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Library Closed Sept.12 for Staff Development Day

Western Libraries Closed Sept. 12 for Staff Development Day

Graphic with circles and a text overlay that reads: "Western Libraries Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion"

Western Libraries will hold its annual Staff Development Day on Thursday, September 12, 2019. In order to provide an opportunity for as many library staff members as possible to participate, (including the Libraries’ student employees), Western Libraries will be closed to the public on this day.

Western Libraries is committed to creating and supporting a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for its employees and patrons. Recognizing that effective implementation of organizational and professional development must also be inclusive, the Libraries one-day closure will enable all of its students, staff, and faculty to participate in the professional development opportunities planned for this day.

During the past several years, employees within the Libraries have actively engaged in conversations and planning in order to create a more inclusive environment, to give student employees a stronger voice in the library, and to serve patrons better. Past years’ themes for Development Day have focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

As a continuation of this same work, the professional development activities planned for the day are intended to continue important conversations, build a better understanding about diversity and inclusion, and improve Libraries staff members’ daily interactions with their colleagues and the community they serve.

For more information about the Libraries commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion or if you have any questions, please contact Andrea.Peterson@wwu.edu

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How does the political context of art affect the way we consume it?

TLA On-Campus Dialogue: How does the political context of art affect the way we consume it?

Knowledge Bennett standing next to his art piece, Obama Cowboy, Six-Shooter (2012).Join faculty, staff, students, and members of the community as together we explore the question, “How does the political context of art affect the way we consume it?” On March 4, 2020 in the WWU Gallery, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., a panel presentation will be followed by small group conversation in the WWU Gallery.

This Teaching-Learning Academy dialogue-based event complements the Western Gallery’s current exhibition, "Knowledge Bennett: Road to Damascus." Knowledge’s work appropriates pop culture imagery to address and critique American idealism, political corruption, and systematic racial stratification from past to the present.

The TLA dialogue events offer students, faculty, staff, and community members a chance to come together and explore questions and issues that affect us all. These dialogues also give participants a way to explore difficult topics, practice and refine productive communication strategies, and develop interpersonal communication and collaboration skills.

For more information, please contact Nathan.Romond@wwu.edu  or call (360) 650-3740.

Caption/Credit info for the image: Knowledge Bennett with his Obama Cowboy, Six-Shooter (2012); photo credit: Aaron Lacey/Courtesy KNOW

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Cinema East Film Series continues Feb. 11 with ‘Early Spring’

Cinema East Film Series continues Feb. 11 with ‘Early Spring’

Theatrical release poster for Yasujirō Ozu's film 'Early Spring'

The next film in the Cinema East series is Ozu Yasujiro’s 1956 feature Early Spring, which screens at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, at the Pickford Film Center (1318 Bay Street).

Early Spring was Ozu’s first film after Tokyo Story, and his next-to-last black and white film.  Quietly, the film builds a rich story about the lives of young office workers, infidelity, the lingering effects of the war, dissatisfaction with work, and other topics. 

“It’s become one of my favorite Ozu films, with a wonderful ensemble cast headed by Awashima Chikage, Ikebe Ryo, and Kishi Keiko,” explained series curator and librarian from Western Washington University Libraries Jeff Purdue, adding “I’ve seen this film quite a bit, including several times in theatres, and I can’t wait to see it again at the Pickford.” 

Co-sponsored by Western Libraries and the Pickford Film Center, each film in the Cinema East series, (formerly known as the Masters of Asian Cinema series), begins with an introduction from select speakers including local professors, artists, and educators.

Early Spring will be introduced by Dr. Colleen A. Laird (PhD), who is Assistant Professor of Japanese Popular Culture in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia where she teaches classes on Japanese cinema and media. She has written several articles on Japanese cinema, ranging in topics from Japanese celebrities like Kikuchi Rinko and contemporary directors such as Nishikawa Miwa and Ogigami Naoko, to historical analysis of Japanese film posters in the postwar era and the concept of “home” in Japanese cinema.  She is currently working on a monograph on Japanese women film directors, but is often distracted by smaller projects including works on Netflix Japan, the HBO show Westworld, and the role of haptics and gameplay in Japanese video games.

For more information about this film event, please see the following link:  https://www.pickfordfilmcenter.org/early-spring-cinema-east/  or contact Jeff.Purdue@wwu.edu.

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I Am Black History, Herstory, Hxstory Photo Gallery

New Photo Exhibit in Celebration of Black History Month

A new exhibition of photographs in celebration of Black History Month will be on display beginning February 6 through March 2, 2020 in multiple locations throughout Western Washington University. The exhibition is entitled, I Am Black History, Herstory, Hxstory, and features students, staff, and faculty of Western.

Portrait from the "I Am Black History, Herstory, Hxstory" exhibitBlack History Month is an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments and challenges overcome by those within the African American and Black community. In celebration of the students, staff, and faculty of African descent at Western, black and white photographic portraits will be displayed in select galleries throughout Western Libraries, the Multicultural Center, and Carver Gym through the month of February.

The exhibition offers an opportunity to recognize the collective excellence among us by featuring some of the many unsung scholars and heroes who are part of Western’s community. Each image is accompanied by a quote chosen by the individual featured in the photo. This exhibition is free and open to the public, and available for viewing during the open hours of the various locations.

This project is the result of a collaboration among multiple partners at Western, including the Ethnic Student Center, the Black Student Union, the African-Caribbean Club, the Viking Union, Western Libraries, Student Outreach Services, Men’s Resiliency, and the Digital Media Center.

Special thanks to Victoria Matey and Adam Haizlip for initiating and leading the project, to the Associated Students Publicity Center for printing the photographs, to photographer Thomas Meade, and to the members of the Western community who are featured in this exhibition.

If you have questions or need more information about this exhibit, please contact Adam Haizlip at haizlia@wwu.edu, Victoria Matey at mateyv@wwu.edu, or Eric Alexander at alexane6@wwu.edu.

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Special Collections Manager Tamara Belts to Retire

Tamara Belts, Special Collections manager at Western Libraries, will retire on April 1st after working at Western Washington University for over 42 years. Belts got her start at Western as a transfer student in 1974, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1976. Picture of Tamara Belts in the Special Collections stacks.

She has worked for Western Libraries since October 1977 in many roles, including positions in Circulation, Serials, Cataloging, Acquisitions, Government Information, and her current position in Special Collections.

For more about Belts, the many positions she has held, and the myriad changes she witnessed throughout her tenure at Western Libraries, please see the full Western Today story (link below).

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Upcoming Grad Studio Re-location & Digital Access to Collections

Upcoming Graduate Studio Re-location, Collections Moves, and Ensuring Digital Access to Journals & Periodicals

Next summer, Western Libraries will re-locate the Graduate Research & Writing Studio from the 5th floor of Wilson to the 2nd floor of Haggard. In its new location, the Graduate Studio will be better situated to provide Western’s graduate students with the academic support—and community—they need.

JSTOR logo design In order to accommodate this move, and to make best use of library spaces, the collections on the second floor of Haggard will be consolidated with those on the third floor. As part of this process, the Libraries will conduct a targeted review of print periodicals with the goal of withdrawing volumes duplicated in digital format on the JSTOR platform. 

JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization that hosts journal content and ensures long-term access and preservation. JSTOR content is complete, high quality, and guaranteed in perpetuity, allowing the university to reduce its periodicals footprint strategically without losing any content or sacrificing the researcher experience.

Reviewing the duplicate periodicals is part of an ongoing effort to meet the needs of library users more effectively. Digital periodicals—particularly those on stable platforms like JSTOR—provide a convenient and accessible researcher experience, and in the past two decades the format has rapidly overtaken print as the standard for scholarly journals.

The Libraries will be reviewing, moving, and staging duplicated periodicals for review throughout winter quarter. Librarians will manually check the highest-use titles to verify the completeness of JSTOR copies. In late February, university faculty will be invited to review the titles as well, and will have until the end of the quarter to suggest titles for further vetting. Librarians will review these requests and ensure that only titles and volumes with complete, high-quality online duplicates are withdrawn. The actual, physical withdrawal process will begin during spring break.

The review process will not result in any loss of content in the short- or long term. The Libraries is only considering withdrawing volumes that the university owns permanently. JSTOR guarantees its content in perpetuity, via either the platform itself or the trusted third-party repository, Portico. JSTOR content is high quality, downloading at 600 DPI, and the company will re-scan journals as needed to remedy any errors users do encounter.

The Libraries welcomes feedback about this project and will work as transparently as possible, sharing updates here and via Western Today, faculty governance channels, and department chairs. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please reach out to your Subject Team, the Collection Services division, or the Director of Collections.

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John Scurlock to Speak on Feb. 26 about Aerial Photography

John Scurlock to Speak on Feb. 26 about Aerial Photography in the Remote Western Ranges of North America 

Photo of John ScurlockRenowned aerial photographer John Scurlock will give a talk entitled, "Mapping Mountains: Aerial Photography in the Remote Western Ranges of North America," on February 26, 2020, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Map Collection at Western Washington University Libraries. This event is free and open to the public.

John Scurlock has been photographing mountains and glaciers across western North America since 2002. During his presentation, Scurlock will talk about the difficulties he has encountered in photographing alpine terrain in regions that have been poorly mapped and seldom visited, with few named features.

Scurlock has covered terrain from Alaska to California and from the Coast Mountains and Cascades to the Rockies of Canada and the United States. He has provided images for the Washington State Department of Transportation, the US Geological Survey, Department of the Interior/National Park Service, US Forest Service, Parks Canada, BC Parks, Western Washington University, University of Washington, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Northern British Columbia.  In 2018, he completed an eleven-year project (in cooperation with Portland State University) to photograph every glacier in the lower forty-eight states. His images have appeared in numerous books and publications such as Adventure Journal, The American Alpine Journal, Canadian Alpine Journal, Journal of Glaciology, Alpinist Magazine, Rock& Ice, Ski Journal, and Climbing Magazine.   His ground-breaking book, Snow & Spire: Flights to Winter in the North Cascade Range, was published in November, 2011.

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 Dennis.Matthews@wwu.edu.

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What is our role in creating a just and equitable census?

Off-Campus TLA Dialogue on Feb. 13th: "What is our role in creating a just and equitable census?"

Aerial view looking downward at people standing in a circle with only the shoes and legs of the people in the circle visibleWhat is our role in creating a just and equitable census? Participants from the Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) at Western Libraries invite you to explore this question during the upcoming off-campus dialogue which will be held at the Fairhaven Branch of the Bellingham Library (1117 12th St.) on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

A brief informational panel featuring members of the Bellingham community will be followed by small group discussion among all participants.

The TLA Community Dialogues are a chance for students, faculty, staff, and community members to come together and explore questions and issues that affect us all. These dialogues also give participants a way to explore difficult topics, practice and refine productive communication strategies, and develop interpersonal communication and collaboration skills.

For this event series, the TLA is partnering with the WWU Center for Community Learning and the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County. Events are open to everyone, and participation offers a way to get involved, meet new people, and make connections outside of the typical academic setting. No advanced registration is required, but faculty and staff wishing to participate in this dialogue as part of their Employee Development Plan can sign up through PageUp via the online training portal

For more information, please contact Nathan.Romond@wwu.edu  or call (360) 650-3740.

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Jackie Caplan-Auerbach: "Sounds of an Era's End" - Feb.12

Jackie Caplan-Auerbach to Speak about the 2018 Eruption of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i

Jackie Caplan-Auerbach on the 2018 research cruise offshore Kilauea with lava flowing into the water visible behind her.Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, professor in the Department of Geology and the Associate Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at Western Washington University, will give a talk entitled “Sounds of an Era’s End: The 2018 Eruption of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i, From Ocean Bottom Seismometers,” on February 12, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. in the Map Collection at Western Libraries. This event is free and open to the public.

The 2018 eruption of Kilauea volcano, Hawai’i, was remarkable in many ways: it had the highest flux of lava ever recorded at Kilauea; it resulted in the destruction of over 700 structures and the displacement of thousands of Hawai`i residents; and it created unprecedented deformation at the volcano’s summit. During her presentation, Caplan-Auerbach will talk about her work as a lead investigator during that eruption to deploy a network of ocean-bottom seismometers near the Big Island to record seismic activity associated with the submarine portion of the volcano.  The network also recorded the sounds associated with lava-water interactions at Kilauea’s coast, providing a window into explosive processes and lava flux. Data from the seismic and acoustic networks provide insight into the evolution and stability of how volcanoes grow and evolve.

Caplan-Auerbach has been at Western since 2006, teaching about topics ranging from introductory geology to earthquake seismology to mantle convection.  Her research focuses on the seismic and acoustic signals generated by volcanoes and landslides.  Most of the volcanoes she studies are in the undersea domain, and she is happiest when on the water.

Prior to working at Western, she spent her undergraduate years at Yale University, where she earned degrees in both Physics and English.  She then taught high school physics in the San Francisco Bay Area for six years before moving to Honolulu to pursue graduate study.  In 2001 she earned her Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, and she has also worked for the Alaska Volcano Observatory at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and with the U.S. Geological Survey. 

This special talk is offered as part of the Western Libraries Reading Series, which is dedicated to showcasing the scholarly and creative work of faculty and staff who are engaged in research, writing, and teaching at Western. For more information about this event, please contact abby koehler, abby.koehler@wwu.edu, 360-650-3342.

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Subscription Cancellations and Securing Access to Information

Subscription Cancellations and Securing Access to Information

Over the next six months, the Western Libraries will be engaging the university in important conversations about our collective mission, the information landscape, and the implications for library subscriptions. The vision of our university calls on each of us to advance the ideals of exploration, critical thinking, connection, and creativity. Collectively, we seek to provide a transformational educational experience for our students, grounded in innovative scholarship, research, and creative activity; as well as justice and equity in our policies, practices, and impacts. 

Photo of a stack of magazines with their spines facing out. In this spirit, Western Libraries continues to move forward in new directions, favoring broad access to information over more traditional models of ownership, challenging the narrative that knowledge can be owned, and seeking ways to keep information open to the community where it can best serve the greater good. We are not alone in these efforts: libraries around the world are pushing for a more sustainable, open, and just approach to information, and the current moment represents an opportunity for all of us. 

In the short-term, university conversations about access to information will center necessarily around subscription reductions. Due to the combination of a flat library collections budget and inflation on subscriptions, the Western Libraries anticipates a subscriptions budget shortfall of more than $300K in FY 2020-21, and $80K in subsequent years. This immediate pressure requires that we reduce Western’s subscriptions in favor of a more agile, access-based approach. Read more about our process for tackling this challenge and reducing subscriptions on the Western Libraries Subscription Task Force webpage.  

In the long-term, the proliferation of journal titles, rising costs of library subscriptions, and for-profit journal landscape require a more forward-looking conversation about scholarly publishing. Western has the opportunity to be part of these important discussions; read more about Open Access and the future of scholarly communications on the Task Force webpage.

Throughout the next six months, the Task Force will strive to work transparently and consultatively, and will continue to communicate updates via the Task Force webpage, the Library News and Western Today, department chairs and faculty governance, leadership groups like the AS Board and the Graduate Student Advisory Council, all-faculty emails, and the Libraries’ subject teams

We appreciate your feedback and look forward to a robust conversation about the future of publishing, scholarly communication, and library subscriptions. Remember: Western is not alone in this struggle. Universities across the country and around the world are grappling with unsustainable subscription pricing and engaging in serious conversations about the future of scholarly publishing. We hope that Western will be part of those conversations, as well.

For more information on how the Libraries manages subscriptions, consult the Subscription Management Glossary and FAQ. For more information on Open Access and the scholarly publishing ecosystem, review the SPARC Open Access page, which includes a downloadable Open Access fact sheet.

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