Updates

Archives, Media, and Identity

Posted on: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - 12:57pm

Topic(s): Updates, Feature Stories, Resources

Using Archives to Enhance Teaching & Learning

How can media history inform our understanding of our current moment? What is the role of media in the construction of identity, social hierarchies, and our understanding of power? Recognizing that archival and primary source materials provide evidence that can help answer these kinds of questions, Professor Helen Morgan Parmett decided to experiment by integrating an upper-class research and writing assignment with resources at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS), a division of Western Libraries Heritage Resources.

 

Last quarter students from Professor Morgan Parmett’s Communications Studies 416 class, “Cultural History of Media and Identity,” spent several hours at the CPNWS to review a variety of primary source archival materials in their consideration of the intersections between cultural history, media, and identity formation.

This was the first time many of these students had ever worked directly with archival materials, and CPNWS staff sought to provide contrasting examples of locally-produced media by also including materials that spoke to the experiences, interests, and voices of traditionally under-represented individuals and groups. For example, in addition to exploring historic issues of more mainstream publications such as the Bellingham Herald, students also examined the Northwest Passage, an alternative newspaper produced from 1969-1986, as well as a range of newsletters and educational materials produced by women’s organizations and LGBTA+ advocacy groups.

Heritage Resources Assistant Archivist for Outreach and Instruction Roz Koester helped facilitate the inquiry process by asking students to consider not just the materials in front of them, but to also think about what was not kept.

 

"Since we so often rely on written documentation to provide evidence of our shared cultural heritage, it's important to be aware that there are stories and experiences that remain untold,” explained Koester. “A lot of records don't get preserved, so, as researchers, you need to not only be thinking about the information that's available in the resources you're using, but also what might be missing. And we should all be thinking about how we can engage those hidden voices in order to preserve a more complete picture of our history."

As a required component of their research and writing assignment, students were expected to contribute to the scholarship of media history and identity found in secondary literature by constructing an original argument based on archival evidence of media influence on the construction Pacific Northwest identities.

 

Professor Morgan Parmett hopes that through this assignment, her students will develop a greater understanding not only of media history, but also of where we are now and how we are currently using media. She emphasized how we can learn much about today by considering the media histories of the past:

 

“For one, they disillusion us from the idea that things have always been a certain way by demonstrating the conflicts, debates, and struggles out of which our current moment emerged,” explained Professor Morgan Parmett. “These histories illuminate the fact that many of the debates we currently have about media and its societal effects are, in fact, not new. Seeing how these debates were resolved in earlier periods may provide insights for how we might move forward into our media futures in more socially just ways.”

Heritage Resources is a division of Western Libraries which includes Special Collections, the University Archives & Records Management, and the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies. Together these units provide for the responsible stewardship of unique and archival materials in support of teaching, learning, and research.  For more information about how Heritage Resources supports the research needs of students and educators, contact Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu.

 


TLA Dialogue Sessions

Posted on: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - 12:43pm

Topic(s): Updates, Events, Resources

Spring Quarter TLA Dialogue Sessions begin April 6th

“How do we move beyond conversation to achieve self-sustaining equity and inclusivity at Western?” is the Teaching-Learning Academy’s (TLA) BIG question for 2015-2016. Faculty, staff, community members, and over 70 students worked collectively throughout fall quarter to create a shared question that addresses how we can better enhance the teaching and learning environment at Western.

 

More than 90 TLA participants spent winter 2016 exploring and gathering data to address this question, and spring quarter will be spent finalizing action proposals that address the BIG question for this academic year.

 

The spring TLA sessions begin Apr. 6 and 7, and meet every other week for a total of four meetings for the quarter. There are four dialogue group options:

 

·        Wednesdays noon-1:20 pm (Apr. 6, 20, May 4, & 18)

·        Wednesdays 2-3:20 pm (Apr. 6, 20, May 4, & 18)

·        Thursdays noon-1:20 pm (Apr. 7, 21, May 5, & 19)

·        Thursdays 2-3:20 pm (Apr. 7, 21, May 5, & 19)

 

While the sessions run for approximately 80 minutes, attendees are welcome to stop by based on their availability. All dialogue groups meet in the Learning Commons in Wilson 2 West.

 

Students can also participate for Communications practicum credit. For more information, contact Carmen.Werder@wwu.edu. To sign up for a TLA dialogue session email Shevell.Thibou@wwu.edu.

 

The Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) is the central forum for the scholarship of teaching and learning at Western Washington University and brings together a broad spectrum of perspectives from across campus. Engaged in studying the intersections between teaching and learning, TLA members include faculty, students, administrators, and staff from across the University, as well as community members.


2016 Undergraduate Research Award

Posted on: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 10:55am

Topic(s): Updates, Resources

Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Award Submissions Request - Applications Due April 15th

The Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Award is given annually to three students who demonstrate outstanding library research in the writing of papers for Western Washington University college credit courses that were taught during either fall or winter quarters of the current academic year. The Award gives students the opportunity to showcase to their research skills and the valuable work they are doing here at Western!

 

Each award winner will receive $500.00 and publication in Western CEDAR, Western’s institutional repository. Western Libraries invites all undergraduate students enrolled at Western to submit their research papers for consideration by April 15, 2016. Submissions can be representative of any discipline, as long as they include an original thesis supported by ample research, and demonstrate exceptional ability in identifying, evaluating, and synthesizing sources.


At Western, undergraduate students have unparalleled access to research opportunities that are supported by faculty mentors. Western Libraries views the research work of undergraduate students as being tremendously valuable, both in terms of the teaching and learning experience the research process creates, and also because of the research outputs students themselves generate.


Publishing the winning research papers in Western CEDAR makes them available to anyone in the world, enabling students to contribute to the scholarship of their chosen fields while also participating in the growing global movement to provide open access to scholarship and creative works.

 

In order to apply, students must include with their research paper a 500-700 word reflective essay which explains their research strategies, and details how they used the collections and resources of Western Libraries. Submissions should also include a letter of support from the instructor of the class for which the research paper was completed.


If you are a faculty member who wants to recognize the work of your best students, or if you are a student with an exceptional research paper that you would love to showcase and share, we hope you will consider the Libraries Undergraduate Research Award.


Winners will be announced by May 15, 2016 and invited to attend a special reception with their faculty mentors hosted by Western Libraries.  For more information and submission guidelines, please see: http://libguides.wwu.edu/undergradaward or contact Elizabeth.Stephan@wwu.edu.

 


In Memoriam: Raymond George McInnis

Posted on: Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - 11:17am

Topic(s): Updates

Western Libraries Remembers Ray McInnis

Raymond George McInnis passed away peacefully at Whatcom Hospice House on February 25th, 2016 after spending many months being cared for at his home. Ray was a beloved retired faculty member of Western Libraries at Western Washington University, and will be greatly missed by all of his friends and colleagues.

 

Ray was a librarian at Wilson Library from 1965 until he retired in 2001. During his 36 years at Western, he taught and published extensively. An avid scholar with a passion for both instruction and research, Ray wrote numerous articles, served as the editor of many reference volumes in a variety of disciplines, and taught not only library instruction courses, but also served as an adjunct professor of history.

 

Ray published his first book in 1967, and went on to write numerous texts related to academic research. He also gained a very rewarding Editorship for a ten-volume set of “concept dictionaries” in the humanities and social sciences for Greenwood Press.

 

After his retirement in 2001, Ray continued to be a frequent visitor to the library as he actively continued his scholarship.  He combined his interest in woodworking and his love of research to begin building a website which delves into the cultural history of woodworking.  The website is still in use today.  

 

During his last few years at the Libraries, Ray chose to spend the majority of his time working with students at the reference desk.  He was known for his unparalleled familiarity with the reference collection, and would go to great lengths to find an answer or a resource for a researcher.

 

Ray’s contributions to scholarship, to teaching and learning, and to Western Libraries were significant.  He will be remembered with great fondness and gratitude for his service to his students, to his friends and colleagues, and to Western.

 

[Note: This article is offered on behalf of Western Libraries. Ray McInnis’ official obituary can be found at this link: http://whatcomcremationandfuneral.com/obituary/raymond-george-mcinnis ]


Magnificent Miss Wilson

Posted on: Thursday, March 3, 2016 - 7:55am

Topic(s): Updates, Exhibits

Magnificent Miss Wilson's Library Hide-and-Seek

 

Mabel Zoe Wilson was born on March 3, 1878. She was a strong advocate for the library and worked as a librarian from 1902-1945. Her legacy lives on here at Western Libraries.

 

During the month of March we are celebrating the birthday of Mabel Zoe Wilson, Wilson Library's namesake, with the launch of  “Magnificent Miss Wilson’s Library Hide and Seek.” Check out the Library display cases (located throughout the second floor of both Haggard and Wilson) to see if you can find Magnificent Miss Wilson’s cameo image.  If you do find her, stop by the Circulation Desk to tell the staff where you saw her and they just might have a special treat for you!

 

“Magnificent Miss Wilson’s Library Hide and Seek” will continue even after her birthday  month of March ends as we relocate her cameo image to a new display case each month.  We hope you will partake in the search and find some time to enjoy the engaging displays here in the library!

 

And while we are on the subject of displays in the library, did you know Western Libraries provides access to our 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.  

 

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


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