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Undergraduate Teaching & Learning Unconference

Posted on: Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 3:10pm

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Unconference

A group of people in  a classroom sitting at tables and talking with two people in the background writing on a whiteboard.Western Libraries and the Learning Commons invite you to the Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Unconference on Friday, April 13 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. This unconference is a casual and informally structured opportunity to exchange ideas and best practices for engaging undergraduate students in research and co-inquiry.

This event is free but space is limited and registration is required. Please use the following link to register:

Students are encouraged to participate and share insights into how faculty and staff can better support them in their personal and academic research. Faculty and staff who support undergraduate research or other teaching and learning related programs are also encouraged to attend (e.g. librarians, writing center personnel, tutorial center staff).

A loose agenda will be provided, but attendees will participate in determining the topics of discussion for the day. The overall goal is to foster collaboration and inquiry.  

The following questions will guide the focus of the Unconference:

  • What are the many ways we define student research?
  • How do undergraduate students contribute to professional practice?
  • How do we collaborate with each other to facilitate and support student agency and leadership?

Why should I attend?

Unlike formal conference structures, this unconference will bring together professionals from various areas (e.g., libraries, tutorial centers, writing centers) to share their expertise and knowledge related to undergraduate research and leadership. This is an opportunity to network with other scholars and hear from student co-inquirers about how we can improve the current learning culture.

Read more: Undergraduate Teaching & Learning Unconference

Canines & Cats on Campus Return!

Posted on: Friday, March 9, 2018 - 3:59pm

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Canines & Cats on Campus Program Visits WWU

Student petting a dog during a past Canines on Campus visitWestern Libraries will once again be joined by members of the “Canines & Cats on Campus” registered therapy animal program from Monday, March 12th through Tuesday, March 20th. 

Teams of humans and animals will be located in the gallery space at the end of the Mann Family Skybridge on the Wilson side of the library off and on between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. during this period.

For the duration of these visits, this space will be reserved exclusively for the registered Canines & Cats on Campus therapy animal program, and animals who are not official volunteers with this program are not permitted in this area. 

Additionally, Western Libraries would like to remind everyone that while ADA service animals are welcome in the library, pets may not be brought into library facilities at any time.

For more information about the upcoming Canines & Cats on Campus visit, a schedule which includes the names of the volunteers, photos of the animals, and the times when they will be available for visiting, will be posted on an easel in the designated gallery area beginning Monday, March 12th. You can also see a list of specific visit times on Facebook

Remember to stop by the library to say hi or de-stress when you are in need of a break from studying for finals, working on projects, or writing those last few papers!  

Read more: Canines & Cats on Campus Return!

Volunteers Needed

Posted on: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 1:28pm

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Help Us Improve the Library Catalog

Two people near a computer smiling at each other, one seated with her hands on the keyboard and the other standing nearby holding a clipboard and pen.Western Libraries Usability & Design Working Group is currently evaluating how our patrons search for materials in the catalog and we would love your input!

We are seeking participants for a brief exercise, and undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff are invited to participate. This activity shouldn’t take longer than 15 – 20 minutes.  

When & Where: Sessions will take place within the library between the dates of February 22 and March 7. Please see here for more information about available days and times. Once you’ve selected a time for your session, a library professional will contact you with information about next steps.

Questions about the opportunity? Please e-mail or call Associate Professor Rebecca Marrall, Chair of the Usability & Design Working Group (360-650-4493).

Read more: Volunteers Needed

Germany: Integrating Immigrants - Extended Through Winter 2018

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

Topic(s): Updates, Events, Exhibits

"Germany: Integrating Immigrants" - now through March 2018

Western Washington University’s Cornelius Partsch, Professor of German, was awarded a grant to sponsor a special exhibition entitled “Germany: Integrating Immigrants,” which  opened on October 24, 2017 in Western Libraries Special Collections, (Wilson Library 6th Floor),  and will remain on display through the end of winter quarter 2018.

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 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

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 - Extended Through Winter 2018

Naomi Shihab Nye to Speak @WWU

Posted on: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 10:48am

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System are the sites for 2018 Arbuthnot Lecture

Photo of author Naomi Shihab Nye positioned behind a microphone and holding a book

Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System invite you to  the 49th annual May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture to be delivered by author and poet Naomi Shihab Nye.

In poetry and prose for children, teens, and adults, Naomi Shihab Nye explores themes of identity and belonging, building literary bridges of empathy across which strangers can meet and connect.

The Arbuthnot Lecture, considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature, is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children, a Division of the American Library Association.

The 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture will take place at 7:00pm on Saturday, April 28, at the Western Washington University Performing Arts Center. A reception will follow in the Performing Arts Center Foyer.

The lecture is FREE and open to the public, but registration is requested. Click here to register

The daughter of a Palestinian father and an American mother, Nye grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Texas.  Her experience of different cultures has influenced much of her work, and she is often described as having a talent for writing about everyday life while also addressing cultural issues. She has written and edited more than 30 books for adults and children, and her latest for young people, “The Turtle of Oman,” was chosen as a 2015 Notable Children's Book by the American Library Association (ALA). Amongst her many honors, she has also received four Pushcart Prizes, was a National Book Award finalist, and has been named a Guggenheim Fellow. 

Sylvia Tag, curator of the Children's Literature Interdisciplinary Collection at Western Libraries, noted “Naomi Shihab Nye spreads hope and light through her poetry and prose. Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System are honored to host the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, and invite her particular brilliance to illuminate our diverse and word-hungry communities.”

The May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture celebrates May Hill Arbuthnot, who served as a strong voice for children’s literature. Each year a lecturer is chosen who will prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature. This paper is delivered as a lecture each spring, and is subsequently published through Children & Libraries, the journal of Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). 

ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. Members of the 2018 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee are: Chair Elizabeth Ramsey Bird, Evanston Public Library (Ill.); Timothy D. Capehart, Beavercreek (Ohio) Community Library; Monica Edinger, The Dalton School, New York; Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library, Washington, D.C.; and Sharon McKellar, Oakland (Calif.) Public Library.

Read more: Naomi Shihab Nye to Speak @WWU