Wed hours: 7:30 am - Midnight

Western Libraries - Winter 2014 Issue 2

Trouble viewing this email? View 3 Things in Browser

This second Winter Quarter issue of 3 Things brings you news about the development of Western's new Institutional Repository project. A look at what a variety of science databases have to offer. And "did you know" that Rapid-ILL is working behind the scenes day and night to deliver articles faster than ever?

  Something New!

Partnership to Make WWU Research Available 
By Mark Greenberg, Dean of Libraries

In late spring, the Western Libraries will unveil the fruits of a new university-wide partnership. In collaboration with Research & Sponsored Programs, the Graduate School, and the Provost’s Office, the Libraries will launch a new web site to make faculty, staff, and student research accessible, free, and worldwide via the internet. The new “Institutional Repository” (IR) will include published and unpublished works, open-access journals, conference proceedings, data sets, university documents, and other textual and audio/visual content deemed desirable for wide dissemination.

Planning for Western’s new IR began several years ago and directly addresses the university’s core mission, vision, and strategic goals. Specifically, free and global access to Western’s expertise and research productivity better serves other scholars, as well as residents in the state of Washington and people worldwide, as they seek to solve societal problems and build healthy communities.

Throughout North America and Europe, academic libraries have led efforts on behalf of their universities to launch institutional repositories. At the nexus of the rapidly evolving information age, Libraries see enormous benefit in making a small investment to advance a paradigm shift: to support and disseminate scholarship produced locally in addition to their traditional role paying for access to research produced elsewhere.

For faculty, the opportunity to create research pages and freely share teaching resources, conference proceedings, scholarly journals, and other digital content in the Institutional Repository opens new avenues to increase readership and expand their work’s impact. Faculty have also seen great potential to highlight their students’ academic work, including theses, performances, and other curricular and co-curricular projects.

In the coming months, the Libraries will be working closely with faculty and staff across the university to identify content suitable for the IR, to share additional information about its value and many uses, and to provide workshops on author rights and responsibilities when creating research pages. The IR will “go live” in early June with a subset of available research. This is just the beginning. Month after month, the Libraries look forward to working across the university to grow the Institutional Repository in fulfillment of Western’s mission, vision, and goals.

For questions about this new initiative, please contact the Dean of Libraries, Mark Greenberg, at

  This Issue's Great Tip

What’s In a Science Database? More Than You Think! 
By Peter Smith, Science & Technology Librarian

Curious about the extreme weather across the country lately? Looking for information about genetically modified foods? Wondering about dark energy?

Research databases provided by the library can help. Here’s a few I would like to introduce to you:


SciFinder is an excellent database for agricultural topics, environmental sciences, sustainability issues, and biological, mechanical, or chemical engineering research. It is the database for chemical literature, but of course so much more. Here is a link to a short video about cooking, taste, and the foods you eat:

Web of Science

Web of Science is a research database that covers all subject areas, you may select the science database to focus your search results. Could not pass up this story about Beatlemania research articles in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America in 1964:

Access Science

Access Science is the online version of the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, a good resource for background information and leads to research. There are many special features, including animations to help illustrate subjects. Here is a link to a video introducing Access Science:

These three databases (and more) are available on the Western Libraries home page, select “Article Databases” and find them in the A-Z list of databases. The unique content contained in these resources offers student and faculty researchers a great way to enhance the search results provided through OneSearch.

For help email, or use the Chat feature on the library home page.

  Did You Know?

Rapid-ILL Delivers – And FAST! 
By Frank Haulgren, Document Delivery & Collection Services Manager

In January 2013 Western Libraries began using a document delivery service called Rapid-ILL to supplement our traditional interlibrary loan processes. Like Summit Borrowing, Rapid-ILL is a community of libraries that agree to meet delivery targets in the interest of providing students and faculty with, well, rapid delivery of journal articles.

Since Western Libraries became a Rapid-ILL member performance has been amazing. Note these impressive stats!

  • 13,438: Number of un-cancelled article requests submitted by students & faculty via ILLiad
  • 8,854: Article requests directed to Rapid-ILL (roughly 66% of above)
  • 97%: Percent of requests submitted to and filled by Rapid-ILL
  • 14.5 hours: Average time from when an articled entered Rapid-ILL processing until delivered*
  • About 2.5 days: Average turnaround time for articles delivered via other means**

*Turnaround time is calculated based on the time a request enters the Rapid-ILL workflow until posted to the ILLiad server based on working days only. **Adjusted for working days.

Rapid-ILL’s amazing turnaround time is possible because it was designed to work with ILLiad to identify transactions that contain citation elements necessary for automated processing. Transactions that contain these criteria and which do not require copyright clearance are routed directly to an appropriate Rapid-ILL partner as soon as the user clicks the submit button. No staff intervention is needed for these requests which means they are off to suppliers 24/7.

While Rapid-ILL is a transparent process to Western Libraries’ users there are ways that students and faculty can take best advantage of this amazing delivery service. When submitting an ILLiad request for a journal article make sure that these citation elements are included: Journal title; issue volume and publication year; article title and starting page number; ISSN or Standard number. If they don’t all parse into ILLiad from a database, examine the citation carefully and add them. These details will generally allow your request to directly route into the Rapid-ILL system. 

Rapid-ILL is not a free service by any means but the cost to participate is more than offset by savings in staff time, library delivery charges, direct payments to publishers for individual PDFs, and the satisfaction of our users.

If you have questions about Rapid-ILL or any of the Western Libraries document delivery services contact:

Questions / Comments about 3 Things

Facebook   Twitter   YouTube   RSS Feed   Flickr


Western Libraries - Winter 2014 Issue 1

Trouble viewing this email? View 3 Things in Browser

The Learning Commons is becoming hub of activity! In this issue Shevell Thibou introduces, "Conversations in Common." It's a wonderful new initiative that provides campus & community groups with LC space in which to connect with the wider Western community! Next, tipster Gabe Gossett talks about the Libraries' enthusiasm and support for Zotero. And, in our "Did You Know" piece, Paul Piper introduces a recent Special Collection's acquisition illustrated by local artist Tom Wood, and encourages faculty to explore how Heritage Resources staff can help integrate other unique materials into your curriculum.

  Something New!

Start Your Conversation At The Commons 
By Shevell Thibou,  LC Program Coordinator

There are so many reasons why you should visit the Western Libraries and Learning Commons – great study spaces, wonderful resources, enriching collections, friendly staff, and the list goes on.

Another reason for you to come might be the “Conversations in Common,” a new initiative sponsored by the Western Libraries and the Learning Commons for individuals, departments, and programs to share information on resources available across Western’s campus. Resulting from an idea that emerged from the Teaching-Learning Academy last year when they explored how to cultivate more positive communities, these Conversations afford an opportunity to learn more about campus-wide resources as well as to engage in informal dialogue in a centrally located space that has been deliberately designed for interaction and collaboration. A space within the recently remodeled Learning Commons (in the Wilson wing next to the Info Desk) is currently available for scheduling “Conversations.” Programs that have already signed on to host a Conversation include the Western Sustainability Green Energy Fee grant program, Academic Advising, and the Career Center. 

The “Conversations” will also involve the Bellingham community, so for example, the Whatcom Volunteer Center is scheduled to host regular hours in the Learning Commons each Thursday from 12-4 pm during winter quarter. As a partner with the Center for Service-Learning, the Whatcom Volunteer Center has held hours in the Library’s Learning Commons in the past, however, within the first five minutes of their very first “Conversations in Common” hour, they received a line of interested students and future volunteers. The Bellingham Stir Center is also interested in partnering with the Conversations in Commons in the near future.

We hope you can participate in these rich Conversations! If you’re interested in hosting a Conversation in the space or would like more information, please contact


  This Issue's Great Tip

Managing Your Research With Zotero 
By Gabe Gossett, Librarian for Extended Education

Do you have a beastly research project that’s not coming together? Are you interested in a tool that can help generate citations for your academic papers?

Maybe you’re interested in building a personal database of research that you get to customize and take with you, even after you are no longer at Western? If any of those questions resonate with you we recommend you check out Zotero. 

Zotero is a powerful tool that allows you to collect research resources, typically in PDF or web snapshot format, annotate and organize those sources in a way that makes sense to you, and export citations for those sources either by dragging and dropping a citation into a document or embedding citations via a word processor plugin.

Because Zotero is sophisticated, and there are not many other applications like it, it can help to have training and support. Fortunately for you, librarians are happy to fill that role!

We provide support in a couple of ways:

  • We provide a guide with tutorials and documentation (with thanks to Zotero expert Jason Puckett for the template)
  • We provide workshops (check out the WWU Training site for the latest drop-in workshops or contact us to schedule one for your class)
  • We offer drop-in support at the Research Consultation Desk
  • Finally, we are happy to schedule a time to meet with you and provide individualized advice on how Zotero might best be integrated into your existing research process

Don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know if you would like to learn more about Zotero. If you are already using Zotero, let us know how you use it or contact

  Did You Know?

Heritage Resources and Instruction 
By Paul Piper, Special Collections Librarian

Many Library users have no idea what Heritage Resources (Special Collections, The Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, and University Archives) is, and if they do, they view it as a few rooms containing books and documents locked away from easy access. NOT TRUE!! While the collection and preservation of books and other rare or specialized materials is certainly an important component of our mission, instruction is primary to our mission, and we are continuously looking for ways to integrate our materials into courses and the University curriculum.

A case in point is our newly acquired copy of an art book rendering of the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges’ story The Book of Sand, with woodcuts by local artist Thomas Wood. The book was reviewed by our Rare Book Advisory group, comprised of faculty from several departments, with an eye on how the text could integrate with and enhance instruction.

Being an art book, and featuring a local artist’s work, the connections to community and art could be integrated easily into art or local anthropology/culture classes. As a bilingual story, Spanish and English, the text could be used by Modern and Classical Languages. And as a story by a renowned Argentine writer, the connections to South American and/or international literature are obvious. But there are also the spatial, moral and philosophical themes (particularly that of infinity and fate) of both the story and the art that have application in philosophy, physics, and other disciplines.

And this is just the story of one book. Between our three collections we have thousands of other materials that are begging to be integrated into classes. We’ve even designed a flexible module that can easily be inserted into a curriculum.

If you would like to find out more, please contact me at or stop by Special Collections.

Questions / Comments about 3 Things

Facebook   Twitter   YouTube   RSS Feed   Flickr


Western Libraries - Fall 2013 Issue 1

Trouble viewing this email? View 3 Things in Browser

Welcome to the first issue of 3 Things for the new academic year. We’re going to bring you up to date on some significant changes. OneSearch has arrived as we promised in our last Spring Quarter issue! Course Reserves are now embedded in Canvas making access to electronic content for courses virtually seamless for students and faculty. And we are celebrating Western Libraries’ 50th anniversary as a documents depository for federal government. Enjoy, and let us know what you think!

  Something New!

Get The Most From OneSearch!
By Paul Piper, Heritage Resources Librarian & Frank Haulgren, Collection Services Manager

OneSearch, the Library’s new search engine, went live just over three months ago. Still in its Beta phase, OneSearch has improved dramatically since its introduction. We have seen a lot of growing pains, but we are proud of OneSearch, and are satisfied with its development. Each librarian and staff member of Western Libraries is ready and able to help you get the most from OneSearch so please, ask us when you need help or checkout the Search Tips.

Here are three simple suggestions that will improve your OneSearch experience. 

Sign in, Scope, and Strategy!

  • Always sign in. It improves your search results and your access to delivery options.
  • Choose a scope. There are three drop-down search scopes for OneSearch: WWU-only and WWU/Summit will only get you books etc. The Everything search gives you a true OneSearch experience by returning books, etc. and articles.
  • Consider your search strategy. Not only your search terms and scope, but also whether an Advanced Search (for a specific author/title) or a Browse (for a specific call number) would be the best approach.

OneSearch at Western is the local manifestation of a much larger project being undertaken by all 37 of our Orbis-Cascade Alliance partners over the next 18 months (see previous issue). During this period Primo, the software that runs OneSearch, will be constantly tweaked and refined to provide the best search experience for our users. In just the last few weeks we’ve seen these improvements.

  • Relevancy of search results & known items. That means you get the kind of results from your search that you expect and that known items rise to the top of those results.
  • WWU-Scope added. A “scope” narrows the pool of records being searched up front. Lots of people asked for this. It allows for searching materials, including ebooks and journals that exist only within our collections. But not specific journal articles.

What other improvements are coming? Watch for these over the next few months.

  • Improved display of journal holdings. We recently added year holdings to the print journal records in OneSearch. Work is underway to display that information at the article citation level.
  • Improved filters. This is a top priority. Better filtering will allow you to finesse the post-search results list in the ways you want to.
  • De-duplication. Duplicate records can confuse search results and are we are working to minimize these.

We are also working on a series on one-minute tip videos! But if you are experiencing difficulties with OneSearch now we urge you to contact your librarian. They are here to assist you with your research in every way possible.


  This Issue's Great Tip

Course Reserves Comes to Canvas! 
By Joanna Bailey, Course Reserves/Copyright Permissions

Western Libraries is pleased to announce that Course Readings and Reserves are now fully integrated with the Canvas Course Management System. This integration offers an enhanced service to Western students and faculty by making it easier for the Libraries to provide access to valuable resources while simultaneously reducing university culpability in regards to U.S. Copyright Laws and Fair Use Guidelines. 

Additionally, Western Libraries has put in place procedures to assure that instructors who use supplemental readings in their courses are leveraging the libraries’ extensive electronic and print collections to reduce costs for both their departments and students. Our membership in the Orbis-Cascade Alliance, and the buying power that comes with it, has significantly expanded access to electronic content for all disciplines over the last few years. 

For students, this means you will be able to see what is on reserve for your class from right within your Canvas account! Take a couple of minutes to check out this video which walks you through how to locate your reserve readings in Canvas.

For faculty, this means if you are an instructor who wants to create a list of reading materials for your class, we will do the leg work for you! We’ll find the electronic content that duplicates your dog eared photocopies. We’ll determine how to achieve copyright compliance. We’ll put the content up through our e-reserves gateway, which we will then convert into “Modules” inside the corresponding Canvas course record.

This means we will:

  • Check our database subscriptions to identify materials already licensed for WWU users.
  • Check our collections for materials we own.
  • Scan materials provided by faculty.
  • Purchase hard copy and/or e-books, as needed.
  • Gain copyright clearance, as needed, or search for a suitable substitute.
  • Retrieve materials from our collection and accept materials from faculty and their departments to place on hard copy reserve in a secure area with restricted loan periods.
  • Help instructors determine the most efficient and cost effective approach for providing access to course materials.

If you have any questions or need more information about the Course Reserves / Canvas integration, go to the “Course Reserves Overview” page, or email the Course Reserves contact

  Did You Know?

Western Libraries Celebrates 50 Years as Depository
By Rob Lopresti, Librarian for Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Canadian-American Studies, Government Information and Maps

Doing anything worthwhile for 50 years is something to celebrate, and Western has been a Federal Depository Library since 1963. What is a depository? It means that the government sends us publications for free and we agree to make them available, not only to Western students, but to the community at large. That’s why we have more than 200,000 government publications. And there are advantages beyond paper: for example, you have full-text access to the 125,000 publications in the Homeland Security Digital Library only because we are a depository.

So how are we celebrating? On Friday, November 1, at 1 PM in the library Skybridge, there will be cake, a display of some surprising government documents (jigsaw puzzles, flashcards, how-to-grow-hemp & more), and a little history of the collection.

At 2 PM in the Library Presentation Room (WL 164) four distinguished Western professors will discuss how they use government information in their work. They are: Andy Bach (Environmental Studies), Paul Chen (Political Science), Zite Hutton (Accounting), and Kevin Leonard (History).

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, call Rob Lopresti at 360-650-3342 or


Questions / Comments about 3 Things

Facebook   Twitter   YouTube   RSS Feed   Flickr


Western Libraries - Fall 2013 Issue 2

Trouble viewing this email? View 3 Things in Browser

In this issue Paul Piper introduces the Western Libraries’ “Northwest Collection” which has been assembled in the Libraries’ beautiful Wilson 4 Central reading room. Gabe Gossett provides an update on streaming video availability. Increased access to a variety streamed video packages makes it a valuable resources for instruction. And lastly take a sneak-peak at the new Western Libraries’ home page with developer Jon Dillon. We hope you find these three things worthwhile!

  Something New!

Reading Room Focuses on Works of the Pacific NW 
By Paul Piper, Special Collections Librarian

The room known by students as the Harry Potter Room has been transformed, and although students will no doubt continue to call it the Harry Potter Room, the stately and ornate Four Central Reading Room, designed in the late 1920’s by architects Charles H. Bebb and Carl F. Gould, now houses the Northwest Collection.

What is the Northwest Collection you ask? The Western Libraries’ Northwest Collection is a rich and extensive resource for information on the Pacific Northwest, a region defined as Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia, and Alaska. 

The collection features works by authors, scholars, and others whose efforts have contributed significantly to the interpretation and understanding of the Northwest region. This circulating collection of books and video emphasizes important works on regional and local history; art; literature; business, labor, industry and commerce; science and technology; agriculture and natural resources; politics, government, and law; environment and conservation; ethnicity and culture; geography; and archaeology, and anthropology.

Additionally it features work by renowned Pacific Northwest authors and film-makers whose scope of creation has expanded beyond the region. This collection will significantly enhance research and instruction for students, staff and faculty alike.

It is a living, growing collection that we will continue to build. It is a browsing and circulating collection. So, in addition to authors like David Gutterson and Tom Robbins – which one would expect to find – view some of the other amazing offerings in the gallery of titles linked here.

From beautifully photographed works of tribal art to a video telling the incredible story of Bellingham’s own “Mountain Runners” who foreshadowed the modern Ski-to-Sea racers there are works that will speak to every northwesterner.

This newly developed space provides plenty of seating, tables, and it is a quiet area. A perfect place to create a respite in your normally busy day, browsing and reading.

The Reading Room also serves as a special place to connect technology-empowered students to the historic research libraries of the past. And last but not least, the Libraries plans to use the room for events and exhibitions that advance our knowledge of the Northwest. Stay tuned.

For more information, contact

  This Issue's Great Tip

Streaming Video: In Canvas and In the Classroom 
By Gabe Gossett, Librarian for Extended Education

Increasingly, as services like Netflix take off, we are used to streaming videos online. Streaming video can be an excellent teaching resource since it allows for flexibility. Rather than taking up class time to show a film professors can “flip” the class and place streaming videos on reserve. Hybrid and online courses can better take advantage of streaming video as well. 

At Western Libraries we are fully aware of this trend. Around this time last year we let you know about access to 20,000+ documentary collections through Academic Video Online. We have continued to work towards meeting demand for streaming video and are pleased to announce a few more resources you can access.

Environmental and social issues are common areas of focus at Western. Because of that we have lined up a package of 240 documentary titles from distributors such as Bullfrog and Icarus Films. You can browse and view these titles through OneSearch or by accessing them through Docuseek2 in the database list.

Many instructors seek access to streaming feature films and we can meet this need through Swank Films, which allows us to get access to films on a course-by-course basis. You won’t find these films through the OneSearch catalog, since access on a per title basis and streamed directly to a specific course in Canvas, but you can find out which titles are available by searching the Swank catalog. Contact a librarian for details on how to arrange for a streaming feature film in your course.

Even if a film is not available through one of the sources described we might still be able to get streaming access to it. Currently, if you place a purchase request for a video we will check for streaming access and default to purchasing that, unless you ask us to do otherwise. We do have some limitations, such as distributors that don’t provide streaming access. However, we are constantly seeking ways in which to meet our patrons’ needs for new media. In the near future you can expect clarifications around policies related to the streaming of DVD and VHS content.

If you have questions about streaming video don’t hesitate to contact a librarian about the options that might be available to you!

More information about streaming video can be found on our Streaming Video Guide or contact

  Did You Know?

A Fresh New Look to the Library Website!
By Jon Dillon, Web Developer for Western Libraries

Western Libraries is pleased to announce that the library website will be getting a fresh new look starting Winter Quarter 2014! You will quickly realize that although things may look different, the underlying functionality remains the same.

The services you are used to will still be available, but easier to find. The terminology you already know will not change. The menus and overall navigation of the site will continue to focus on Research, Collections, Services, and information About the Library.

The most important message we hope to convey about the change is that you will not have to learn something new. Instead, we think you will enjoy the look and feel of the new design while also benefitting from the following advantages:

  • A Common Brand! - In order to better serve the entire WWU community, Western Libraries is happy to follow the guidelines set forth in the Western Repositioning Initiative. These changes will align the Western Libraries with an institutional graphic identity that will provide a more consistent experience for users exploring the university's web pages.
  • Mobile Devices! - The Western Libraries website will deliver content to our users, regardless of the type of device used to access the site. This will be achieved using the practices of Responsive Web Design. The same content will be displayed on large monitors and smaller mobile devices.
  • The Latest Technology! - The Western Libraries website will migrate from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7. Drupal 7 is the current, stable version of the popular CMS. This move creates opportunities to work with other campus web developers to harness the power of Drupal to deliver content in new and exciting ways.

Changes to the Western Libraries website will be in effect starting December 15th. Please click on the attached thumbnails for a sneak peek. For questions, please contact


Questions / Comments about 3 Things

Facebook   Twitter   YouTube   RSS Feed   Flickr


Western Libraries - Spring 2013 Issue 2

Trouble viewing this email? View 3 Things in Browser

In this last issue of the academic year you’ll find an introductory piece by our new Dean of Libraries who has arrived, and is interested in hearing from you. Next we share with you a “sneak preview” of the next generation discovery layer - soon to replace our current catalog search box. The issue ends with a short piece about the Orbis-Cascade Alliance’s important role in many of the initiatives which support research and scholarship at WWU. Have a great summer!

  Something New!

A Message From the Incoming Dean of Libraries
By Mark I. Greenberg, Incoming Dean of Libraries

June 1 marks my first official day as Dean of Libraries, but I have been hard at work in May getting to know the Library and University. It’s been an exciting and educational last several weeks.

From my first encounter with Western as an applicant for the Dean position, I was deeply impressed with its clear focus on undergraduate education, the quality of its students and faculty, the strength of its academic programs, and the many national accolades the University has received. As a centerpiece for teaching and learning on campus, the Library stood out to me for its excellent faculty and staff, research collections, and patron services.

Now “on board” at Western, I see how bright the future looks for the Libraries. Important groundwork already has been laid. Streamlined service points and a new Learning Commons Information Desk have improved efficiencies and engaged more students in peer-to-peer support. A robust reference and instruction program is improving information literacy and supporting the curriculum. The Learning Commons has grown in scope, and new furniture is on the way to facilitate more space for collaborative learning. Heritage Resources offers myriad collections to explore as well as exciting research opportunities.

Western Libraries’ future lies in bringing multiple threads together – in building programs, services, and collections that are more than the sum of their parts. As Dean, I look forward to facilitating collaboration both within and outside the Libraries. Partnerships with faculty and staff are crucial to our success.

Please watch in the coming months for exciting initiatives to grow undergraduate research opportunities, new digital collections projects to support teaching and learning, and an expanded Learning Commons with greater reach and impact.

The Libraries seek to be both responsive and proactive – to meet Western’s needs but also to play a leadership role and to try new things. In all of these efforts, I encourage your input. I hope you will share your suggestions with me as the Libraries continue to strive to be a centerpiece for teaching and learning at the University.

  This Issue's Great Tip

The New Western Libraries Search
By Ryer Banta, Instructional Design Resident

Search better, search wider, save time and find the best!  

Ever wish that you could search the library for everything you need from one simple search box? We know you do because we’ve heard time and again, “Can’t we just have one box that searches everything? Like Google!” Well you are in luck, because this summer we are getting a new search system that lets you do just that. 

Our new system comes with an improved search engine that brings you better results from a wider range of collections. Maybe not everything but one search will pull together search results from the library catalog, Summit Borrowing, databases, open access repositories and much more. This means that you will have an easier time finding great materials for all your research needs.


This new system is also loaded with useful tools that help you refine your results and focus on getting exactly what you want. Plus, if you get stumped and need to branch out, our new system has tools for that too. Not only will you be able to search for books, journal articles, and more, all at the same time, but you will also be able to easily find and request materials from libraries beyond Western.

Switching to a new system is a massive undertaking and a huge change for us, but luckily Western Libraries is not alone in this transition. You may not know it, but Western Libraries is a member of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, which is a partnership between 37 academic libraries across Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Summit, which allows you to get materials from other member libraries, is one of the Alliance’s collaborative efforts. Now the Alliance is working together to bring you this new system that will be shared between all member libraries. This new shared library system will allow us new opportunities to bring you the best service and collections possible.

All of this adds up to an amazing, new search experience that helps you find the best materials from Western and beyond. Spend less time searching and more time with what you find.

  Did You Know?

37 to 1: Alliance Libraries Moving to One Shared System
By Rick Osen, Interim Dean of Libraries

Big changes are in store for the Western Washington University Libraries and its users. In June 2013, we'll migrate to a new and improved library system for finding books, articles, and more. The new search and discovery interface will make it easier for you to find information and research materials here at the Western Libraries and beyond.

This migration is part of a major cooperative effort of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, a consortium of 37 academic libraries across Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, of which the Western Libraries is a long-standing member. As a consortium, we share services, technologies, and collections. Many of you will know the Alliance through the robust resource sharing service known as Summit. Others may be aware of the Alliance’s ebook acquisition project that has added thousands of titles for all 37 institutions to share.

The move from 37 systems to a single shared library system is a hallmark of the consortium’s collaboration, and will open the door to further collaborative ventures in the future. By sharing one system, we'll improve the research experience for our students and faculty and better manage all of our resources. To give you an indication of the size of this system, when complete it will contain 8.8 million titles and over 26 million resources held within the 37 institutions.

The Western Libraries, along with the University of Washington Libraries, is among the first institutions within the consortium to move to this new environment. Other institutions will migrate to the shared system in cohorts over the next 18 months.  We're committed to providing the same excellent service throughout the implementation, and will appreciate your patience as we move to this more streamlined system.

You'll be hearing more about this exciting development as the launch date approaches and as implementation takes place. Meanwhile, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact

Learn more about the New OneSearch!

Questions / Comments about 3 Things

Facebook   Twitter   YouTube   RSS Feed   Flickr


Western Libraries - Spring 2013 Issue 1

Trouble viewing this email? View 3 Things in Browser

Welcome to this issue of 3 Things! Western Libraries' Learning Commons continues to evolve physically and virtually. Below you'll find out about new service models, changes afoot in Learning Commons space itself, and how the virtual commons, Viking Village, can be so much more than just a social space for students.

  Something New!

A New Face For the Learning Commons!
By Caroline Dallstream & Simon Bakke, LC Liaisons

Whether you’re entering the Library through the Wilson entrance or crossing the Skybridge into the Wilson wing, two friendly faces sitting behind a small station known as the Learning Commons Info Desk will be there to greet you.

The student staff is available during all regular library hours and can assist in locating places in the Library as well as in connecting people with appropriate resources.

Behind the Info Desk, you’ll also see that the Library Learning Commons has put on a new face by creating an open space for collaboration including having Library resources available. An on-call research librarian waits at the ready for research consultations, Writing Center Assistants are near-by for conferencing, and all the other Learning Commons program partners across the main floor are poised and ready to support patrons’ needs.

Though the look of this space is new, the concept of having a studio-like environment in the Library is not. Mabel Zoe Wilson (our first librarian) once called the library a “student’s workshop” where learners could “double and magnify their creative work” (The Weekly Messenger, 1927). Now thanks, in part, to a $75,000 donation received from Dave and Ann Mann, the Learning Commons is moving forward with creating this “workshop” space in Wilson Library.

While the Library and Learning Commons staff supports learning and scholarship, this area in the Wilson wing is designed to facilitate collaboration in a central location, making many of the Library’s resources easily accessible. Besides the all-important human resources available, the space also features a media-scape table with a split screen that enables groups (up to six at a time) to work together.

There’s no need to worry while the Wilson wing is getting this face lift. On the Haggard side Circulation staff continues to provide their regular friendly services, while the Student Technology Center now handles laptop checkouts and support.

As students, we’re very excited about these changes to the Learning Commons, and hope you will find them useful, too. Between now and the beginning of fall quarter, there will be more Learning Commons upgrades including new furniture. Until then, stop by to work with others and get help from your always-eager-to-help Library staff.

  This Issue's Great Tip

Research Help is on the Way!
By Julene Sodt, Research & Information Specialist

If you are looking for resources for course assignments, the new Learning Commons Information Desk on the main floor of Wilson is the place to begin! 

On-call research help is just a few steps away at the Research Consultation area. Save time and stress by asking for help early in your research process.

A librarian can help you brainstorm search terms, find the best databases for your topic, and show you tricks to using them more effectively. With our experience and expertise can help locate resources you can’t find with Google! 

We are also collaborating with our Learning Commons partner the Writing Center so that you can seamlessly integrate your writing and research in a final product.

And, did you know that you don’t have to be in the library to ask a librarian your questions?  Contact us directly through live chat, text message (360-797-5910), and Twitter (@Ask_WWU_Lib), or you can search our growing database of past Q & A’s to recycle an answer. 

Find Ask Us by clicking on the button to the left side of most library pages, or go to

On-call research help and chat services are available during the following hours:

Monday – Friday from 9:00 to 9:00pm
Friday from 9-5pm
Saturday from 1-6pm
Sunday from 12-9pm

Another great option is to schedule a research consultation with a subject specialist, a librarian with expertise in your area of study.

Appointments are usually scheduled Monday through Friday between 8:00am and 5:00pm.

  Did You Know?

Viking Village: It’s Not Just a Student Space
By J.T. Williams, Viking Village Coordinator

Viking Village, Western Washington University’s online forum, is a wonderful little corner of the internet. It offers (yes; this is a shameless plug) a venue for students to socialize, discuss and debate, find rides to and from Bellingham, buy and sell stuff, show off their art, find events, find friends, and even create the occasional crowd sourced poem or short story. It’s a robust environment.

But you know this. Or, at least, you should.

What you may not know is that Viking Village, as the online component of the Learning Commons, is a great (although underutilized) academic resource, too. Students frequently use Viking Village to ask for homework help, find tutors, and form peer workshops. Faculty sometimes require students to respond to discussion threads on our forum—it’s a good way to make online discussion assignments feel a bit less arbitrary by including the greater campus community. Once in a while, something even cooler happens.

Last fall quarter, I was approached by Dr. Cathy McDonald, a Senior Instructor of English. As she prepared to pilot a course exploring writing in “real-world” situations, Cathy decided that she wanted her students to not only study the subject, but do it. Viking Village came to mind as a good option for that. It was.

As Dr. McDonald’s class progressed I provided technical help to her students, as well as insights into our forum community. I set up a Facebook group for communication between her students, myself, and Viking Village moderators, and visited her classroom frequently. Those students who decided to experiment with Viking Village tried everything from starting academic discussions to derailing an inflammatory thread about yoga pants (the latter required great creativity, and the student responsible felt “empowered” by her success). The resulting classroom discussions were nothing short of lively: Viking Village helped students see how the composition theory they were learning was meaningful and useful in an everyday space.

These sorts of interactions between classes and Viking Village should happen more often—they’re enriching for everyone involved. Once again, it’s a wonderful little corner of the internet, and it’s something unique to Western. It’s also what you make of it, and considering that it grants classrooms access to thousands of students of varying academic, cultural, and personal backgrounds, and opportunities to apply new material in meaningful ways, the possibilities are endless.

Questions / Comments about 3 Things

Facebook   Twitter   YouTube   RSS Feed   Flickr


Western Libraries - Winter 2013 Issue 1

Trouble viewing this email? View 3 Things in Browser

Welcome to 3 Things! The Learning Commons is becoming an increasingly integral part of how 21st century libraries here and elsewhere contribute to teaching, learning, and scholarship. In this issue you’ll learn about a new study skills session offered by the Tutoring Center, read about the collaborative efforts of LC partners to assist students and faculty with issues related to writing, and get a student’s perspective on why the LC should be a "must visit" destination for every student.

  Something New!

Tutoring Center: Drop-In Study Skills Coaching Added To Services
By Michelle Wallace, Tutoring Center Coordinator

At the Tutoring Center (TC - Wilson Library 280), students can get drop-in assistance with math and science GUR coursework. But did you know that knowledgeable student employees also provide individualized assistance on study skills and strategies? This quarter, the TC is excited to offer drop-in study skills coaching with Peer Advisors - with several slots available every day.

"Study skills go beyond a student’s ability to memorize information," Lead Peer Advisor Shelby Murray explains. "We are talking about helping students identify their strengths and weaknesses in study habits, starting with the most basic: making time for studying."


Coaching is customizable for each student, as Peer Advisors are trained to listen to everyone’s unique story. Discussion topics include everything from the basics to "how you read texts and how you feel in a testing environment," Murray adds.

Peer Advisors can also discuss strategies for overcoming procrastination, using office hours effectively, taking notes that work for you, and more. But students don’t need to plan which topics to cover - the TC is here to help them diagnose which concerns may be keeping them from reaching their full potential.

Drop-in study skills consultations are available in 25-30 minute time slots from 9-11am and 4-6pm on Mondays, 9-11am and 4-8pm on Tuesdays-Thursdays, and 9-11am on Friday mornings.

Students may also make advance appointments for more in-depth coaching sessions by calling 360-650-3855 or e-mailing At 50 minutes in length, these appointments have the potential for even greater customization.

The Tutoring Center moved to Wilson Library to be part of the Learning Commons fall quarter 2011. Since then, it has offered drop-in peer tutoring for math and science GURs in an inviting study space. Study skills tutoring rounds out the TC’s services, allowing students to address broader concerns. Hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 9am-9pm, Friday 9am-5pm, and Sunday 5pm-9pm.

Other TC services include tutor-facilitated study groups offered around campus, as well as study skills presentations by Peer Advisors. Classes, clubs, programs, or other campus partners may book a presentation by calling 360-650-3855 or e-mailing

Happy studying from the TC!

  This Issue's Great Tip

Faculty & Students Can Look to the Learning Commons for Writing Support
By Lee Olsen, WIS Instructor/Editor

We all know the steely hard feeling that creeps in when we hear phrases like twenty-page research paper due March 15, 5pm. We all know the agony that surrounds late-night, last-moment scrambles to produce flawless writing which, undoubtedly, we had months to complete. Some of us can even recall our eighth-grade English teacher rambling about Marie Antoinette and something about eating cake instead of bread.

And what the heck is a comma splice, anyway?  Even more worrisome, what do I do if I’m a splicer and don’t even know it?

The Library Learning Commons partners want all students and faculty to know that they are not alone in navigating academic work, including the complex work of doing academic writing.  And also to know that we can help.

Faculty:  As part of its ongoing effort to assist faculty in the development of writing proficiency across campus, the Writing Instruction Support program is offering a workshop titled "Recognizing and Addressing Personal Patterns of Error in Academic Writing." While the workshop focuses on understanding conventions and reading for personal patterns of error, it aims to increase students’ overall confidence in their own writing abilities - at the same time as it provides faculty with strategies to help their students gain that confidence. 

Students:  As an English graduate student with experience in editing, I am facilitating these workshops, along with English Department faculty member Lee Einhorn.  I am also available at the Writing Center - Information & Research Services collaborative "Sunday Nite Writes" designed to assist student writers with both research and writing needs.  These sessions occur from 6-9pm at the Writing Center.

For more information about the workshop or about scheduling face-to-face editing conferences, just email me at  For more information about other Learning Commons services/resources, contact Program Coordinator Shevell Thibou at

By the way, a comma splice occurs when two mini-sentences get smushed together with a comma. 

To find out more about Marie Antoinette, though, you’ll need to check with a Reference librarian.  And you’ll find that help in the Learning Commons!

  Did You Know?

The Learning Commons: For Students Who Want to do Great
By Kali Legg, Learning Commons Liaison

Being a university student means being an excellent partier and procrastinator. It means trying to figure out how to manage time while trying to have a good time. It means drowning in flash cards, study-sheets and textbooks. Even though I feel sure every student on campus has had these experiences, not enough students have experienced the fresh air called the Learning Commons.

I suspect many students have heard of the Learning Commons, located across the second floor of the Library, but don’t exactly know what it is. Other students might be aware of the Learning Commons and what it offers such as: math, science, and writing tutoring, free technology workshops, expert librarians to assist with research, but, decide that they do not need this kind of support.

Many students are under the false impression that to seek help is to admit a weakness. We would all like to believe that we will do just fine by ourselves. The Learning Commons is not just a place for students who feel as if they're "in need" or somehow "desperate." The Learning Commons is for all students who want to do great.

How do I know all of this? During my first few weeks as a university student, I did all my studying in my dorm room. I never stepped foot inside the library, let alone the Learning Commons. "I’m a good student," I thought "I don’t need the Learning Commons." I was so wrong.

Once I was hired as a Learning Commons liaison, I decided it was time to explore what it had to offer. I found that programs like the Tutoring Center, the Writing Center, and Reference Services helped me become an overall better student while providing me with a great sense of academic relief. And participating in Viking Village and the Teaching-Learning Academy dialogue helped me understand what a diverse yet close-knit community my school really is.

The Learning Commons offers support.  It is a community of people, resources, and care that can help students who want to do great.

Questions / Comments about 3 Things

Facebook   Twitter   YouTube   RSS Feed   Flickr


Western Libraries - Fall 2012 Issue 2

Welcome to this issue of 3 Things which adds up to a bit of a technology issue. As access to digital content managed by Western Libraries continues to grow we bring you stories about a new streamed video package as well as tips on how to use the thousands of EBL ebooks in our catalog. Best thing is you don’t have to shell out even a penny for a dedicated ebook reader! And, read about using the HathiTrust in your work and research.

  Something New!

Boxing Cats & More!
Streaming Video Comes to Western Libraries
By Julie Fitzgerald, Acquisitions & Serials Manager

This summer, working with our Orbis Cascade Alliance partners, Western Libraries added Academic Video Online (AVO).

This Alexander Street Press package provides streamed access to nearly 20,000 videos in 20 disciplines.

Disciplines include: art, architecture, business, counseling and therapy, dance, economics, education, ethnic studies, ethnography, gay and lesbian studies, health, history, humanities, law and public safety, literature, opera, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, science, theatre, and women’s studies.

And, there is also a treasure trove of video worth viewing, well, just because you can! No assignment required.


From Professor Welton’s thirty-one second, 1894 Edison Company classic, "Boxing Cats," to recent release documentaries AVO’s got it. Check-out "Dizzy Gillespie At Ronnie Scott's," or "Wetlands Preserved: The Story of an Activist Rock Club," which tells the story of the famed NYC music club from its beginnings in a former Chinese food warehouse and includes concert footage of Dave Matthews, Bob Weir, Phish and others.

To find AVO go to the library catalog record and click on "Online access" or select it from the libraries A-Z database list. Additionally, a growing number of the videos can be found in the library catalog when searched by title, author, subject or keyword. 

Once you have reached the AVO main page, films can be searched by title, author, subject, or by full-text across all of the disciplines or limited to those most appropriate to your research needs. Or just browse!

EXTRAS: Many of the films within AVO will allow you to track the screen image with print transcripts or to create online clips. Some even come with downloadable, supplemental study guides.

Alexander Street Press has created two easy to use video tutorials. VAST: Academic Video Online demonstrates the basic interface search features and introduces you to the creation of video clips and playlists which can be emailed, shared with groups or embedded into Blackboard or electronic coursepacks.

Creating Clips and Playlists provides further detail as well as instructions on sharing streaming content from sources such as Youtube.

For help locating and using streaming video contact the Information and Research Help Desk on Haggard 2, at 360-650-3094, or via the Ask Us! Answer Service.

  This Issue's Great Tip

Menus & Recipes of the Baron Brisse & More! 
HathiTrust: Just a Click Away
By Paul Piper, Coordinator of Reference Services

Imagine that collections of materials held by sixty major research libraries across North America, with some European and Asian counterparts, were available for research and/or teaching with the click of a mouse. They are!

The HathiTrust (pronounced hah-tee, and named after the Indian word for elephant, a mammal renowned for its memory) offers you that opportunity.


HathiTrust’s overall collection of 10,524,402 total volumes, 5,546,641 book titles, and 273,854 serial titles are available for viewing by anyone, and 31% are copyright-free PDFs.

One of the coolest features of HathiTrust is that any non-member user (WWU is not a member) can set up unique collections, in subjects as diverse as Human Sexuality, Folklore, Papyrology and Apiology. These collections could be used for course reserves or as a unique research library.  

The collection’s most prominent subjects are Language and Literature, followed by History, Sociology and Business & Economics. The primary language of the collection is English with 48%, followed by German, French, Spanish, Chinese, and others. The majority of materials are from the Twentieth Century, but nearly 2% of all materials are pre-1700s.

HathiTrust was formed in October, 2008 by thirteen university libraries to advance the progress made by the Google Book Project. Librarians from these libraries knew Google didn’t have the same core goals as libraries do, namely preservation and free access to the published scholarly record, and they also recognized that no one library or library consortium was capable of achieving these goals.

So they drafted a plan flexible enough to involve major libraries and consortia worldwide. And in four short years the original thirteen participants have grown to a collaboration of over sixty consortia and libraries from three countries.

Utilizing digitized books from the Google Book project, the Internet Archive, Microsoft Live Search Books, as well as those of local individual libraries and consortia, HathiTrust coordinates technical platforms and findability for easy use.

The net result for you is that this collection, the largest digital archive on the Internet, can be searched and manipulated in any number of ways (including a full-text search). Visit the HathiTrust, roll up your sleeves, and have fun.

  Did You Know?

Oh, I Got Those, I Ain’t Got No eBook Reader, Blues
By Frank Haulgren, ILL & Collection Services Manager

Ebooks are catching on like crazy. The Western Libraries is adding new ebook titles at a remarkable pace in large part through participation in the Orbis-Cascade Alliances’ EBL Ebook program. 

For Western users like you there is one important thing to remember. You DO NOT need to own a dedicated ebook reader to use them. Here are a couple of easy ways to use library ebooks. 

EBL Read Online: This is the easiest. Locate the book in the library catalog. Click the Connect to This Title Online link, login, click the big blue Read Online button and go.

Reading online allows you to use the features of the EBL interface. You can attach notes which remain associated with your login so they’re there next time, or you can export them in a variety of formats. Click the Details tab to for printing and copy limitations. Use the read aloud feature or word search the complete volume. 

Download to Your Laptop, Tablet, PC:  This is a little more complicated but gives you the flexibility to take the book where ever you go. Ideally you’ll want to download it to a laptop or tablet but you can also use a desktop computer.  

First, download the right ebook management app.  Use Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) if you are using a Windows machine, or Bluefire Reader for the Apple and Android operating systems. Both are free.

Start by following all of the steps above to read online. Then click the Download tab in EBL and set the loan length to 7 days. Choose the appropriate format and download to your desktop. Last, open ADE or Bluefire and import the book. An unlimited number of users can do the same thing at the same time! At the end of your loan period the book will no longer be accessible. 

So that’s it. Don’t sing the blues. You don’t need a Nook, Kindle, or what have you to use our always available, always on the shelf, ebooks.  But if you must, go ahead and plug that reader into your computer or tablet and to load the book adding even more reading flexibility.  

More information at: Quick Guide for Ebook Use at Western Library.


Questions / Comments about 3 Things

Facebook   Twitter   YouTube   RSS Feed   Flickr


Western Libraries - Fall 2012 Faculty Issue

This year’s first issue of 3 Things is just for you, Western’s faculty! Check out pieces on leveraging electronic resources to save your students money, then a quick review of demand driven acquisitions' first year including a video showing how to submit a purchase request, and we wind up with some thoughts on why the Learning Commons should be as important to faculty as students. Note the quick survey link to gather your input. Thanks for reading!

  Something New!

First Year of Demand Driven Acquisitions a Success
By Western Libraries

Over the last few tough budgetary years the Western Libraries has held the line remarkably well to protect funding for purchases and access to the library resources faculty and students need for their work. The cuts to acquisitions money have been carefully considered and informed by the use data that we regularly gather. In particular library staff carefully analyzes use from all areas of our collections to make sure we are getting the university the best value we can with our limited budget.

no secret sign

In FY 2012 we began purchasing books, videos, and other single item purchases using a model called Demand Driven Acquisitions (DDA). This means that rather than rely on the informed speculation of librarian liaisons and their consultations with faculty we began to focus almost exclusively on purchase requests submitted by users (primarily faculty) through ILLiad. ILLiad is a well-known tool that nearly all faculty engaged in research are comfortable with.  

Faculty now can place a purchase request using the GIST "Purchase Request" form which appears as a new selection on your ILLiad main menu. The form allows faculty to provide input directly to the ILL and Acquisitions staff about the importance of the item, whether it is needed for course reserves or some other use, and how important it is to purchase rather than borrow the item. Special routing rules move requests for purchases to Acquisitions for action. Should the item be out of print or otherwise unsuited for purchase it is immediately routed for fulfillment through interlibrary loan.

The outcome has been that in FY 2012 the number of items added to the Western Libraries collections that were not used during the first year of purchase dropped from 56% (as seen the previous year under the traditional model) to roughly 10% of items acquired.

On the surface it may sound like DDA would be fraught with challenges such as the potential to skew library collections with some disciplines gobbling up all the funds leaving others without a piece of the pie. But in reality, an analysis of purchase request patterns for the year shows that additions that were made to Library of Congress call number ranges have been in proportions consistent with historical patterns.  

During the coming year Western Libraries will continue to focus on the demand driven acquisitions model while also exploring other ways of providing needed materials to campus researchers. And, we’ll seek even greater involvement from campus faculty in helping us to purchase those materials most essential for their research and the work of their students.

For more information contact:

  This Issue's Great Tip

Use of E-Reserves Can Save Your Students Money
By Frank Haulgren, Collection Services Mgr. 

We all know that the high cost of textbooks and course supplies are an increasing burden on students. While electronic textbooks may remain just over the horizon the electronic course-pack is here, now, cost effective and doable. Read on!

Over the last year the University has shifted responsibility for most aspects of copyright compliance to the Western Libraries. The Libraries’ Associate Dean for Public Services, Michael Lorenzen, will be heading up an effort to raise awareness about a wide range of copyright issues across the Western community over the next year. But, there is also an aspect to this change in oversight that can immediately impact both faculty and their students.

The Western Libraries has put in place procedures to assure that instructors who use supplemental readings in their courses are leveraging the libraries’ extensive electronic and print collections to reduce costs for both their departments and students.  

Our membership in the Orbis-Cascade Alliance, and the buying power that comes with it, has significantly expanded access to electronic content for all disciplines over the last few years. Now, it’s worth investigating how that can change the way you prepare and present course pack readings to your students.

During summer quarter Clarissa Mansfield and Joanna Bailey worked with a number of faculty to review print course-packs in use. They determined that in each case the costs for printing and obtaining permissions could be dramatically reduced - if not eliminated - through better utilization of existing access to electronic content. Additionally, electronic access provides the kind of 24/7 access students have grown to expect!

While we tend to think primarily about electronic access to journal content it’s important to note that as our e-book collection has also grown so has our ability to use them in support of course reserves. Unlike their print counterparts e-books can provide access to specific content for multiple users simultaneously.

For you, the best part is that we’ll do all the leg work for you. We’ll find the electronic content that duplicates your dog eared photocopies. We’ll determine how to achieve copyright compliance.  

We’ll put the content up through our e-reserves gateway which in turn reduces your culpability for posting to Blackboard or your personal web pages that may exceed fair use.

You win; your students win!  

Contact us at:

  Did You Know?

Library Learning Commons: What’s in it for Faculty?
By Carmen Werder, Learning Commons Director

As I hope you’ve heard tell, Western Libraries is developing a Learning Commons. We have gathered several academic support services across the Library’s main floor, so they can collaborate more readily to support student learning. First came the Student Tech Center (STC) followed by the Writing Center, the Teaching-Learning Academy, Writing Instruction Support, and the Tutoring Center. Circulation, Reference, and Instruction were already in place and Viking Village (as an online counterpart to the physical commons) rounds out the cluster of academic support programs. 

While the program partners are focusing on addressing students’ needs, we also want the Commons to support faculty needs in as many ways as possible. And, of course, the more that faculty have a presence in the Learning Commons, the more likely they are to interact with students. And bingo - we have one of the main features of a successful undergraduate experience: student-faculty interaction.  

In some ways, with online research capabilities and document delivery - we’ve made it very easy for faculty to never come into the Library. But we’re convinced that the more faculty spend time in the Library and interact with each other and with students - the more everyone stands to gain. We do have some data to help us understand what faculty want from the Commons, but we need more information if we’re going to ensure that the programming and services match up. Plus, we really do want WWU faculty to embrace our Learning Commons and to feel a sense of ownership for it.

To that end, we’d be thrilled if you would complete a very brief (no really, about 5 minutes) survey at It asks for your current needs as well as any you anticipate having that we might help meet as we move forward in building the Learning Commons together. The survey notes some current offerings and possibilities as well as leaving a space open for you to suggest others. Taking the survey will also fill you in on some of the existing resources that you may not already know about. For example, did you know there’s a Presentation Practice room in the Haggard wing? And if those incentives aren’t enough - If you do the survey, you can also be eligible for a $25 Book Store certificate!!

While we might not be able to grant all your wishes (a hot tub suggestion isn’t getting any traction), we promise to thoughtfully consider your ideas because the Library’s Learning Commons is definitely for faculty too!


Questions / Comments about 3 Things

Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  RSS Feed  Flickr


Western Libraries - Spring 2012 Issue 2

Summer’s just around the corner and this marks our final issue of 3 Things for the year. It’s been fun putting together each issue and we hope you’ve learned something new, found a great tip and picked up some interesting information in each issue. Please take a moment as your year winds down and send us a brief email so we know what you think. Next issue in September.

  Something New!

Library 201 Online This Summer, GUR This Fall
By Rebecca Marrall, Diversity Resident Librarian

Looking for 2 credits in a class you can take from anywhere? Do you want to develop skills that will help make your life easier in other classes? Or maybe you just want to learn how to conduct research better? Then consider taking the online Introduction to Library Strategies (LIBR 201) during Summer Quarter 2012!

LIBR 201: Introduction to Research Strategies introduces students to the nature of research, with an emphasis on strategies for inquiry, how to locate research resources, and how to assess sources for authority. Specifically, this course focuses on the research process: discussion of how information is organized, outlining strategies for inquiry, identifying possible sources, evaluating the quality of these sources, and compiling these sources into a successful academic work.
- licensed through creative commons by Stefan Baudy

So, why should you take this course? LIBR 201 is unique for its recognition that information-seeking is an evolving, non-linear process that requires students to make a series of choices to create a research product. So, if you want to acquire a set of skills that 1) Will contribute to your academic success, and 2) Which have real-life applications beyond the university, consider taking this online class! Course materials are available on Blackboard via your MyWestern login, and all relevant readings, podcasts, and additional resources have been organized into a weekly series of topics which culminate in a final exam and a final project. LIBR 201 is intended for sophomores and transfer students or above.

If you can't take the course this Summer Quarter, LIBR 201 will be offered as a 4 credit General University Requirement (GUR) starting in Fall 2012! This new GUR, under the same title, will - in addition to covering the concepts already mentioned - examine the principles of information literacy, and give students more opportunities to delve into the rapidly-changing world of information access and management.

Details for library credit courses can be found here.

If you have any questions about LIBR 201 (Summer Quarter 2012), please contact the course instructor: Rebecca M. Marrall

  This Issue's Great Tip

Do the Summer Library Thing
By Frank Haulgren, Collection Services Mgr. 

Classes will soon be over for the academic year but the library goes on. Unlike most of the campus the library continues to be a hive of activity over the summer with lots going on behind the scenes behind a much quieter and more relaxed public face. This makes summer a great time to check out those books you never got around to reading because your classes got in the way or those videos that you could never fit in on the weekend.

It's also a great time to stretch a bit:

  • Take advantage of the Student Tech Center. Develop some new skills. Make a movie! The STC will be open from 9am - 4pm, Monday thru Friday, during the 9 week summer session. See the Student Tech Center’s web page during the last week in June for its summer workshop schedule.
  • Develop your research skills - Western Library will be offering 2 online summer classes. Library 201, developing research strategies, and 397a which will examine how evolution of the information commons concept influences culture and society.
  • And writing skills! Get the undivided attention of the Learning Common’s Writing Center’s staff to further fine-tune your writing skills and put to use what you learned in 201. The Writing Center will be working with students for the full 9 weeks. Just submit your paper electronically (anywhere, anytime) and work remotely with a skilled peer advisor.

Here's the real tip though. Make sure when you enroll for Fall Quarter classes that you don't sign up for anything taught by a prof you had previously. Your papers are going to be sooooo much better he or she is bound to wonder.

Last, if you are staying in B'ham over the summer this is the perfect time to set yourself up with a Whatcom One card. By showing your WWU library card at any of the Whatcom County participating libraries you'll open up the door to plenty of summer reading, listening and watching! Audio books, ebooks, and DVDs.

Wait..., did someone say, "Beach?"
- licensed through creative commons by visual.dichotomy
  Did You Know?

What Have We Done For You Lately?
By Western Libraries 

The academic year is coming to a close so we thought we’d take some space in this issue to point out how the Western Libraries and its Learning Commons partners have supported the Western Community this year. 

By the end of Spring Quarter we will have passed these mile-markers:

Library -

  • Added over 67,000 new items which includes over 6,500 books, 22,000 new ejournals and 2,600 digitized back issues of the Western Front
  • ILLiad provided more than 10,000 journal articles to faculty and students
  • Reference & Information answered more than 41,500 inquiries at service points that includes Reference & Information, Circulation, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies and the University Archives and Records Center
  • Circulation Services Check-outs... more than 6,000 Group Study Room keys  |  40,000 laptop checkouts  |   more than 21,000 course reserve items  |  80,000+ books checked-out
  • Received more than 10,000 Summit items
  • Writing Center provided  more than 1,800 student consultations
  • More than 2,000,000 database searches conducted
  • Delivered 7,000+ items to university faculties’ departments
  • Retrieved 4,100+ items from university departments
  • Employed 75 students |  Awarded 12 Hearsey Scholarships to library student employees
  • 374,000  Downloaded PDFs
  • Electronic Reserves accessed 52,000+
  • Visits to Haggard & Wilson  950,000
  • 642,599 visits to the Library website with over 1.1 million pageviews 
  • 182,999 visits to the Library Catalog with over 1 million pageviews
  • 719,616 visits to Viking Village with close to 2.9 million pageviews
  • 5100 people logged in to participate on Viking Village, posting over 36,000 comments
  • Teaching-Learning Academy - 15 discussion sessions attended by more than 265 students, faculty and community members
click image for larger version of tag cloud

Tutoring Center -  

  • Provided more than 4,300 tutoring sessions representing more than 27,000 unique contacts with students!

Student Tech Center -  

  • Provided more than 160 classes and workshops reaching more than 1,100 students.

And we provided lots more not so readily counted up...  Study space; computer labs; workstations; Zoe’s (yummm); a place to get printing done - either on your own or working with the Copy Center staff; Skybridge readings by authors of all kinds; gallery space; awesome displays created by members of the university community; tours; we brought you the Teaching - Learning Academy’s "big questions" and bigger discussion; the Children’s Literature Conference (more than 200 attended!); and on, and on, and on!

We thank all of you for a productive and exciting year at your Western Libraries.

Staff of Western Libraries

Questions / Comments about 3 Things

Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  RSS Feed  Flickr