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Naomi Shihab Nye to Speak @WWU

Posted on: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 10:48am

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System chosen as sites for 2018 Arbuthnot Lecture

Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System will serve as hosts for the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring acclaimed poet and author Naomi Shihab Nye. The lecture will be held in the spring of 2018.

The daughter of a Palestinian father and an American mother, Nye grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Texas.  Her experience of different cultures has influenced much of her work, and she is often described as having a talent for writing about everyday life while also addressing cultural issues. She has written and edited more than 30 books for adults and children, and her latest for young people, “The Turtle of Oman,” was chosen as a 2015 Notable Children's Book by the American Library Association (ALA). Amongst her many honors, she has also received four Pushcart Prizes, was a National Book Award finalist, and has been named a Guggenheim Fellow. 

Sylvia Tag, curator of the Children's Literature Interdisciplinary Collection at Western Libraries, noted “Naomi Shihab Nye spreads hope and light through her poetry and prose. Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System are honored to host the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, and invite her particular brilliance to illuminate our diverse and word-hungry communities.”

The May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture celebrates May Hill Arbuthnot, who served as a strong voice for children’s literature. Each year a lecturer is chosen who will prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature. This paper is delivered as a lecture each spring, and is subsequently published through Children & Libraries, the journal of Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). 

ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. Members of the 2018 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee are: Chair Elizabeth Ramsey Bird, Evanston Public Library (Ill.); Timothy D. Capehart, Beavercreek (Ohio) Community Library; Monica Edinger, The Dalton School, New York; Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library, Washington, D.C.; and Sharon McKellar, Oakland (Calif.) Public Library.

Read more: Naomi Shihab Nye to Speak @WWU


When Women Didn't Count

Posted on: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 12:19pm

Topic(s): Updates, Events

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 HistoryJournal 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


Bellingham Pride 2017

Posted on: Monday, July 10, 2017 - 1:34pm

Topic(s): Updates, Events, Feature Stories

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


Supporting Student Professional Development

Posted on: Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 7:55am

Topic(s): Feature Stories

Supporting Student Employee Professional Development 

At Western Washington University, student employees play an integral role in helping the Libraries fulfill its teaching and learning mission. Whether through providing research and writing assistance in the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio, dialogue facilitation in the Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA), or by sharing their energy, expertise, and insights in the day-to-day activities that help the Libraries function effectively, the contributions and dedication of library student employees are essential to the successful advancement of Western Libraries' mission. 

In addition to their daily work, some students also engage in professional development and  research activities, which may include presentations at national and international conferences. For example, as part of their first year as assistants in the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio, student employees develop a research topic related to Studio scholarship and practice, which they later share in the form of “legacy projects.” They may also choose to submit their work as proposals for conference presentations.

Last fall, sixteen Studio student assistants attended the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing (NCPTW). Of those sixteen, fifteen students gave presentations where they spoke about their research and the results of their legacy projects with conference attendees.

“Studio assistants tell us that the seminar and the opportunity to design and present a research project to a broader community of practice  has a huge impact on their academic and professional skills and lives,” explained Pippa Hemsley, Assistant Director of the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio. While an undergraduate student at Western, Hemsley was herself  a student assistant in the former Writing Center.

Last fall, two additional library student employees presented at a different conference, the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL), held in Los Angeles, California. Autumn Simmons and Nathan Romond, (who both work for the TLA), gave a joint presentation about the use of dialogue and the practice of intentionally flattening hierarchies to eliminate barriers in teaching and learning.

“Autumn and I were able to present our work to an audience of international scholars, many of whom were faculty,” explained Romond. He noted that their presentation embodied what they were speaking about, “underscoring the idea that students can engage more personally and deeply with work when operating in an environment that incorporates a flattened hierarchy among students and faculty.”

Both Simmons and Romond described their time at ISSoTL as one of the most memorable and significant experiences of their undergraduate education.

“As an undergraduate, the ability to meet with so many academic professionals and share work being done felt like a privilege,” stated Simmons. “This sharing of knowledge, and the connections made along the way is what makes this conference so special and necessary in order to maximize the benefits of higher education.”

Western Libraries relies on the generosity of its donors to make these life-changing opportunities possible. Philanthropic gifts help support library student employees by funding registration fees, travel expenses, and other associated costs of participating in conferences and other research opportunities that advance the libraries' teaching and learning mission"

 If you would like to help, please consider contributing to the Western Libraries Student Employee Opportunity Fund. And a special thank you goes out to everyone who has already contributed to this fund , whether on WWU Give Day or now!

Read more: Supporting Student Professional Development


Undergraduate Research Award Winners

Posted on: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 10:16am

Topic(s): Updates

Announcing the 2016-2017 Western Libraries Undergraduate Award Winners!

Winners of this year’s Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Award were honored at a small reception in the library on June 9th, during which Dean of Libraries Mark Greenberg recognized the award-winning students for their accomplishments, and presented each awardee with a certificate. Friends, family members of the award-winning students, the students’ faculty mentors, and members of the 2016-2017 Undergraduate Research Award review committee were also in attendance. This year's winners are:

  • Christina Becker,  "Framing the Frat Boy: an analysis of frames used in coverage of campus rape by The New York Times," (Faculty Mentor: Brian J. Bowe, Journalism).
  • Nicole Carroll, "A New Look at the Constitutional Convention and State Ratifying Conventions: How Reason and Interest Played a Role," (Faculty Mentor: Johann Neem, History).
  • Jeffrey Guptil, "The Grammaticalization of because in Standard English," (Faculty Mentor: Janet Xing, Linguistics).

 

Three Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Awards are given annually to Western Washington University undergraduate students in recognition of their excellence and originality in creating research papers for courses taught across the colleges based on significant inquiry using library resources and collections. Each winner of the Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Award receives a certificate, a cash award of $500.00, and publication of their prize-winning paper in Western CEDAR, Western Washington University’s institutional repository. 

Every spring, a review committee consisting of a variety of faculty members from the Libraries and other departments at Western selects from among the submissions three papers which demonstrate excellence in the creation of research papers for courses taught across the colleges. Papers must be based on significant inquiry using library resources and collections, and they must demonstrate originality or the potential to lead to subsequent original research. 

Congratulations to this year's winners on their excellent work and their award-winning research! And thank you also to the Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Award committee chair Elizabeth Stephan (Libraries) and committee members Gabe Gossett (Libraries), Tim Kowalczyk (Chemistry), Glenn Tsunokai (Sociology), and Colleen Laird (Modern Languages).

Read more: Undergraduate Research Award Winners


Artistic Culture on Campus and in the Community

Posted on: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 1:49pm

Topic(s): Newsletters

The Spring 2017 edition of Heritage Highlights is now available! In this issue you will learn about a variety of Heritage Resources' collections which document local and regional artistic culture, including the digitized correspondence of Skagit County artists, photographs and oral histories related to campus sculpture, and a recent donation of valuable photography books.

Heritage Resources consists of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and University Archives & Records Management.

Image: Isamu Noguchi at the dedication ceremony for Skyviewing Sculpture, 1969, Campus History Collection, Special Collections.

Read more: Artistic Culture on Campus and in the Community


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