News from the Dean

News from the Dean

Mark I. Greenberg, Dean of Libraries

I hope you had a restful break and are excited for the onset of Spring. As we begin a new quarter, I want to share information about important issues and activities in the Western Libraries as well as recent accomplishments. 

As many in the Western community know, near the end of winter quarter, the university experienced deeply disturbing and upsetting incidents of vandalism to Jewish Studies materials housed in the Wilson Library. These crimes, clearly antisemitic in character, are reprehensible. As Dean, I will not stand idly while malevolent forces seek to destroy library materials because of their subject matter. University Police are actively pursuing a criminal investigation, and the Libraries is working closely with officers on efforts to identify the criminal(s) and deter further vandalism. I would like to express my appreciation to the many people that have contacted me to express their outrage at the crime and share their support for the Libraries. In the wake of the vandalism, there have been generous financial donations to help replace the damaged items as well as new gifts of Jewish Studies books to add to the collection. On April 10 at 10:00 AM, the university community will gather in the Wilson Library Reading Room to recognize the importance of access to library information in the face of bigotry and hate, to symbolically reshelf the damaged items, and to add recent donations to the Jewish Studies collection.

Last fall, the Libraries opened a dedicated space for graduate students in Wilson Library 562/564. The new Graduate Research and Writing Studio offers innovative, peer-to-peer teaching and learning services aimed at enhancing academic literacies and graduate student success. The new space supports collaborative work for research and assessment, outreach, and curriculum planning. It allows Studio staff to meet with graduate students, their advisors, and campus partners. The Graduate Studio accommodates consultations with graduate student groups and online and phone consultations with graduate students studying in other locations.

The Libraries is developing new initiatives to support and enhance student research. A cornerstone of this effort is a new Undergraduate Teaching & Learning Unconference planned for April 13, 2018. This informally-structured opportunity to exchange ideas and best practices for engaging undergraduate students in research and co-inquiry will draw student, faculty, and community participants from across the region. It will address questions such as: how can we collaborate to facilitate student research and leadership? The Libraries will also continue its involvement with Scholars’ Week, May 14-18, 2018. This year, the Graduate Research & Writing Studio is collaborating closely with the Graduate School and Graduate Student Advisory Committee to support the Graduate Symposium. The Hacherl Research & Writing Studio will also co-sponsor three Research Poster Workshops with the Student Technology Center in order to assist presenters with poster authoring, design, and production. These new collaborations enhance efforts to bring community, research, and innovation into the Libraries’ physical and virtual spaces.

A new exhibition in Special Collections on the 6th floor of Wilson Library, curated by Special Collections Librarian Michael Taylor and Special Collections Manager Tamara Belts, invites visitors to consider books as one point of departure for exploring our shared global heritage. The exhibition features a colorful selection of materials from various world cultures and historical time periods. Among the materials on display are examples of manuscript illumination from medieval Europe and the Middle East that show the widespread nature of this art form. Several items, including a selection of illustrated bindings produced in Japan, Europe, and the United States, explore the topic of East-West cultural exchange. One exhibit case features highlights from the Western Libraries’ prominent Mongolian Studies collection. A number of recent acquisitions from other parts of Asia, including two Buddhist sutras and an original palm leaf manuscript, round out the exhibit. Please don’t miss the opportunity to view this excellent exhibition, on display through August 2018.

In an effort to improve access to research collections, Western Washington University recently purchased perpetual, full-text, electronic access to Early English Books Online, the U.S. Serials Set, and an assortment of heavily used newspapers -- much of which was previously available only on microfilm in the Western Libraries. Enhanced access to this content now permits patrons to search and read these materials online at any time. Access is provided as fully searchable full-page views. The decision to purchase perpetual electronic access to these resources and to reduce the microfilm footprint advances Western’s plans to relocate disAbility Resources for Students and Veteran’s Services from Old Main into the first floor of Wilson Library. This larger, modern, highly visible location has increased the quality and capacity of services provided to students and faculty. The plan also offers the Libraries the opportunity to relocate the Map Collection from the Wilson Library first floor to a more visible location on the second floor and to improve adjoining learning spaces.

The new digital content currently includes:

  • Early English Books Online, 1473-1700 with enhanced (subject searching) individual catalog records (130,000 titles from 200 libraries)
  • Globe and Mail, 1844-2014
  • Los Angeles Times, 1881-1993
  • New York Daily Times, 1851-1857
  • New York Times, 1857-2014
  • Times Digital Archive, 1785-1985
  • U.S. Serial Set 1 Digital Collection, 1789-1969
  • Wall Street Journal, 1889-2000
  • Washington Post, 1877-2000

To access this content, search for your title in OneSearch or visit  http://libguides.wwu.edu/az.php?a=all. Don’t forget to “Sign in for Full Access.”

The Libraries (in partnership with the Graduate School, Office of the Provost, and Office of Research and Sponsored Programs) is pleased to provide Western CEDAR. The online Institutional Repository advances Western’s commitment to enriching academic inquiry and strengthening communities by sharing the expertise and creativity of its students, faculty, and staff worldwide via the Web. Since its launch just over three years ago, content in CEDAR has grown to include 143 individual research pages located in the SelectedWorks Author Gallery, 32 departmental pages, 58 Honors Program Senior Projects, 645 graduate student theses, annual Scholars Week poster sessions, the 2014 and 2016 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conferences, the Journal of Educational Controversy, and the Huxley College of the Environment journal Summit to Salish Sea: Inquiries and Essays. Most recently, Western’s Border Policy Research Institute added its policy briefs, proceedings, research reports, working papers, and theses to CEDAR. At the end of February 2018, just over 4,942 documents contained in CEDAR had been downloaded worldwide 354,210 times. All campus units are invited to disseminate reports, papers, datasets, conference proceedings, and the like. People interested in open access publishing can manage the editorial process and publish the final product. The Libraries has taken an active leadership role in managing CEDAR day to day, helping faculty, staff, and students with the software’s many capabilities, and educating authors on their intellectual property rights and responsibilities. To learn more about CEDAR and how to get involved, don’t hesitate to contact Scholarly Communications Librarian Jenny Oleen or CEDAR Project Manager Kim Marsicek.

As always, I encourage you to stop by to see me in Haggard Hall 231 or to send me an email if there is anything I can do to improve the Libraries.

Regards,

Mark I. Greenberg
Dean of Libraries
April 2018