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Laura Laffrado & Ella Higginson

Posted on: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 11:03am

Topic(s): Event - Library Sponsored, Resources

The Beginnings of PNW Literature

Laura Laffrado, an award-winning Professor of English at Western Washington University, will discuss her recent research project focused on early-twentieth century author Ella Higginson on Tuesday, October 27th,  from 4:00pm-5:30pm in Special Collections at Western Libraries.


During this presentation, Laffrado will explain how her project to recover the fascinating writings of forgotten Pacific Northwest writer Ella Rhoads Higginson began in Western Libraries Heritage Resources’ collections and ultimately led to the publication of her recent book, Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature.


Noted writer and Washington state Poet Laureate Ella Higginson (1861-1940) moved to the town of Sehome (now Bellingham) in 1888, at which time her writing career began to flourish. Higginson was deeply concerned with community and civic affairs, including issues affecting women such as female education and the institution of marriage, and she helped establish Bellingham’s first public reading room and library.


Higginson’s poetry and short stories were published nationally by journals including McClures, Harper's Monthly, and Colliers, and her best known work, a poem entitled "Four Leaf Clover," was published by West Shore Magazine in 1890. Laffrado’s book shines a spotlight on this once widely-known and celebrated author, helping to restore Higginson as a significant voice in American Literature.  


This special talk is being offered as a “Heritage Resources Distinguished Speakers” program. These quarterly events are free and open to the public, and  feature presenters who are authorities in their respective fields who have used Heritage Resources collections significantly in their research.


For more information about this event, please contact Western Libraries Special Collections Manager, Tamara.Belts@wwu.edu

TLA begins October 7th & 8th

Posted on: Monday, October 5, 2015 - 8:30am

Topic(s): Event - Library Sponsored, Resources, Updates

Fall Quarter 2015 TLA

The Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA), the campus-wide dialogue forum to study and enhance the learning environment at Western Washington University, begins Wednesday, October 7th.  TLA welcomes faculty, staff, students and community members and offers four dialogue group options to accommodate busy schedules: Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 1:20pm or from 2pm to 3:20pm.

Dialogue groups begin meeting Oct. 7th or 8th and then meet every other week in the Learning Commons (Wilson Library 2 West) for a total of five times during the quarter. Fall quarter is when TLA designs its BIG question to study for the rest of the year, so it’s a great time to participate.

While the sessions last officially for 80 minutes, attendees are welcome to come for whatever time they have available. Many faculty and staff, stay for the first 50 minutes as there is a logical break then.

Participants report that the TLA is a great place to connect with others outside their departments and to learn more about Western’s teaching and learning culture. Many say it also gives them a chance to take a breath and just listen to what others (especially students) really think. Others report delight in being able to advance real action steps in making Western an even better place to teach and learn.

For more information, see http://library.wwu.edu/tla. For more information or to sign up for a regular dialogue group, email shevell.thibou@wwu.edu.

Western Libraries & Bellingham Pride

Posted on: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - 1:36pm

Topic(s): Event - Library Sponsored, Feature Story

This past Sunday July 12, Western Libraries’ faculty, staff, friends, and family came together in celebration of “Bellingham Pride,” something they have done each year since 2013. Representing Western Libraries in the parade and hosting a table at the festival has become an annual tradition that many at the Libraries look forward to and enjoy.


“Three years ago, the Western Libraries Diversity Committee felt it was important for us to have a presence at Bellingham Pride to show our support of our students and our community as a whole,” explained Western Libraries Circulation staff member, Amy Sedovic. Sedovic first marched in the parade with her friends in the Whatcom County Library System back in 2009. She noted that this was during the budget crisis, and that they carried a banner that read “Yes Libraries.”


“I was so amazed and happy to hear people cheering specifically for libraries, shouting things like, ‘I love the library!’” said Sedovic. She explained how libraries are seen as “open, welcoming, and affirming places,” and that she feels honored to be a part of that tradition.


As explained by the American Libraries Association (ALA), Libraries can serve LGBTQ people by ensuring that they are represented in library collections and provided with library services. They also note that as a population which frequently faces discrimination and harassment, LGBTQ people can benefit from access to information and the sense of community libraries provide. Librarian Rebecca Marrall explained that she looks forward to the festival every year because of the chance to connect with the community and raise awareness about the Libraries’ historical and archival collections that feature regional LGBTQ narratives.


“I love this event because we meet community members who can see themselves in our collections. Plus, we’re celebrating happiness. Who doesn’t love that?”  Marrall asked.


Archivist at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies Ruth Steele agreed with Marrall that Bellingham Pride is a wonderful occasion to showcase some of the unique materials that many people are unaware exist or are unsure of how to access.  


“I love the opportunity to help represent Western and Western Libraries at Bellingham Pride,” explained Steele. “Heritage Resources houses some rich LGBTQ archival collections, and every year, we get to connect with individuals who are interested to find out more about these collections, and who later visit the archives as researchers, or contact us about LGBTQ records they would like to donate and see preserved for future generations.”


In addition to connecting with new community members, the festival also offers the Libraries a chance to see some familiar faces and reaffirm current connections.


“It’s also always a pleasure to revisit with long-time friends of the archives who stop by the Libraries’ table, and we are ever grateful for their support in helping to build and promote awareness of our collections,” Steele said.


Staff and faculty at Western Libraries anticipate increased participation in the Bellingham Pride events as enthusiasm for such an important and significant celebration grows. Sedovic encourages anyone at Western who is interested in joining the Libraries to walk with them in the parade next year and she reiterated that everyone is welcome.


For more information about the LGBTQ Archival and Primary Source Materials at Western Libraries, contact Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu.


Heritage Resources is a division of Western Libraries which includes the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and the University Archives & Records Management. Together the three units provide for responsible stewardship of unique and archival materials in support of teaching, learning, and research.

Sharing Student Research

Posted on: Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 11:01am

Topic(s): Event - Library Sponsored, Feature Story, Updates

One of the advantages of being at Western is that we have daily opportunities to engage in the learning experience, which reminds us how integral teaching and learning is to all that we do.

On March 11, 20015 as part of a Learning Commons "Conversations in Common," students, staff, and faculty had the opportunity to learn from students in Peter Smith's "Introduction to Research Strategies" class, who generously hosted a poster session to showcase the results of their research. Here is just a small sample of some of the students and their posters from yesterday's session.


Each student in the class selected a unique subject to explore, which they then researched in stages, applying their individual questions to the scholarly literature and then traveling from inquiry to thesis. Research topics included civil disobedience, sports imagery, careers in Communications, alpine ecosystems, art therapy, media issues, and much, much more. Special thanks to Peter and his Library 201 class for sharing with all of us! 

2014-2015 Heritage Resources Speaker Series

Posted on: Friday, October 24, 2014 - 1:45pm

Topic(s): Event - Library Sponsored


Western Libraries Heritage Resources was pleased to host its first annual Speaker Series during the 2014-2015 academic year. The program featured scholars who have used Heritage Resources collections significantly in their research.

2014-2015 Heritage Resources Speaker Series Line-Up:

  • Wednesday, November 12th at 4:00 p.m. in Special Collections: Sylvia Tag, WWU Librarian and Associate Professor/Curator of the Children’s Literature Interdisciplinary Collection. What are the aims, ideals, and desires that we impart upon our children and youth? Tag's presentation will explore this question by examining the language, illustration, and composition of early readers, primers, and historical textbooks dating from 1866-1973.
  • Wednesday, December 3rd at 4:00 p.m. at the Goltz-Murray Archives Building: Helen Morgan Parmett, WWU Communication Studies Professor and 2013-2014 James W. Scott Research Fellow, will discuss how KVOS - Bellingham's first radio and television station - helped constitute a sense of "local" identity and culture in the 1930s-1970s.
  • Tuesday, January 13th at the Goltz-Murray Archives Building: Michael Vendiola, doctoral student in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington, will present on his research related to the College of Ethnic Studies at Western Washington State College (now WWU).
  • Tuesday, February 3rd at 4:00 p.m. in Special Collections: Seth Norman, Pulitzer-nominated author and renowned fly fisherman, will disucss the art and craft of writing about fly fishing.
  • Tuesday, April 7th at 4:00 p.m. in Special Collections: Sandra Kroupa, Book Arts and Rare Book curator at the University of Washington Special Collections, will examine how artists' books are received when they are viewed in person versus as visual images or through exhibition.
  • Tuesday, May 5th at 4:00 p.m. in the Wilson 4 Central Reading Room: Ron Judd, Seattle Times reporter and WWU Journalism Instructor, will explore the history and context surrounding a mid-1930s "Red Scare" in Bellingham and how it potentially impacted the campaign to remove Western Washington College of Education (now WWU) President Charles H. Fisher from office.

An announcement about the 2015-2016 Heritage Resources Speaker Series will be made in late-summer.

Heritage Resources is a division of Western Libraries which includes the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and the University Archives & Records Management. Together these programs provide for responsible stewardship of unique and archival materials in support of teaching, learning, and research.






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