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Student Celebration 2016

Posted on: Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 11:01am

Topic(s): Updates, Events, Feature Stories

Western Libraries Celebrates its Student Employees

On Friday May 13, 2016, students, staff, and faculty from Western Libraries  gathered in the Reading Room for the Libraries' annual celebration held in recognition of our wonderful student employees who help make the library all that it is each and every day. We were also honored to be joined by members of the Hearsey family, who helped us celebrate and recognize the fifteen recipients of the Herb and Beth Hearsey Scholarship.

The Herb and Beth Hearsey Scholarship is awarded annually to current full-time students who are employees of Western Libraries and who demonstrate merit on the basis of their scholarship applications and letters of reference. Herb Hearsey was a reference librarian at Western in 1941, and while working at Wilson Library he was charged with developing an effective program of library instruction for students. In 1995, Herb Hearsey, together with his wife Beth Hearsey, established an endowment to ensure that future generations of library student assistants are recognized for their important work.

Student staff have always been an essential part of Western Libraries. When Wilson Library’s namesake and Western’s first librarian Mabel Zoe Wilson first began working at Western, she was the only full time library employee for 10 years, and all additional library staffing needs were met by student employees. Today, Western Libraries has over 60 full time staff members, but during this past academic year, we also employed 112 students.

The Libraries’ student staff work in every area of the library and are engaged in a number of indispensable duties, such as scanning materials for interlibrary loan, special collections, and electronic reserves, as well as helping us manage our service desks. Library student employees  shelve, retrieve, and deliver books and other materials, and they create and contribute to the design of our outreach and promotional materials. They help facilitate the Teaching-Learning Academy dialogue sessions, and they work as peer advisors in the Research-Writing Studio. Individually and collectively, student employees enrich the library’s teaching and learning environment with their valuable insights, experiences, and perspectives.

Every year, Western Libraries chooses one student employee from among the graduating seniors who has distinguished themselves from their peers by demonstrating unusual imagination, interest, and capability in providing outstanding service. This year’s Mabel Zoe Excellence in Student Service Award was presented to Simon Bakke in recognition of the number of ways he has provided outstanding service tot he Libraries, both as a Learning Commons Liaison and as the Libraries' Graphic Artist. 

Graduating seniors were also recognized for their dedication and hard work while student supervisors spoke about their seniors’ unique contributions to the Libraries as well as the students’ aspirations and hopes for their lives following graduation.In addition to the speeches and award presentations, the celebration includes dinner, cake, quite a bit of laughter, lots of hugs (and maybe even a few tears), before concluding with the much-loved tradition of the gift basket give-away. Always a special night for us at Western Libraries, we wanted to share with you some images from that memorable evening, and take this opportunity to thank all of our students once again for all they do and all they are.

Miriam Snow Mathes, a professor of library science at Western, established an endowment  in 1998 to fund both the Western Libraries annual student recognition event and also the Mabel Zoe Wilson Excellence in Student Service Award. The first Western Libraries Student Celebration was held in 1999, and  they have been held annually every spring since then. 

Chair Collection Special Exhibition

Posted on: Monday, May 23, 2016 - 11:03am

Topic(s): Updates, Exhibits

Western Libraries & the Western Gallery Partnership 

Western Libraries has partnered with the Western Gallery to exhibit pieces from the Gallery’s substantial 65 piece collection of original chairs, benches, and tables all by prominent designers from the mid-19th century to 1980s.

Photo caption: Dean of Libraries Mark Greenberg, Western Gallery Director Hafthor Yngvason, and Western Libraries Art Committee: Michelle Becker, Leslie Hall, and Amy Stefany, (May 2016)


The chairs on display at Western Libraries are examples of mid-century design and include works by Hans Wegner, Isamu Noguchi, Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, and Arnie Jacobsen. 

The installation is located on the third floor of Haggard and is strikingly displayed along the windows circling the rotunda. Stop by the library to find out more and take a look at some pieces from this remarkable collection.

James W. Scott Fellowships - Applications for 2017

Posted on: Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - 11:29am

Topic(s): Updates

James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowships - Now Accepting Applications for 2017

About the Awards

The James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowships promote awareness and innovative use of archival collections at Western Washington University, and seek to forward scholarly understandings of the Pacific Northwest. Fellowship funds are awarded in honor of the late Dr. James W. Scott, a founder and first Director of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, and a noted scholar of the Pacific Northwest region. Up to $1000 funding is offered in 2017 to support significant research using archival holdings at WWU’s Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS), a unit of Western Libraries Heritage Resources.

Fellowship Requirements

  • Applications are accepted from individuals in doctoral programs as well as individuals who have finished the Ph.D.
  • Successful applicants will be expected to spend approximately one week examining CPNWS holdings in support of their research, and to be in residence prior to October 31, 2017. Additional information and detailed guides to collections may be accessed on the CPNWS website.
  • Fellows will be asked to give a presentation about some aspect of their research during the course of their scheduled visit. The audience will vary depending on the time of the year, but may include members of the general public as well as students, faculty and staff from WWU.


  • Applications will be reviewed after October 31, 2016, with announcements of awards expected in November 2016. The number and size of awards granted annually is determined by the application review committee.
  • Applications may be submitted via mail or electronically and should include:
    • Cover letter
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Research plan outlining on-site use of CPNWS holdings and proposed presentation topic
    • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Please send applications via email to or by mail to Ruth Steele, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Libraries Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123. Please enter “Scott Research Fellowship Application” in the subject line of email applications.
  • Funds will be awarded after a Fellow(s) has conducted research at CPNWS and delivered their presentation.
  • Fellowship awards may be subject to taxation in accordance with the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Applicants are advised that they may need a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (i.e. SSN or ITIN) to receive funds.       

Rick and Barbara Osen Endowment

Posted on: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 - 1:33pm

Topic(s): Updates, Feature Stories

Osens Establish Endowment for the Advancement of Western Libraries

               Rick and Barbara Osen at the endowment signing celebration, April 5, 2016


Earlier this year, Rick and Barbara Osen expressed their wish to make a gift to Western Libraries that would have a lasting impact. On April 5, 2016, members of Western Libraries joined the Osens in recognition and celebration of the establishment of the “Rick and Barbara Osen Endowment for the Advancement of Libraries.”


The endowment’s purpose is especially significant for Rick Osen, who worked at Western Libraries for 35 years, holding managerial and administrative positions that involved virtually every area of the organization, including acting Dean of Libraries from 2012 through 2013.  Osen’s decades of dedication and leadership positively impacted the Libraries’evolution and helped shape its future.


“It is particularly meaningful that Rick and Barbara should wish to create an endowment to support the professional and organizational development of staff and faculty,” explained Dean of Libraries, Mark Greenberg. “During his long career in the Western Libraries, Rick saw firsthand how advancing people’s skills and understanding advances their careers and improves library services to the Western community.  I am grateful to Rick and Barbara for helping Western Libraries to invest in people.”


While at Western, Osen was a strong proponent of professional and organizational development, and he worked to ensure that Libraries personnel had opportunities to advance their knowledge and skills.  Since his retirement in early 2014, Osen has stayed in close touch with his colleagues and has remained a strong supporter of Western Libraries. 

Rick and Barbara Osen joined by their son-in-law Robert and daughter Justyna at the endowment signing celebration.
“Rick was always on top of ongoing developments in academic librarianship and provided countless opportunities for library staff to stay current so that we could make use of the best of these ideas,” said Jeff Purdue, Learning Commons and Media Librarian.  “Through this endowment, he has found an ideal way of continuing that focus and demonstrating that though he is retired, his commitment to Western Libraries and the role it plays in the intellectual life of the University continues unabated.”


 Proceeds from the Rick and Barbara Osen Endowment for the Advancement of Libraries may be used to pay expenses related to professional and organizational development for Western Libraries faculty and staff through workshops, seminars, and other similar programs.  At their request, preference will be given to professional and organizational development activities that occur at Western.


“With an emphasis on funding training or workshops on campus, it allows all staff to benefit from engaging ideas that enhance work performance and facilitate a shared vision for Western Libraries,” said Special Collections Manager Tamara Belts. She added that the expansion of opportunities for individual staff training and development also benefits the Libraries as a whole, because recipients are able to bring back and share what they learn with the organization.


Western Libraries Administration looks forward to working together collaboratively and in consultation with Libraries faculty and staff, to identify professional and organizational development opportunities that maximize participation and positive outcomes for individuals and for the Libraries as a whole. 

Heritage Resources Newsletter

Posted on: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 11:33am

Topic(s): Newsletters

The Spring 2016 edition of Heritage Highlights is now available! In this issue, we explore themes of social justice and activism on campus and in the community, including anti-racism campagins, peace advocacy, care for the environment, and more.

Heritage Resources is a division of Western Libraries which includes the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and University Archives & Records Management.

Image: Joining Hands Against Hate symbol and slogan, courtesy of Arbeit Graphics, available in the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force records at CPNWS.


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