Mission Statement

The Carl B. Ylvisaker Library supports the mission of the college by providing quality information resources and advancing their effective use.


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Carl B. Ylvisaker was born in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, January 13, 1896, the son of Professor Johannes T. Ylvisaker and his wife Kristi.

His father was professor of New Testament exegesis at Luther Seminary of the Norwegian Synod. During Carl's early boyhood, Luther Seminary moved to the Hamline district of St. Paul and this is where he grew up. Graduating from Central High School in 1913, he entered Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, finishing in 1917. That fall he matriculated at Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary and completed his courses in the spring of 1920. He spent the fall and early winter of 1920 in graduate study at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Ylvisaker came to Concordia College in 1927 to chair the religion department and exerted a tremendous influence on the Concordia community during his 19 years here. Ylvisaker taught religion, counseled campus religious organizations, gave his summers to Bible camps, coached tennis, was the dean of men for two years and was an unforgettable teacher who was sought out by students for his gentle but firm counsel.

Dr. Ylvisaker was noted by students as being a remarkable speaker and possessing great humility and kindness. He once said, “If you train men’s minds but not their morals, you train clever devils.” Many students sought him out for advice, and he consistently provided wise counsel. In 1956, at the request of students, Concordia’s new library was named in his honor. A bronze relief of Rev. Ylvisaker greets patrons at the library’s entrance.

In 1933, Dr. Ylvisaker married Marie Sletvold (1905-1975). Their five children are all alumni of Concordia.

At his funeral in April 1945, Ylvisaker was eulogized as a teacher who possessed "a willingness to share with others in a humble and sincere way the joy he had found in Christ Jesus."

In 1955 when Concordia needed $400,000 to build a library, two members of the Board of Regents devised a creative plan to raise the money.Fargo businessmen J. Luther Jacobson and E. T. Paulson each agreed to donate $1,000 to the project, then set out to recruit 398 other people to do likewise. By 1961 they had completed their goal and were well on their way into the next project - 500 more memberships to fund construction of the administration building. Privately organized to support the work of the college, the C-400 Club has financed facility construction and renovation, student scholarships, debt reduction, and campus beautification for Concordia College, all through volunteer efforts.

One of the first of Concordia's distinctive tan brick buildings, the current library building was completed in 1956. Previously, small libraries had been located in Old Main and Grose Halls. Eventually, the library was moved to Fjelstad Hall which remained a 'temporary' library for 12 years. Students, faculty and staff assisted in the move; 'Operation Horsepack,' meant carrying 44,000 books from the basement of Fjelstad, to fill the new library shelves.

The library was designed by Edward Sovik, who also planned 10 other buildings on campus. The library, with its spacious Reference area, won the American Institute of Architects award for architectural beauty in 1957. A four-story addition to the library, also funded by the C-400 Club, was constructed in 1971. At that time, the third and fourth floors were used for classrooms and faculty offices. In 1989 the library expanded again and now uses the whole addition for its stacks and for the College's Archives. Coincidentally, the remodeling of the library addition cost $400,000, the cost of the original library building.

The library features a large Reference room, a Curriculum Center, and two computer labs. Over 300,000 books, 50 newspaper and 1,200 periodical subscriptions make up the library's collection. Concordia's materials are accessible through the library website. Collections from regional college and university libraries are available to Concordia faculty and students through Concordia's interlibrary loan service.

Several permanent works of art are displayed in the library. Inquiry, a Venetian glass mosaic by the late David J. Hetland, a 1969 Concordia graduate, graces the entrance to the library. A bust of Martin Luther, sculpted by J. Paul Ness, '73, can also be found in the entryway. Founders, a bronze sculpture by the late Paul Granlund of Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota, is in the Circulation area.

Work at the Carl B. Library

Please complete an application. The hiring process is usually complete by the third or fourth week of the semester.

The most current information is posted at the College's Office of Human Resources.


Concordia College supports the resources and services of the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library for the primary use of Concordia students, faculty, and staff and clergy. Members of the Fargo-Moorhead community are granted the privilege of using these resources and services on a limited basis. Priority is always given to members of the Concordia community. 

Created and updated in February 2023.

Potentially Harmful Content

The Concordia College Archives and the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library are home to thousands of freely available resources from many periods of time. In the archives and the library, there will be some content that may be harmful or difficult to view. As cultural institutions, it is our mission to collect and preserve materials and artifacts from the college’s history and to make them available for research purposes. As a result, some of the content present in our collections may reflect biased, offensive, and possibly violent views and opinions that are reflective of the period and system of intolerance in which they were created. In addition, some of the content may relate to violent or graphic events and are preserved for their historical significance.

Potentially Harmful Language in Description
The Concordia College Archives and the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library make use of content descriptions, including finding aids, catalog records, and other metadata to improve access to our collections. We acknowledge that our existing descriptions may contain language that reflects biased and offensive terms that may cause harm. This language is the result of descriptions that were created over the years by creators of the collection material, previous stewards of the collections, or by previous archival and library staff before policies and standards were instituted to prevent the use of harmful language.

The archives and library also incorporate controlled vocabularies and thesauri, including the Library of Congress Subject headings, in our descriptions. Some of the headings in these vocabularies and thesauri are outdated and harmful. In some instances, original, creator- or steward-provided description holds inherent research value on the collection. However, these descriptions can equally reflect bias and prejudice and must be contextualized using descriptive notes that address why the description was left in its original submission state.

We recognize that identities are both socially constructed and fluid and that, over time, individuals and groups may self-identify differently. We acknowledge the value of modern user discovery needs and the value of historic terminologies. The Concordia College Archives and the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library are revisiting and updating descriptive language; however, given that we are a repository of thousands of descriptive records, this process is iterative and will take time.

The review process applies only to the record descriptions and not the original content itself; original content will not be altered. The Concordia College Archives and the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library encourage users to bring questions and concerns about description to the department’s attention via email (askccref@cord.edu). Please include the following:
• Title, name of author, and description
• Call number
• A quote of the specific language you feel is harmful
• A suggested alternative if you have one

The archives and the library will determine whether or not we will change or remove terms from archival and library descriptions. We will weigh potential harm against considerations such as input from affected communities, accurate preservation of the historical record, professional best practices, and allocation of staff resources.

This statement is adapted from the statements of the following institutions:

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). “DPLA’s Statement on Potentially Harmful Content.”
https://dp.la/about/harmful-language-statement. Accessed on February 21, 2023.

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). “NARA’s Statement on Potentially Harmful Content.” https://www.archives.gov/research/reparative-description/harmful-content. Accessed on February 21, 2023.

Tufts Archival Research Center (TARC). “TARC Statement on Potentially Harmful Language in Archival
Description.” https://tarc.tufts.edu/about/policies/TARC-Statement-on-Potentially-Harmful-Language-in-Archival-Description. Accessed on February 21, 2023.

Yale University Library. “Guide to Using Special Collections at Yale University: Statement on Harmful
Language in Archival Description.” https://guides.library.yale.edu/specialcollections/statementondescription. Accessed on February 21, 2023.

The Carl B. Ylvisaker Library Interlibrary Loan (ILL) department requests materials from other libraries to supplement the resources available on campus.

To request materials via interlibrary loan, please follow the instructions on the Interlibrary Loan page. ILL will contact patrons via campus mail when an item has arrived. If Interlibrary Loan staff members are unable to fill a request, an email with a description of the problem will be sent to the patron.

Because of the many costs associated with providing interlibrary loan services, the following policies will be followed.

  • Interlibrary loan is available to current students, staff and faculty, and emeriti faculty. Limited interlibrary loan services are available for patrons holding clergy borrowing cards.
  • Patrons are limited to the number of active requests they may have one time. Students may have 20, faculty and staff may have 100, and clergy borrowers may have three.
  • Interlibrary loan staff members request materials from the least expensive source. If charges are incurred, the library will pay the first $20 for student requests and $50 for faculty requests. If total charges exceed these limits, the patron will be contacted and asked to pay the remaining charges. Clergy borrowers will be asked to pay all fees associated with their requests. No charges will be accepted without prior patron approval.

Loan Period

Most items obtained through interlibrary loan may be checked out for 2-3 weeks with one renewal possible. Each lending library determines lending policies and may or may not allow renewals.

Electronic Delivery

When requesting articles through interlibrary loan, patrons may indicate a preference for electronic delivery. The lending library will determine the method of delivery.

If a request is filled electronically, the patron will receive an e-mail frommedd@othello.minitex.umn.edu with the subject line Your Interlibrary Loan Request and the following message:

Your requested material is available for pickup at http://medd.minitex.umn.edu. Login with the following information: your e-mail address and PIN (a four digit number that will be given in the message). Your material will be available on the Web site for 5 viewings or 7 days after e-mail notification, which ever comes first.

As the e-mail notification states, the article may only be accessed 5 times. Click on the link only once and contact ILL if there is a problem with access.

This information is provided for interlibrary loan staff members from libraries wishing to request materials from Concordia College. Please contact us if your question is not answered below.

Submitting Requests

Concordia accepts requests submitted via OCLC and PALS. We also accept requests through U.S. mail, Ariel, e-mail, or fax. We do not accept requests from individual patrons. Contact your local library if you would like to borrow material from our collection.


  • Standard: There is a $15.00 charge for books and photocopies for libraries that do not belong to LVIS, MINITEX, or participate in other reciprocal agreements.
  • Rush orders: We will fill rush orders for an additional fee of $15.00. This charge applies to all rush orders, including loans to members of LVIS or libraries participating in reciprocal agreements.
  • Lost item: If an item is lost, charges will be for replacement cost of the item plus a $10.00 processing fee.

Loan Period

All returnable items are loaned for 28 days. One renewal will be granted for books from our general collection. No renewals will be granted for items from our curriculum collection or for AV materials. Exceptions may apply under special circumstances.

Non-Circulating Materials

The following items are not available for interlibrary loan.

  • Periodicals
  • Reference
  • Reserves
  • Microfilm
  • Selected videos
  • Selected Curriculum Professional materials
  • Special collections
  • Archives (exceptions may be made on an individual basis.)


  • Items loaned to Minnesota libraries will be sent though the MINITEX (MII) courier unless otherwise noted.
  • Items loaned to libraries in other states will be sent via library mail. Please return videos, CDs and other AV items in a box rather than a jiffy bag.
  • Copies will be sent via Ariel if an Ariel IP is provided. Other copies will be sent U.S. mail. Fax delivery is available upon request (additional charges may apply). If there are problems with article transmission, please notify us as soon as possible. We keep articles on file for five days and will refill the original request within that time period. If more than five days have passed since the original fill, please place a new request.

Contact Us

Interlibrary Loan staff members are available from 7:45AM until 3:45PM, Monday through Friday.

OCLC symbol: CKK

Memberships: IFM, LVIS

Library Liaisons Directory

Find the Library Liaison for your subject.

Staff Resources

These resources are for current employees of the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library.  Please use the following links to locate policies and procedures relating to your position.