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Posted on: September 27, 2017
Graduate Students Utilize Archival & Primary Source Materials
A new cohort of Environmental Education graduate students visited Western’s campus earlier this month and spent time working with archival and primary source collections at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS), a unit of Western Libraries’ broader division of Heritage Resources. CPNWS staff pulled together a selection of materials representing various perspectives of place – including environmental, economic, recreational, and indigenous views – for students to explore and analyze.
In the Archives Building Research Room, students divided into groups and reviewed the maps, photographs, pamphlets, letters, and other materials, considering issues related to the construction of cultural and regional identity, the evolution of policy, perceptions of concepts such as “conservation” and “wilderness,” and the significance of place names in determining cultural values.
The class concluded with a discussion about how students and educators can use primary source materials to explore the relationship between how meaning is constructed, how cultural values are expressed, the impact this can have on policy and information creation, and how this in turn affects our own assumptions about both people and place.
If you would like to learn more about the materials in Heritage Resources and at the CPNWS, arrange a class visit, or find out about how Western Libraries can support your teaching and learning needs, please contact us at Library.Communications@wwu.edu.
Read more: Grad Students Visit CPNWS
Posted on: September 18, 2017
Expanded Access to Digital Content Now Available Online
Western Washington University now has perpetual, full-text, electronic access to Early English Books Online, the U.S. Serials Set 1 Digital Collections, and an assortment of newspapers, all of which were previously only available via microforms at Western Libraries.
In an effort to improve access to research collections, Western Washington University recently purchased perpetual, full-text, electronic access to Early English Books Online, the U.S. Serials Set, and an assortment of heavily used newspapers -- much of which was previously available only on microfilm in the Western Libraries.
Enhanced access to this content now permits patrons to search and read these materials online at any time. Access is provided as fully searchable full-page views.
The decision to purchase perpetual electronic access to these resources and to reduce the microfilm footprint advances Western’s plans to relocate disAbility Resources for Students and Veteran’s Services from Old Main into the first floor of Wilson Library. This larger, modern, highly visible location will increase the quality and capacity of services provided to students and faculty. The plan also offers the Libraries the opportunity to relocate the Map Collection from the Wilson Library first floor to a more visible location on the second floor and to improve adjoining learning spaces.
The new digital content currently includes:
- Early English Books Online, 1473-1700 with enhanced (subject searching) individual catalog records (130,000 titles from 200 libraries)
- Globe and Mail, 1844-2014
- Los Angeles Times, 1881-1993
- New York Daily Times, 1851-1857
- New York Times, 1857-2014
- Times Digital Archive, 1785-1985
- U.S. Serial Set 1 Digital Collection, 1789-1969
- Wall Street Journal, 1889-2000
- Washington Post, 1877-2000
To access this new content, search for your title in OneSearch or visit: http://libguides.wwu.edu/az.php?a=all. (Remember to “Sign in for Full Access.”)
Read more: Expanded Online Access Now Available
Posted on: August 22, 2017
Librarian Rob Lopresti Publishes New Book: 'When Women Didn't Count'
Western Washington University Librarian Rob Lopresti’s latest book, When Women Didn't Count: the Chronic Mismeasure and Marginalization of American Women in Federal Statistics, explores how 200 years of government statistical information has helped hide and distort women's history.
Lopresti’s book traces the development of data on population, employment, crime, health, and many other topics, beginning with the first Census in 1790 when only the male "head of the household" was listed by name.
In his book, Lopresti examines problems with data and illustrates the importance of using critical thinking when analyzing information, even when that information is from seemingly official sources, showing how often the statistics that have shaped perceptions of American women have been incorrect or based on false assumptions.
If you are interested in learning more about this book, Lopresti will be featured at a free reading and book-signing event at Village Books here in Bellingham at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2017. You can also borrow this book from Western Libraries' collection and it is available for 7-day checkout.
Robert Lopresti has been a government information librarian at Western for 30 years. His articles have appeared in Library & Information History, Journal of Government Information, and Scientometrics. He is also the author of the novels Greenfellas and Such A Killing Crime, and his award-winning short stories have appeared in The Best Mystery Stories of the Year and The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror.
Read more: When Women Didn't Count
Posted on: July 10, 2017
Western Libraries & Bellingham Pride
Western Libraries’ staff, friends, and family came together in celebration of “Bellingham Pride” on Sunday, July 9, 2017. Since 2013, participating in Pride has grown into an annual tradition that many library employees look forward to and enjoy. For the past couple of years, Western Libraries has also walked in the parade and shared a festival table with members of the Bellingham Public Library and the Whatcom County Library System.
"I really do look forward to this every year," said staff member Amy Sedovic. "It is such a family-friendly event and a wonderful way to connect with the wider Bellingham community as a whole. And the cheers of, 'we love our libraries!' from friends and neighbors along the parade route is very hopeful and heartwarming." Sedovic explained how libraries are seen as “open, welcoming, and affirming places,” and that she feels honored to be a part of that tradition.
As explained by the American Library Association, libraries can serve LGBTQ people by ensuring that they are represented in library collections. Additionally, as a population frequently subjected to discrimination and harassment, LGBTQ people can benefit from access to information and the sense of community libraries provide.
"I was really excited that the libraries were going to table at Pride," said Emma Winningham, who began working at Western Libraries a little under a year ago. "I knew I had to sign up to be there! It was a great opportunity to connect with our broader community and show that we can work together to support each other.”
Librarian Rebecca Marrall explained that she looks forward to the festival every year because of the chance to connect with the community and raise awareness about the Libraries’ historical and archival collections that feature regional LGBTQ narratives. A poster featuring some of these collections was on display and served as a popular conversation piece at the festival.
“The Heritage Resources poster was a big hit,” said librarian Sylvia Tag. “Lots of folks commented on the amazing history within our region and community around LGBTQ organizations, artists, and activists as displayed on the poster.”
Western Libraries anticipates increased WWU participation in the Bellingham Pride events as enthusiasm for such an important and significant celebration grows, and they invite anyone interested to join them next year!
For more information about the LGBTQ Archival and primary source materials at Western Libraries, contact Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu.
Read more: Bellingham Pride 2017
Posted on: March 2, 2017
Connecting Literature to Life: Childhood Inspiration Comes Full Circle
Keri Krout can still recall the long hot California summers of her childhood, and how they were marked by each arrival from the mail-order Scholastic book club. Krout and her siblings would gather around their mother, eagerly watching as she opened up the cardboard wrapping that encased the book. But the one book Krout remembers most of all is Andrew Henry’s Meadow, written and illustrated by Doris (Wernstedt) Burn.
“We not only read her story, but I remember studying the pictures for hours and imagining my life in a meadow full of friends,” explained Krout. “My home of choice was the bird house built up in the sky. I imagined what a cool breeze would feel like, and the sound of the birds singing just to me.”
Andrew Henry's Meadow is the story of a boy who feels ignored and unappreciated by his family and decides to build a special retreat for himself in a nearby meadow. Other children from the neighborhood join him, so he builds houses for them as well, each one customized to complement their interests and hobbies.
“My brother and I attempted to build a pulley system in his bedroom like Andrew Henry built for his younger brothers, but I admit our attempts fell short,” said Krout. She noted that while other books continued to arrive in the mail, it was Andrew Henry’s Meadow that impacted her the most.
“I grew up working with children,” said Krout, who now works as the manager of the Associated Students Child Development Center (CDC) at Western Washington University. “I think perhaps I understand children’s need to have their own space thanks to Andrew Henry.”
Krout recalled how her favorite childhood story resurfaced when she first began working at Western as she walked through The Outback on her way to work. She encountered a small cabin and was astonished to learn its connection to Doris Burn, as the cabin had once belonged to June and Farrar Burn, Doris Burn’s parents-in-law.
“My beginning started with a simple story of the need to create, to escape, to be understood and accepted. And here I was, standing by the cabin which had belonged to the family of the woman whose life and creating influenced mine in ways I’m sure I can’t count. I felt a sense of utter gratitude of how life can take a person full circle,” Krout explained.
Krout relayed this experience to some of the families of the CDC, and one of the parents later emailed her about a special exhibition featuring the work of Doris Burn that was on display at Western Libraries. As part of this exhibition, Doris Burn’s daughter, the local author and multi-dimensional artist Skye Burn, was scheduled to give a special public presentation about the life and legacy of her mother. Krout knew immediately she would attend this event, and following Skye’s talk, the two women finally met in person.
“What an honor to meet her daughter and to bask in the glow of creative genius,” said Krout. “How can I begin to even thank Doris and her family?”
Burn’s work continues to speak to readers of all ages, and since her death in 2011, Andrew Henry’s Meadow has been reissued by Penguin’s Philomel Books. The title has also been published and is presently available in translation in Korea, China and Japan. Andrew Henry's Meadow won the Washington Governor's Art Award and was a Weekly Reader book club selection.
“Plenty of Things to Do: The Work of Northwest Children’s Author Doris Burn,” will remain on display through March 10th, and is available for viewing weekdays Monday – Friday in Special Collections, (Wilson Library 6th Floor) between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Additionally, a digital version of the Doris Burn exhibit is now available online, as are detailed collection guides to the Doris Burn Artwork and Manuscripts and related collections of June and Farrar Burn Papers and South Burn Papers, housed and available at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.
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. These materials help document the cultural and artistic history of the Pacific Northwest region and were created by an artist and writer who sought specifically to engage with the needs, interests, and creativity of a younger audience.
Skye Burn’s talk, “The Strength of a Dream: A Daughter's Portrait of a Northwest Children's Author and Illustrator,” can be found in Western CEDAR and is viewable from this link.
Read more: Connecting Literature to Life