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'Canines & Cats on Campus' Program Returns to WWU

Posted on: November 26, 2019

Topic(s): Updates

Canines & Cats on Campus Program Visits WWU

students visiting with a dog from the 'Canines & Cats on Campus' programWestern Libraries will once again be joined by members of the “Canines & Cats on Campus” registered therapy animal program from Monday, December 2 through Wednesday, December 11, 2019. 

Teams of humans and animals will be located in the gallery space at the end of the Mann Family Skybridge on the Wilson side of the library off and on between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. during both the week preceding and the week of final exams. 

During this two-week period, this space will be reserved exclusively for the registered Canines & Cats on Campus therapy animal program, and animals who are not official volunteers with this program are not permitted in this area. 

Additionally, Western Libraries would like to remind everyone that while ADA service animals are welcome in the library, pets may not be brought into library facilities at any time.

For more information about the upcoming Canines & Cats on Campus visit, a schedule which includes the names of the volunteers, photos of the animals, and the times when they will be available for visiting, will be posted on an easel in the designated gallery area beginning Monday, December 2.

Remember to stop by the library to say hi or de-stress when you are in need of a break from studying for finals, working on projects, or writing those last few papers!  

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What is our role in creating just & equitable healthcare?

Posted on: November 8, 2019

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Nov. 18 event to explore: “What is our role in creating just & equitable healthcare?”

North entrance to Wilson Library with blue filter and the words "Teaching-Learning Academy" overlayed on top.

"What is our role in creating just & equitable healthcare?" Participants from the Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) at Western Libraries invite you to explore this question during the upcoming off-campus dialogue group event co-hosted by the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County and the WWU Center for Community Learning.

This event will be held on Monday, November 18, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. in the Giesecke Ballroom at the Bellingham YWCA, 1026 N. Forest St. The beginning of the session features panelists from various non-profit organizations, followed by small break-out groups facilitated by TLA students.

The goal of these dialogues is to connect with people on topics that affect both the Western community, and the local Bellingham community. Open to everyone, participation in these dialogues is a great way to get involved, meet new people.

Panelists for this event include:

• Monica Burke (Arc)

• Paige Sharpe (Planned Parenthood)

• Kim Sauter (NAMI)

For more information about TLA, please see this site: or contact You can also check out this video:

More Information about our program partners is located here: and here:

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Speaking of Maps: The Story of the Salish Sea Map

Posted on: October 30, 2019

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Stefan Freelan to Speak About the “Story of the Salish Sea Map” Nov. 20

Image of the map "The Salish Sea & Surrounding Basin," by Stefan Freelan. Text on the map reads: "The Salish Sea extends from the north end of the Strait of Georgia to the south end of the Puget Sound and west to the mouth of the Straight of Juan de Fuca.Cartographer and geographer Stefan Freelan will discuss the process for the ‘Salish Sea’ to be recognized as an official name, and the role that the map “The Salish Sea and Surrounding Basin,” played in that process at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, November 20, in the Map Collection at Western Libraries.

Maps help us understand our environment, and they may also serve political and cultural agendas. In this talk, Freelan will present a collection of maps to compare, contrast, and discuss alongside the map he created, “The Salish Sea and Surrounding Basin,” as he explores how this map differs from other maps of the area, and talks about the choices and creative process that went into its creation. This event is free and open to the public.

Freelan began sailing the Salish Sea as a teenager and has called the Salish Sea region home ever since. He created “The Salish Sea and Surrounding Basin” map for Bert Webber in 2008 as part of a campaign asking for the governments of Washington State in the U.S. and British Columbia, Canada for official recognition of the name ‘Salish Sea.’  Freelan is also the Assistant Director of the Spatial Institute at Huxley College of the Environment at WWU, and he teaches courses in GIS (Geographic Information Systems), GPS (Global Positioning System) and Cartography.

Co-sponsored by Western Libraries, Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment, and The Spatial Institute, this talk is part of the “Speaking of Maps” program, which are quarterly talks designed to highlight the use and value of maps in research, in teaching and learning, and in daily life. For more information, please contact Dennis Matthews, Map Collection Manager, at or (360) 650-3272.

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TLA Collaborative Event: "What does it mean to support refugees?"

Posted on: October 17, 2019

Topic(s): Events

Upcoming TLA Collaborative Event Explores the Question: What Does it Mean to Support Refugees?

Text-based image: blue text on green background. Text is: What does it mean to support refugees?

New York Times Bestselling Young Adult author Alan Gratz will join a panel exploring the question “What does it mean to support refugees?” at Western Washington University from 4:00-5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 30 in the Western Gallery (Fine Arts Building). 

This collaborative dialogue event, co-sponsored by the Teaching-Learning Academy and the Western Gallery, will include an observed fishbowl dialogue among the speakers, followed by small group dialogue among participants. The event is free and open to the public.

Gratz is the author of Refugee, a historical fiction novel that follows the life and separate stories of three refugee children. Gratz brings to the panel his expertise on communicating difficult stories to young adult audiences.  He will be joined by Desiree Cueto, and David Schlitt.

Desiree Cueto is an assistant professor of Elementary Education at Western and Director of the Pacific Northwest Children’s Literature Clearinghouse and will share her expertise on Young Adult Literature and the academic background that motivates its practitioners. David Schlitt is the Visiting Yiddish Instructor and Judaica Project Archivist for Western Libraries Heritage Resources. Prior to coming to Western, he directed the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

For more information about this event, please contact Nathan Romond at, (360) 650-3740.

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Fall 2019 Teaching-Learning Academy Dialogues

Posted on: October 7, 2019

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Teaching-Learning Academy Dialogues 

Image of students' hands touching a row of books about teaching and learning. Text: "Use your voice in the library; Teaching-Learning Academy: When is it appropriate to ask for help?

What skills are necessary for us to be successful in society?  When is it appropriate to ask for help? What circumstances discourage us from seeking support?   

Join students, faculty, staff, and community members as they consider questions like these during fall 2019 Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) dialogue sessions.  

The TLA meets on campus for three different sessions this quarter, continuing the new dialogue format adopted last year with a different question as the focus of each session. This quarter there will also be a co-hosted TLA event offered in partnership with the Western Gallery.  

TLA participants include students, faculty, staff, and community members, and everyone is welcome. Participants consistently report that the TLA dialogue sessions provide a great way to connect with others outside of their disciplines and departments, and to learn more about Western’s teaching and learning culture. Many say it also gives them a chance to take a breath and just listen to what others, especially students, really think.  

The TLA’s primary objective is to create a community of scholars who work together to enhance teaching and learning by providing: 

  • a cross-disciplinary space for dialogue which explores how teaching and learning can be enhanced throughout the university and beyond. 

  • a forum for fostering collaboration and bridging the gaps between students, staff, faculty, and community members. 

  • a space that values diverse perspectives and works towards creating active communities.   

  • professional development resources and workshops that support both scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning. 

The goal of each dialogue session is to share well-rounded views related to teaching and learning, while encouraging the use of listening to promote open-mindedness and mutual respect for diverse perspectives. These events also offer a great way to explore difficult topics, practice and refine productive communication strategies, and develop skills in interpersonal communication and collaboration.  

On October 16 and November 13, the TLA will meet at noon in the west wing of the Wilson side of the library on the second floor. On October 30 the Western Gallery will co-host a special TLA collaborative event exploring the question “What does it mean to support refugees?" This event will include a fishbowl dialogue on this subject featuring a panel of authors and members of the WWU community. 

For more information, please see  To sign up for the TLA listserv, please email  Students: there is also an opportunity to participate in the TLA for LIBR 340 “Speaking and Listening” practicum credit. For more information about the practicum, contact