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In Memoriam: Dr. Jeanne Armstrong

Posted on: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 11:51am

Topic(s): Updates

In Memoriam: Dr. Jeanne Armstrong

Dr. Jeanne Armstrong passed away at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center on Friday, November 17, 2017 following a brief illness.

Dr. Armstrong arrived at Western Washington University in 1997 as a college-based Librarian for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS). Over the past twenty years, she played a number of significant roles at Western Libraries.

She was an early advocate for the value of open access publishing and the development of an institutional repository at Western. In 2009, under the direction of the then-Dean of Libraries, she helped investigate an institutional repository, which culminated in a document to the Provost. Western hired a consultant and created a Digital Assets Task Force, on which Dr. Armstrong sat. Later, her professional and committee service in support of an institutional repository continued, and she co-chaired the faculty search that hired the Western Libraries first Scholarly Communications Librarian.

Dr. Armstrong was a founding member of the Western Libraries Reading Series and the Libraries’ Undergraduate Student Research Award. She served on Western’s Internationalization Committee, and for two years she sat on the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Committee, where she helped bring consultants to Bellingham to advise on the creation of what would become the Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity.  She was also a driving force behind bringing a noted historian and genocide scholar from UCLA to speak at Western early in 2017.

Dr. Armstrong had a master's degree in Library Science and a doctorate in Comparative Cultural Studies from University of Arizona. She was also an accomplished editor, researcher, and writer, and she described her teaching and scholarship as being “diverse and interdisciplinary, encompassing librarianship, women studies, cultural studies and Irish studies.”  Her book, Demythologizing the Romance of Conquest, connected her interest in post-colonial theory, gender, and comparative literature. Her English translation of Maisie Renault’s concentration camp memoir, Great Misery, is an eloquent testimony to her commitment to social justice, which was consistently at the center of her research.

Dr. Armstrong’s most recent research engaged complex aspects of genocide theory, Raphael Lemkin and the UN Genocide Convention, and specific cases of genocide, including comparative analysis of the conquest of the first peoples of the Americas and the Irish.  Her research encompassed the postcolonial psychology of American Indians and Irish and the transgenerational PTSD resulting from genocide and from the denigration and ongoing dehumanization of colonized populations perpetrated on certain peoples to justify the conquest.

Her previous employment includes Seattle Central Community College, Seattle Pacific University, Arizona State Museum at the University of Arizona, and Chicago Public Library. At the Arizona State Museum, she worked as the archivist and special collections curator. Her doctorate and her work at the Chicago Public Library involved diversity programming and post-colonial studies in Irish and American ethnic literatures.

Western Libraries Administration will host an event in Dr. Armstrong’s memory on Western’s main campus in January -- details forthcoming. 

Read more: In Memoriam: Dr. Jeanne Armstrong


Children's & YA Book Sale

Posted on: Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 9:29am

Topic(s): Events

Children's & Young Adult Literature Book Sale

Western Washington University will host a Children’s and Young Adult Book Sale from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 on the 4th floor of Wilson Library.

Over a thousand new children’s and young-adult books will be available for purchase, including hardbacks for $5 and paperbacks for $2. Teachers, community members, WWU students, faculty, staff, and readers of all ages are invited to discover and enjoy award-winning titles.

Proceeds from the books sold will support student scholarships to Western’s 15th Annual Children’s Literature Conference, which will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2018. 

For more information about this year's conference and registration, please visit wwuclc.com.

Read more: Children's & YA Book Sale


Digital Media Center Open House

Posted on: Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - 10:54am

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Digital Media Center Open House Nov. 16th: Visit WWU's TV Studio!

Western Washington University now has a fully functional TV Studio on campus! You are invited to the fall 2017 Open House to tour the facilities and meet the staff. Join us on Thursday November 16 from noon to 2 p.m. in Haggard Hall 246.

Come and watch the wonders of virtual reality broadcasting live, and learn more about what the studio can do for you. 

There will be free food, hands-on activities, and lots of fun! 

The Digital Media Center is located on the second floor of Haggard Hall. To get there walk down the hall past the Circulation Services desk towards the Library Administration Office, and then turn right. 

Read more: Digital Media Center Open House


'Sweet Bean' @Pickford Film Center

Posted on: Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - 2:40pm

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Masters of Asian Cinema Begins 11/7 with 'Sweet Bean'

This year’s Masters of Asian Cinema series begins with Kawase Naomi’s 2015 Sweet Bean, which will screen at 6:30pm on Tuesday, November 7th at the Pickford Film Center (1318 Bay Street.) The film will be introduced by Assistant Professor of Japanese Studies at Western Washington University Colleen Laird, whose research focuses on Japanese women directors. Laird’s description of this film is below:

"Despite concerns about her age and physical condition, hard luck Sentaro hires frail Tokue to make the sweet bean paste for the dorayaki confections he sells in his small shop. The two form an unlikely bond through the common link of traumatic pasts. Thanks to Tokue, Sentaro’s business thrives, but the friendship falls apart when both pasts are brought to light by meddlesome and vindictive parties with a stake in limiting Sentaro’s success.”

Co-sponsored by Western Libraries and the Pickford Film Center, the Masters of Asian Cinema series continues the rich tradition that began with the Masters of Japanese Cinema series, one of the Pickford's longest running and most popular series. Each film in the Masters of Asian Cinema series begins with an introduction from select speakers including local professors, artists, and educators.

This year’s film line-up includes two of the greatest films by Satyajit Ray, both starring Madhabi Mukherjee: Charulata and The Big City.  The 2012 China co-production Drug War  made by the contemporary Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To, is also on this season’s schedule. Maborosi, the first feature by Kore-eda Hirokazu, will be here in March in a newly restored print. 

Later in the spring, the PFC will screen Taiwanese filmmaker Chen Kuo-fu’s 2001 The Personals.  And finally, three features by Taiwanese director Edward Yang will also be shown: his last feature, Yi Yi, his second feature Taipei Story (written by and starring director Hou Hsiao-hsien), and, in a special presentation, his remarkable 4-hour film A Brighter Summer Day, (which will screen on a Saturday morning because of its runtime.) 

Read more: 'Sweet Bean' @Pickford Film Center


Fall Faculty & Staff Reading Groups

Posted on: Friday, October 13, 2017 - 11:56am

Topic(s): Updates, Events, Resources

Writing Instruction Support Hosts Fall Reading Groups

Writing Instruction Support at Western Libraries is sponsoring two informal reading groups in 2017-18, open to faculty, graduate students, and staff with an interest in teaching writing.

Newcomers are always welcome. Both groups will meet once quarterly for collegial discussion of short reading selections.

This quarter’s two offerings are:

Roots of Rhetoric - What purpose should the study of rhetoric and writing serve in a liberal arts curriculum? Is writing a practical skill? A philosophical discipline for the pursuit of wisdom? This group will discuss some of the oldest writing on rhetoric and education. In Spring 2017 we read Gorgias’s “The Encomium of Helen” and “On What is Not or On Nature,” and we’ll follow that up in Fall 2017 with Plato’s Gorgias.  

Research on Teaching Writing - What concerns are writing studies professionals researching today, and how can their work make us better teachers? This group examines contemporary concepts and scholarship in writing pedagogy. Fall 2017’s reading will be a selection from Linda Adler-Kassner and Elizabeth Wardle’s Naming What We Know, winner of the 2016 Council of Writing Program Administrators’ award for Outstanding Scholarship. 

For readings and information about meeting times and places, please visit the Writing Instruction Support Events page (https://library.wwu.edu/use/wis/events) or contact Julie Dugger, Director of WIS (julie.dugger@wwu.edu). 

Read more: Fall Faculty & Staff Reading Groups


Germany: Integrating Immigrants

Posted on: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 8:25am

Topic(s): Updates, Events, Exhibits

New Exhibit: "Germany: Integrating Immigrants"

Western Washington University’s Cornelius Partsch, Professor of German, was awarded a grant to sponsor a special exhibition entitled “Germany: Integrating Immigrants,” which will be located in Western Libraries Special Collections, (Wilson Library 6th Floor), opening on October 24, 2017 and remaining on display through the end of fall quarter.

The exhibition is free and open to the public, and is offered as part of the German Information Center at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany’s annual German Campus Weeks program. “Germany: Integrating Immigrants” explores the experiences of first- and second-generation immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, and provides contextual information about Germany’s history, economy, and public policy. The exhibition comprises 30 posters that illustrate individual stories and viewpoints from immigrants and refugees, as well as from German volunteers and professionals who are working towards better integration.

Worldwide, more than 65 million people are fleeing persecution, violence, and human rights violations. In Germany, refugees are granted asylum if they can prove that they have been persecuted in their home countries for political reasons or have fled from a war-torn region. Refugees fleeing civil war and other political catastrophes have found a safe haven in Germany, and the strong German economy continues to attract migrants from inside Europe and from all around the world. Today, the percentage of Germans with at least one parent born abroad is roughly the same as in the United States, with similar opportunities and challenges on both sides of the Atlantic.

The primary goal of the German Campus Weeks program is to preserve and foster the friendship between Germany and the United States through programs and exhibitions in American university and college campuses. This year's theme, “Germany Making Choices,” refers to the choices and political directions at stake in the September 24 federal elections, in which the future of the EU, the integration of refugees and immigrants into German society, and the transatlantic partnership with the US were among the most important issues voters were considering.

“Germany: Integrating Immigrants” will be available for viewing Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (excluding holidays). To schedule a class or group visit, please contact Special Collections Manager Tamara Belts at (360) 650-3193, or via email to Tamara.Belts@wwu.edu. For questions about the exhibition, the German Campus Weeks program, and further events scheduled in conjunction with the exhibit, please contact Cornelius Partsch at (360) 650-3929, or via email to Cornelius.Partsch@wwu.edu.

This exhibition is sponsored by the German Embassy in Washington D.C. and is supported through a partnership from Western’s Department of Modern & Classical Languages, Western Libraries, and the Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity.

Read more: Germany: Integrating Immigrants


TLA Begins Oct. 4 & 5

Posted on: Monday, October 2, 2017 - 9:12am

Topic(s): Updates, Events, Resources

Teaching-Learning Academy dialogues begin Oct. 4 & 5

The Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA), the university-wide dialogue forum to study and enhance the learning environment at Western Washington University, begins Wednesday and Thursday October 4th and 5th.

Grounded in the scholarship of teaching and learning, the TLA's central mission is to create a community of scholars who work together to better understand the existing learning culture, to share that understanding with others, and to enhance the learning environment for everyone. Engaged in studying the intersections between teaching and learning, TLA members include faculty, students, administrators, and staff from throughout the university, as well as several alumni and community members.

The TLA is now in its seventeenth year, and participants continue to report that participating in the TLA dialogue groups is a great way to connect with others and to learn more about Western’s teaching and learning culture. Others express satisfaction in being able to advance real action steps in making Western an even better place to teach and learn.

Fall quarter is when TLA designs its “BIG” question to study for the rest of the year, so it’s a good time to get involved. This year the TLA is also offering the option of participating in dialogue groups online. The TLA welcomes everyone and offers four dialogue group options to accommodate busy schedules: Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 1:20 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. Dialogue groups meet every other week in the Learning Commons (Wilson Library 2 West) for a total of five sessions during the quarter. The online sessions will be held on October 18th  and November 15th from 9:00 to 9:50am.

While the in-person sessions are 80 minutes long, attendees are welcome to come for whatever time they have available. Many faculty and staff who cannot stay the entire time will participate for the first 50 minutes as there is a logical break then.

For more information, see http://library.wwu.edu/tla.  To sign up for a regular dialogue group and get on the listserv, email TLA@wwu.edu. (Students: there is also an opportunity to participate in the TLA for LIBR practicum credit. For more information, contact Shevell.Thibou@wwu.edu.)

Read more: TLA Begins Oct. 4 & 5


Grad Students Visit CPNWS

Posted on: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 8:31am

Topic(s): Updates, Resources

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


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