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Summer Teaching & Learning Retreat

Posted on: May 22, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Resources

Summer Teaching & Learning Retreat

Western Libraries and the Learning Commons is now accepting applications for their summer teaching and learning retreat. This multi-day facilitated opportunity offers a mix of individual and collaborative work times in a beautiful natural setting, and includes all meals and lodging at the North Cascades Institute.

Photo of the North Cascades Institute Learning Center building

Sponsored by Western Libraries as part of their mission to foster collaborations that enhance teaching, learning, and scholarship, participants will discuss best practices and collaborate across disciplines through consultations, facilitated dialogue sessions, and peer response. The following two tracks are available for prospective participants:

  • Backward by Design (BbD) track: This track provides new and returning faculty and instructional staff an opportunity to design or revise courses. Focused on applying the backward design framework, this track includes discussion of best practices for teaching and assessing writing and research.
  • Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL) track: This track provides students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to advance individual and collective research projects, (especially those that include students as co-inquirers). The SoTL track includes facilitated dialogue sessions focused on teaching and learning issues, and best practices for applying the SoTL framework across disciplines.


For both tracks, time will be allotted for participants to work individually or collaboratively with others, and participants will be expected to share their progress -- course design (BbD) or research (SoTL) --  with the Western community.

The retreat is scheduled for September 4-6 and participants must agree to attend all three days. Space is limited and fill every year. To apply please complete the registration form by June 17, 2018.

Questions? Please contact Sarah McDaniel, Director of Teaching & Learning and the Learning Commons, sarah.mcdaniel2@wwu.edu.

Read more: Summer Teaching & Learning Retreat

Undergraduate Research Award Winners Announced!

Posted on: May 15, 2018

Topic(s): Updates

2018 Award Winners Announced

Western Libraries is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Award.

  • Madelyn Merritt, for "Intention and Action: Facebook Unfriending Habits Following the 2016 Presidential Election." 
  • Asia Fields, for "Media Coverage of Transgender People Through Danica Roem’s Election Coverage."
  • Matthew Horn, for "Change in the Usage of 老 in Chinese Vernacular Literature."


Three 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. Winners will also be recognized at a reception hosted by Western Libraries on a date still to be determined before the end of spring quarter.

Award applicants must demonstrate outstanding library research in the writing of their research papers, and winners are selected by an award review committee consisting of a variety of faculty members from Western Libraries and other disciplines at Western.

Congratulations to all three talented award winners! And a special thank you also goes out to the Award Review Committee (Elizabeth Stephan, Gabe Gossett, Brian J. Bowe, Coleen Laird, Janet Xing) and the students' faculty mentors, (Glenn Tsunokai, Brian J. Bowe, and Janet Xing).

Read more: Undergraduate Research Award Winners Announced!

Building Community One Book at a Time

Posted on: May 14, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Chuck and Dee Robinson to Present 'Building Community One Book at a Time' May 24

Longtime community members and local business owners Chuck and Dee Robinson will give a talk entitled “It Takes a Village Books: Building Community, One Book at a Time,” at Western Washington University from 4:00-5:00pm on Thursday, May 24 in Special Collections (Wilson Library 6th floor). The event is free and open to the public.

Since it opened in 1980, Village Books has grown from a small “mom and pop” store to a two-location enterprise employing fifty people. Even as it expanded, the business remained a fixture in Whatcom County with strong ties to the local community. The store’s founders, Chuck and Dee Robinson, will speak about their experiences running a successful, locally-owned bookstore for nearly four decades during a time of rapid change in the book industry. They will also discuss their decision to leave the historical records of the business to the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, where the collection will be available for research by students, scholars and the public.

Originally both educators, Chuck and Dee Robinson fulfilled their dream of becoming bookstore owners in 1980. Since then, they have both been active in several book industry organizations and numerous local non-profits. The Bellingham Whatcom Chamber of Commerce named Chuck and Dee “Man of the Year” and “Woman of the Year” in 2016, and in 2017 they were honored with the Jack D. Rittenhouse award for outstanding contributions to the community of the book in the West.

This talk is offered as part of the Heritage Resources Distinguished Speakers program at Western Libraries. For more information about the event, please contact Ruth Steele, CPNWS Archivist, Ruth.Steele@wwu.edu, (360) 650-7747.

Read more: Building Community One Book at a Time

Spring 2018 "Heritage Highlights"

Posted on: April 23, 2018

Topic(s): Newsletters

The Spring 2018 edition of Heritage Highlights is now available! In this issue, we celebrate the newness of the spring season by exploring some recent additions to our collections, including the papers of life-long civil rights and social justice activist Robert E. Hughes, which are now open to the public for research at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies. In Special Collections, we are now showing the "Global Book" exhibit, which invites viewers to consider books as one point of departure for exploring our shared global heritage. Learn about these resources and more, including our spring and summer public programming, in this issue!

Western Libraries Heritage Resources consists of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and University Archives & Records Management. Contact Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu for more information.

Image shows one portion of the "Global Book" exhibition in Special Collections (Wilson Library 6th floor). 

Read more: Spring 2018 "Heritage Highlights"

Records Retention Schedules Now Available

Posted on: April 19, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Events, Resources

Updated Records Retention Schedules Now Available

University Archives and Records Management is pleased to announce that on April 4, the State Records Committee approved updates to the University’s records retention schedules.

You can find the updated versions of the University’s general records retention schedules on the University Archives and Records Management website:

University General Records Retention Schedule

College and Academic Department General Records Retention Schedule

For copies of unique, office-level retention schedules (or to determine if your office has a unique schedule), contact University Records Management (x6654) or email Rachel Thompson.

In addition, University Archives and Records Management is holding two trainings this month, in honor of April being Records and Information Management Month. For more information about the trainings, or to sign-up for them, you can visit the WWU Training Portal. The next training will be about  Digital Records Management and will be held on April 24 at 10AM.

For more information about retention schedules or other services offered by University Archives and Records Management, please contact us at x6654 or email Rachel.Thompson@wwu.edu.

Read more: Records Retention Schedules Now Available

University-Wide Resource Trial: Scopus

Posted on: April 18, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Resources

Trial Access to Scopus Now Available

This spring, Western students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to participate in a quarter-long trial of the abstract and citation database, Scopus.

An alternative to Web of Science, Scopus (published by Elsevier) includes citation data for over 70 million journal articles, books, conference proceedings, and patents in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. It also provides a variety of journal and article metrics to help institutions and researchers track the impact of their—and others’—scholarly work. More in-depth information about Scopus can be found on the Scopus content page or in the content coverage guide. Recent comparisons of Scopus to Web of Science are available from Iowa State University and Boston College.

The Libraries is negotiating a contract with Elsevier to renew Western’s current journal package and is considering a university-wide Scopus subscription as one way to secure more favorable and sustainable licensing costs. Were the Libraries to proceed with a subscription to Scopus, the current subscription to Web of Science would be phased out at the end of 2020, resulting in a significant cost savings long term for the University.

In order to make the best decision for Western as a whole, the Libraries is calling for broad participation in—and feedback on—the Scopus trial. The trial will last for the duration of Spring Quarter, beginning on April 18 and ending on June 30. It can be accessed from both on- and off-campus, via the Libraries websiteOneSearch, or directly. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to participate and provide feedback via survey form.

Elsevier is also providing Western with a trial of SciVal, a sophisticated tool for tracking an institution’s research performance. Western users are encouraged to explore the SciVal trial and provide feedback here. (NOTE: Users must create an account before using SciVal.)

Explore Scopus and SciVal today and let us know what you think!

Scopus trial & feedback survey | SciVal trial & feedback survey

Questions? Contact your subject librarianCollections Services or the Director of Collections

Read more: University-Wide Resource Trial: Scopus

Western Libraries Responds

Posted on: April 11, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Events, Feature Stories

WWU holds event to replace vandalized books

This article is written by Mary Gallagher and is courtesy of the Office of Communications and Marketing at Western. It originally appeared in Western Today on April 10, 2018 and can be viewed here.

Members of the Western community who have responded to the destruction and vandalism of books in Western’s Jewish Studies Collection have replaced the books and grown the collection, illustrating the community’s resolve against acts of antisemitism and other forms of hate, bigotry and violence, said speakers at a Western Libraries event Tuesday morning.

“Whether campus is your home, or you live in Bellingham or beyond, we are all one community,” said President Sabah Randhawa. “We are united in opposition against these acts of antisemitic vandalism, and against all such acts of hatred and bigotry. This kind of cowardly action perfectly illustrates the nature of hate and bigotry, because it flourishes in darkness and withers when exposed to the light of reason and intellectual scrutiny.”

More than 250 students, faculty, staff and community members crowded into the Wilson Library Reading Room for the event, which was a response to acts of destruction and vandalism of books in Western’s Jewish Studies collection.

“The deliberate destruction of library books, along with hateful slurs written in them, constitutes a reprehensible, criminal act that will not be tolerated,” said Dean of Libraries Mark Greenberg. Tuesday's show of solidarity, along with replacing the books and adding to the collection, show that as a community, “we vigorously oppose acts of bigotry and hate against the Jewish community and against all minoritized and marginalized groups,” Greenberg said.

The destruction of the books was appalling and upsetting, Randhawa said, in part because “this particular activity occurred in our library, the heart of our institution – of any academic institution – and involved the destruction of the very objects of knowledge itself.”

As outlined in last year’s report from Western’s Taskforce on Preventing and Responding to Antisemitism, Randhawa said, all forms of racism, bias and hate are interconnected and must be fought on a united front.

“Democratic institutions and values are not automatically sustained,” he said. “One of the central mandates of education is to examine what it means to be a responsible citizen and to ensure that human values are appreciated, nurtured and protected. Silence and indifference to the suffering of others, or to the infringements of civil rights in any society, can perpetuate these problems.”

German Professor Sandra Alfers, director of the Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, said that as someone who grew up in post-war West Germany, the destruction of books “conjures up particularly disturbing ghosts from the past.”

“Thanks to the support of many, our shelves in Wilson Library do not remain empty, and so we have replaced books that were destroyed and added traditional and new formats in written, oral and visual form to enhance our collection,” Alfers said. “More than 120 items have been added thus far, some of them not held by any other library in the state.”

But more work needs to be done, Alfers said. Hate crimes and violence against minority groups are on the rise in the U.S. as islamophobia, antisemitism, anti-immigrant sentiment and Holocaust distortion and denial are becoming more common around the globe.

“Reports can be shelved and forgotten,” Alfers said. “So, commit yourself to being engaged, to actively thoughtfully, and respectfully be building bridges, not walls, and creating much-needed change. To seek knowledge and to apply it. Therein lies your – our – responsibility as we stand up in unity to antisemitism, hate and bigotry.”

Read more: Western Libraries Responds

Spring Quarter TLA New Format!

Posted on: April 4, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Spring Quarter TLA Begins April 11

What does diversity mean to Western? Do safe spaces really exist? What does it mean to be educated? Join students, faculty, staff, and community members as they consider questions like these during spring quarter’s Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) dialogue sessions. 

The TLA meets from 12-1:20 p.m. every other Wednesday and Thursday in Haggard Hall Room 222 beginning April 11 and 12.  This quarter, the TLA will explore a new dialogue format by asking a different question each week.

 TLA participants include students, faculty, staff, and community members, and everyone is welcome to participate. The TLA’s primary objective is to create a community of scholars who work together to enhance teaching and learning by providing:

  • a cross-disciplinary space for dialogue which explores how teaching and learning can be enhanced throughout the University and beyond.
  • a forum for fostering collaboration and bridging the gaps between students, staff, faculty, and community members.
  • a space that values diverse perspectives and works towards creating active communities.  
  • professional development resources and workshops that support both scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning.


Participants consistently report that the TLA dialogue sessions provide a great way to connect with others outside of their disciplines and departments, and to learn more about Western’s teaching and learning culture. Many say it also gives them a chance to take a breath and just listen to what others, especially students, really think. The goals of each dialogue session are to share well-rounded views related to teaching and learning while encouraging the use of  listening to understand and appreciate differences , and promoting open-mindedness and mutual respect for diverse perspectives.  

For more information, see http://library.wwu.edu/tla.  To sign up for the TLA listserv, email TLA@wwu.edu. (Students: there is also an opportunity to participate in the TLA for LIBR 340 “Speaking and Listening” practicum credit. For more information, contact Shevell.Thibou@wwu.edu.)

Read more: Spring Quarter TLA New Format!


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