News from the Dean

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News from the Dean

Mark I. Greenberg, Dean of Libraries

As we begin the Spring Quarter, I want to share information about important activities underway in the Western Libraries as well as recent accomplishments. 

The Senate Library Committee’s Sustainable Access Task Force (SATF), made up of members appointed by the Faculty Senate, has completed its final report.  As directed by the SATF, the Western Libraries produced a “List of Proposed Cancellations” in order to create a transparent, campus-wide discussion about what journals and databases faculty and students use and need to be successful in their teaching, learning, and research.  This subscription review process, ongoing in April and May, will enable the Libraries to identify titles that can be more inexpensively acquired through interlibrary loan as well as those titles faculty consider important for retention, and why.  The combination of financial considerations and faculty feedback places the University in the best position it has been in for many years to engage publishers in subscription renegotiation efforts. The Libraries will contact vendors with a list of titles identified through the faculty review process and will seek volume pricing and other discounts in order to retain the largest number of needed journals at the lowest possible cost.  Negotiated savings will increase Western’s overall purchasing power and reduce the final number of cancelled titles.  To learn more about the journal review process, please visit or contact Director of Scholarly Resources and Collection Services Mike Olson.

The Libraries (in partnership with the Graduate School, Office of the Provost, and Office of Research and Sponsored Programs) launched Western CEDAR less than two years ago.  The online Institutional Repository advances Western’s commitment to enriching academic inquiry and strengthening communities by sharing the expertise and creativity of its students, faculty, and staff worldwide via the Web.  Content in CEDAR has grown to include 108 individual faculty research pages located in the SelectedWorks Author Gallery, 26 departmental pages, 6 monographs, numerous Office of Survey Research reports, 461 theses, 111 Scholars Week poster sessions, the 2014 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, the Journal of Educational Controversy, and the brand new Huxley College of the Environment journal Summit to Salish Sea: Inquiries and Essays.  At the end of February 2016, nearly 3,000 documents contained in CEDAR had been downloaded worldwide over 90,000 times.  All campus units are invited to disseminate reports, papers, datasets, conference proceedings, and the like.  People interested in open access publishing can manage the editorial process and publish the final product.  The Libraries has taken an active leadership role in managing CEDAR day to day, teaching faculty, staff, and students about the software’s many capabilities, and educating them on their intellectual property rights and responsibilities.  To learn more about CEDAR and how you can get involved, don’t hesitate to contact Scholarly Communications Librarian Jenny Oleen or CEDAR Project Manager Kim Marsicek.

OneSearch (the Libraries online resource discovery system) underwent a significant redesign in Summer 2015 to improve functionality, clarity, and to add new features.  The changes address user feedback provided over the past two years, including in three faculty and student surveys.  Specific enhancements include autocomplete during searching, better search filters for more refined results, clearer information about an item’s availability, better display of the item’s catalog details, more intuitive language and descriptions, improved mobile device display, and enhanced accessibility for patrons with disabilities.  I hope the ability to search items available at Western, via Summit, and in electronic journals and databases all at once is proving useful.  You still can narrow your search to just WWU or WWU + Summit and use your favorite databases just like you did in the past.  For tips on making the most of OneSearch, check out OneSearch Tips.  Also, any of the Libraries’ research consultation professionals can assist you with using OneSearch.  To make suggestions for improvements or to learn more about the Orbis Cascade Alliance partnership behind OneSearch, don’t hesitate to contact Rebecca Marrall, head of the Libraries’ resource discovery unit.

In addition to developments in the Libraries’ virtual space, there are exciting physical changes underway to transform the second floor of Haggard Hall.  Last summer, Research Consultation and the Writing Center merged to become the Research-Writing Studio.  The Studio integrates academic support for research, writing, and reading literacies in a vibrant learning environment staffed by experts.  During Fall and Winter Quarters, as many as 1,000 students a week used the new flexible furnishings and mobile technologies to work on academic projects by themselves, with others, or with Studio staff.  A private donation from a Western alumna fully funded this evolving initiative.  Planned improvements for Summer 2016 include an expanded Studio footprint, additional furnishings and technology, an enclosed workshop room, and a new configuration for the Student Technology Center service desk and public computers.  In close proximity to the Studio, a new Digital Media Center (DMC) opened in Winter Quarter to meet growing demand for the integration of visual literacies into Western’s curriculum.  The modern, million-dollar capital project was designed with input from faculty in five colleges and consists of a fully equipped sound stage, control room, and editing lab to support media production and post-production projects. Under the management of Academic Technology, in partnership with the Western Libraries, the DMC consolidates teaching and learning resources related to new media and serves as a program partner in the Learning Commons. 

As always, I encourage you to stop by to see me in Haggard Hall 231 or to send me an email if there is anything I can do to improve the Libraries.


Mark I. Greenberg
Dean of Libraries
April 2016