Welcome back for the Spring Quarter. I hope your brief break from classes was enjoyable.
As we begin the new quarter, I wanted to share the Libraries recent accomplishments and to let you know of exciting things to come. OneSearch is up and running, and most of the initial bugs have been worked out. I hope you’re finding the ability to search “Everything” at once (WWU, Summit, e-journals, and full-text databases) to be a useful tool. Remember, you can narrow your search to just WWU or WWU + Summit, and you still can use your favorite databases just like you did in the past. For lots of great tips on making the most of OneSearch, check out http://www.library.wwu.edu/onesearch-tips or visit with one of our talented reference staff members.
In order to make the Libraries many services and resources easier to find and use, a redesigned website has just gone live. Besides improving access, the new site aligns with Western’s institutional graphic identity and accommodates mobile devices. During Winter Quarter, we conducted extensive usability studies with faculty, staff, and students; have worked hard to get the word out about these positive improvements; and continue refining the site’s look and feel.
By the end of the academic year, Western plans to launch an Institutional Repository (IR) to collect, organize, manage, and disseminate its intellectual output from a single web interface, free to users anywhere in the world. A partnership between the Provost’s Office, Graduate School, Research & Sponsored Programs, and Libraries, the IR will showcase faculty and student research as well as Western’s history and distinct programs and projects. By adopting Digital Commons as Western’s web-based software system, researchers will be able to create individual web pages to present their published and unpublished work. Departments, centers, etc. will be able to disseminate organizational accomplishments (such as reports, papers, datasets, conference proceedings, etc.), and people interested in open access publishing will have an outstanding tool to manage the editorial process and to publish the completed issues. The Libraries will take a leadership role in managing the IR day to day, teaching faculty, staff, and students about the software’s many capabilities, and educating them on their intellectual property rights and responsibilities.
In addition to improvements in the Libraries virtual presence, there have been positive physical changes since Fall Quarter. You likely noticed a major renovation to the Learning Commons area in the Wilson Library. Reaction from students to the new and expanded collaborative and individual seating areas has been very favorable. Upstairs in the Reading Room, we officially opened the Northwest Collection. It brings together items related to the study of the Pacific Northwest from throughout the Libraries into one central location. Over the winter break, we also increased teaching and learning space in Wilson. Simply by switching locations of the microforms and reference collections, we were able to carve out more room in WL 270 to accommodate TLA, group study, and other activities. The move also brought the Libraries reference collection closer to the research consultation desk and into compliance with ADA requirements. During Spring Quarter, we expect to convert Haggard Hall 222 into teaching space in order to meet growing demand for Libraries and Learning Commons workshops and instruction sessions.
As always, I encourage you to stop by to see me in Haggard Hall 231 or to send an email to email@example.com if there is anything I can do to improve the Libraries.
Mark I. Greenberg
Dean of Libraries