news topics


Follow Social Media...

You are Viewing - Updates

What is our role in creating a just and equitable census?

Posted on: January 22, 2020

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Off-Campus TLA Dialogue on Feb. 13th: "What is our role in creating a just and equitable census?"

Aerial view looking downward at people standing in a circle with only the shoes and legs of the people in the circle visibleWhat is our role in creating a just and equitable census? Participants from the Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) at Western Libraries invite you to explore this question during the upcoming off-campus dialogue which will be held at the Fairhaven Branch of the Bellingham Library (1117 12th St.) on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

A brief informational panel featuring members of the Bellingham community will be followed by small group discussion among all participants.

The TLA Community Dialogues are a chance for students, faculty, staff, and community members to come together and explore questions and issues that affect us all. These dialogues also give participants a way to explore difficult topics, practice and refine productive communication strategies, and develop interpersonal communication and collaboration skills.

For this event series, the TLA is partnering with the WWU Center for Community Learning and the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County. Events are open to everyone, and participation offers a way to get involved, meet new people, and make connections outside of the typical academic setting. No advanced registration is required, but faculty and staff wishing to participate in this dialogue as part of their Employee Development Plan can sign up through PageUp via the online training portal

For more information, please contact  or call (360) 650-3740.

Read more: What is our role in creating a just and equitable census?

Subscription Cancellations and Securing Access to Information

Posted on: January 18, 2020

Topic(s): Updates, Resources

Subscription Cancellations and Securing Access to Information

Over the next six months, the Western Libraries will be engaging the university in important conversations about our collective mission, the information landscape, and the implications for library subscriptions. The vision of our university calls on each of us to advance the ideals of exploration, critical thinking, connection, and creativity. Collectively, we seek to provide a transformational educational experience for our students, grounded in innovative scholarship, research, and creative activity; as well as justice and equity in our policies, practices, and impacts. 

Photo of a stack of magazines with their spines facing out. In this spirit, Western Libraries continues to move forward in new directions, favoring broad access to information over more traditional models of ownership, challenging the narrative that knowledge can be owned, and seeking ways to keep information open to the community where it can best serve the greater good. We are not alone in these efforts: libraries around the world are pushing for a more sustainable, open, and just approach to information, and the current moment represents an opportunity for all of us. 

In the short-term, university conversations about access to information will center necessarily around subscription reductions. Due to the combination of a flat library collections budget and inflation on subscriptions, the Western Libraries anticipates a subscriptions budget shortfall of more than $300K in FY 2020-21, and $80K in subsequent years. This immediate pressure requires that we reduce Western’s subscriptions in favor of a more agile, access-based approach. Read more about our process for tackling this challenge and reducing subscriptions on the Western Libraries Subscription Task Force webpage.  

In the long-term, the proliferation of journal titles, rising costs of library subscriptions, and for-profit journal landscape require a more forward-looking conversation about scholarly publishing. Western has the opportunity to be part of these important discussions; read more about Open Access and the future of scholarly communications on the Task Force webpage.

Throughout the next six months, the Task Force will strive to work transparently and consultatively, and will continue to communicate updates via the Task Force webpage, the Library News and Western Today, department chairs and faculty governance, leadership groups like the AS Board and the Graduate Student Advisory Council, all-faculty emails, and the Libraries’ subject teams

We appreciate your feedback and look forward to a robust conversation about the future of publishing, scholarly communication, and library subscriptions. Remember: Western is not alone in this struggle. Universities across the country and around the world are grappling with unsustainable subscription pricing and engaging in serious conversations about the future of scholarly publishing. We hope that Western will be part of those conversations, as well.

For more information on how the Libraries manages subscriptions, consult the Subscription Management Glossary and FAQ. For more information on Open Access and the scholarly publishing ecosystem, review the SPARC Open Access page, which includes a downloadable Open Access fact sheet.

Read more: Subscription Cancellations and Securing Access to Information

James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowships - 2020 Applications

Posted on: November 19, 2019

Topic(s): Updates

The Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS) is currently accepting applications for the James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowships which promote awareness and innovative use of archival collections at Western Washington University, and seek to forward scholarly understandings of the Pacific Northwest. Fellowship funds are awarded in honor of the late Dr. James W. Scott, a noted scholar of the Pacific Northwest region and a founder and first Director of CPNWS.

Up to $1000 in funding is offered to support significant research using archival holdings at CPNWS. Applications are accepted from individuals in doctoral programs as well as individuals who have finished the Ph.D. Fellows are expected to spend approximately one week examining CPNWS holdings and will be asked to give a presentation about some aspect of their research during the course of their scheduled visit.

Applications will be reviewed after January 31, 2020. Applications must be submitted by email to (please include "Scott Fellowship Application" in the subject line), and include:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Research plan outlining on-site use of CPNWS holdings and proposed presentation topic
  • Two letters of recommendation

Detailed guides to archival collections at CPNWS can be accessed and searched at: For more information about collections or the application process, please contact CPNWS Archivist Ruth Steele at or (360) 650-7747. 

Read more: James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowships - 2020 Applications

New Exhibition at Western Libraries about Jewish Books and Printing

Posted on: September 16, 2019

Topic(s): Updates, Exhibits

As Far As Their Books Reach - Jewish Printing and the Global Jewish Diaspora

Image depicts two children in a quasi-Biblical landscape learning about the holidays of the Jewish calendar at the feet of an older relative or teacher. The image is typical of the Bezalel school’s decorative art nouveau style.

Western Libraries Heritage Resources hosts a new exhibition tracing the journeys of the Jewish people through their books and printing. “As Far As Their Books Reach: Jewish Printing and the Global Jewish Diaspora,” will be on display September 23, 2019 through March 20, 2020, in Western Libraries Special Collections (Wilson 6th floor).

This exhibit is free and open to the public, and will be available for viewing Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment (closed weekends and holidays).

Heinrich Heine described the Bible as the Jews’ “portable homeland.” The same could be said for Jewish books more broadly, which bear witness to the long and remarkable history of the global Jewish diaspora. Through a survey of historical Judaica, this exhibition traces the physical, intellectual, and cultural journeys of the Jewish people, and explores the traditions that have earned the Jews the description “People of the Book.”

Featured materials are from the recently acquired Judaica / Holocaust & Genocide Studies Collections located in Western Libraries Special Collections, and the exhibition is co-sponsored by Western Libraries Heritage Resources and The Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity. Numbering more than 3,000 titles, the collection spans 500 years and six continents.

For more information about the exhibit, or to request a group or class visit, please contact Judaica Project Archivist David Schlitt,, (360) 650-3193. 

Read more: New Exhibition at Western Libraries about Jewish Books and Printing

Western’s Multimedia Archives Based Electronic Library (MABEL) Now Available!

Posted on: June 26, 2019

Topic(s): Updates, Resources

Western’s Multimedia Archives Based Electronic Library (MABEL) Now Available

On June 25, 2019, the beta version of Western’s Multimedia Archives Based Electronic Library (MABEL) will be available to the university community. This central repository will allow for the discovery, sharing, and preservation of Western's digital assets, which includes images, video and sound recordings, and textual documents.

Screenshot image of MABEL's landing page header; text that reads: MABEL: Multimedia Archives Based Electronic Library; placed over a search box with options to browse the collections or browse by format.

MABEL was developed to provide access to digital content in support of communications, research, and teaching & learning activities at Western, while also allowing for the responsible stewardship of unique materials and valuable digital assets created or managed by Western.


What’s the difference between Western CEDAR and MABEL? 

Western CEDAR provides open access to scholarship and creative works produced by the Western community, making the research, scholarship, and creative works of WWU faculty, staff, and students easily discoverable to anyone in the world. 

These two platforms have separate purposes and different kinds of content, and can be used together in complementary ways to support the wide array of teaching, learning, and research activities at Western. 

Screenshot from MABEL's landing page that lists the "Browse by Format" options, which include image, video, audio, newspaper, and text.

Content in MABEL can be used to support and enable:

  • Academic and scholarly research
  • Primary source instruction
  • Preservation of digital assets
  • Marketing & outreach activities


Western employees who work with digital assets on behalf of their organizational units will be able to use MABEL to manage and share those assets. Although access permissions for content in this platform will vary, members of the larger university community (employees, students, and beyond), will also be able to use MABEL for search and discovery of public-facing collections. 

MABEL is the result of an intensive, multi-year cross-campus university partnership involving numerous stakeholders, content creators, archivists, and library professionals.

Black and White photo of Mabel Zoe WilsonThe name MABEL is in part an homage to Mabel Zoe Wilson, Western's first full-time librarian and the namesake of the Wilson Library building, which is still part of Western Libraries’ main complex. Mabel Zoe Wilson served as librarian from 1902-1945. Tasked with creating a library from virtually nothing, she worked through four decades to grow, catalog, and organize the collections, initiate services, and teach students effective library use.

Work to improve and further develop MABEL will continue throughout the summer as a team of web developers and content experts will make additional improvements. The goal is to replace the beta version with the launch of an improved version in the fall of 2019.  

  • How to find MABEL: You may visit MABEL here:
  • Content Contributors: If you are a member of Western’s University Community, and you are interested in hosting your unit’s content in MABEL, please email  to learn more. 
  •  Interested in helping us improve the display and function of MABEL? Contact us.

Read more: Western’s Multimedia Archives Based Electronic Library (MABEL) Now Available!