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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


'The Big City' at the PFC April 10

Posted on: March 28, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Masters of Asian Cinema: 'The Big City' 

Image from movie poster with the title 'Mahanagar' written above an image of a woman who is looking off to the left while one hand holds her chin and another applies red lipstick to her mouth.

The next Masters of Asian Cinema film is The Big City (Mahanagar), which screens at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at the Pickford Film Center (1318 Bay Street).

The Big City is a film of great insight and sensitivity towards its characters as they come to terms with a changing world. Renowned director Satyajit Ray's first collaboration with actress Madhabi Mukherjee features her in the role of a middle class wife who is encouraged to work in order to supplement the family’s income. She soon discovers within herself hidden power and a sense of justice and compassion that challenges expectations of her roles both at home and work. 

Co-sponsored by Western Libraries and the Pickford Film Center, the Masters of Asian Cinema series features some of the best films in World Cinema with movies spanning decades and genres. Each film in the series begins with an introduction from select speakers including local professors, artists, and educators.

The Big City will be introduced David Curley, Professor Emeritus in the Liberal Studies department at Western.  Professor Curley has a PhD in South Asian History from the University of Chicago and taught South Asian cultural history.  He has visited Kolkata, the site of this movie, about a dozen times.

The remaining films for this year’s series include Taiwanese filmmaker Chen Kuo-fu’s 2001 The Personals, and also another feature by Taiwanese director Edward Yang, Yi Yi.

For more information about this series, please contact Jeff.Purdue@wwu.edu.


Read more: 'The Big City' at the PFC April 10


James W. Scott Research Fellowship Awards - 2018 Applications

Posted on: December 8, 2017

Topic(s): Updates

About the Awards

The James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowships 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 founder and first Director of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, and a noted scholar of the Pacific Northwest region. Up to $1000 funding is offered in 2018 to support significant research using archival holdings at WWU’s Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS), a unit of Western Libraries Heritage Resources.

Fellowship Requirements

Applications are accepted from individuals in doctoral programs as well as individuals who have finished the Ph.D.

Successful applicants will be expected to spend approximately one week examining CPNWS holdings in support of their research, and to be in residence prior to October 31, 2018. Additional information and detailed guides to collections may be accessed on the CPNWS website.

Fellows will be asked to give a presentation about some aspect of their research during the course of their scheduled visit. The audience will vary depending on the time of the year, but may include members of the general public as well as students, faculty and staff from WWU.

Applications

Applications for the award will be reviewed after April 1, 2018. The number and size of awards granted annually is determined by the application review committee.
Applications may be submitted via mail or electronically and should include:

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

Please send applications via email to Ruth.Steele@wwu.edu or by mail to Ruth Steele, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Libraries Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123. Please enter “Scott Research Fellowship Application” in the subject line of email applications.

Funds will be awarded after a Fellow(s) has conducted research at CPNWS and delivered their presentation.

Fellowship awards may be subject to taxation in accordance with the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Applicants are advised that they may need a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (i.e. SSN or ITIN) to receive funds.
 


Read more: James W. Scott Research Fellowship Awards - 2018 Applications


Welcome Madeline Kelly

Posted on: November 30, 2017

Topic(s): Updates

Western Libraries Welcomes New Director of Collections

Western Libraries has hired Madeline Kelly as the Director of Collections. Madeline comes to Western from the University Libraries at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA., where she served as Head of Collection Development.

In her new position at Western, Madeline leads units responsible for acquisitions, course reserves, interlibrary loan and resource sharing, cataloging, circulation, collections assessment, and maps.

As a member of the Libraries’ senior leadership team, Madeline works collaboratively to shape the Libraries’ strategic priorities. As the Director of Collections, she oversees the Libraries’ $2.2 million collections budget, and works collaboratively to develop, implement, and promote a vision for user-centered collections and services at Western Libraries.

Madeline has experience in public services, preservation, and collection development, and she is particularly interested in finding practical and sustainable ways to assess the quality and value of library collections and make sure they best support the needs of the students, faculty, and staff. Before assuming her management role, Madeline developed and implemented a comprehensive collection assessment program for George Mason University. Her article, “Applying the Tiers of Assessment: A Holistic and Systematic Approach to Assessing Library Collections,” describes the Mason approach.

Since 2014, Madeline has given numerous presentations on holistic collections assessment, including a half-day workshop at the 2017 NASIG conference in Indianapolis. She continues to explore ways to assess and manage library collections sustainably, and her other professional interests include preservation and emergency planning, workplace mentoring, and social justice and equity issues.

Prior to working at Mason, Madeline worked at Trinity Washington University (Washington, DC), Wheelock College Library (Boston, MA), and the Watertown Free Public Library (Watertown, MA). She has also worked in retail and agriculture. She holds a BA in English and Spanish from the University of Mary Washington (Fredericksburg, VA), and received her MLS from Simmons College (Boston, MA).

Outside of the library, Madeline enjoys all things food (growing, cooking, eating) and all things outdoors (running, hiking, paddling). She relocated from the DC area to Bellingham in October with her husband and two cats.


Read more: Welcome Madeline Kelly


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