Western Libraries News

Threshold Concepts

Transforming Learning with Threshold Concepts

What are the ideas that irreversibly changed the way you think about your discipline? Once you know them, you can make teaching decisions that transform student thinking. Threshold concepts involve identifying conceptual building blocks that potentially transform ways of thinking.

WWU faculty and staff are invited to join Carmen Werder and campus colleagues to explore disciplinary-based threshold concepts, hear case stories from a panel of faculty who have put this idea into practice, and have dedicated work time to identify threshold concepts in your courses. These distinguished panelist include James Fortney (Communication Studies), Sean Dwyer (Modern and Classical Languages), and Linda Keeler (Physical Education, Health, and Recreation).  


This event will be on Friday, 2/6/15 from  Noon-1:30pm in Haggard Hall Room 222

Light refreshments provided. RSVP to Justina.Brown@wwu.edu appreciated.

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First Person Passionate

Fly fishers have been consummate readers for centuries – people of like mind who are fascinated by art, wildness, and ideas. Their literacy opens surprising opportunities for authors to write essays, short-stories, novels, mysteries, first-person columns, travelogues, and how- and where-to pieces. At the “lyrical end” of this it’s all about character, story, and quality prose.


In a Feb. 3 presentation titled “First Person Passionate: Writing About Fly Fishing,” renowned fly fisherman and Pulitzer-nominated author Seth Norman will explore this unique craft. Treasures from Special Collections’ Fly Fishing Collection will be on display. The presentation, which will take place from 4:00 to 5:30pm in Special Collections (Wilson Library 6th Floor), is the fourth installment of the Heritage Resources Speaker Series.


Perhaps best known for writing about fly fishing, Seth Norman has been published in all the national magazines dedicated to the sport, along with Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, and Gray’s Sporting Journal. He has been Fly Rod & Reel’s Books Editor since 1997, and his “Master of Meander” column now enters its 22nd year in California Fly Fisher. He is also the author of Meanderings of a Fly Fisherman, A Fly Fisher’s Guide to Crimes of Passion, and a guide now in its 20th printing. His other work includes essays; articles; short stories; humor columns and satire; and an expose of police corruption which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. Norman has received the Roderick Haig-Brown Award for Lifetime Achievement in Writing, the Robert Traver Award, the Jane Harrah Award for Print Media, and The Golden Medallion for Public Interest Journalism.

Heritage Resources is a division of Western Libraries which includes the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and the University Archives & Records Management. Together these programs provide for responsible stewardship of unique and archival materials in support of teaching, learning, and research.

New Titles List!

Every month, hundreds of new titles are added to the Western Libraries’ collections. There are new books, CDs, scores, videos, maps, lots of online content, and more. Most are purchased because a faculty member or student has requested them. But how can you keep track of what new resources have been added?

Announcing the New Titles Lists! You can now review the Libraries’ lists of new resources. The lists are created once a month, so reviewing them doesn’t take much time. And the lists are sorted by Library of Congress call number, so all the resources in a given discipline are easily findable in each list. Don’t know what the Library of Congress call number is for the topics you’re interested in? Check here!

We know you’re busy, so sign up to have an email reminder sent to you whenever a new set of lists becomes available. The New Titles web page is located at <http://www.library.wwu.edu/newtitles>. We are currently creating six lists each month – one each for newly acquired Books, Videos, CDs, Scores, Maps and Electronic Resources. Good luck with your teaching and research, and we welcome your feedback!

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Office Hours in The Corner

Western Washington University faculty members are invited to host office hours in the Learning Commons winter quarter of 2015. Office hours are held in The Corner (adjacent to the Info Desk in Wilson Library) where complimentary hot water and tea is available for faculty and students as they discuss class related items either individually or in groups.

The Corner also features a print collection on teaching-related topics with an emphasis on teaching writing.  In close proximity to The Corner are the Research Consultation librarians who are available to provide faculty and student assistance, as well as the Writing Center assistants available for student support. 

If you are interested in reading about your colleagues’ experience with office hours in the Learning Commons, see the Fall 2014 issue of Western Libraries 3 Things.

Email: LearningCommons@wwu.edu to schedule office hours in The Corner.

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OneSearch Beta Interface

The OneSearch Management Team at Western Libraries is actively seeking faculty, staff, and student feedback on a beta OneSearch interface, which was created in response to feedback gathered throughout the last eighteen months.

This beta interface aims to streamline search experiences and to improve the general usability of OneSearch.

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Streamlined Summit Requesting

Streamlined Summit Requesting through OneSearch

Content from the thirty-seven libraries within the Orbis Cascade Alliance is now fully integrated through the single search interface of OneSearch, and as a result of this integration, the Alliance will roll out enhancements to the Summit requesting process on January 20, 2015.  Some of the benefits of these enhancements are that patrons will experience fewer authentication requests, and they will be able to track their Summit request items in their “MyAccount” feature.


OneSearch is Western’s search interface that retrieves results from databases and catalogs found in academic libraries across the Pacific Northwest. In OneSearch, all content available to Western students, staff, and faculty is immediately accessible, and all other content from the neighboring thirty-six institutions can be requested and quickly delivered. The full integration of the Summit catalog into the OneSearch interface will create new opportunities for enhancements and improvements that will benefit those who use these library services.  


New OneSearch Interface Coming Soon

In related news, Western Libraries is seeking feedback on changes to the current OneSearch interface. The proposed interface will be accessible from the Western Libraries website as a beta version beginning January 20, 2015. The new interface offers a streamlined display of menu options and search results, in addition to a built-in “Chat with a Librarian” feature. It also includes enhanced search options and a more intuitive way to search multiple databases simultaneously.

Western Libraries is seeking feedback on this proposed interface and will be hosting a series of Focus Group sessions on the following dates in Haggard Hall 233:

New OneSearch Interface Focus Groups

  • Tuesday, January 20, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Monday, January 26, 11:00 a.m. to Noon
  • Friday, February 13, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 17, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 19, 11:00 a.m. to Noon


If you would like more information about these developments or if you have any questions, please contact Rebecca Marrall, Chair of the OneSearch Management Team, at rebecca.marrall@wwu.edu , or go to: http://libguides.wwu.edu/onesearch.

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Winter Research Clinics

Winter 2015 Research Clinics

Need help using article databases? Want to learn some research tips that will save you time? Western Libraries is offering drop-in Research Clinics twice a week throughout winter quarter.  Each clinic focuses upon a specific library resource or research tool, and attendees can ask questions about search strategies, research management, and more. Students, staff, and faculty are welcome to join us, and learn how to use:

·         OneSearch, the Libraries Catalog

·         Article Databases

·         Google Search + Scholar (Tips & Tricks)

·         Heritage Resources

·         And much more!

Research Clinics are offered every Wednesday at 11:15am and Thursday at 2:15pm.  All sessions will take place in “The Corner,” (Wilson 265 in the Learning Commons).

Interested in learning more? Please visit this guide for further information:http://libguides.wwu.edu/rc_clinics.

Questions? Please contact Rebecca Marrall, rebecca.marrall@wwu.edu, 360-650-4493.

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Defining Lifelong Learning

How would you define life-long learning?

The Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) dialogue sessions begin next week, January 14/15. This quarter, TLA will aim to answer this year’s BIG study question: How can we reduce barriers to life-long learning across disciplines and communities? Now, doesn’t that sound like an intriguing line of inquiry to pursue? And don’t you want to be part of that pursuit? If yes, then consider attending a dialogue session winter quarter. TLA dialogues last officially for 80-minutes, but faculty and staff are welcome to stay for as long as their schedules allows. All the sessions will be held in Wilson Library 270, Learning Commons.


Winter 2015 dialogue sessions:

·         Wednesdays noon-1:20 p.m.: Jan. 14, 28, Feb. 11, 25, & Mar. 11

·         Wednesdays 2-3:20 p.m.: Jan. 14, 28, Feb. 11, 25, & Mar. 11

·         Thursdays noon-1:20 p.m.: Jan. 15, 29, Feb 12, 26, & Mar. 12

·         Thursdays 2-3:20 p.m.: Jan. 15, 29, Feb 12, 26, & Mar. 12


To sign up for a regular TLA dialogue session, email Shevell.Thibou@wwu.edu or stop by for one of the scheduled sessions to gain a bit of insight on the TLA.  We are also looking at enlisting more students for this quarter, so if you know of any that may be interested in participating in the TLA especially for Communication practicum credit, please refer them to Carmen Werder (Carmen.Werder@wwu.edu), Director of TLA.

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Little women: or, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy

Louisa May Alcott
Publication Information: 
Boston: Roberts Brothers
Special Collections Rare Book Collection.
Call Number: 
PS1017.L558 1885
December, 2014

“’Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,’” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug,” and so begins one of the classic tales many read, especially youn

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Heritage Resources Fall 2014 Newsletter

The Fall 2014 issue of Heritage Highlights is now available! This Teaching and Learning Edition features several new and ongoing initiatives including our inaugural Heritage Resources Speaker Series, a recent class visit to the archives by Environmental Education graduate students, and the availability of records management training to Western’s campus community.

Heritage Resources is a division of Western Libraries which includes the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and the University Archives & Records Management. Together these programs provide for responsible stewardship of unique and archival materials in support of teaching, learning, and research.



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