Western Libraries News

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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Winter Research Clinics

Winter 2015 Research Clinics

Need help using article databases? Want to learn some research tips that will save you time? Western Libraries is offering drop-in Research Clinics twice a week throughout winter quarter.  Each clinic focuses upon a specific library resource or research tool, and attendees can ask questions about search strategies, research management, and more. Students, staff, and faculty are welcome to join us, and learn how to use:

·         OneSearch, the Libraries Catalog

·         Article Databases

·         Google Search + Scholar (Tips & Tricks)

·         Heritage Resources

·         And much more!

Research Clinics are offered every Wednesday at 11:15am and Thursday at 2:15pm.  All sessions will take place in “The Corner,” (Wilson 265 in the Learning Commons).

Interested in learning more? Please visit this guide for further information:http://libguides.wwu.edu/rc_clinics.

Questions? Please contact Rebecca Marrall, rebecca.marrall@wwu.edu, 360-650-4493.

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Defining Lifelong Learning

How would you define life-long learning?

The Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) dialogue sessions begin next week, January 14/15. This quarter, TLA will aim to answer this year’s BIG study question: How can we reduce barriers to life-long learning across disciplines and communities? Now, doesn’t that sound like an intriguing line of inquiry to pursue? And don’t you want to be part of that pursuit? If yes, then consider attending a dialogue session winter quarter. TLA dialogues last officially for 80-minutes, but faculty and staff are welcome to stay for as long as their schedules allows. All the sessions will be held in Wilson Library 270, Learning Commons.

 

Winter 2015 dialogue sessions:

·         Wednesdays noon-1:20 p.m.: Jan. 14, 28, Feb. 11, 25, & Mar. 11

·         Wednesdays 2-3:20 p.m.: Jan. 14, 28, Feb. 11, 25, & Mar. 11

·         Thursdays noon-1:20 p.m.: Jan. 15, 29, Feb 12, 26, & Mar. 12

·         Thursdays 2-3:20 p.m.: Jan. 15, 29, Feb 12, 26, & Mar. 12

 

To sign up for a regular TLA dialogue session, email Shevell.Thibou@wwu.edu or stop by for one of the scheduled sessions to gain a bit of insight on the TLA.  We are also looking at enlisting more students for this quarter, so if you know of any that may be interested in participating in the TLA especially for Communication practicum credit, please refer them to Carmen Werder (Carmen.Werder@wwu.edu), Director of TLA.

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Little women: or, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy

Author: 
Louisa May Alcott
Publication Information: 
Boston: Roberts Brothers
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Special Collections Rare Book Collection.
Call Number: 
PS1017.L558 1885
December, 2014

“’Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,’” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug,” and so begins one of the classic tales many read, especially youn

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Partners in Teaching and Learning

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.

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