The News @ Western Libraries ---> Resources
Posted on: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 11:58am
Every month, hundreds of new titles are added to the Western Libraries’ collections. There are new books, CDs, scores, videos, maps, lots of online content, and more. Most are purchased because a faculty member or student has requested them. But how can you keep track of what new resources have been added?
Announcing the New Titles Lists! You can now review the Libraries’ lists of new resources. The lists are created once a month, so reviewing them doesn’t take much time. And the lists are sorted by Library of Congress call number, so all the resources in a given discipline are easily findable in each list. Don’t know what the Library of Congress call number is for the topics you’re interested in? Check here!
We know you’re busy, so sign up to have an email reminder sent to you whenever a new set of lists becomes available. The New Titles web page is located at <http://www.library.wwu.edu/newtitles>. We are currently creating six lists each month – one each for newly acquired Books, Videos, CDs, Scores, Maps and Electronic Resources. Good luck with your teaching and research, and we welcome your feedback!
Posted on: Monday, January 12, 2015 - 8:44am
Streamlined Summit Requesting through OneSearch
Content from the thirty-seven libraries within the Orbis Cascade Alliance is now fully integrated through the single search interface of OneSearch, and as a result of this integration, the Alliance will roll out enhancements to the Summit requesting process on January 20, 2015. Some of the benefits of these enhancements are that patrons will experience fewer authentication requests, and they will be able to track their Summit request items in their “MyAccount” feature.
OneSearch is Western’s search interface that retrieves results from databases and catalogs found in academic libraries across the Pacific Northwest. In OneSearch, all content available to Western students, staff, and faculty is immediately accessible, and all other content from the neighboring thirty-six institutions can be requested and quickly delivered. The full integration of the Summit catalog into the OneSearch interface will create new opportunities for enhancements and improvements that will benefit those who use these library services.
New OneSearch Interface Coming Soon
In related news, Western Libraries is seeking feedback on changes to the current OneSearch interface. The proposed interface will be accessible from the Western Libraries website as a beta version beginning January 20, 2015. The new interface offers a streamlined display of menu options and search results, in addition to a built-in “Chat with a Librarian” feature. It also includes enhanced search options and a more intuitive way to search multiple databases simultaneously.
Western Libraries is seeking feedback on this proposed interface and will be hosting a series of Focus Group sessions on the following dates in Haggard Hall 233:
New OneSearch Interface Focus Groups
- Tuesday, January 20, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- Monday, January 26, 11:00 a.m. to Noon
- Friday, February 13, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, February 17, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Thursday, February 19, 11:00 a.m. to Noon
If you would like more information about these developments or if you have any questions, please contact Rebecca Marrall, Chair of the OneSearch Management Team, at firstname.lastname@example.org , or go to: http://libguides.wwu.edu/onesearch.
Posted on: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 7:55am
The instruction plan for Western Libraries Heritage Resources articulates the goal of ensuring that Western students “are able to find, understand, and interpret a wide variety of research sources in various contexts throughout their lives.” With that in mind, Heritage Resources staff work closely with instructors to meet specific course needs and learning objectives by providing access to a wealth of materials that can enhance, enrich, and enliven research in nearly any subject area.
For example, this past August, a new cohort of Environmental Education graduate students visited Western’s campus and spent time working with archival and primary source materials at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS). As part of the M.Ed Residency program partnership between the North Cascades Institute (NCI) and Western’s Huxley College of the Environment, these students live at the Environmental Learning Center located in the North Cascades National Park for one year, during which time they are able to immerse themselves in place-based pedagogy.
At the heart of place-based education is the recognition that experiential community-based learning enhances a student’s educational experience by treating the local community as one of the primary sources for teaching and learning. The mission of the CPNWS is to “enhance public and scholarly understanding of the region’s past and present,” and this natural programmatic alignment led Huxley faculty and Heritage Resources staff to recognize an opportunity for collaboration.
In preparation for the on-site visit, Heritage Resources staff arranged a selection of original and archival materials representative of various perspectives of place - including environmental, economic, recreational, and indigenous views - for students to review and analyze. In the Archives Building Research Room, students divided into groups and reviewed the maps, photographs, pamphlets, letters, and other materials. Together they considered issues related to the construction of cultural and regional identity, the evolution of policy, perceptions of concepts such as “conservation” and “wilderness,” and the significance of place names in determining cultural values. Course instructor and NCI Graduate Program Coordinator Joshua Porter posed several challenging questions, which led to lively and interactive class discussions.
“Different resources on each table give you insight in terms of both the media and the policy – How does the creation of information determine the ‘value’ of whatever is being discussed? What is the leverage you have if you are creating these maps? What is your leverage in terms of conveying to the world what matters, what has value, what has meaning?” asked Porter.
Several students questioned what could be the implications for the cultural heritage of a place when traditional native names were removed and replaced with new names. Others pointed out how some of the maps were defined in terms of resource extraction rather than conservation. When looking at the photographs, some students observed how having access to archival materials like these gave them a glimpse into the lives of people from the past, bringing them closer despite the passage of time and changes in cultural contexts. Often these glimpses inspired unexpected insights and additional questions.
“Although there was a lack of reciprocity in terms of resource extraction, it’s also impossible to miss the level of intimacy between the people and the land in these photographs, even if the conservation policy was lacking at that time. It would be so interesting to talk to these people. The photographs capture historical moments as opposed to all of the moments of everyday life. Another mode of inquiry would also be interesting to pursue,” said student Liz Blackman.
After this observation, Roz Koester, Assistant Archivist for Outreach and Instruction for Heritage Resources, was quick to mention the oral histories that are also contained at the CPNWS, and invited Blackman to return if she would like to further explore those personal narratives. Koester explained that oral histories offer an opportunity to hear from the people we are interested in first-hand and in their own words. She also mentioned that sometimes people will begin their research with certain expectations about what they are going to find, but often their perspectives will alter as a result of the information they encounter.
“Exploring these types of complexities is part of the beauty of working with primary sources. You can come to these materials with a bias and that is where you start your inquiry, but the records that are here can present an opportunity to challenge that bias. Original, archival, primary source research offers us insight that can make us challenge our own assumptions, our own points of view. You might be led in a completely different direction than what you originally intended. As archivists, it’s the critical analysis piece that we really want people to get out of this experience,” explained Koester.
The class concluded with Porter leading a discussion about how students and educators can benefit in utilizing the materials offered by Heritage Resources to explore the relationship between how meaning is constructed, how cultural values are expressed, the impact this can have on policy and information creation, and how this in turn affects our own assumptions about both people and place. Porter also pointed out that as environmental educators, the students should remember that no matter where they go once they have completed graduate school, they can use archival and primary source materials to benefit their future teaching and learning practices.
“Moving forward, I really encourage all of us to continue to do research here, but also to keep in mind what resources there are in every community that we enter into in the future, how to sleuth out those resources and how, as educators, we can uses these sources,” stated Porter.
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 programs provide for responsible stewardship of unique and archival materials in support of teaching, learning, and research. If you’d like to learn more about the Heritage Resources Instruction Program, or are interested in discussing how Heritage Resources can support your teaching and learning needs, please contact Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu or phone (360) 650-6621.
Posted on: Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 10:13am
Western Libraries provides access to display cases to departments and organizations at Western as part of its service to the academic community. Exhibit cases are available to any Western-affiliated organization, and may be reserved for one to two months.
Exhibits in the Libraries are created to direct attention to the materials, services, and aims of the Libraries, or to reflect the aims, goals, and services of departments and organizations at Western. Past exhibits have included examples from the Children’s Literature Conference, the Students for Sustainable Water Associated Students club and their water bottle recycling program, and the Transportation Services promotion of the “May is Bike Month” campaign. The Libraries’ exhibit cases are also an excellent forum for showcasing student work.
If you are interested in making a request for a display, please make your reservation by submitting the online application form at least one month before the date you wish to begin your exhibit. Request approval is subject to case availability. For more information about current exhibits or exhibit policies, see the Display Case Exhibits web page.