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January 2022 Update: Western Libraries Hours

Posted on: January 11, 2022

Topic(s): Updates

Western Libraries Hours Update

Beginning January 11, 2022, Western Libraries building hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and closed weekends. These hours will be in place until Western resumes in-person classes. The Wilson north doors will remain open as long as staffing allows. If the north doors are closed, access to the library will remain via the Haggard entrance.

Programs and services provided by the Tutoring Center and Hacherl Research & Writing Studio are available online and in person by arrangement.  Western Libraries recognizes that many students benefit most from an in-person teaching and learning environment, and we invite students to contact the Tutoring Center or the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio to schedule in person appointments. 

Both the Tutoring Center and the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio will be open online during the hours listed below:

  • Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 pm
  • Friday - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturdays - closed
  • Sundays -5 p.m. to 9 p.m.


The library buildings in Wilson and Haggard will also be open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 17, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Tutoring Center and the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio will be open online from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and closed the preceding Sunday (January 16).  

Access to Special Collections (Wilson 6th floor) as well as the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies and University Archives and Records Management  (both located in the Goltz-Murray Archives Building), is available by appointment.

Please note: At this time, the Libraries’ hours are as described above; however, these plans are subject to change pending the evolving public health guidance, new protocols and guidance, and/or staff availability. Any changes to library programs and services for winter quarter will be provided in future updates and will be shared via the Libraries’ website, Library News, social media, and Western Today.

In keeping with Western Washington University’s health and safety requirements, all individuals must be masked at all times when indoors. This includes when inside library facilities, other indoor public spaces on Western's campus, and WWU transportation.

Questions? Please email

Read more: January 2022 Update: Western Libraries Hours

Western Libraries Goes (Mostly) Fine-Free

Posted on: October 18, 2021

Topic(s): Updates

Western Libraries Goes (Mostly) Fine-Free

The Western Libraries is no longer charging overdue fines for most WWU library materials. All existing overdue fines have been waived, although patrons may still owe other fees, including charges for lost or damaged items. Western now joins the 100+ libraries across the country who have already made this change, including the Seattle Public Library, Bellingham Public Library, and the Whatcom County Library System.

Why get rid of overdue fines?

  • Overdue fines aren’t effective. Other library systems have stopped charging overdue fines and experienced little to no impact on return rates. On the other hand, anecdotal evidence suggests that library users who owe fines may feel uncomfortable returning to the library--and Western Libraries believes that no one should feel discouraged from using library collections and services because of accumulated fines. We believe that getting rid of overdue fines will increase the use of the library, particularly among those who can’t afford to pay fines.
  • Overdue fines aren’t a significant revenue. In the past ten years, revenue from overdue fines has declined steadily. At the same time, collecting overdue fines takes significant organizational investment. The Ontario Library Association published an infographic estimating that it costs libraries about $6 to collect $5 in fines. Similarly, the San Diego Public Library reported spending over $1M to collect just $675,000 in fines.
  • Overdue fines aren’t equitable. Fines disproportionately impact low-income library users. For example, in San Diego a city study revealed that “nearly half of the library's patrons whose accounts were blocked as a result of late fees lived in two of the city's poorest neighborhoods.” The same was true in Chicago, where “it wasn't that Chicagoans in poorer areas were necessarily racking up more fines... but rather, those patrons were unable to pay the overdue balances.” These disparities are so widespread that in 2019, the American Library Association passed a resolution designating library fines a form of social inequity. The Western Libraries wants everyone in our community to have equitable access to our programs, services, and collections. Eliminating overdue fines on the majority of WWU materials is one step toward creating a more equitable and just library.

What are the statistics?

  • Before accumulated fines were waived on September 22, 2021, approximately 5,942 patron accounts had accumulated charges. 1,546 accounts had accrued charges high enough to block the patron from borrowing new materials.
  • After fines were waived, about 763 blocked patrons became eligible to fully utilize the library again. The remainder have other charges (such as for lost or damaged items) that must be resolved before they regain full library use.
  • From FY 2009 through FY 2019, revenue from fines and fees dropped by roughly 50 percent. In FY 2019, they represented less than 0.4 percent of funds available to support total library operating expenditures of $7.3M.

What does this mean for you?

  • As of September 22, 2021, we have cleared any overdue fines you currently owe from your account. (You may still owe other fees, including lost item charges.)
  • You will no longer be charged a daily fine for most overdue items. A few categories of item will still accrue fines, including course reserves, recalled items, Summit books, and interlibrary loans (ILL). We will also continue to charge lost item fees of $90 for items more than 60 days overdue. These fees are forgiven once the item in question has been returned or replaced. For a full listing of library loan periods, overdue fines, and other fees, review our Western Libraries Loans, Fines, & Fees Schedule.
  • You are still responsible for returning your items on time. We do want all items back, and other people may be waiting for them. If you haven’t returned an item within 60 days of the due date, it will be registered as “lost” and you will be billed a $90 lost item fee. Borrowing privileges will be suspended until you return the item, replace it with a new copy, or pay the lost item fee.
  • To help you remember to return items on time, we send reminders by email a few days before the due date, and again the day each item is due.
  • Many WWU, Summit, and ILL loans are eligible for renewal if no one else is waiting. Renew materials online, email the Circulation Desk, or call (360) 650-3084 during open hours for assistance. Please return items that you can’t renew and place a new hold to check them out again.

Read more: Western Libraries Goes (Mostly) Fine-Free

New Exhibit - "Silence Speaks: The Quiet Power of Wordless Novels"

Posted on: September 30, 2021

Topic(s): Updates, Exhibits

New Exhibit - "Silence Speaks: The Quiet Power of Wordless Novels"

Black-and-white illustration of a skeleton or spirit sauntering happily through space, From Frans Masereel’s My Book of Hours, published in 1919

Western Libraries Heritage Resources is hosting a new exhibition which explores storytelling through pictorial narratives. “Silence Speaks: The Quiet Power of Wordless Novels,” will be on display in the library and online from September 22, 2021, through June 10, 2022.  

The exhibit is free and open to the public and is available for viewing in person at Western Washington University Libraries Special Collections (Wilson 6th floor) during the hours that space is open, Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed weekends and holidays). The online version of the exhibit can be accessed at any time via this link. All campus visitors must continue to wear a mask when inside Western Libraries or any campus building on Western’s campus, and also when outside in crowded outdoor areas.   

“Silence Speaks: The Quiet Power of Wordless Novels,” explores the complex relationship between power, knowledge, and silence, and reflects on how wordless books inform our understanding of communication more broadly. Featuring materials from the Rare Book Collection in Western Libraries Special Collections, the exhibition introduces some of the major themes wordless novels express, while also highlighting their connections to early cinema. Wordless novels, a genre of visual storytelling that paved the way for today’s graphic novels, developed during the years of artistic, social, and political turmoil between the First and Second World War. For in-person exhibit attendees, there will also be a selection of underground comix on display in the adjoining Special Collections research room where viewers can trace wordless novels’ influences in the 1960s and beyond. 

For more information about this exhibit, or if you would like to inquire about the possibility of scheduling a class visit to view the exhibit, please contact Special Collections Librarian Michael Taylor,, (360) 650-3097. 

[Image Information: Black-and-white illustration of a skeleton or spirit sauntering happily through space, illustration from Frans Masereel’s My Book of Hours, published in 1919]

Read more: New Exhibit - "Silence Speaks: The Quiet Power of Wordless Novels"

Events Hosted in Western Libraries - Event Reservation Request Information

Posted on: September 24, 2021

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Events Hosted in Western Libraries - Event Reservation Request Information

Western Libraries is not accepting reservation requests for events hosted in library spaces at this time.

This applies to event reservation requests for events during Fall Quarter 2021, as well as reservation requests for events planned for later in the academic year.

Event reservation requests may reopen in 2022 at a date yet to be determined. This determination will be based on what is deemed feasible given the Libraries’ commitment to meeting the needs of Western students and their prioritized use of library facilities, spaces, rooms, and services. Appropriate processes and guidelines for events management in indoor spaces must also be identified and in place to help protect the health and safety of all building occupants.

If you would like to be notified when the Libraries reopens its events reservation request system, please email to be added to the notification list.

Read more: Events Hosted in Western Libraries - Event Reservation Request Information

Subscriptions Review Process - Spring 2021 Update

Posted on: June 1, 2021

Topic(s): Updates, Resources

Subscriptions Review Process Spring 2021 Update

In response to a recent commitment from the Provost’s Office to provide full, one-time funding for next fiscal year, the Libraries will no longer be forced to pursue subscription cancellations this year. The much-needed funds allow us to move from a reactionary stance into a more deliberate, strategic review of our subscription portfolio.

It is a great relief not to have to cancel subscriptions for next year. However, this financial reprieve does not include funding for new subscriptions.  Having received many faculty requests for new journals and databases over the years, the Libraries still wishes to better align subscription content with Western’s current teaching and research needs. During the 2020-21 subscription review process, some departments requested new subscriptions in place of existing ones. To honor these requests and ensure that the university’s subscription portfolio remains dynamic and relevant, the Libraries will be moving forward with a small number of request-driven subscription swaps. Our net subscription spending will remain the same, but the content itself will shift into closer alignment with the curriculum.

The titles being cancelled effective January 1, 2022 include:

  • Econometrics Journal (Oxford University Press)
  • Economic Journal (Oxford University Press)
  • Journal of Marketing Research (SAGE)
  • Merrill Palmer Quarterly
  • Early Music (Oxford University Press)
  • Musical Quarterly (Oxford University Press)


New titles to begin January 1, 2022 include*:

  • Representations
  • Philippine Studies Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints
  • Caribbean Studies
  • Speculum
  • Journal of Financial Education
  • Financial Management
  • Ethnomusicology


*This is in addition to new titles being added using decision package funds in early childhood education, marine and coastal sciences, and STEM (engineering and design, energy studies, chemistry, and biology).

Western Libraries intends to proactively review subscriptions in 2021-22 and explore additional title swaps in order to better meet the university’s ever-changing needs. We intend to maintain net subscription spending; however, if in future biennia the subscription budget is not adequately funded, the Libraries will again need to pursue large-scale subscription cancellations. The Libraries is grateful for the university’s engagement with the subscription review process this year. We look forward to working with the university community on a long-term and predictable budgeting model that allows for more strategic, sustainable subscriptions in the future.

Don’t hesitate to contact your Subject Team or the Collection Services division if you or your department have questions, concerns, or library needs. We are here for you!

Read more: Subscriptions Review Process - Spring 2021 Update