In this issue Paul Piper introduces the Western Libraries’ “Northwest Collection” which has been assembled in the Libraries’ beautiful Wilson 4 Central reading room. Gabe Gossett provides an update on streaming video availability. Increased access to a variety streamed video packages makes it a valuable resources for instruction. And lastly take a sneak-peak at the new Western Libraries’ home page with developer Jon Dillon. We hope you find these three things worthwhile!
Reading Room Focuses on Works of the Pacific NW
By Paul Piper, Special Collections Librarian
The room known by students as the Harry Potter Room has been transformed, and although students will no doubt continue to call it the Harry Potter Room, the stately and ornate Four Central Reading Room, designed in the late 1920’s by architects Charles H. Bebb and Carl F. Gould, now houses the Northwest Collection.
What is the Northwest Collection you ask? The Western Libraries’ Northwest Collection is a rich and extensive resource for information on the Pacific Northwest, a region defined as Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia, and Alaska.
The collection features works by authors, scholars, and others whose efforts have contributed significantly to the interpretation and understanding of the Northwest region. This circulating collection of books and video emphasizes important works on regional and local history; art; literature; business, labor, industry and commerce; science and technology; agriculture and natural resources; politics, government, and law; environment and conservation; ethnicity and culture; geography; and archaeology, and anthropology.
Additionally it features work by renowned Pacific Northwest authors and film-makers whose scope of creation has expanded beyond the region. This collection will significantly enhance research and instruction for students, staff and faculty alike.
It is a living, growing collection that we will continue to build. It is a browsing and circulating collection. So, in addition to authors like David Gutterson and Tom Robbins – which one would expect to find – view some of the other amazing offerings in the gallery of titles linked here.
From beautifully photographed works of tribal art to a video telling the incredible story of Bellingham’s own “Mountain Runners” who foreshadowed the modern Ski-to-Sea racers there are works that will speak to every northwesterner.
This newly developed space provides plenty of seating, tables, and it is a quiet area. A perfect place to create a respite in your normally busy day, browsing and reading.
The Reading Room also serves as a special place to connect technology-empowered students to the historic research libraries of the past. And last but not least, the Libraries plans to use the room for events and exhibitions that advance our knowledge of the Northwest. Stay tuned.
Streaming Video: In Canvas and In the Classroom
By Gabe Gossett, Librarian for Extended Education
Increasingly, as services like Netflix take off, we are used to streaming videos online. Streaming video can be an excellent teaching resource since it allows for flexibility. Rather than taking up class time to show a film professors can “flip” the class and place streaming videos on reserve. Hybrid and online courses can better take advantage of streaming video as well.
At Western Libraries we are fully aware of this trend. Around this time last year we let you know about access to 20,000+ documentary collections through Academic Video Online. We have continued to work towards meeting demand for streaming video and are pleased to announce a few more resources you can access.
Environmental and social issues are common areas of focus at Western. Because of that we have lined up a package of 240 documentary titles from distributors such as Bullfrog and Icarus Films. You can browse and view these titles through OneSearch or by accessing them through Docuseek2 in the database list.
Many instructors seek access to streaming feature films and we can meet this need through Swank Films, which allows us to get access to films on a course-by-course basis. You won’t find these films through the OneSearch catalog, since access on a per title basis and streamed directly to a specific course in Canvas, but you can find out which titles are available by searching the Swank catalog. Contact a librarian for details on how to arrange for a streaming feature film in your course.
Even if a film is not available through one of the sources described we might still be able to get streaming access to it. Currently, if you place a purchase request for a video we will check for streaming access and default to purchasing that, unless you ask us to do otherwise. We do have some limitations, such as distributors that don’t provide streaming access. However, we are constantly seeking ways in which to meet our patrons’ needs for new media. In the near future you can expect clarifications around policies related to the streaming of DVD and VHS content.
If you have questions about streaming video don’t hesitate to contact a librarian about the options that might be available to you!
A Fresh New Look to the Library Website!
By Jon Dillon, Web Developer for Western Libraries
Western Libraries is pleased to announce that the library website will be getting a fresh new look starting Winter Quarter 2014! You will quickly realize that although things may look different, the underlying functionality remains the same.
The services you are used to will still be available, but easier to find. The terminology you already know will not change. The menus and overall navigation of the site will continue to focus on Research, Collections, Services, and information About the Library.
The most important message we hope to convey about the change is that you will not have to learn something new. Instead, we think you will enjoy the look and feel of the new design while also benefitting from the following advantages:
A Common Brand! - In order to better serve the entire WWU community, Western Libraries is happy to follow the guidelines set forth in the Western Repositioning Initiative. These changes will align the Western Libraries with an institutional graphic identity that will provide a more consistent experience for users exploring the university's web pages.
Mobile Devices! - The Western Libraries website will deliver content to our users, regardless of the type of device used to access the site. This will be achieved using the practices of Responsive Web Design. The same content will be displayed on large monitors and smaller mobile devices.
The Latest Technology! - The Western Libraries website will migrate from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7. Drupal 7 is the current, stable version of the popular CMS. This move creates opportunities to work with other campus web developers to harness the power of Drupal to deliver content in new and exciting ways.
Changes to the Western Libraries website will be in effect starting December 15th. Please click on the attached thumbnails for a sneak peek. For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.