Welcome from the Dean

Posted on: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - 10:00am

Welcome to Western Libraries! We are a staff of experts in two libraries dedicated to providing you with the information resources and services you need when and where you need them.

Our collection consists of over 1.4 million volumes, all of which can be searched from these pages using our online catalog. We also offer access to a dizzying array of online periodical databases and other resources, many with full text access, available from campus or from home 24x7. All are purchased in consultation with academic faculty to ensure that they serve the research needs of our students. Our collection is supplemented by resources you can acquire through Summit, a consortium of academic libraries in Washington and Oregon, and interlibrary loan.

The Libraries fulfill a variety of campus roles. We are the campus’ intellectual center, offering materials and experiences to stimulate learning and discussion. We partner with faculty and other campus organizations to provide exhibits and public programming. Our Special Collections department is the caretaker of the campus’ historical consciousness and collections of unique research interest to students, faculty and community members. Our construction project to move the department to the sixth floor of Wilson demonstrates our pride in this role. We are also a social center where students come to engage in intellectual discourse with faculty and with their peers. We accommodate this need by offering a variety of study spaces, from more traditional study carrels to the comfy, upholstered furniture on our popular Skybridge. We also have newly designated quiet study spaces on Wilson 5 and 4 Central.

In response to students’ technology needs, we offer computers and wireless access as well as provide a popular laptop checkout service. We offer group study rooms newly equipped with technology so students can work collaboratively to create and rehearse their presentations.

Our most important role is encouraging lifelong learning and the development of research skills. We do this through credit instruction, instruction in academic courses and at the reference desk where we answer queries and assist users in finding materials at the point of need.

In fulfilling these roles, our main focus is you, whether you are a student, faculty member, staff member, or a member of the Bellingham community. We urge you to explore everything we have to offer - both in person and online. Tell us what you think and share suggestions of how we might make your research lives better. You can use our online form or e-mail me directly. We’re here to help you succeed and we value your input!

Christopher Cox
Dean of Libraries
September, 2008