News from the Dean
Welcome back for the Winter Quarter. I hope your holiday break was enjoyable, and I wish you every success in 2014.
As we begin the New Year, 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 new website will launch by the beginning of Spring Quarter. Besides improving access, the new web site will align with Western’s institutional graphic identity and will accommodate mobile devices. Prior to launch, we will conduct extensive usability studies, continue refining the look and feel, and we will work hard to get word out about these positive improvements well in advance of going live.
By the end of the academic year, we plan to launch an Institutional Repository (IR) to collect, organize, manage, and disseminate Western’s intellectual output from a single web interface, free to users anywhere in the world. In partnership with Academic Affairs, the Graduate School, and Research & Sponsored Programs, the Libraries 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web-based software system, researchers will be able to create individual web pages to present their published and unpublished work.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 as well. You likely noticed a major renovation to the Learning Commons area in the Wilson Library last fall. 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. By switching locations of the microforms and reference collections, we were able to carve out considerably more room in WL 270 to accommodate TLA and other activities. The move also brought the Libraries reference collection closer to the research consultation desk and into compliance with ADA requirements. During Winter Quarter, we expect to convert Haggard Hall 222 into teaching space in order to accommodate 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if there is anything I can do to improve the Libraries.
Mark I. Greenberg
Dean of Libraries