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Scholarship Essay Workshop

A Hands-On Workshop: March 3rd

Scholarship applications, especially the essay portion, can be daunting. How do you write an essay that committees want to read? What if you need help just getting started?

 

Get answers to these questions and more by attending "The Scholarship Essay: A Hands-On Workshop" at 4 p.m. March 3 in Haggard Hall Room 222. Hosts for the event are the Research-Writing Studio and the Scholarship Center.

 

Come prepared to analyze the components of a scholarship application, draft or revise your scholarship essays, get hints to overcome “writer’s block” and develop effective proofreading strategies.

 

Please come with working materials, such as a laptop (you can check one out at the Student Technology Center located in Haggard Hall, 2nd floor), specific scholarships you want to apply to, and any writing/notes that you have been working on. Reserve your spot here.

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Brian Griffin @WWU 2/23

Adventures in Historical Research

 

Western Libraries will host local historian Brian Griffin at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at the Goltz-Murray Archives Building, 808 25th St. for a talk about exploring Bellingham’s history through archival research.  The event is free and open to the public.

 

During his talk, titled “Adventures in Historical Research,” Griffin will share his experiences and present a series of historic photographs, including several from the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, a unit of Western Washington University Libraries Heritage Resources.

 

“Brian Griffin has brought so much richness and depth to our understanding of local history through the work he has done utilizing archival materials,” said Director of Heritage Resources Elizabeth Joffrion. “We are so pleased to provide an opportunity for showcasing some of the wonderful stories he has discovered.”

 

Griffin has devoted much of his retirement to researching and writing books about the history of our community, including his most recent publication, “Fairhaven.”

 

This talk is being offered as part of the Heritage Resources Distinguished Speakers program, which are quarterly events featuring presenters who are authorities in their respective fields and who have used Heritage Resources collections significantly in their research.

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The Miracle of Life at La Jolla

David Sattler and the Western Libraries Reading Series

 

Western Libraries had the honor and pleasure of hosting award-winning photographer and WWU Professor of Psychology David Sattler on February 18, 2016 as part of the Western Libraries Reading Series.

 

The Reading Series is dedicated to showcasing the scholarly and creative work of Western faculty by featuring diverse speakers from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines who are engaged in research, writing, and teaching at Western.

 

Sattler's talk was one of the most engaging and memorable events we have hosted as part of this series, and he not only captivated us with his stunning photographs, he spoke eloquently about the complexity of trying to find the balance between protecting animal habitats and the natural environment with the needs and wants of humans.

 

During his presentation, Sattler took us on a journey to La Jolla Cove, a picturesque cove and beach surrounded by cliffs in San Diego, California, and showed us a unique area where human activity takes place in close proximity to a small stretch of coastline inhabited by a variety of wild animals who live, eat, nest, and raise their young. 

 

 Sattler’s breathtaking photographs celebrate the interconnectedness of all life and the beauty of the land on which we live. "We take care of what we love," is an implied thesis of this work.

 

If you missed this talk, you can learn more about the compelling story of La Jolla Cove through Sattler’s book, The Miracle of Life at La Jolla Cove, which can be found here at Western Libraries, and which includes a wonderful introduction written by Jane Goodall, the world renowned primatologist and conservationist best known for her landmark study on the behavior of wild chimpanzees in Gombe National Park in Tanzania.

 

A special thank you goes out from Western Libraries to David Sattler for creating and sharing his inspiring work with all of us. 

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David Sattler Event

Western Libraries Reading Series: David Sattler

 "The Miracle of Life at La Jolla Cove"

 

Western Washington University professor of psychology David Sattler will share stunning photographs from his book, The Miracle of Life at La Jolla Cove, and speak about his vision as a photographer and his passion for preserving lands for wildlife on Thursday, February 18th from 4:00pm – 5:30pm in Western Libraries Special Collections. The presentation is free and open to the public.

 

From Bellingham, Washington to San Diego, California, the Pacific Ocean coastline is revered for spectacular seascapes, miraculous tide pools, diverse wildlife, and breathtaking colors that fill the sky at the edge of day. With more than 145 magnificent color images, award-winning wildlife and nature photographer David N. Sattler presents glorious images of marine creatures and landscapes along one portion of the coast: La Jolla Cove.

 

Sattler’s breathtaking photographs celebrate the interconnectedness of all life and the beauty of the land on which we live. Jane Goodall, the world renowned primatologist and conservationist best known for her landmark study on the behavior of wild chimpanzees in Gombe National Park in Tanzania, wrote the Foreword to The Miracle of Life at La Jolla Cove.

 

This event is being offered as part of the Western Libraries Reading Series, dedicated to showcasing the scholarly and creative work of Western Washington University faculty by featuring diverse speakers from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines who are engaged in research, writing, and teaching at Western.

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Wallie V. Funk & Community Journalism

When Local Becomes National

On Tuesday, February 2, 2016 in Special Collections we were honored to host the very special event "When local becomes national," during which panelists spoke about community journalism and the impact of the work of noted and prolific photographer, Wallie V. Funk. Wallie was also in attendance along with members of his family, and he made the event even more meaningful by sharing some of his memories enriching the conversation with his perspective.

 

Between 75 and 80 people were in attendance to listen to tales of Wallie's contributions and their place in the history of local and national photojournalism.

 

During his long career as a photographer, journalist and co-owner of the Anacortes American, the Whidbey News-Times, and the South Whidbey Record, Wallie V. Funk photographed a diverse and eclectic range of subjects, including several U.S. presidential visits to the state of Washington; the Beatles’ and Rolling Stones’ concerts in Seattle; the 1970 Penn Cove whale capture; local and regional accidents and disasters (both natural and man-made); and community events and military activities on Fidalgo and Whidbey islands.

 

 

Panelists spoke about the impact of Wallie's work on his community and its surrounding area, and talked about how he used his photography and storytelling talents to draw attention to important matters in order to benefit and improve the lives of those around him. Each panelist had personal ties to Wallie, having worked closely with him while developing an enduring friendship.

 

 

Panelists were Theresa Trebon, Swinomish Indian Tribal community and local historian; Paul Cocke, Director of Western’s Office of Communications and Marketing and former news editor of the Anacortes American; Elaine Walker, curator of collections at the Anacortes Museum and former news editor of the Anacortes American; and Scott Terrell, photojournalist for the Skagit Valley Herald and WWU journalism instructor.

 

 

The presentation was sponsored by Western Libraries Heritage Resources, the WWU Department of Journalism and Western’s Office of Communications and Marketing.

 

A photographic exhibit featuring Funk's images is available for viewing weekdays in Special Colelctions between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., (excluding weekends and holidays).  The photographs on display in the exhibit represent a small sample from a far larger collection of papers, prints, and negatives donated by Walle V. Funk to the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies in 2003. If you are interested in learning more about this collection, please contact Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu.

 

 

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Usability Study Participants Wanted

Western Libraries Usability Activity

Western Libraries Usability & Design Working Group is currently evaluating how the Library website organizes information about services and materials – and we would love your input! We are seeking participants for a brief usability exercise; the purpose of this exercise is to identify new ways to organize information and services on our website. Undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff are invited to participate. This activity shouldn’t take longer than 10-15 minutes.
 
Description & Purpose: Through an electronic sorting exercise, participant responses will help Western Libraries identify new ways to organize information and services on our website.
 
Duration: The activity shouldn't take longer than 10 to 15 minutes to complete.
 
Intended Audience: Undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and staff from outside of the Libraries are invited to participate.
 
Questions about the usability study? Please contact us via our website, or call Rebecca Marrall, Discovery Services Librarian (360-650-4493).
 
Ready to get started? You can participate in the study now.
 
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Equity, Inclusivity, & Dialogue

Using Dialogue to Achieve Equity & Inclusivity at Western

What is the difference between “dialogue,” and “discussion,” and does this distinction matter? Carmen Werder, Director of the Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) at Western Libraries, explained that understanding these different modes of communication is a fundamental part of the TLA.

 

“Dialogue is collaborative and requires participants to be aware of their assumptions and to arrive at a deeper understanding, which means the emphasis is on opening up the conversation to as many views as possible. People engaged in dialogue try to find a shared connection, and to do this they need to really listen and try to understand,” said Werder.

 

“Dialogue consists of asking questions and sharing insight; it’s an exploratory process,” said Learning Commons Coordinator Shevell Thibou, who has been helping facilitate the TLA since 2012. “Because dialogue isn’t about being ‘right,’ and because it requires us to suspend judgment and really explore our own assumptions, it can be challenging,” Thibou added.

 

Throughout fall quarter, faculty, staff, community members, and more than 70 students in the TLA participated in a series of dialogues to collectively to identify and formulate this year’s “BIG” question, which is: “How do we move beyond conversation to achieve self-sustaining equity and inclusivity at Western?”

 

Since its inception nearly sixteen years ago, participants in the TLA have been meeting regularly to engage in dialogue around a variety of topics related to improving teaching and learning at Western, and this year’s dialogue sessions are significant for a number of reasons, including the alignment of the 2015-2016 “BIG” question with important conversations occurring throughout Western. Werder noted that since she is retiring this year, this question also has special significance to her personally.

 

 “I’ve seen some version of this question come up as long as I have been at Western, but I really feel like we are at an important place with this particular question, this year, right now,” said Werder, noting the emergence of this question early in fall quarter.

 

“The issues of equity and inclusion came up before the unfortunate and disturbing incident that happened just before Thanksgiving,” explained Werder, “and I think we can really we can use this as a chance to think about how important it is to talk about these things. And we can also use TLA as a mechanism for connecting people with other broader conversations happening across the University on this topic.”

 

During the first week of winter quarter’s TLA sessions, participants introduced themselves, and spoke about the benefits of engaging in the dialogue groups.  They shared what interested them about this year’s “BIG” question, and spoke about what they hoped their work would bring. Jordan Blevins, a TLA student facilitator, talked about how TLA’s “flattened hierarchy” makes it easier for participants to share unique perspectives.

 

“We all want to participate. We all want to have our voices heard,” said Blevins, “TLA is our opportunity to do that. This is a great time and an open space, where everyone is welcome.”

Hoping to arrive at some sort of shared definition which would aid them in the exploration of the “BIG” question, participants broke groups to try and define the terms “equity” and “inclusivity” before returning to the larger group to share their results.

 

Many common themes and questions emerged, such as: “What is fairness?” and “What is difference?” Equity, equality, and privilege were each considered and explored. Some participants noted out how every person brings a different perspective to conceptualizing each of these words, and while “diversity” is not explicitly stated in the “BIG” question, it is implicit in each of these considerations.

 

Werder pointed out that when engaging in dialogue and discussion, often it is through asking questions rather than thinking we have the answers that we are able to arrive closer to understanding the complexities of these words. 

 

“What is inclusivity? Is it a ‘welcoming’? Is it an attitude? Is it a set of practices? Is it recognizing and appreciating differences? And what does ‘recognizing differences’ mean?” asked Werder.

 

Your Chance to Participate!

While the TLA dialogue sessions for this quarter began Jan. 13 and 14th, it’s still not too late for you to get involved. As part of their work this quarter, the TLA will host two focus groups on February 17th from 12-1pm and 2-3 pm in the Learning Commons to explore the questions that must be answered in order to achieve self-sustaining equity and inclusivity here at Western. You can also still join a regular TLA session for this quarter.  The TLA meets every other week for a total of five meetings for the quarter, and there are four group options:

 

·        Wednesdays from noon to 1:20 p.m. (Jan 13, 27; Feb 10, 24; Mar 9)

·        Wednesdays from 2 to 3:20 p.m. (Jan 13, 27; Feb 10, 24; Mar 9)

·        Thursdays from noon to 1:20 p.m. (Jan 14, 28; Feb 11, 25; Mar 10)

·        Thursdays from 2 to 3:20 p.m. (Jan 14, 28; Feb 11, 25; Mar 10)

 

While the sessions run for approximately 80 minutes, attendees are welcome to stop by based on their availability. All dialogue groups meet in the Learning Commons in Wilson 2 West. Students can also participate for Communication practicum credit. If you are interested in learning more about the TLA, or to sign up for a dialogue session, email TLA@wwu.edu.

 

The Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) at Western Libraries is a Learning Commons partner and the central forum for the scholarship of teaching and learning at Western Washington University.  Engaged in studying the intersections between teaching and learning, TLA members include faculty, students, administrators, and staff from across the University, as well as several alumni and community members. Grounded in the scholarship of teaching and learning, the TLA's central mission is to create a community of scholars who work together to better understand the existing learning culture, to share that understanding with others, and to enhance the learning environment for everyone.

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Charlene Strong: Impacting Change for Community

WWU's Equity & Inclusion Forum Hosts Charlene Strong

On Tuesday, January 26th from 2 to 4 p.m., Western's Campus Equity and Inclusion Forum and Western Reads will host social justice and civil rights advocate Charlene Strong in the Wilson Library Reading Room. Strong is the subject of the award-winning documentary "For My Wife..." which tells the story of how losing her wife in 2006 made her an advocate for equality. Strong will share her inspiring story and speak about "Impacting Change for Community." We hope you can join us for this important event!

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Conversation in Common

Should a college education cause intellectual discomfort?

Are college students too touchy--too fragile? What happens when the need for truth runs smack dab into the need for comfort? Professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University explores these questions in a provocative piece published in The Chronicle of Higher Education entitled: "Are we living through a plague of hypersensitivity?" Join us today, January 21st in Wilson Library 270 from noon to 1pm to engage in a dialogue around the topic of hypersensitivity.

"Conversation in Common" is a Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) initiative to promote dialogue around a timely campus topic. The TLA is a program of Western Libraries and a Learning Commons partner.  

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Studio Growth & Success

Increased Use & Future Growth of the Research-Writing Studio

The Research-Writing Studio at Western Libraries experienced record-breaking usage throughout fall quarter 2015, recording at least 7,500 visits, over 10 times higher than the number of visits received by the Writing Center at its former site. These numbers are all the more impressive given early concerns that students would not be able to find the new Research-Writing Studio after the Writing Center and Research Consultation merged services and re-located to Haggard Hall last spring.

 

“After nearly 30 years with the Writing Center, I thought I would get misty-eyed about leaving my Writing Center identity behind. But no such thing. At no time in my history here have I seen students this engaged, forming community, taking charge of the space and their learning,” explained Roberta Kjesrud, the studio’s director of writing.

 

Fully staffed by a mix of both professional and student staff members who offer expertise to support the student research and writing experience, there are typically between one and four research and writing Studio Assistants available at any given time during the hours the Studio is open.  Involving student studio staff in the teaching and learning process also has its own benefits.

 

“One of the great things about having student staff as Studio Assistants is the unique perspective they bring.  They know what it’s like to take the courses and complete the types of assignments that we often see represented in the Studio, and they’ve struggled with the same academic and personal challenges that students using the Studio face,” explained Kelly Helms, the Studio’s assistant director of writing. “They also know what strategies and feedback are most helpful to students, and this peer-based teaching and learning environment builds a community of scholars that would not possible without our dedicated student staff.”

 

Centrally located on the second floor of Haggard Hall in a very bright and open space, the inviting atmosphere of the Studio offers students a dedicated place for writing and for obtaining research and writing assistance. Students are encouraged to collaborate with each other, with Studio staff, or to work on their own.  The studio is designed to support students at all levels and across all disciplines.

 

“The research and writing process is almost always intertwined,”  said Gabe Gossett, Head of Research Consultation and part of the studio leadership team. "Where at one moment a researcher is trying to make sense of the ideas they are trying to explore in writing, at another moment a writer is looking for sources that speak to the topic they want to write about. [The studio approach] offers as-needed support to build towards learning outcomes that will ultimately leave students better able to take charge of their own inquiry process, with on-hand support to make it possible.”  

 

The Studio’s immediate and extraordinary reception by students, faculty, and university administrators, makes abundantly clear the importance and value of this project, and Western Libraries is pleased to share the exciting news that the final phase of the Research-Writing Studio project has been fully funded thanks to the tremendous generosity of donors Cindy, Don, and Adam Hacherl.

 

Cindy Hacherl is an alumna of Western and a graduate of the English Department with long-standing connections to Western. Together, the Hacherls are passionately committed to making the vision of the Research-Writing Studio a reality, and they recognize the benefit of this project for both current and future students.  

 

Not only did the Hacherls make possible the creation of a collaborative workshop space in Haggard Hall 222 and the Studio’s current transformation, but their ongoing generosity mean that the full vision of the Studio project can be completed.  This last phase will expand the Studio toward the building’s entryway, increasing both its visibility and capacity. New furniture, access to electricity and technology, glass and acoustical accents, and clear signage will also contribute to the completion of this expanded area.

 

Additionally, just as the Libraries face unprecedented demand for collaborative and individual work spaces, so too have they received increased requests for class workshops. Students using the Studio on their own regularly request that their professor schedule a formal workshop, and professors who do, routinely encourage new students to connect with the Studio staff for follow-up work. Since individual work and workshops are mutually reinforcing, there is a clear need for a second workshop and group instruction space. Plans call for creating an inviting, glass-enclosed teaching space with moveable tables and chairs and an instructor’s station with A/V equipment. Having this additional space will better equip the Studio staff to help meet the needs of students engaging in research and writing work.

 

University faculty have repeatedly identified the development of student research and writing skills as an important role of the Libraries. Integrating the practices of research and writing is one way Western Libraries and the Learning Commons are working together to address this identified need, and it is through the generosity of the Hacherl family that the Research-Writing Studio will continue to grow in strength and ability to positively impact students engaged in research and writing here at Western.

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