his work may be found throughout campus buildings.