Western Libraries News

  • All ProQuest products will be unavailable from 7:00 pm to midnight on 2/28/15 due to scheduled maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Undergraduate Research Award

Have you heard about the Undergraduate Research Award? Western Libraries would like to invite all undergraduate students enrolled at Western Washington University to submit research papers for this award.

 

The Undergraduate Research Award is an annual award given to three students who demonstrate outstanding library research in the writing of papers for WWU college credit courses that were taught during either Fall Quarter 2014 or Winter Quarter 2015. Each award winner will receive $500.00 in recognition for excellence in undergraduate research papers based on:

 

  • Significant inquiry using library resources and collections.
  • Learning about the research discovery and information synthesizing process.
  • Papers must meet the criteria of "research papers" which demonstrate an original thesis supported by ample research as cited in the paper's bibliography.

 

Deadline for application submission is April 15, 2015.

 

For more information about this award and how to apply, go to: http://libguides.wwu.edu/undergradaward

Library Department: 

Barry Gough Featured Speaker

Western Libraries Reading Series featured speaker for winter quarter is Barry Gough, author of Juan de Fuca’s Strait (2012) and other sagas of the Northwest Coast of America.

Gough is a former Associate Professor of History at Western Washington University, and he will discuss the traditions of marine art and the value of portraying such sailing craft in our own times in his talk entitled: “Sailing the Waterway of Forgotten Dreams: Art and European Vision on the Northwest Coast in the Age of Juan de Fuca and His Successors.”

Art at sea has almost invariably accompanied the great mariners and their voyages to our coastal waters which were commensurate with the Age of Enlightenment, and exact science and fact gathering. Great practitioners of marine art have always known their marine history and known the technological features of ships as well as the business of seafaring. Gough will take Bellingham maritime artist Steve Mayo’s paintings as his illustrative texts, and an exhibit of artist Steve Mayo’s watercolor prints will also be on display in Special Collections from now through the end of winter quarter.

 This event is co-sponsored by Western Libraries and WWU’s Department of History, and it will be held in Special Collections, Wilson Library 6th Floor, on Wednesday, March 4, 4:00-5:30pm.

Contact Person: 
Library Department: 

Mike Olson and Resource Access

It's no secret, especially among Western Washington University faculty, that access to academic resources is critical to the university's ongoing excellence. In a time when budgets are tight and costs are increasing, it's especially important to find other ways to ensure academic work can continue unabated. That's one reason that Western Libraries recently hired Mike Olson to be director of Scholarly Resources and Collection Services.

 

In the new position, Olson oversees scholarly communications and leads and administers collection development and services at Western Libraries. Providing leadership for the selection and management of collections, he also coordinates the development and promotion of sustainable models of scholarly communication by working closely with library leadership, staff and external stakeholders to advance other digital initiatives.

 

History Professor Amanda Eurich, who served on the search committee that recommended Olson’s hire, said she was struck by his experience and his qualifications.

 

"Mike was on the top of my list when I received the applicant files because of the years of experience he had in collection development," she said. "But even more importantly, he is a committed scholar, engaged in the process of research and writing. Because of this, I felt that he would truly understand faculty investment in library resources."

 

As an academic librarian at a number of institutions, including both Harvard University and UCLA, Olson has been actively involved with scholarly communication and resource access for more than 25 years. Additionally, because he is also an accomplished scholar, he personally understands the importance of securing access to materials that support writing and research needs.

 

"I know firsthand the user’s joy and exhilaration when academic libraries get it right, and the pain and frustration when they don’t," Olson said. "I think Western Libraries does so many things right, and we want to improve whenever we can."

 

The cost of journal and database subscriptions rise about 4 to 6 percent each year, and the budget allocated to pay for them can't keep up.

 

But by negotiating better subscription terms, favoring open access models of scholarly communication and regularly reviewing and adjusting current subscriptions lists, there are things the Libraries can do institutionally to strengthen purchasing power and provide greater access to resources, Olson said.

 

“The acquisitions budget has always been a big problem, especially for people in fields like history, who rely heavily on the library for their research," said History Professor Peter Diehl. "There are journals that are needed, especially those in other languages, which get cut because of a lack of funds. The cost of academic monographs keeps going up but the budget to acquire them does not.”

 

Eurich agreed. While being a member of a consortium such as the Orbis Cascade Alliance has many benefits, she said, sometimes faculty and students just need to grab a book right away.

 

“You could say the library is our lab,” she said. “It is still important to have works on the shelf. We consider ourselves a writing-intensive discipline. Our students are conversant with Summit, but they still sometimes need immediate access to books and other resources.”

 

In addition to his experience and expertise, Olson’s personality and open communication style lend themselves well to facing the challenges that lie ahead. Diehl, who has a friendship with Olson dating back to when they first met as graduate students at UCLA over 30 years ago, spoke highly of Olson’s excellent interpersonal skills.

 

“He works so well with other people, and that’s a real asset. He has successful experience, both with collection development and with people,” Diehl said. “And, on a personal note, he gives me someone to watch football games with!”

 

Olson explained that he has a personal interest in sports, movies, and music.

 

“I’m curious about many other things as well, so that has been useful in my career as a collection development librarian, and when talking with people in higher education. As a native Seattleite and an alum of the University of Washington, I really feel right at home here at Western,” said Olson.

 

Olson emphasized that he is always pleased to meet with faculty to discuss the Libraries’ scholarly resources, and that he wants to encourage anyone interested in these issues to contact him. He intends to spend the upcoming year meeting with faculty independently and in small groups to learn more about how they currently use the Libraries’ resources, and their needs and priorities for the future. These meetings will feed directly into the creation of a “Resource Access Plan,” which will be fully developed this time next year. In looking forward, Olson spoke about the importance of increasing access to information by finding ways to remove barriers to content and scholarship.

 

“I want to enable Western’s students, faculty, staff, and administrators to work more effectively. Also, I want to ensure that our library resources are highly useful and highly-used. I really have one goal, and everything else fits within it: to collaborate campus-wide on rational and transparent ways to provide access to scholarly resources for the Western community,” said Olson.

 

Mike Olson can be contacted by phone (360) 650-4320 or via email Mike.Olson@wwu.edu.

Library Department: 

Writing Resources for Grad Students

Did you know the Writing Center offers resources and info sessions specifically for graduate students? Check out some of the upcoming activities, including a couple of social and interactive “MegaWrite Out on the Town!” events.

Questions? Email grad.writing.center@wwu.edu for more information, or go to http://libguides.wwu.edu/gradwritingcenter

Library Department: 
Related File(s): 

Western CEDAR’s Global Impact

Did you know that publications from WWU’s faculty, staff, and students, including Western’s Masters Thesis Collection, are being downloaded by people from all over the world? Western CEDAR brings together articles, conference papers, presentations, and book publications, making them accessible to readers who come from locations both near and far to us here in Bellingham. Western CEDAR’s website now includes a dynamic map that shows activity beginning with the previous days’ downloads before switching to real-time activity, so you can see for yourself the global impact of the work we are doing here at Western.


Western CEDAR, part of an innovative global movement promoting open access to scholarship and creative works, is a service of Western Libraries, in partnership with the Graduate School, Office of the Provost, and Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. CEDAR advances Western Washington University’s commitment to enriching academic inquiry and strengthening communities by sharing the expertise and creativity of its students, faculty, and staff.


Library Department: 

Sustainability in the Library

On February 5th, the Tutoring Center and the Map Collection, both housed in Wilson Library, were awarded "Sustainable Office Certification." The Sustainable Office Certification program is offered through Western's Office of Sustainability, and participation in the program creates opportunities for departments and offices here at Western to protect the environment, conserve resources, and promote safety and health through the measurement and recognition of sustainable practices that are adopted in the workplace. 

The Map Collection was first inspired to pursue Sustainable Office Certification after both Western Libraries Circulation Services and the Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) achieved certification. The recent certification of both the Tutoring Center and the Map Collection has subsequently inspired other Learning Commons partners and library departments to also consider participating in this program. 

"I would love it if we could take a look at certification for all of the areas of the library and Learning Commons in both Wilson Library and Haggard Hall. It would be great if we could come together and do this in a unified way, and perhaps even become a model for other buildings on campus to work towards," said Map Collection Manager, Dennis Matthews.

There are resources and toolkits available online through the Office of Sustainability for anyone who is interested in participating in this program. Matthews explained that the certification process is very straightforward, and that the checklist helps participants become more aware of easily-adoptable small actions which turn into natural habits.

In using the checklist, Map Collection staff were able to recognize sustainable practices they had already adopted, as well as identify new practices that could easily be implemented.

"There were some things already done for us, like the lights in the Map Collection already being connected to motion sensors, but there were other things we realized we could implement easily, like printing double-sided, turning off our monitors, little things like that. Carol Berry in the Office of Sustainability was really helpful, as were the TLA students who also advised us," stated Matthews.

Other operational practices in the Map Collection include recycling, using compostable materials, and "up-cycling" maps that would otherwise have been discarded. Maps that are not needed in the Map Collection are first offered to other libraries located both regionally and globally, and then leftover maps are given away to the public. Students at Western have been particularly innovative with these maps, using them for decoration, wrapping paper, and even art projects. Several years ago, a student and artist named Emma Nestvold transformed some of these maps into beautiful works of art that were on display in one of the library art galleries.

While there are a number of benefits to participating in the Sustainable Office Certification Program, one of the positive outcomes that many people may not expect is that participation in the program can also help instill a sense of meaning, purpose, and connection in the everyday actions and routines that make up our daily work-lives.

"When you participate in this program, you not only become more aware of your environment, but also of how your actions affect and connect you to others. It helps you build a sense of community because you feel like you are working towards something a little bit bigger than yourself," stated Matthews.

To learn more about the Sustainable Office Certification Program, see: http://www.wwu.edu/sustain/programs/soc/success-stories/. To learn more about the Map Collection, see the Map Collection library guide, and don't miss the upcoming Open House Event on Wednesday, February 18th from 2 to 4pm in the Map Collection, Wilson Library 170!

Contact Person: 
Library Department: 
Topics: 

New Titles List!

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!

Contact Person: 
Library Department: 

Office Hours in The Corner

Western Washington University faculty members are invited to host office hours in the Learning Commons winter quarter of 2015. Office hours are held in The Corner (adjacent to the Info Desk in Wilson Library) where complimentary hot water and tea is available for faculty and students as they discuss class related items either individually or in groups.

The Corner also features a print collection on teaching-related topics with an emphasis on teaching writing.  In close proximity to The Corner are the Research Consultation librarians who are available to provide faculty and student assistance, as well as the Writing Center assistants available for student support. 

If you are interested in reading about your colleagues’ experience with office hours in the Learning Commons, see the Fall 2014 issue of Western Libraries 3 Things.

Email: LearningCommons@wwu.edu to schedule office hours in The Corner.

Contact Person: 
Library Department: 

OneSearch Beta Interface

The OneSearch Management Team at Western Libraries is actively seeking faculty, staff, and student feedback on a beta OneSearch interface, which was created in response to feedback gathered throughout the last eighteen months.

This beta interface aims to streamline search experiences and to improve the general usability of OneSearch.

Contact Person: 
Topics: 
Library Department: 

Streamlined Summit Requesting

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 rebecca.marrall@wwu.edu , or go to: http://libguides.wwu.edu/onesearch.

Contact Person: 
Library Department: 
Related File(s): 

Pages

Subscribe to News Feed