Message from the Dean - About Fall Quarter

About COVID-19

Message from the Dean - About Fall Quarter

September 23, 2020

Dear Western Libraries Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Western Libraries has long offered highly utilized programs, services, collections, and public spaces.  We are a nexus for the university community to meet, study, and access research materials. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, Western Libraries has worked diligently to develop and implement a wide range of university and public health mandates, guidelines, and practices to combat the spread of this deadly virus. We have prioritized the health and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and community members by creating a robust, patron-centered online presence for library programs and services. 

In light of recommendations from the CDC to limit the size of all social and public gatherings, along with Safe Start Washington and Safe Start Western guidelines, Western Libraries is closed to the public through fall quarter and until further notice. Should we reach Phases 3 or 4 in the coming months, the Libraries will work with university leaders on the staff and patron health and safety requirements that must be in place before we can resume library services further. We will communicate new information as soon as it becomes available.

Western Libraries continues to offer access to an extensive range of research collections online via OneSearch.  Western students, faculty, and staff can request physical library materials to be retrieved and held for on-site pick up or mailed to a desired address.  Summit services have also resumed; however, physical interlibrary loan requesting and borrowing is not yet available due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After you have logged in to the OneSearch catalog and placed your request, please allow additional time for library staff to retrieve and process your items. We will work on your request as quickly as possible given staff safety requirements, and we will send you an email letting you know that your items are ready for pick up. Requests for materials can only be retrieved and processed on specific days and times in order to protect health and safety. If the curbside pick-up option does not work for you, you can instead use OneSearch to request that items be mailed to a desired address. You will receive an email when your requested items are sent.

The Western Libraries has been working hard to expand and promote its online teaching and learning services and to mitigate the challenges online instruction poses for students and faculty. Now, more than ever, the Libraries extensive range of online collections and programs can be of assistance.

For students, the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio is available online during posted hours of operation. You can connect live to an online meeting, initiate a chat using Ask Us, or send us a draft paper for email response. The Studio and librarians are available to answer any of your research and writing questions via chat. Additionally, our online Library Information Tutorials and learning with archives and special collections materials focus on starting a research project, finding and evaluating sources (including local and unique materials), as well as drafting and revising your text. These tutorials and other learning resources are available 24/7.

The Tutoring Center, which primarily supports math and science GURs, also provides an online and appointment-based tutoring model to give students access to tutors. You can find out more about these services and see a full list of the classes supported by visiting the Tutoring Center’s website.

Please know that the Libraries offers a range of resources and services to support teaching face-to-face and online, including Course Reserves and Library Information Tutorials, and the Integrated Academic Literacies Workshop Series. Faculty requesting one of our workshops should expect their workshop session(s) to occur synchronously via Zoom. We will also offer other asynchronous opportunities that support research, writing, and quantitative reasoning. For more information about our Integrated Academic Literacies Workshops, please email LearningCommons@wwu.edu. For help with discipline-specific research or course materials, please contact the appropriate subject team. For help designing an online course, ATUS/CIIA provides a wide array of support.

We recognize how difficult and disruptive the COVID-19 pandemic and global response have been in people’s personal and professional lives. We appreciate your understanding as conditions rapidly change and Western Libraries reevaluates its ability to deliver established programs and services. As we struggle to adapt to the challenges of operating in this unpredictable and uncertain environment, we are not always able to provide as much advance notice as we would like. We will continue to share new information via Western Today, on the Libraries’ website, on our social media channels, and also with signage where appropriate.

Sincerely,

Mark I. Greenberg