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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: September 12, 2017
Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System are the sites for 2018 Arbuthnot Lecture
In poetry and prose for children, teens, and adults, Naomi Shihab Nye explores themes of identity and belonging, building literary bridges of empathy across which strangers can meet and connect.
The Arbuthnot Lecture, considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature, is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children, a Division of the American Library Association.
The 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture will take place at 7:00pm on Saturday, April 28, at the Western Washington University Performing Arts Center. A reception will follow in the Performing Arts Center Foyer.
The lecture is FREE and open to the public, but registration is requested. Click here to register.
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
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: May 25, 2017
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