Western Libraries News

Writing Instruction Research Forum

Conversations in Common - Writing Instruction Research

Western Libraries and the Learning Commons invite you to a "Conversations in Common" presentation focused on Writing Instruction Research on Friday, May 13th from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the TLA area (Wilson Library 270).  

 
This event will present two different opportunities to learn more about Writing Instruction. The first segment, "Assessment of Engineering Writing At Western Washington University," features Engineering faculty member Sura Alqudah and WWU senior and mathematics major Nathan Romond, who have been collaborating to conduct an outcomes-based assessment study to evaluate the writing skills of Engineering & Design students in a senior-level writing proficiency class. Using a rubric designed to evaluate writing proficiency in engineering, the study draws on selected samples of student course work as well as on responses to the students.
 
The second session, "Exploring Threshold Concepts to Teach Writing in Kinesiology," will be presented by Kinesiology faculty member Harsh Buddhadev who conducted an assessment study in his Kinesiology 306 Measurement and Evaluation class to explore the effect of using a particular threshold concept to structure the culminating writing project. He will share his findings and implications for teaching and learning to write.

 

This special Conversations in Common event is sponsored by Writing Instruction Support (WIS), which is a program of Western Libraries and also a Learning Commons partner, focused on building a community around writing instruction at WWU. The Writing Instruction Support (WIS) program provides direct assistance to faculty who are teaching writing courses or who incorporate writing into their courses. 

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James W. Scott Fellowships - Applications for 2017

James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowships - Now Accepting Applications for 2017

About the Awards

The James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowships promote awareness and innovative use of archival collections at Western Washington University, and seek to forward scholarly understandings of the Pacific Northwest. Fellowship funds are awarded in honor of the late Dr. James W. Scott, a founder and first Director of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, and a noted scholar of the Pacific Northwest region. Up to $1000 funding is offered in 2017 to support significant research using archival holdings at WWU’s Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS), a unit of Western Libraries Heritage Resources.

Fellowship Requirements

  • Applications are accepted from individuals in doctoral programs as well as individuals who have finished the Ph.D.
  • Successful applicants will be expected to spend approximately one week examining CPNWS holdings in support of their research, and to be in residence prior to October 31, 2017. Additional information and detailed guides to collections may be accessed on the CPNWS website.
  • Fellows will be asked to give a presentation about some aspect of their research during the course of their scheduled visit. The audience will vary depending on the time of the year, but may include members of the general public as well as students, faculty and staff from WWU.

Applications

  • Applications will be reviewed after October 31, 2016, with announcements of awards expected in November 2017. The number and size of awards granted annually is determined by the application review committee.
  • Applications may be submitted via mail or electronically and should include:
    • Cover letter
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Research plan outlining on-site use of CPNWS holdings and proposed presentation topic
    • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Please send applications via email to Ruth.Steele@wwu.edu or by mail to Ruth Steele, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Libraries Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123. Please enter “Scott Research Fellowship Application” in the subject line of email applications.
  • Funds will be awarded after a Fellow(s) has conducted research at CPNWS and delivered their presentation.
  • Fellowship awards may be subject to taxation in accordance with the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Applicants are advised that they may need a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (i.e. SSN or ITIN) to receive funds.       
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The Colonial Problem (5/25)

The Colonial Problem: An Indigenous Perspective on Crime and Injustice in Canada 

 

Western Libraries Heritage Resources and the Center for Canadian American Studies are pleased to present Dr. Lisa Monchalin, faculty member from the Department of Criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, British Columbia, who will speak about her most recent book, The Colonial Problem: An Indigenous Perspective on Crime and Injustice in Canada, on Wednesday, May 25th from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Western Libraries Special Collections, (Wilson Library 6th Floor). 

 

Dr. Monchalin is of Algonquin, Métis, Huron, and Scottish descent, and she is the first Indigenous woman in Canada to hold a Ph.D. in Criminology.  She has published on topics related to crime prevention and Indigenous people’s victimization, including writing an action brief for municipal stakeholders, which was distributed across many municipalities throughout Canada. 
 
Proud of her Indigenous heritage, Dr. Monchalin is determined to reduce the amount of crime that affects Indigenous people. Her Ph.D. thesis was a case study which involved an extensive amount of research regarding urban Indigenous people and crime prevention. She has published in scholarly journals including the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Crime Prevention and Community Safety: an International Journal and La Revue Criminologie, among others.
 
The Canadian government has framed the overrepresentation and disproportionate criminalization of Indigenous peoples in the Canadian criminal justice system as being an "Indian problem." In The Colonial Problem, Dr. Monchalin challenges the myth of the "Indian problem," and encourages readers to view the crimes and injustices affecting Indigenous peoples from a more culturally aware position.
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Speaking of Maps: Andy Bach (5/11)

Andy Bach to Discuss Environmental History of the Ozette Prairies

Western Washington University Associate Professor of Environmental Geography Andy Bach will discuss his research exploring the relationship between historical vegetation changes in the Ozette Prairies, Olympic National Park, and human use of this region. “Archival Evidence for Historical Changes in Lowland Wilderness Meadows, Ozette Prairies, Olympic National Park,” will be held in the Map Collection (Wilson Library 170) at Western Libraries from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wed., May 11, 2016.  This presentation is free and open to the public.

 

Using a multi-media archival approach to understand the environmental history of the area, examining repeat air and ground photography, maps, and written records, Bach determined that the prairies originally began as natural wetlands before fire was used by indigenous peoples and European settlers to expand and maintain them. Later, in the absence of disturbance, they eventually began to revert to forest cover.

 

Bach’s research combines the use of historical maps with field methods of soil science, ecology, and geomorphology, to understand how natural landscapes of Washington have changed over time.

 

This event is being offered as part of the “Speaking of Maps” lectures, and is co-sponsored by Western Libraries and WWU’s Huxley College of the Environment.

 

“Speaking of Maps” are quarterly talks designed to highlight the use and value of maps in research, in teaching and learning, and in daily life. 

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Rick and Barbara Osen Endowment

Osens Establish Endowment for the Advancement of Western Libraries

               Rick and Barbara Osen at the endowment signing celebration, April 5, 2016

 

Earlier this year, Rick and Barbara Osen expressed their wish to make a gift to Western Libraries that would have a lasting impact. On April 5, 2016, members of Western Libraries joined the Osens in recognition and celebration of the establishment of the “Rick and Barbara Osen Endowment for the Advancement of Libraries.”

 

The endowment’s purpose is especially significant for Rick Osen, who worked at Western Libraries for 35 years, holding managerial and administrative positions that involved virtually every area of the organization, including acting Dean of Libraries from 2012 through 2013.  Osen’s decades of dedication and leadership positively impacted the Libraries’evolution and helped shape its future.

 

“It is particularly meaningful that Rick and Barbara should wish to create an endowment to support the professional and organizational development of staff and faculty,” explained Dean of Libraries, Mark Greenberg. “During his long career in the Western Libraries, Rick saw firsthand how advancing people’s skills and understanding advances their careers and improves library services to the Western community.  I am grateful to Rick and Barbara for helping Western Libraries to invest in people.”

 

While at Western, Osen was a strong proponent of professional and organizational development, and he worked to ensure that Libraries personnel had opportunities to advance their knowledge and skills.  Since his retirement in early 2014, Osen has stayed in close touch with his colleagues and has remained a strong supporter of Western Libraries. 

Rick and Barbara Osen joined by their son-in-law Robert and daughter Justyna at the endowment signing celebration.
 
“Rick was always on top of ongoing developments in academic librarianship and provided countless opportunities for library staff to stay current so that we could make use of the best of these ideas,” said Jeff Purdue, Learning Commons and Media Librarian.  “Through this endowment, he has found an ideal way of continuing that focus and demonstrating that though he is retired, his commitment to Western Libraries and the role it plays in the intellectual life of the University continues unabated.”

 

 Proceeds from the Rick and Barbara Osen Endowment for the Advancement of Libraries may be used to pay expenses related to professional and organizational development for Western Libraries faculty and staff through workshops, seminars, and other similar programs.  At their request, preference will be given to professional and organizational development activities that occur at Western.

 

“With an emphasis on funding training or workshops on campus, it allows all staff to benefit from engaging ideas that enhance work performance and facilitate a shared vision for Western Libraries,” said Special Collections Manager Tamara Belts. She added that the expansion of opportunities for individual staff training and development also benefits the Libraries as a whole, because recipients are able to bring back and share what they learn with the organization.

 

Western Libraries Administration looks forward to working together collaboratively and in consultation with Libraries faculty and staff, to identify professional and organizational development opportunities that maximize participation and positive outcomes for individuals and for the Libraries as a whole. 

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Candidate Open Forums

Three strongly qualified candidates for the Director of Teaching and Learning and the Learning Commons position at Western Libraries have been invited to Western Washington University for interviews beginning April 25th.

 

Each candidate will host an open forum and anyone interested is invited to attend. During this forum, candidates will facilitate a professional development session using pedagogy which clearly reflects their personal teaching philosophy.  

 

The schedule and locations for the open forums and candidate information are listed below:

  • April 25th  from 4 to 5pm  -  Library Presentation Room (Wilson Library 164f) - Carol Wittig, Head of Research and Instruction at Boatwright Library, University of Richmond. 
  • May 2nd  from 4 to 5pm - Haggard Hall Room 253 - Brett Bodemer, Coordinator of General Reference at Robert E. Kennedy Library, California Polytechnic State University.
  • May 12th from 4:30 to 5:30 pm Library Presentation Room (Wilson Library 164f) - Sarah McDaniel, Consultant & Associate Lecturer at the School of Library & Information Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison.
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Heritage Resources Newsletter

The Spring 2016 edition of Heritage Highlights is now available! In this issue, we explore themes of social justice and activism on campus and in the community, including anti-racism campagins, peace advocacy, care for the environment, and more.

Heritage Resources is a division of Western Libraries which includes the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and University Archives & Records Management.

Image: Joining Hands Against Hate symbol and slogan, courtesy of Arbeit Graphics, available in the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force records at CPNWS.

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Wayne Richter Honored

Mongolian Studies Special Issue Dedicated to Wayne Richter

Mongolia Society President Alicia Campi and founding director of Western’s Center for East Asian Studies, Henry Schwarz, present the special issue dedicated to Wayne Richter.

 

On Friday, April 1, 2016 at the Association for Asian Studies annual conference in Seattle, Western Libraries Asian Materials Specialist Wayne Richter received a tremendous honor.  President of The Mongolia Society, Alicia Campi, presented him with Volume XXXV (2013) of Mongolian Studies, the scholarly journal of The Mongolia Society, which is a special issue dedicated to Richter. 

 

Writes journal editor David Bade in the beginning of the special issue:

“Wayne Richter has been at the forefront of Mongolian studies in the United States as well as internationally for more than 30 years. . . .  It is largely because of Wayne’s many years of careful scholarly devotion to identifying and collating the works of each author represented in Wilson Library’s collection that other bibliographers, catalogers and scholars around the world find that the results of their searches make sense, and they are able to find what they want to find.”

 

Chief of the Asian & Middle Eastern Division at the Library of Congress Randall K. Barry and Tibetan expert at the Library of Congress Susan Meinheit pose for a photo with Wayne.

 

The quality and accessibility of the extraordinary Mongolian Studies Collection at Western Libraries is a result of the generosity of scholars such as Henry Schwarz, Nicholas Poppe, and John C. Street, and the valuable work of Richter. Richter is a nationally recognized expert in the creation and editing of bibliographic records for materials written in Mongolian and related languages, and he is the only cataloger in the United States who routinely creates national name authority records – work which involves considerable research in a field with only limited bibliographic and biographic resources. 

 

 

Richter has actively reached out to people who are interested in Mongolia and its cultures and languages, participates in meetings of the Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast, and is in regular contact with Mongolian scholars and librarians from other institutions who use Western’s collections. He regularly coordinates and leads tours of the Libraries’ Mongolian Studies Collection for a wide variety of individuals and groups, including Mongolian ambassadors to the U.S., U.S. Ambassadors to Mongolia, and many visiting scholars.

 

Richter’s efforts to make resources available to scholars worldwide will impact Mongolian studies for decades to come, and the dedication of this special issue of Mongolian Studies recognizes and honors that work.

 

For more information about Western’s Mongolian Studies Initiatives, please see the Center for East Asian Studies Mongolian Studies page, or this online guide about the Mongolian Collection.  

 

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Archives, Media, and Identity

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.

 

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