Celebration of Jack Prelutsky

Posted on: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 9:25am

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Performance by Poet and Musician Jack Prelutsky: Oct.1

Jack Prelutsky will perform musical poetry from 4:30 -5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1 in Western Libraries’ Reading Room (Wilson Library 4th floor) at Western Washington University. This event is free and open to the public.

In 2006, the Poetry Foundation designated Jack Prelutsky as the nation’s first Children’s Poet Laureate. Prelutsky is best known for his humorous and imaginative verse, and has published over 70 books of poetry.

While Prelutsky has been making words rhyme for more than 45 years, his career began as a folk singer in coffeehouses with uncertain aspirations of becoming an operatic tenor. Music is deeply entwined with his poetry, and he will perform musical poetry as part of this very special event.  

Jack celebrates the family: Dad, Mother, Baby Brother, and the family dog (who’s clearly a genius), during this performance of recited and sung poems. Jack will also pique the imagination with fanciful creatures, such as the “Radishark” and the “Umbrellaphant.” Then, when everyone’s ready for ANYTHING, his final poem offers an unlikely choice for lunch—hope no one’s hungry!

This special talk is presented by WWU Western Libraries PoetryCHaT, part of the Children’s Literature Interdisciplinary Collection, at Western Libraries.  Complimentary parking for this event is available near the library, in Lot 14G​.

TLA Dialogue Sessions Starting Soon!

Posted on: Thursday, September 22, 2016 - 9:38am

Topic(s): Updates, Events, Resources

Teaching-Learning Academy dialogues begin Oct. 5 & 6

The Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA), the campus-wide dialogue forum to study and enhance the learning environment at Western Washington University, begins the third week of fall quarter. Whether student, staff, faculty, or community member, everyone is invited to participate!

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 across the University, as well as several alumni and community members.

The TLA is now in its sixteenth year, and participants continue to report that it’s a great place to connect with others outside of their 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. 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 great time to get involved. 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. Dialogue groups begin meeting Oct. 5 or 6, and meet every other week in the Learning Commons (Wilson Library 2 West) for a total of five sessions during the quarter.

While the 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.)

The Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) at Western Libraries is a Learning Commons partner and the central forum for the scholarship of teaching and learning at Western Washington University. 

Skye Burn: "The Strength of a Dream"

Posted on: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 11:01am

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Skye Burn Talk to Launch WWU Exhibit on the Life and Work of Award-Winning Children’s Author and Illustrator Doris Burn

Local author and multi-dimensional artist Skye Burn will speak about the life and legacy of her mother, award-winning children’s author and illustrator Doris Burn, at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, October 11th in Western Libraries Special Collections (Wilson Library 6th floor). The event is free and open to the public.
Skye Burn has worked locally and internationally in the domains of art-infused leadership, social artistry, art-based social change, leadership education and community development. She is co-founder and former director of The Flow Project, a nonprofit organization offering research and education in art-infused leadership, and has served in multiple capacities on UNESCO-sponsored projects and initiatives.
During her presentation, entitled “The Strength of a Dream: A Daughter’s Portrait of a Northwest Children’s Author,” Skye Burn will provide a portrait of family stories, impressions, and memories of Doris Burn, including how her mother came to realize her life-long dream of becoming a children’s author and illustrator.
The event marks the launch of an exhibit featuring original manuscripts and artwork created by Doris Burn which will open at Western Washington University on Monday, October 3rd and will run through March 10th, also in Western Libraries Special Collections. It will be available for viewing weekdays between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., excluding weekends and holidays, and is also free and open to the public.
A long-time resident of the San Juan Islands, Doris (Wernstedt) Burn authored and illustrated the 1965 classic Andrew Henry’s Meadow, which won the Washington Governor’s Art Award. She also wrote the much-loved favorites The Summerfolk, and The Tale of Lazy Lizard Canyon, and served as illustrator for a range of other well-known children’s works.
The exhibit incorporates manuscripts and artwork, and explores some of the themes and aspects of Doris Burn’s work that have connected with readers across generations. The pieces on display were selected from a far larger collection of Burn’s original works, which were donated to Western Libraries Heritage Resources in 2015 as a gift of the Burn Family via the Doris Burn Legacy LLC.

The talk is being offered as a Heritage Resources Distinguished Speakers program, which are quarterly events featuring presenters who are authorities in their respective fields and who have used Heritage Resources collections significantly in their research. 

Gloria Burgess: I'll Fly Away

Posted on: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 2:01pm

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Gloria Burgess to Present "I'll Fly Away: A Sojourn Through Poetry and Spirituals"

Award-winning poet, performer and distinguished scholar Gloria Burgess will explore the rich heritage of African-American spirituals and poetry at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4 in Room 16 of Western Washington University’s Performing Arts Center.The presentation is free and open to the public.

During this interactive presentation, Burgess will discuss the literary and artistic forms of spirituals and poetry that tied communities together socially and artistically during slavery, and continue to enrich the multicultural fabric of our state today through the work of contemporary African-America poets, musicians and artists. This sojourn through words and music will cover the sometimes hidden meanings of specific spirituals and poems, including how the art helped people cope as they were transported from one continent, and one culture, to another.

Burgess has presented keynotes, master classes, and artistic tributes focusing on African-American, African, and other oral traditions for over 30 years. She has presented, consulted, and performed in a variety of venues, including Carnegie Hall, the Washington National Cathedral, the Kenyan Parliament, and the South African Embassy in Switzerland. Burgess holds a doctorate in Performance Studies from the University of Southern California, and has served as regular and visiting faculty at universities in Washington and California. She is a Poetry Fellow with Cave Canem, a prestigious collective of poets and writers of the African diaspora, sponsored by the American Academy of Poets.

This special talk is presented by Humanities Washington, which offers a roster of cultural experts and scholars who provide low-cost, high-quality public presentations across the state, encouraging audiences to think, learn, and engage in conversation. The event is being co-sponsored by Western Libraries and the Western Washington University Departments of English, Liberal Studies, and Music.

Welcome Sarah McDaniel

Posted on: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - 4:01pm

Topic(s): Updates

Western Libraries Welcomes New Director of Teaching & Learning and the Learning Commons

Western Libraries at Western Washington University has hired Sarah McDaniel as the Director of Teaching & Learning and the Learning Commons. Sarah comes to Western from University of Wisconsin-Madison, where her recent work focused on partnerships to transform libraries’ educational roles.


In her new position as the Director of Teaching & Learning and the Learning Commons, Sarah will develop, implement, and assess an integrated teaching and learning program for Western Libraries that engages students and instructors from across the University. As a member of the Libraries’ senior leadership team, she will work collaboratively with librarians, staff, student employees, Learning Commons partners, and external stakeholders toward shared goals, and she will help advance new teaching and learning initiatives, including the online learning environment, student learning outcomes, and research-writing instruction in support of academic colleges’ curricula.


Sarah led the University of Wisconsin–Madison Libraries’ Teaching & Learning Programs for nine years. In addition to overseeing a twenty-library information literacy program, she expanded the scope of the program to incorporate faculty development and instructional design partnerships, secured campus funding for library e-learning initiatives, and co-chaired an Educational Innovation team focused on development of new service models. She also contributed to the leadership and facilitation of programs for early-career faculty, instructors involved in designing blended and online courses, and faculty visiting from partner universities outside the United States.


Sarah also worked in UW-Madison Provost’s Office, contributing to institutional efforts around accreditation and learning assessment. As consultant for a curricular redesign project in UW-Madison’s School of Library & Information Studies, she developed a communication plan for an upcoming name change for the school.  Sarah has also been Associate Lecturer for courses on pedagogy and learning assessment in the UW-Madison School of Library & Information Studies, and she partnered with the Chancellor’s Office, faculty, and campus and community organizations to found the “Go Big Read” campus-community reading program, now in its eighth year.  As a past Chair of both the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section and the ACRL Divisional Committee on Information Literacy, Sarah developed ACRL’s formal liaison relationship with the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI).


Previously, Sarah was Humanities Librarian, Assessment & Instructional Design Librarian, and Interim Director of the Teaching Library at University of California–Berkeley. At Berkeley, Sarah was appointed Assessment Consultant for the Mellon Faculty Fellowship for Undergraduate Research, where she co-facilitated a year-long curriculum for faculty fellows, assessed the impact of the program on student learning, and consulted with faculty redesigning assignments and courses. Sarah also partnered with Berkeley’s Graduate Student Instructor Teaching & Resource Center to develop programs on research-based learning for future faculty. Sarah’s academic credentials include a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS), a M.A. in Foreign Languages and Literatures (French) from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a B.A. in French from UW-Madison. 


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