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Hop-Picking Cultures & the Perils of Diversity in the PNW

Ryan Dearinger to Speak About the Shifting Cultural Bridges in the Pacific Northwest through an Examination of the Regional Hop Industry

Eastern Oregon University Professor of History Ryan Dearinger will give a talk entitled “Dirty Work: Hop-Picking Cultures and the Perils of Diversity in the Pacific Northwest” at Western Washington University from 4:00-5:00pm on Wednesday, Oct. 25 in Western Libraries Special Collections (Wilson Library 6th floor). The event is free and open to the public.

Dearinger’s research incorporates a regional lens to examine conflicts over race, class, labor, immigration, and national belonging. In his talk, he will explore the shifting cultural bridges and walls of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century U.S. West through a close examination of the hop industry in the Pacific Northwest.

The early Pacific Northwest hop industry featured a seasonal, low-wage labor force that was notable for its diversity. Americans, American Indians, European and Asian immigrants, children, entire families, tourists, convicts, and even prisoners of war toiled as hop-pickers throughout the region. In turn, settled and itinerant populations from the Puget Sound to the Willamette Valley (and beyond) carved out spaces, constructed cultural traditions and identities, and created sites of inclusion despite the persistent segregation of fields, tasks, and opportunities. Over time, the cyclical boom-and-bust nature of the hop industry, shifting ideas about the value of hop-picking, and popular narratives of white American labor, citizenship, and progress merged with ongoing anti-immigrant campaigns to physically and metaphorically transform the Northwest’s hop fields.

Through his analysis of labor protests, riots, and violence, along with community reactions to each, Dearinger’s research unpacks the ways in which diversity morphed from an opportunity into a threat in Northwest, underscoring the challenges faced by native and immigrant laborers in the changing Pacific Northwest.  Dearinger explores the painstaking labor required to destroy some cultural bridges, and build, justify, and reinforce new cultural walls.

Dearinger’s book, The Filth of Progress: Immigrants, Americans, and the Building of Canals and Railroads in the West, was published in 2016 by the University of California Press and received the 2017 Best First Book Award from Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society. Dearinger joined Eastern Oregon University’s history department in 2009. His research and teaching interests include the American West and the Pacific Northwest; immigration; race and ethnicity; labor and working-class history; environmental history; and violence in American history. 

This talk is offered as part of the Heritage Resources Distinguished Speakers program. 

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TLA Begins Oct. 4 & 5

Teaching-Learning Academy dialogues begin Oct. 4 & 5

The Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA), the university-wide dialogue forum to study and enhance the learning environment at Western Washington University, begins Wednesday and Thursday October 4th and 5th.

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. Engaged in studying the intersections between teaching and learning, TLA members include faculty, students, administrators, and staff from throughout the university, as well as several alumni and community members.

The TLA is now in its seventeenth year, and participants continue to report that participating in the TLA dialogue groups is a great way to connect with others and to learn more about Western’s teaching and learning culture. Others express satisfaction in being able to advance real action steps in making Western an even better place to teach and learn.

Fall quarter is when TLA designs its “BIG” question to study for the rest of the year, so it’s a good time to get involved. This year the TLA is also offering the option of participating in dialogue groups online. The TLA welcomes everyone and offers four dialogue group options to accommodate busy schedules: Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 1:20 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. Dialogue groups meet every other week in the Learning Commons (Wilson Library 2 West) for a total of five sessions during the quarter. The online sessions will be held on October 18th  and November 15th from 9:00 to 9:50am.

While the in-person sessions are 80 minutes long, attendees are welcome to come for whatever time they have available. Many faculty and staff who cannot stay the entire time will participate for the first 50 minutes as there is a logical break then.

For more information, see http://library.wwu.edu/tla.  To sign up for a regular dialogue group and get on the listserv, email TLA@wwu.edu. (Students: there is also an opportunity to participate in the TLA for LIBR practicum credit. For more information, contact Shevell.Thibou@wwu.edu.)

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Grad Students Visit CPNWS

Graduate Students Utilize Archival & Primary Source Materials

A new cohort of Environmental Education graduate students visited Western’s campus earlier this month and spent time working with archival and primary source collections at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS), a unit of Western Libraries’ broader division of Heritage Resources. CPNWS staff pulled together a selection of materials representing various perspectives of place – including environmental, economic, recreational, and indigenous views – for students to explore and analyze.

In the Archives Building Research Room, students divided into groups and reviewed the maps, photographs, pamphlets, letters, and other materials, considering issues related to the construction of cultural and regional identity, the evolution of policy, perceptions of concepts such as “conservation” and “wilderness,” and the significance of place names in determining cultural values.

The class concluded with a discussion about how students and educators can use primary source materials to explore the relationship between how meaning is constructed, how cultural values are expressed, the impact this can have on policy and information creation, and how this in turn affects our own assumptions about both people and place.

If you would like to learn more about the materials in Heritage Resources and at the CPNWS, arrange a class visit, or find out about how Western Libraries can support your teaching and learning needs, please contact us at Library.Communications@wwu.edu

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Expanded Online Access Now Available

Expanded Access to Digital Content Now Available Online

Western Washington University now has perpetual, full-text, electronic access to Early English Books Online, the U.S. Serials Set 1 Digital Collections, and an assortment of newspapers, all of which were previously only available via microforms at Western Libraries.

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 will increase 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 new content, search for your title in OneSearch or visit: http://libguides.wwu.edu/az.php?a=all. (Remember to “Sign in for Full Access.”)

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Naomi Shihab Nye to Speak @WWU

Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System chosen as sites for 2018 Arbuthnot Lecture

Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System will serve as hosts for the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring acclaimed poet and author Naomi Shihab Nye. The lecture will be held in the spring of 2018.

The daughter of a Palestinian father and an American mother, Nye grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Texas.  Her experience of different cultures has influenced much of her work, and she is often described as having a talent for writing about everyday life while also addressing cultural issues. She has written and edited more than 30 books for adults and children, and her latest for young people, “The Turtle of Oman,” was chosen as a 2015 Notable Children's Book by the American Library Association (ALA). Amongst her many honors, she has also received four Pushcart Prizes, was a National Book Award finalist, and has been named a Guggenheim Fellow. 

Sylvia Tag, curator of the Children's Literature Interdisciplinary Collection at Western Libraries, noted “Naomi Shihab Nye spreads hope and light through her poetry and prose. Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System are honored to host the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, and invite her particular brilliance to illuminate our diverse and word-hungry communities.”

The May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture celebrates May Hill Arbuthnot, who served as a strong voice for children’s literature. Each year a lecturer is chosen who will prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature. This paper is delivered as a lecture each spring, and is subsequently published through Children & Libraries, the journal of Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). 

ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. Members of the 2018 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee are: Chair Elizabeth Ramsey Bird, Evanston Public Library (Ill.); Timothy D. Capehart, Beavercreek (Ohio) Community Library; Monica Edinger, The Dalton School, New York; Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library, Washington, D.C.; and Sharon McKellar, Oakland (Calif.) Public Library.

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Library Closed to the Public September 11th

Library Closed to the Public September 11th for Staff Development Day

Western Libraries will hold its annual Staff Development Day on Monday, September 11, 2017. In order to provide an opportunity for as many of our staff members as possible to participate, (including the Libraries’ student employees), Western Libraries will close to patrons on 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.

Last year’s Development Day theme was entitled “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” This year’s Development Day is  a continuation of this work and 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.

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.

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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When Women Didn't Count

Librarian Rob Lopresti Publishes New Book: 'When Women Didn't Count'

Western Washington University Librarian Rob Lopresti’s latest book, When Women Didn't Count: the Chronic Mismeasure and Marginalization of American Women in Federal Statistics, explores how 200 years of government statistical information has helped hide and distort women's history.

Lopresti’s book traces the development of data on population, employment, crime, health, and many other topics, beginning with the first Census in 1790 when only the male "head of the household" was listed by name.

In his book, Lopresti examines problems with data and illustrates the importance of using critical thinking when analyzing information, even when that information is from seemingly official sources, showing how often the statistics that have shaped perceptions of American women have been incorrect or based on false assumptions.

If you are interested in learning more about this book, Lopresti will be featured at a free reading and book-signing event at Village Books here in Bellingham at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2017.  You can also borrow this book from Western Libraries' collection and it is available for 7-day checkout.

Robert Lopresti has been a government information librarian at Western for 30 years. His articles have appeared in Library & Information HistoryJournal of Government Information, and Scientometrics. He is also the author of the novels Greenfellas and Such A Killing Crime, and his award-winning short stories have appeared in The Best Mystery Stories of the Year and The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror.

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Origins of the Culture War

Origins of the Culture War: Social Issues in State Party Platforms, 1960-2016

The recipient of the 2017 James W. Scott Research Fellowship, Matthew Carr, will give a talk entitled “Origins of the Culture War: Social Issues in State Party Platforms, 1960-2016,” at noon on Thursday, July 27 in Western Libraries Special Collections (Wilson Library 6th floor). The presentation is free and open to the public.

During the late-20th century, social issues that previously had played little role in party division came to separate one party from the other. Republican and Democratic elites staked out opposing positions on a range of issues – including abortion, gay rights, the role of religion in the public sphere, and gun control – and party electorates today are sharply polarized over these issues. In his talk, Carr will explore Democratic and Republican political party platforms from 1960 to the present day, especially the emergence of abortion and gay rights as partisan issues.

Matthew Carr is a doctoral candidate in the political science PhD program at Columbia University. His areas of interest include American Political Institutions, Political Parties, and Policy Development. As part of the Fellowship program, Carr will participate in a week-long residency at Western, during which he will examine archival collections at CPNWS including the papers of former Washington-State Congressmen Al Swift, Jack Metcalf, and Frank Atwood; records of the American Civil Liberties Union – Whatcom County Chapter; and local and regional Democratic and Republican Party records.

The James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowship is offered annually to scholars who conduct significant research using archival holdings at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (a unit of Western Libraries Heritage Resources). Funds are awarded in honor of the late Dr. James W. Scott, a noted scholar of the Pacific Northwest region, and a founder and first director of CPNWS.

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Paper & Scissors Rock!

New Art Exhibit by Leslie Hall

A new art exhibit entitled “Paper and Scissors Rock!” by Leslie Hall is now on display in Western Libraries Gallery 1, located at the end of the Mann Family Skybridge. This exhibit will remain on display through September 15, 2017 and is available for viewing during the hours the library is open.  

Hall’s art has previously exhibited in other venues, including the Murray-Goltz Archives Building lobby and reading room, the annual WWU Employees Arts and Crafts Show, and Western’s Small Business Development Center conference room.

Hall has been interested in art since she was a child, and throughout her life she has worked with a variety of mediums, including batik, silkscreen, and fiber.

“What I like to do is play with color, shape and texture using various kinds of papers, pens, gouache, scissors and glue,” Hall explains in her artist’s statement. “I might start out with a small idea from something I have seen or read that in some way hooks me. Other times I doodle or mess around with paper scraps and see what happens. I try to show what positive energy might look like, be it of the natural or spiritual world, and to create a sense of the place it inhabits.”

In addition to being an artist, Hall is also a full-time staff member of Western Libraries. In 2006, she committed to spending as much of her free time as possible to creating art, mainly working with paper, and this current exhibit shows some of that work. At the end of July and after a 31–year career at Western Libraries, Hall will retire and will have even more time to devote to her art.

Hall first began working in the library in 1982 as a temporary cataloger, and then returned as a full-time employee in 1986.  She has since worked in the Music Library, and at Western Libraries in interlibrary loan and also in cataloging. Hall was also a founding member of the library’s Art Exhibits Committee, which formed in 2009 and began exhibiting in 2011. Currently, the library has four art galleries, which showcases the art of faculty, staff, students and community members. In addition to her many contributions during her time at Western Libraries, Hall is also leaving Western a legacy she helped create of ensuring that there will always be a place for art in the library.

 For more information about art exhibits at Western Libraries, please see: https://library.wwu.edu/exhibits_art. For questions or comments about Hall’s art, you can contact her via email at: ha5ll@hotmail.com. 

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Bellingham Pride 2017

Western Libraries & Bellingham Pride

Western Libraries’ staff, friends, and family came together in celebration of “Bellingham Pride” on Sunday, July 9, 2017. Since 2013, participating in  Pride has grown into an annual tradition that many library employees look forward to and enjoy. For the past couple of years, Western Libraries has also walked in the parade and shared a festival table with members of the Bellingham Public Library and the Whatcom County Library System.

"I really do look forward to this every year," said staff member Amy Sedovic. "It is such a family-friendly event and a wonderful way to connect with the wider Bellingham community as a whole.  And the cheers of, 'we love our libraries!' from friends and neighbors along the parade route is very hopeful and heartwarming." Sedovic explained how libraries are seen as “open, welcoming, and affirming places,” and that she feels honored to be a part of that tradition.

As explained by the American Library Association, libraries can serve LGBTQ people by ensuring that they are represented in library collections. Additionally, as a population frequently subjected to discrimination and harassment, LGBTQ people can benefit from access to information and the sense of community libraries provide.  

"I was really excited that the libraries were going to table at Pride," said Emma Winningham, who began working at Western Libraries a little under a year ago. "I knew I had to sign up to be there! It was a great opportunity to connect with our broader community and show that we can work together to support each other.”

Librarian Rebecca Marrall explained that she looks forward to the festival every year because of the chance to connect with the community and raise awareness about the Libraries’ historical and archival collections that feature regional LGBTQ narratives. A poster  featuring some of these collections was on display and served as a popular conversation piece at the festival.

“The Heritage Resources poster was a big hit,” said librarian Sylvia Tag. “Lots of folks commented on the amazing history within our region and community around LGBTQ organizations, artists, and activists as displayed on the poster.”

Western Libraries anticipates increased WWU participation  in the Bellingham Pride events as enthusiasm for such an important and significant celebration grows, and they invite anyone interested to join them next year!  

For more information about the LGBTQ Archival and primary source materials at Western Libraries, contact Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu.

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