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The Future of Access to Library Resources

Posted on: May 15, 2019

Topic(s): Updates

The Future of Access to Library Resources

This past winter, Western Libraries convened a new Western Libraries Subscription Task Force in response to potential upcoming budget shortfalls. The group, which includes library and non-library personnel, is charged with developing sustainable strategies and methods for managing the Libraries’ subscriptions moving forward.

On May 14, as a first step toward this sustainable future, the Task Force distributed a letter to all Western faculty outlining emerging trends in scholarly publishing and library collections, and introducing a process by which the university community can provide feedback on Open Access and subscription evaluation criteria. The letter was followed by a survey, the results of which will inform outreach and Open Access initiatives, subscription evaluation methods, and collection development strategies. The more input the Task Force gets from the university, the stronger and more representative the group’s subsequent work can be. Ultimately, this feedback has the potential to shape the future of library collections at Western.

The survey consists of 12 questions and is intended to take about 10-15 minutes to complete. Respondents are asked to provide a departmental affiliation, but are not required to submit their name or any other identifying information. All responses will remain confidential and any data shared will be in aggregate form only. The survey will remain open through Sunday, June 2. Faculty should check their inboxes for a link to the survey; all additional members of the university community who would like to provide their input may contact the Libraries’ Director of Collections for access to the survey.

In addition to this survey, the Task Force will be reaching out to department chairs and offering to attend department or college-level meetings for more in-depth discussion or Q&A sessions. If you would like the Task Force to visit your department or college, please work with your chair and the Libraries’ Director of Collections to coordinate.

For more information on how the Libraries manages subscriptions, please consult the Subscription Management Glossary and FAQ. For more information on Open Access and the scholarly publishing ecosystem, you can also review the SPARC Open Access page, which includes a downloadable Open Access fact sheet. If you have any questions, please contact the Libraries’ Collection Services division or the Director of Collections.


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Spring 2019 Heritage Highlights

Posted on: May 6, 2019

Topic(s): Updates

Heritage Resources is pleased to share our Spring 2019 edition of Heritage Highlights. This newsletter, distributed to over 600 recipients locally and around the world, is our way of thanking the many individuals who have visited our repositories and used Students examining copies of the local alternative newsletter Northwest Passage at the Archives Building.our collections or services. These community relationships are central to the mission of Western Libraries and Heritage Resources, and fundamental to the growth and development of our collections, our financial sustainability, and the success of our programming efforts. 

As you will learn in this edition of Heritage Highlights, we are continuing to grow and change in ways that enhance our mission to bring quality research and teaching opportunities to our staff, faculty, students, and the broader community.

Western Libraries Heritage Resources consists of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and University Archives & Records Management. Contact Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu for more information.


Read more: Spring 2019 Heritage Highlights


Edward S. Setchko Collection

Posted on: September 27, 2018

Topic(s): Updates

New Addition to WWU: the Edward S. Setchko Collection 

Western Libraries Heritage Resources has recently negotiated the transfer of the Edward S. Setchko collection from the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, to Western Washington University. 

This important collection of over 1000 books and other rare monographs represents critical post-war scholarship on the Holocaust, including documentation of antisemitism, the ghettos and camps, survivor accounts, and other post-war memoirs. 

This collection will become part of Western Libraries Special Collections. Although cataloging these materials will be an ongoing process, those interested in browsing the collection are welcome to contact Special Collections staff at speccoll@wwu.edu, or you may also contact the Director of Heritage Resources, Elizabeth Joffrion at Elizabeth.Joffrion@wwu.edu / (360) 650-3283.


Read more: Edward S. Setchko Collection


Western Libraries Responds to Antisemitism, Book Vandalism

Posted on: April 3, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Feature Stories

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.


Read more: Western Libraries Responds to Antisemitism, Book Vandalism


New SensusAccess Service Now Available

Posted on: April 3, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Resources

Partnership Results in New Service for Students with Disabilities

Beginning spring 2018, Western Washington University students, staff, and faculty will have a new service available to them. SensusAccess is a conversion service that makes documents searchable and accessible for individuals who use text-to-speech technology. This service allows users to convert inaccessible documents, such as course readings or assignments, into accessible versions at any time. You can learn more about and begin using this service by going here: https://access.wwu.edu/sensus.

In order to access documents used in everyday life, such as syllabi or admissions paperwork, individuals with specific kinds of disabilities may need to employ text-to-speech technology to read the document. However, the document first needs to be formatted to ensure that the assistive technology can read and deliver a coherent report of its contents to the person with a disability.

Historically, all requests for document conversion for accessibility purposes had to go through Western’s disAbility Resources for Students. But now with SensusAccess, students, staff, and faculty can create accessible versions of their documents as needed. Typical conversion rates vary due to a variety of factors but the usual turnaround time is less than 24 hours -- and the service is free for Western users! SensusAccess is intended as a self-service solution and complements existing accessibility services at Western.

Everyone at Western is encouraged to use this service when creating or reformatting educational or informational documents. Here are a few examples of how SensusAccess can be used:

●     Faculty and Instructors: When you assign course readings that are formatted as scanned articles or PDFs, you can create an accessible version using SensusAccess. You can also learn more about PDF accessibility principles here:  https://wp.wwu.edu/webtech/accessible-pdf/ and available training here: https://access.wwu.edu/.

●     Staff: When you create informational documents, or if you need to convert an existing document into an accessible version, you can e-mail the newly accessible document to the student or colleague upon the completed conversion.

●     Students: If you ever need an accessible version of your course materials, you may use the SensusAccess service.

Prospective users should know that SensusAccess is perfect for documents under thirty pages or so. However, if there are print-impaired individuals who require the conversion of large texts into accessible versions, these individuals should contact the disAbility Resources for Students office for assistance and support [insert hyperlink: http://www.wwu.edu/drs/contact.shtml]

SensusAccess services at Western are made possible through an innovative partnership between Western Libraries, Web Communication Technologies (WebTech), and the disAbility Resources for Students office. SensusAccess is one example of several University-wide efforts dedicated to improving accessibility at Western in order to co-create an inclusive educational environment by providing a new tool to address a common problem.  For more information, please see:  Western Digital Accessibility.


Read more: New SensusAccess Service Now Available


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