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Western Libraries Closed to the Public and Accessible Online

Posted on: March 11, 2020

Topic(s): Updates

Western Libraries Closed to the Public & Accessible Online

Western Libraries has been working diligently to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in accordance with the university and public health mandates, guidelines, and practices. We have prioritized the health and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and community members, while trying to sustain regular operations as much as possible.  

In light of the most recent recommendations from the CDC to limit the size of all social and public gatherings, along with the Governor’s March 23 “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order for the State of Washington, Western Libraries will be closed to the public until further notice. This closure includes the computer labs in Haggard Hall (HH) 101, 112, 233, and the study spaces in HH 250 and 350.

We recognize the importance of library collections to Western’s teaching, learning, and research missions. However, at least for the duration of the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, it will not be possible to loan items from the Western Libraries’ circulating collection. Likewise, the Orbis Cascade Alliance has suspended Summit borrowing until further notice.  

Once it is again safe to do so, circulation of physical materials will resume, and Libraries will communicate new information as soon as it becomes available. Please also know that the due date for all materials checked out to patrons will be extended to June 15 (except for items already due after that date).  Recalls will not be possible during this period.

While the Libraries’ physical buildings and collections are not accessible at this time, the Libraries is committed to providing as much online access to collections, services, and support as possible. Please see the web pages: Library Services and Access to Materials FAQs and the Teaching and Learning FAQs for more information. 

Additionally, If you would like to request a title in electronic format, please submit a purchase request via ILLiad and specify e-book as the format. We are happy to purchase electronic copies of books if they are available, meet other standard purchase criteria, and are financially feasible. If you have a specific question, please contact

We understand how difficult and disruptive the COVID-19 pandemic and global response have been in people’s personal and professional lives, and we recognize that this situation is constantly evolving.  We will continue to post updates as plans change and details are confirmed, and as Western continues to share its evolving university-wide plans, the Libraries will also evaluate and identify evolving needs and adjust operations accordingly. 

We are actively working to identify actions we can take to prepare for a variety of needs, while prioritizing the health and well-being of library users and staff. We appreciate your understanding as conditions rapidly change and Western Libraries reevaluates its ability to deliver established programs and services. We are not always able to provide as much advance notice as we would like, as we also struggle to adapt to the challenges of operating in this unpredictable and uncertain environment. 

Western Libraries appreciates all library users and all library personnel, and we value and rely on each other as a community. We want to stay connected to each other during these difficult times, and we encourage you to reach out to us and share any questions, concerns, and comments you may have, (or even if you just want to say hello!).  Please remember we are still here with you, even if we are not all in the same building. You can always email us at, or check out our full staff directory for more customized contact information. And above all, please take care of yourselves and each other.

Additional information about Western's planning and response can be found on the coronavirus information website,  which features Frequently Asked Questions; has links to campus, regional and national resources; an archive of campus messaging and media stories about coronavirus; a new toll-free campus coronavirus information line, and more. The site is a living document, and will get frequent updates as the coronavirus situation evolves.

--This page was last updated 3/25/2020

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Canines & Cats on Campus - CANCELED

Posted on: March 5, 2020

Topic(s): Updates, Events

UPDATE: 'Canines & Cats on Campus' Visit Canceled

students visiting with a dog from the 'Canines & Cats on Campus' programUPDATE: The Canines & Cats program regrets they must cancel this event and will not be visiting Western Libraries this quarter. They apologize for the inconvenience and added they hope to see everyone in June, and they wish students well on their finals.

Western Libraries will once again be joined by members of the “Canines & Cats on Campus” registered therapy animal program from Monday, March 9 through Thursday, March 19, 2020. 

Teams of humans and animals will be located in the gallery space at the end of the Mann Family Skybridge on the Wilson side of the library off and on between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. during both the week preceding and the week of final exams. 

During this two-week period, this space will be reserved exclusively for the registered Canines & Cats on Campus therapy animal program, and animals who are not official volunteers with this program are not permitted in this area. Additionally, Western Libraries would like to remind everyone that while ADA service animals are welcome in the library, pets may not be brought into library facilities at any time.

For more information about the upcoming Canines & Cats on Campus visit, a schedule which includes the names of the volunteers, photos of the animals, and the times when they will be available for visiting, will be posted on an easel in the designated gallery area beginning Monday, March 9.

Remember to stop by the library to say hi or de-stress when you are in need of a break from studying for finals, working on projects, or writing those last few papers!  


Read more: Canines & Cats on Campus - CANCELED

I Am Black History, Herstory, Hxstory Photo Gallery

Posted on: February 6, 2020

Topic(s): Updates, Events, Exhibits

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, Victoria Matey at, or Eric Alexander at

Read more: I Am Black History, Herstory, Hxstory Photo Gallery

Special Collections Manager Tamara Belts to Retire

Posted on: February 3, 2020

Topic(s): Updates

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

Posted on: January 30, 2020

Topic(s): Updates

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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