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Posted on: Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 9:25am
Learning Commons New Tagline: Connect, Communicate, Create
In February 2014, Western Washington University’s Learning Commons announced a tagline contest in which Western students, faculty, and staff were asked to help create a memorable and positive phrase that captured the Learning Commons mission. The Learning Commons brings together resources and programs to advance teaching and learning, online and across the physical space of Western Libraries. As added incentive and as a show of appreciation, it was also established that the winner of the contest would be awarded a $100 gift card to the A.S. Bookstore.
After reviewing over 60 submissions, the winning tagline of: “Connect, Communicate, Create” was selected. The Learning Commons partners agreed that each of the three key words in that phrase successfully captured the Learning Commons’ essence. Unbeknownst to the Learning Commons partners when they chose the winning entry, creator of the tagline, student Kathryn Jensen, also happens to be employed as a Writing Center Assistant.
As Learning Commons Director Carmen Werder stated, “I was delighted to find out that Kathryn is one of our very own student staff in her role as a Writing Center Assistant – no wonder she really gets the Learning Commons. We are very grateful to her for helping us find a phrase that captures the Learning Commons dream.”
Jensen explained how she came up with the tagline after she began thinking about the mission of the Learning Commons during a discussion in her first-year intern seminar at the Writing Center.
“We had been talking about how to establish it as a place students know they can go for all kinds of peer collaboration from working on group projects to writing assistance to math/science tutoring. I realized that the idea of 'connecting' with others was sort of the core of the Learning Commons, and created a tagline that emphasized that,” said Jensen.
Werder, who also directs the Teaching Learning Academy (TLA), and Writing Instruction Support (WIS), mentioned how the word “communicate” represents another significant component of the tagline.
“We also want everyone to think of the Learning Commons as a place to communicate in genuinely human ways – not only to gain information, but to engage in spirited dialogue about topics that matter most,” stated Werder. For example, “Conversations in Common,” a program that began during winter quarter 2014, is one way the Learning Commons offers the Western community opportunities for both making connections and communicating ideas.
Such programs and activities hosted in the Learning Commons naturally lead to the third component of the tagline, which is the word “create.” Werder noted how she and other Learning Commons partners were “especially thrilled” to see how the winning tagline emphasized “the Learning Commons as a place to create new knowledge, and to create it together.”
In addition to Jensen’s winning submission, Carly Roberts, who is also President of Western’s Associated Students (AS), submitted a tagline suggestion that grabbed the attention of the Learning Commons partners. Learning Commons Program Coordinator Shevell Thibou stated that all of the partners were pleased with Roberts’ emphasis on the Learning Commons as a physical gathering space.
“We also liked how the phrase ‘gather here’ was both an explanation and an invitation, welcoming everyone into this collaborative space available for connecting, communicating, and creating knowledge,” explained Thibou. Because of this emphasis, the Learning Commons partners expressed their appreciation to Roberts for her valuable contribution, acknowledging that the tagline and other future marketing materials will also incorporate the part of Roberts’ submission that includes the phrase “Gather Here.” The Learning Commons partners would also like to thank everyone else who participated in the tagline naming contest for offering their submissions.
Posted on: Friday, April 11, 2014 - 10:14am
Many students and grads spend ample time in Western Libraries, unaware that it is home to a Rare Book Collection with some rather eclectic treasures lingering on the uppermost floor. Rare Books are housed in a climate-controlled storage facility on the 6th floor of the Wilson Library, adjacent to a well-lit, comfortable reading and research room.
Western Libraries seeks to increase both size and awareness of the collection, and has recently formed an advisory group comprised of faculty from the library and several other departments. This group will guide future purchases and acquisitions, assist in identifying donors, and perhaps most importantly, help integrate the collection into the University’s curriculum. The collection’s scope includes art books, regional letterpress and small press, 19th century women’s literature and children’s literature.
Recent acquisitions include an edition of Jorge Luis Borges Book of Sand with woodcuts by local artist Tom Wood. The uniqueness and multidimensionality (book as text, book as object, book as art) of works like this make them rich in teaching and research opportunities. The Rare Book Collection also boasts a luxurious facsimile of Ellesmere’s Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, original journals of Vancouver, Cook and Lewis and Clark, and numerous rare works of art and literature.
Western Washington is home to several nationally renowned letterpresses that produce books of exceptional quality. Presses like Copper Canyon, Co-op, Brooding Heron, Grey Spider, Wood Works, Egress Studio Press and others are creating books that by their choice of paper, type, binding, size, and content are themselves works of art. Western’s evolving rare book criteria have been enhanced to include vigorous collection of such items. These are often extremely small print runs that go out of stock quickly, and are often poorly preserved. Preserving these books and making them available for instruction are two of the primary goals.
Rare books located in the general circulating shelves are being discovered and relocated into the Rare Book Collection where handling and climate can be regulated. Anyone who would like to help grow this collection either through gifts that include books that fit our collecting criteria, or through monetary donations may contact Paul Piper at 360-650-3097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on: Friday, February 14, 2014 - 2:34pm
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.
Posted on: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 8:03am
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.”
Posted on: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 11:42am
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.