Read about recent and upcoming events, the latest news and other features from Western Libraries Heritage Resources.
We at the Libraries are guided by our mission: “Western Libraries connects—people to people, people to place, and people to learning.” One of the many ways in which we make such connections is through collaborating with students, staff, and faculty to create educational proposals that have meaningful impacts. As such, Western Libraries has participated in several Green Energy Fee (GEF) Grant Program sponsored projects, including one during winter quarter that emphasizes the importance of social equity as an integral component of sustainability. The GEF Grant Program supports projects that are designed to increase student involvement and education, reduce the University's environmental impact, and create an aware and engaged campus community.
This coming Wednesday, February 26th at 5:00 pm in the Library Presentation Room, (Wilson Library 164F), we will host a viewing of the film The Economics of Happiness, followed by a panel-led dialogue that explores the topic of social equity as an important aspect of sustainability while asking the question: how can we create and sustain happiness as a community? Environmental Studies Associate Professor of Natural Resource Policy Dr. Grace Wang, Leadership Development Specialist in Western's Leadership Advantage Program Dr. Joanne DeMark, and Fairhaven student concentrating on social justice and education, Andrew Eckels, are the three main panelists who will lead this conversation as a complement to the themes featured in the film.
“The film touches on the social equity piece of sustainability. It asks: what is true happiness? Can we get happiness from material things? Or is it through building networks of support and community, and through bonding with other individuals?” explained project co-sponsor, Phi Kappa Phi member, and Learning Commons Program Coordinator Shevell Thibou. “Basically, the relationships we build with one another are what’s most important, and this project focuses on community—both building and supporting community.”
There is another component of this project that may surprise you. While the connection between sock moneys and sustainability may not seem like an obvious one, here at Western and thanks to Office of Sustainability (OS) staff member Carol Berry, sock monkeys and sustainability do have a special relationship. Berry gifted the Libraries Mathes Figurine Collection with the sock monkey Hans Wholebean after the Circulation Department received their Sustainable Office Certification. Hans quickly became the Libraries’ institutional symbol of sustainability, as he demonstrates on the Libraries’ sustainability blog, The Green Shelf. Since Hans has a loyal following around the library, and as one thing frequently leads to another, Thibou, Berry, and others began considering how they might do more to highlight the social equity piece of sustainability, and in doing so discovered another connection between social equity and sock monkeys.
“We started talking about how sweet the sock monkeys are and how the small little stuffed animal can brighten up your day. Earlier, I had talked with a middle-schooler who needed help with a project about child abuse, and she explained what those kids have to go through when they are transferred to a different home,” explained Thibou. “I was thinking about how comforting the sock monkey could be and I brought this up at the OS ‘Lunch & Learn,’ and then we stumbled upon an idea of finding a way to make sock monkeys for these children.”
Thibou pitched the idea of forming a group that could make personalized sock monkeys (using re-claimed materials for all of the monkeys’ clothing), to give to children who are transitioning into foster care. Thibou contacted Bellingham’s Children Administration Office to gauge their thoughts on this proposal, and they responded with support.
“The children who are served by the Bellingham Children’s Administration Office often come to our office en route to foster or relative care with only the clothes they are wearing and no toys or personal items,” explained Laurie Alexander from Bellingham Children’s Administration. “I am sure they would be very excited to receive a sock monkey and it would be a bright spot for them in the midst of a very challenging time.”
After Thibou received approval from the Children’s Administration office, University Residences employee June Fraser-Thistle grew very excited about this idea, and immediately organized students, staff, faculty, and community members to get together for the monkey-making workshops.
“I couldn't have led this project if it wasn't for all of the work and motivation received from June and all the others in the ‘Stitch and Munch’ group that have put their heart and hard work into this project,” stated Thibou. The “Stitch and Munch” group began work during spring quarter 2013, and since then have created about 32 monkeys. Ultimately, 50 handmade sock monkeys will be given to Child Protection services for young children as they are being placed in new homes.
This past fall quarter, Thibou and her team members, Learning Commons student liaisons Caroline Dallstream and Simon Bakke, officially applied for a GEF grant in order to plan an event that focused on the “human” side of sustainability, and then also arrange to work with Phi Kappa Phi to jointly host two more monkey-making workshops, which is also what led to the film event this coming Wednesday.
The film event and monkey-making workshops are jointly sponsored by Western Libraries, The Learning Commons, the Green Energy Fee Grant Program, Phi Kappa Phi, and Associated Students. As Thibou explained, the goal of this project is to explore how we can build and nurture sustainable communities, and how we can learn from each other. “It’s all about caring for ourselves and for each other, and making the world brighter and better,” said Thibou. In other words, it’s about making meaningful connections, to people, to place, and to learning.
In case you haven't yet seen it, we want to share with you the news about a special exhibit featuring photographs that span over 70 years of history for the community and Western Washington University. Western Libraries Heritage Resources, Librarian Sylvia Tag, and the Libraries' Art Exhibit Team, Leslie Hall and Michelle Becker, have worked together to create this unique exhibit that features a variety of photographs depicting children, teenagers, and educators both inside classrooms and outside in the natural environment. We hope these photos help you connect to the lively world of those who came before us!
This exhibit is located on the 4th floor of Wilson Library, in the alcove area outside the Reading Room. Photographs were selected from all three Heritage Resources programs: University Archives and Records Center, Special Collections, and the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies. Heritage Resources works to document the culture and history of Western, the local community and Pacific Northwest region, and to promote public and scholarly access to holdings.
Photograph titles have been supplied by the Art Exhibit team, with the exception of some original titles supplied by the photographer or the collector. If you are interested in more information about a particular photo on display, or would like to learn more about duplication policies and fee schedules, please note the ID reference code and the name of the collection, listed in the descriptive text, and contact the designated Heritage Resources program.
Western Libraries is pleased to announce that the library website will be getting a fresh new look starting March 21, 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 they will be easier to find. The terminology you are familiar with 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 changes we are making will help us better serve the entire WWU community by aligning Western Libraries with an institutional graphic identity. The Western Repositioning Initiative established a set of style and branding guidelines in order to provide a more consistent experience for users exploring the university’s webpages.
Additionally, 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. Likewise, the new Libraries website will deliver content to users regardless of what type of device is used to access the site, whether content is displayed on a large monitor or a smaller mobile device.
For more information about Western Libraries new website, contact Jon.Dillon@wwu.edu
Western alumnus Michael Davenport has been creating art for over fifty years, some of which is now on exhibit at Western Libraries as part of a retrospective of Davenport’s work entitled “An Artist Never Stops Growing.”
Having originally begun his art education as a student in San Francisco in 1969, Davenport credits his return to college at Western Washington University at the age of 35 as having had a particularly positive effect on both his life and his career. Michael graduated from Western in 1989 with a degree in fine arts, and like many Western grads, Davenport reflects back on his time at Western with fondness.
“I enjoyed every day here. Each day I always thought: ‘I am so lucky to be here.’ Everyone in my family is a Western grad. They are all gainfully employed and they all love what they do,” explains Davenport.
While Davenport was a student at Western, he was introduced to the director of the Tutoring Center who was very impressed with his art, and this eventually led to Western purchasing three of Davenport’s pieces: Floating Cars, Mr. Applehead, and Bus Stop. Because of the importance of Western to Davenport, having this retrospective at Western Libraries has personal significance.
“For me, it is going full circle. Here I am now having a show right next to the Tutoring Center where everything started. I feel really honored to have this show. To me, it’s probably the most significant show I have ever had because of my connection to Western and to the arts. It’s also a rare privilege to be able to show to students. What an honor.”
When asked about his art Davenport explains: “My art is about communication.” He believes that art is a “catalyst” for people’s own thoughts and visions, and that the best way to view his work is to: “…take plenty of time and relax with it. Take a chair, sit down, and clear your mind to let the images begin to sink in or just to be seen at all.”
“An Artist Never Stops Growing” showcases some of Davenport’s pastels, acrylics, and oil paintings in Libraries Galleries One, Two, and Three, from now until March 6, 2014. Also of note, beginning in February, Davenport will be hosting a companion exhibition with additional pieces related to his show at Western at the Jansen Art Center in Lynden.
Western Washington University students have a reputation for contributing to scholarship, research, collaboration, and service, and we here at Western are particularly proud of how they exemplify Western’s motto of “active minds changing lives.” Recently, Western Libraries very own Learning Commons student liaison Kali Legg received recognition for her significant contribution to research and scholarship when she was awarded the title of “Best Student Presentation” at the 2013 International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (ISSOTL) conference.
Kali is an Environmental Science major who has also been actively involved with the Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) here at Western as both a student participant and also through her role as Learning Commons student liaison. Incorporating voices from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, TLA was established at Western in 2001 with the mission of creating a community of scholars who could work together to better understand the existing learning culture, share that understanding with others, and enhance the learning environment by exploring multiple views of teaching and learning. It was partly because of her involvement with TLA that Kali was selected to attend the ISSOTL conference and act as a representative of the many exceptional students at Western who are actively engaged in exploring the research and scholarship of teaching and learning. Kali both appreciated and recognized the value of this tremendous opportunity.
“This conference helped me further realize that I have a passion for education—well more for learning. I have a passion for learning. And I felt incredibly fortunate to be able to share and receive ideas about learning from some very brilliant and kind individuals from all over the world…” Kali stated.
Together with Western Libraries staff and faculty Shevell Thibou and Carmen Werder from the Teaching-Learning Academy, along with Tim Costello from the Center for Service Learning, Kali introduced and co-led the session entitled “Transforming Teaching and Learning Cooperatives.” Together they explored a number of “partnering” models and examined the concepts of “co-location,” “collaboration,” and “co-inquiry,” posing the questions: “To what extent are these partnering models distinct and yet interrelated relationships on a continuum? And how might understanding this cooperative continuum model facilitate institutional change for teaching and learning?”
Using case studies, this group was able to provide an analytical model that defined co-location as referring to shared space, collaboration as sharing an interest in reaching a common outcome, and co-inquiry as sharing an interest in addressing a common question. One of the case studies used focused specifically on the Learning Commons, and illustrated how co-location has actually led to collaboration and co-inquiry. Such research is often inspired by the work that is being done in the TLA, which serves as the hub for the study of teaching and learning at Western, and engages student participants in its ongoing dialogue with faculty, staff, and community members.
The annual ISSOTL conference includes faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students from a number of institutions located throughout the world. This international audience responded enthusiastically to Kali’s award-winning presentation, and Kali later explained how this conference was also valuable for her in that it affected her own views about education and the learning experience.
“I have come to realize that learning and learning theory should be present in every discipline. I would like to make what I've learned at the ISSOTL conference present in my learning experience and that of my peers whenever I can, no matter what kind of classroom or working environment I'm in,” Kali explained.
ISSOTL was founded in 2004 by a group of 67 scholars from several different countries, to recognize and promote scholarly communication on teaching and learning, to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and the integration of “discovery, learning and public engagement.” Each year, members of this organization come together to share research and experiences related to the scholarship of teaching and learning. This most recent conference was held October 2-5, 2013 in Raleigh, North Carolina, and focused on the theme of “Critical Transitions in Teaching and Learning.”
Western Libraries Heritage Resources is pleased to be a Project Contributor on a new exhibition from the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in Seattle, WA. The exhibit, entitled Grit: Asian Pacific Pioneers Across the Northwest, “uncovers the true stories of the men and women who migrated to the region from the Asia Pacific,” and “reminds us of Asian Pacific Americans’ long history of fortitude and resilience as they established communities in the Pacific Northwest.” One of the featured stories is that of Lummi/Hawaiian fiddler Charley Kahana and the exhibit includes images of Kahana drawn from the Howard E. Buswell collection at Heritage Resources’ own Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.
Grit opened on December 12, 2013 and runs through October 19, 2014. The Wing Luke is a Smithsonian Affiliate in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution.
Jeanne Armstrong, a professor at Western Libraries, recently published her translation of La grand misère ("Great Misery") with the University of Nebraska Institutional Repository Zea Press as an open access e-book available in print on demand.
Great Misery is Maisie Renault’s story, as the editor's cover note relays, of her nine months in this “man-made hell, where brutality, starvation, sickness, filth, and degradation took a daily toll on women whose principal offense was having opposed the Nazi regime. Maisie’s story, however, is one of loyalty, devotion, faith, endurance, and the loving and self-sacrificing support that her circle of women gave each other, allowing some of them to survive the horribly cruel and inhumane conditions."
This work was originally published in French in 1948, and Professor Armstrong's translation is the first available published English version of Maisie Renault's compelling account of how she survived life inside an SS concentration camp, "and the indomitable spirit that bound these women together and allowed them to emerge hurt, sick, battered, but unbroken and unafraid to testify about what they saw.” For more information about this book, see the DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska here.
Western Libraries and the Student Technology Center have partnered in providing a next generation book scanner to the Learning Commons. This joint purchase was funded through Student Technology Fees to provide scanning capabilities and ease of use not previously readily available to students and faculty.
Known as the Zeta, this awesome-looking and awesome-performing scanner is perfectly designed for scanning content from bound volumes, but also accommodates flat sheets of up to 19x14 inches making it great for smaller maps.
The Zeta’s intuitive and interactive touch screen interface allows anyone to produces great color, grey scale and black & white images in a variety of file types that can be uploaded to the campus network or taken away on a USB thumbdrive. Files can also be named and added to a shopping cart for holding until finished scanning. Then load them all at once!
The articulated book carriage allows for face up scanning of thick bound volumes without damage to the binding. It also positions both the left and right pages the same distance from the scan lens for perfect clarity. Face-up scanning makes it incredibly easy to scan your way through journal articles or a book chapter without constant flip flopping the after each page turn.
Drop by the Student Technology Center on Haggard 2 and try out the Zeta. The STC staff can answer your questions or help you get started…but that probably won’t be necessary!
Western Libraries are excited to announce the completion of the Learning Commons renovations which began this past spring. Thanks to a generous donation from WWU alumni Dave and Ann Thomson Mann, and one-time funding from the Provost’s office, the Learning Commons has been transformed into an inviting, modern, interactive space for everyone on campus to enjoy.
During spring quarter, WWU students sampled demo furniture and voted on the pieces they preferred, and the Learning Commons program partners helped select the colors in shades of purple and green to provide a sense of relaxation. With its new furniture, carpet, and freshly painted walls, the renovated area in the Wilson entrance will serve as the central hub for the Learning Commons activities.
The Western Libraries’ Learning Commons brings together resources and programs to advance teaching and learning at Western. This space has been designed to promote collaborative opportunities in a flexible, functional, and attractive space geared towards student learning.
We hope you will stop by to see these changes for yourself and will find them as exciting as we do!