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New Exhibit: "Hello Dear Enemy!"

Posted on: January 8, 2019

Topic(s): Updates, Events

New Exhibit:  “Hello, Dear Enemy! Picture Books for Peace and Humanity”

An exhibit of printed posters featuring images and text from picture books that provide an international perspective on conflict, peace, and humanity, will be on display in Galleries 2, 3, and 4 at Western Washington University Libraries from January 7 through March 22, 2019.
 
An opening celebration reception with refreshments will be held on Wednesday, January 23 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Wilson Library Reading Room. Both the exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public. The exhibit is available for viewing during all hours Western Libraries is open.
 

Conceived by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany, the exhibit offers an international selection of unique and striking picture books that explore themes such as: Experiences of War, Destruction, and Displacement; Power Struggles and the Origin and Escalation of Violence; Prejudice, Ostracism, and Imagined Enemies; Utopias of Peace and Anti-War Books. In addition to the powerful exhibit posters, classroom response work and projects will be on display.

Among the books featured are a few classics of children’s literature, but the majority of the titles were published in the last fifteen years. They tell stories about everyday life in conflict zones, about suppression, displacement, and persecution, about borders that turn people away, about threats and injuries. They reveal the sources of war and violence, such as xenophobia, prejudice, and the abuse of power.

At the same time, many of these picture books ultimately open the door to a better future in which dividing walls topple, enemies reconcile, and war gives way to peace. Many of these books communicate the message that openness, curiosity, and empathy are prerequisites for a more peaceful and humane coexistence between cultures and peoples.

This exhibit was made possible by Western Libraries, Woodring College of Education, Western’s Department of English, and The Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity. For more information about the exhibit, please see: http://libguides.wwu.edu/clic/hello-dear-enemy. If you have questions, or if you would like to arrange a class or large group visit, please contact:  Desiree.Cueto@wwu.edu (360) 650 – 2339 & Sylvia.Tag@wwu.edu (360) 650 – 7992.

* Image Citation/Credit Information: ​Mario Ramos, from: "Le petit soldat qui cherchait la guerre" L’École des Loisirs: Paris, 1998.


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New TLA Questions & Dialogue Sessions

Posted on: December 20, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Events

TLA Dialogue Questions for Winter 2019

How does safety influence our educational experiences? Is obtaining an education a political act? How does resistance to change and fear of the unknown influence academia and impact our own lives?  Join students, faculty, staff, and community members as they consider questions like these during this quarter’s Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) dialogue sessions.

The TLA meets from 12-12:50 p.m. every other Wednesday and Thursday beginning January 16 and 17.

No registration is required, and participants are free to drop in and join the groups even if they cannot stay for the entire session.

Two of the dialogue questions this quarter are offered in affiliation with the Western Reads program, and are designed to complement specific selections from the book, Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements.

Dates and questions are listed below:

  • Jan 16 & 17: How does safety influence our educational experiences?

  • Jan 30 & 31: How does resistance to change and fear of the unknown influence academia and impact your own life? (affiliated with the chapter “Small and Bright” from the 2018 Western Reads book, Octavia’s Brood).

  • Feb 13 & 14: Is obtaining an education a political act?

  • Feb 27 & 28: In what ways do we as an institution, community, and individuals both uphold and combat systems of racial inequality and "token"ization? (affiliated with the chapter “The Token Superhero,” from the  2018 Western Reads book, Octavia’s Brood)

  • Mar 13 & 14: What takes priority, a learner's creativity or the institution's expectations?

Participants in TLA consistently report that the 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 goals of each dialogue session are to share well-rounded views related to teaching and learning, while encouraging the use of listening to understand and appreciate differences, and promoting open-mindedness and mutual respect for diverse perspectives.  

For more information, see http://library.wwu.edu/tla.  To sign up for the TLA listserv, email TLA@wwu.edu. (Students: there is also an opportunity to participate in the TLA for LIBR 340 “Speaking and Listening” practicum credit. For more information, contact:  Shevell.Thibou@wwu.edu.)


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Join us for TUEx: User Experience Tuesdays

Posted on: October 8, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Events, Resources

TUEx Returns to Western Libraries

Have you ever had a frustrating time navigating a website? Maybe the site didn’t make sense and you couldn’t find what you needed? Western Libraries is trying to avoid those problems by improving our website users’ experiences through usability and design testing. And you can help us!

On Tuesdays between noon and 2:00 p.m., we are inviting volunteers to run through some short exercises designed to inform the Libraries on the learnability, effectiveness, and efficiency of various online resources. We need input from students, staff, and faculty, and if you can give us 5 to 10 minutes of your time, you can help us improve your (and everyone’s!) library experience. Think of it as fine-tuning. Our table will be near the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio on the second floor of Haggard Hall, next to the “TUEx User Experience Tuesdays” sign.  


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Western Libraries Responds

Posted on: April 11, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Events, Feature Stories

WWU holds event to replace vandalized books

This article is written by Mary Gallagher and is courtesy of the Office of Communications and Marketing at Western. It originally appeared in Western Today on April 10, 2018 and can be viewed here.

Members of the Western community who have responded to the destruction and vandalism of books in Western’s Jewish Studies Collection have replaced the books and grown the collection, illustrating the community’s resolve against acts of antisemitism and other forms of hate, bigotry and violence, said speakers at a Western Libraries event Tuesday morning.

“Whether campus is your home, or you live in Bellingham or beyond, we are all one community,” said President Sabah Randhawa. “We are united in opposition against these acts of antisemitic vandalism, and against all such acts of hatred and bigotry. This kind of cowardly action perfectly illustrates the nature of hate and bigotry, because it flourishes in darkness and withers when exposed to the light of reason and intellectual scrutiny.”

More than 250 students, faculty, staff and community members crowded into the Wilson Library Reading Room for the event, which was a response to acts of destruction and vandalism of books in Western’s Jewish Studies collection.

“The deliberate destruction of library books, along with hateful slurs written in them, constitutes a reprehensible, criminal act that will not be tolerated,” said Dean of Libraries Mark Greenberg. Tuesday's show of solidarity, along with replacing the books and adding to the collection, show that as a community, “we vigorously oppose acts of bigotry and hate against the Jewish community and against all minoritized and marginalized groups,” Greenberg said.

The destruction of the books was appalling and upsetting, Randhawa said, in part because “this particular activity occurred in our library, the heart of our institution – of any academic institution – and involved the destruction of the very objects of knowledge itself.”

As outlined in last year’s report from Western’s Taskforce on Preventing and Responding to Antisemitism, Randhawa said, all forms of racism, bias and hate are interconnected and must be fought on a united front.

“Democratic institutions and values are not automatically sustained,” he said. “One of the central mandates of education is to examine what it means to be a responsible citizen and to ensure that human values are appreciated, nurtured and protected. Silence and indifference to the suffering of others, or to the infringements of civil rights in any society, can perpetuate these problems.”

German Professor Sandra Alfers, director of the Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, said that as someone who grew up in post-war West Germany, the destruction of books “conjures up particularly disturbing ghosts from the past.”

“Thanks to the support of many, our shelves in Wilson Library do not remain empty, and so we have replaced books that were destroyed and added traditional and new formats in written, oral and visual form to enhance our collection,” Alfers said. “More than 120 items have been added thus far, some of them not held by any other library in the state.”

But more work needs to be done, Alfers said. Hate crimes and violence against minority groups are on the rise in the U.S. as islamophobia, antisemitism, anti-immigrant sentiment and Holocaust distortion and denial are becoming more common around the globe.

“Reports can be shelved and forgotten,” Alfers said. “So, commit yourself to being engaged, to actively thoughtfully, and respectfully be building bridges, not walls, and creating much-needed change. To seek knowledge and to apply it. Therein lies your – our – responsibility as we stand up in unity to antisemitism, hate and bigotry.”


Read more: Western Libraries Responds


Western Libraries Responds to Antisemitism, Book Vandalism

Posted on: April 3, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Events

New Additions to Library Collections & Invitation to April 10 Event

Since mid-March, the Western Washington University community has been grappling with the discovery of vandalized (and in some cases, destroyed) books within the Libraries’ Jewish Studies collection. While libraries are havens for expression and intellectual freedom, the targeted destruction of Jewish Studies materials because of their subject matter crosses the line from free speech into hateful conduct.  University Police are actively seeking to identify the individual(s) involved in these crimes and to deter further incidents.

In response to these antisemitic acts, the Libraries has replaced the damaged items and added new books to the collection. The University will hold an event at 10 a.m., Tuesday, April 10 to showcase the collection and to come together in a public display of solidarity and support for the rights of readers to access information. This public event will take place in the Wilson Library Reading Room and precedes Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, which begins at sunset on April 11.

Western Libraries is proud to restore the vandalized content and to continue efforts to acquire new resources supporting Jewish Studies. These efforts reflect the Libraries’ ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and its mission to ensure that historically marginalized voices are well represented within our collections.

To that end, and prior to these antisemitic incidents, the Libraries has been actively acquiring content related to Jewish and Holocaust Studies in order to support both The Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity,  and Jewish Studies coursework at Western. Recent acquisitions include print books, e-books, digital primary source archives, children’s books, and special collections materials. Also of particular note is a donation from what was formerly the Northwest Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Ethnocide Education, and is now The Ray Wolpow Institue. These materials are discoverable through the Libraries’ OneSearch interface. Users can also browse the virtual Holocaust and Genocide Studies collection, a selection of materials that has been curated over the last several years.

To support the Libraries’ efforts to build and maintain diverse and inclusive collections, please consider donating funds (specify “for Jewish Studies materials”—or another subject area, if desired—in the additional gift instructions) and/or suggesting a specific title for purchase.


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