Western Libraries News

Grand Opening: Research-Writing Studio

Celebration of New Research-Writing Studio

Research-Writing Studio

The new Research-Writing Studio in Western Libraries will hold a grand opening celebration at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2nd.


The Studio, located on the second floor of the Haggard side of Western Libraries and the Learning Commons, is the new home to Research Consultation and the Writing Center.


Attendees can enjoy refreshments, a ribbon-cutting and a brief program showcasing the vision behind this innovative initiative. The party will also include a celebration of the generous gifts that have made this space a reality.


Those planning to attend the celebration are asked to register online by Sept. 30.

Library Department: 

New Exhibition: Canada's Arctic

Canada's Arctic: Vibrant and Thriving

Canada’s Arctic: Vibrant and Thriving, a traveling exhibition of contemporary photographs of the Canadian Arctic, is now open at Western Libraries. This unique exhibition offers audiences a brief glimpse into the lives of Northerners, while showing a perspective of the environment and activities that help shape and influence this vibrant region.


Canada’s North is a region as vast as it is diverse. Modern conveniences exist alongside thriving traditional cultures in a region that faces both challenges and opportunities. Canada and its partners in the Arctic Council face the challenge of trying to ensure sustainable economic and environmental development throughout the circumpolar region with lasting benefits to the health and well-being of Northerners and Northern communities. 


The exhibition is open for public viewing Monday through Friday (excluding holiday closures) from 11:00am to 4:00pm in Western Libraries Special Collections (6th floor Wilson Library) from now through December 11th. A special selection of maps related to this region will also be on display in Western Libraries’ Map Collection (1st floor Wilson Library).


Exhibition sponsors are Western Libraries Heritage Resources, Western Washington University’s Center for Canadian-American Studies; Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada; and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.


For more information about this exhibition, contact Western Libraries Special Collections Manager, Tamara.Belts@wwu.edu; (360) 650-3193



Library Department: 

Special Collection Donated to Western

New Collection Features Doris Burn Artwork & Manuscripts

Siblings Skye, Lisa, and Mark Burn introduce Librarian Sylvia Tag to a portfolio of Doris Burn's drawings that now form part of the collection donated to Western Libraries.


Western Libraries has received a new collection of materials from noted children’s author and illustrator Doris Burn. A long-time resident of the San Juan Islands, Doris (Wernstedt ) Burn authored and illustrated the 1965 classic Andrew Henry’s Meadow, which won the Washington Governor’s Art Award. Burn also wrote The Summerfolk and The Tale of Lazy Lizard Canyon, and served as illustrator for a range of children’s works that are included in and documented through this donation.


Examples of some of the books and materials that are now part of the new collection.


The collection is a gift from the Burn family to Western Washington University via the Doris Burn Legacy LLC, and contains first-edition copies of children’s works written or illustrated by Burn, manuscripts and original artwork prepared for titles including Andrew Henry’s Meadow, and a number of unpublished and hitherto unseen manuscripts and drawings.


“This donation allows us to preserve the work and legacy of a noted children’s author and illustrator,” said Archivist Ruth Steele. “These materials are an important addition to the unique and rare collections held by Western Libraries.”


Skye, Lisa, and Mark Burn share memories of their mother's work with librarian Sylvia Tag and Archivist Ruth Steele.


These materials help document the cultural and artistic history of the Pacific Northwest region and were created by an artist and writer who sought specifically to engage with the needs, interests, and creativity of a younger audience. Burn’s work continues to speak to readers of all ages, and since her death in 2011, Andrew Henry’s Meadow has been reissued by Penguin’s Philomel Books. The title has also been published and is presently available in translation in Korea, China and Japan.


The collection of materials from the Burn family will be preserved and made available for research and use through Western Libraries Heritage Resources, in association with the Children’s Literature Interdisciplinary Collection, and is a valuable addition to the Libraries’ holdings. The Libraries promotes active use of these holdings by faculty, staff and students and also welcomes community members who may be interested in exploring these and other collections.

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2016 James W. Scott Research Fellowships

2016 James W. Scott Research Fellowships

Western Washington University’s Center for Pacific Northwest Studies welcomes applications for the James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowships, established to promote awareness and use of archival collections at Western and to forward scholarly understandings of the Pacific Northwest. The fellowships are awarded in honor of the late Dr. James W. (Jim) Scott, a founder and first Director of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, and a noted scholar of the Pacific Northwest region. The Center for Pacific Northwest Studies is a program of Western Libraries Heritage Resources, located in the Goltz-Murray Archives Building.

About the Fellowships

Up to $1000 funding is available in 2016 to scholars who propose to undertake significant research using archival holdings at CPNWS. The number and size of awards granted annually will be determined by the application review committee. Applications are accepted from individuals in graduate programs (and/or who are new to the field of historical research and writing) as well as those individuals who have finished the Ph.D (and/or are published authors). 

Fellowship Requirements

  • Fellows will be expected to spend at least one week examining CPNWS holdings in support of their research, and to be in residence prior to October 31, 2016. Additional information about CPNWS collections is available at http://library.wwu.edu/hr/cpnws.
  • Fellows will be asked to give a presentation about some aspect of their research during the course of their scheduled visit. The audience will vary depending on the time of the year, but may include Western students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the general public.
  • After completing their residency, Fellows will be asked to provide a brief (300-500 word) written statement describing their research and use of CPNWS holdings to support scholarly understandings of the Pacific Northwest. This statement may be quoted from and/or otherwise published by Western Washington University.

Application Information

To apply for Fellowship funds, please submit the following information by October 31, 2015:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Research plan outlining on-site use of CPNWS holdings and proposed presentation topic
  • Two letters of recommendation

To apply via email, please send application materials to Ruth.Steele@wwu.edu and enter “Scott Research Fellowship Application” in the subject line of the message. To apply by postal mail, please send materials to Ruth Steele, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Libraries Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, 516 High St. MS 9123, Bellingham, WA 98225-9123.

Applications will be reviewed in November and awards will be announced by December. Funds will be awarded after a Fellow(s) has conducted their research at CPNWS, and delivered their presentation and written statement. Fellowship awards may be subject to taxation in accordance with the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, and applicants are advised that they may need a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (i.e. SSN or ITIN) to receive funds.

Western Libraries & Bellingham Pride

This past Sunday July 12, Western Libraries’ faculty, staff, friends, and family came together in celebration of “Bellingham Pride,” something they have done each year since 2013. Representing Western Libraries in the parade and hosting a table at the festival has become an annual tradition that many at the Libraries look forward to and enjoy.


“Three years ago, the Western Libraries Diversity Committee felt it was important for us to have a presence at Bellingham Pride to show our support of our students and our community as a whole,” explained Western Libraries Circulation staff member, Amy Sedovic. Sedovic first marched in the parade with her friends in the Whatcom County Library System back in 2009. She noted that this was during the budget crisis, and that they carried a banner that read “Yes Libraries.”


“I was so amazed and happy to hear people cheering specifically for libraries, shouting things like, ‘I love the library!’” said Sedovic. She explained how libraries are seen as “open, welcoming, and affirming places,” and that she feels honored to be a part of that tradition.


As explained by the American Libraries Association (ALA), Libraries can serve LGBTQ people by ensuring that they are represented in library collections and provided with library services. They also note that as a population which frequently faces discrimination and harassment, LGBTQ people can benefit from access to information and the sense of community libraries provide. Librarian Rebecca Marrall explained that she looks forward to the festival every year because of the chance to connect with the community and raise awareness about the Libraries’ historical and archival collections that feature regional LGBTQ narratives.


“I love this event because we meet community members who can see themselves in our collections. Plus, we’re celebrating happiness. Who doesn’t love that?”  Marrall asked.


Archivist at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies Ruth Steele agreed with Marrall that Bellingham Pride is a wonderful occasion to showcase some of the unique materials that many people are unaware exist or are unsure of how to access.  


“I love the opportunity to help represent Western and Western Libraries at Bellingham Pride,” explained Steele. “Heritage Resources houses some rich LGBTQ archival collections, and every year, we get to connect with individuals who are interested to find out more about these collections, and who later visit the archives as researchers, or contact us about LGBTQ records they would like to donate and see preserved for future generations.”


In addition to connecting with new community members, the festival also offers the Libraries a chance to see some familiar faces and reaffirm current connections.


“It’s also always a pleasure to revisit with long-time friends of the archives who stop by the Libraries’ table, and we are ever grateful for their support in helping to build and promote awareness of our collections,” Steele said.


Staff and faculty at Western Libraries anticipate increased participation in the Bellingham Pride events as enthusiasm for such an important and significant celebration grows. Sedovic encourages anyone at Western who is interested in joining the Libraries to walk with them in the parade next year and she reiterated that everyone is welcome.


For more information about the LGBTQ Archival and Primary Source Materials at Western Libraries, contact Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu.


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 the three units provide for responsible stewardship of unique and archival materials in support of teaching, learning, and research.

Undergraduate Research Award Winners

Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Award Winners for 2015 Announced!

Winners of the Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Award were honored at a small reception held in Western Libraries Special Collections on Friday, June 5, 2015, during which Dean of Libraries Mark Greenberg publicly recognized each student for their work and presented the awardees with their award certificates. Also in attendance were members of the 2015 Undergraduate Research Award review committee, friends and family members of each of the award-winning students, and the students’ faculty mentors.


Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Award is given annually to three Western Washington University undergraduate students in recognition of their excellence and originality in creating research papers for courses taught across the colleges based on significant inquiry using library resources and collections. Each winner of the Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Award receives a certificate, a cash award of $500.00, and publication of their prize-winning paper in Western CEDAR, Western Washington University’s institutional repository.


Award applicants must demonstrate outstanding library research in the writing of their research papers, and winners are selected by an award review committee consisting of a variety of faculty members from Western Libraries and other disciplines at Western. Members of the 2015 award review committee included: Jeanne Armstrong (Libraries), Javier Berzal de Dios (Art), Amanda Eurich (History), Margaret Fast (Western Libraries), and Jeff Purdue (Western Libraries).



The three 2014-2015 winners listed below with their paper titles and faculty mentors are:




Andrew Hoffman

Title: Computational Chemistry in Rational Material Design for Organic Photovoltaics

Mentor:  Tim Kowalczyk, Assistant Professor, Chemistry








Corena Sharp

Title: Responding to Sex Workers’ Rights as Workers’ Rights: Reducing Sex Trafficking in the Dominican Republic

Mentor:  Babafemi Akinrinade, Associate Professor of Human Rights, Fairhaven College






Ashley Weyers

Title: Taking Back Birth: Alternative Birth Professionals Empowering Women in Childbirth

Mentor:  Jen Lois, Professor of Sociology





Congratulations to these three remarkable students for all of their accomplishments!

Library Department: 

Student Celebration 2015

Western Libraries Celebrates its Student Employees 

This past Friday May 29, 2015, staff, faculty, and students from Western Libraries  gathered in the Reading Room for the Libraries' annual student celebration held in recognition of our wonderful, hard-working, and amazing student employees who help make the library all that it is each and every day. We were also honored to be joined by members of the Hearsey family, who helped us celebrate and recognize the twelve recipients of the Herb and Beth Hearsey Scholarship.  


Every year, Western Libraries chooses one student employee from among the graduating seniors who has distinguished themselves from their peers by demonstrating unusual imagination, interest, and capability in providing outstanding service. This year’s Mabel Zoe Excellence in Student Service Award was presented to beloved student employee Kali Legg in recognition of the numerous ways she has provided outstanding service as a Learning Commons Liaison, a Writing Center Assistant, and a Research-Writing Assistant.


Graduating seniors were also recognized for their dedication and hard work while student supervisors spoke about their seniors’ unique contributions to the Libraries as well as the students’ aspirations and hopes for their lives following graduation.

In addition to the speeches and award presentations, the celebration also included dinner, cake, quite a bit of laughter, lots of hugs (and maybe even a few tears), before concluding with the much-loved tradition of the gift basket give-away.

Always a special night for us at Western Libraries, we wanted to share with you some images from that memorable evening, and take this opportunity to thank all of our students once again for all they do and all they are.

The Herb and Beth Hearsey Scholarship is awarded annually to current full-time students who demonstrate merit on the basis of their scholarship applications and letters of reference. Awardees must also be student employees at Western Libraries for a minimum of 8 hours a week for at least one quarter prior to applying. Herb Hearsey was a reference librarian in Wilson Library in 1941 who was charged with developing an effective program of library instruction for students, and in 1995, he and his wife Beth Hearsey established an endowment to ensure that future generations of library student assistants are recognized for their important work.


In 1998, Miriam Snow Mathes, a professor of library science at Western, established an endowment to fund both the Western Libraries annual student recognition event and also the Mabel Zoe Wilson Excellence in Student Service Award. The first Western Libraries Student Celebration was held in 1999, and have been held annually every spring since then. 


For more photos from this special evening, see Western Libraries' Facebook page.

Library Department: 

Libraries' Role in Publishing

Rebecca Marrall & ALA 2015 Emerging Leaders Project: Libraries' Role in Publishing

Western Washington University’s Rebecca Marrall was recently selected as one of the American Library Association's (ALA) 2015 Emerging Leaders. According to the American Libraries magazine, the Emerging Leaders program recognizes the “library world’s rising stars” by annually selecting 50 of the “best and brightest” library professionals and paraprofessionals with fewer than five years of library experience to participate in project-planning groups and serve in  leadership roles in their profession.


“It’s an incredible honor to participate in this program,” said Marrall. “I was one of only two people selected from the Pacific Northwest region, and the topic I get to explore with my project group is timely, fun, exciting, and challenging.”


Marrall’s project is sponsored by RUSA (Reference & User Services Association), and in addition to Marrall, the team consists of four other Emerging Leaders. Since January 2015, the team has collaborated online and across time zones to explore their project topic: an examination of the role of libraries in the publishing cycle. Marrall explained that although their project title was originally “Library as Publisher,” as the team delved deeper into the research process, it became clear that libraries engage in a wide range of publishing-related activities.


“Once we began working, we discovered that the phrase ‘Library as Publisher’ was actually too limiting because it did not fully address all the roles that libraries fulfill in the publishing cycle,” said Marrall.


The Emerging Leaders team started their work by conducting an environmental scan to create a snapshot of how a variety of different libraries (including public, government, academic, or archival libraries) have been participating in the publishing process. Whether through supporting author research and content creation, publishing both printed and online content, disseminating and curating publications, or promoting best practices by educating content creators about both Open Access and copyright, libraries have become increasingly involved in the publishing process.


“We identified four main aspects of the publishing cycle and realized that many libraries have some sort of role in this cycle. The ubiquity of libraries’ publishing activities is quite profound,” said Marrall.


According to Marrall and her team members, the four service areas where libraries play a role in publishing are: education and instruction; development and editing; product design and production; and marketing and dissemination. Marrall and her team members also conducted a national survey among library professionals about their information needs and library publishing services. The team intends to host a poster session about the Emerging Leaders experience at an upcoming national conference, and then will also share both the results of the national survey and the environmental scan with the Reference & User Services Association Board, who will use the information to determine future directions within the organization. Marrall explained how this project not only provides an opportunity to share information with libraries on a national level, but that it will also be useful locally here at Western.


“I definitely see some overlap with some of the work my Emerging Leaders team is doing and with the work we are doing here at Western Libraries; the findings thus far are certainly relevant to things like CEDAR,” stated Marrall, referring to Western’s institutional repository. “This really is an evolving phenomenon. The 21st-century library is not merely a storehouse for information. It doesn’t mean libraries no longer have that role; rather, it means that libraries have expanded to include so much more.”


Marrall and her team members plan to present their findings to RUSA by July 10, 2015, and then hope to share their results with a wider audience shortly thereafter.


For more information about this project, contact Rebecca.Marrall@wwu.edu.


Rebecca M. Marrall is the Discovery Services Librarian at Western Libraries. In addition to participating in credit instruction and in the Research-Writing Studio, she leads the Resource Discovery Unit and chairs the OneSearch Management Team (the latter being the Libraries catalog interface management working group). After graduating with her MLISc from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa in 2010, Marrall accepted the Diversity Resident Librarian position at Western Libraries. Research interests include: diversity and inclusion practices in LIS settings, library instruction, and user experiences.

Library Department: 

Heritage Resources Newsletter

The Spring/Summer 2015 "Outdoor Recreation" edition of Heritage Highlights is now available! This issue features stories about rich and engaging resources from all three Heritage Resources programs, including Associated Students documentation on the history of several of Western's recreational facilities, books and artifacts in the Fly Fishing Collection, and photographs and newsletters from the Mount Baker 'Hiking' Club.

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.

Images - top: Mount Baker 'Hiking' Club records, CPNWS; right: Viking Union Facilities Office records, UARM.



Wayne Richter Receives Prestigious Award

Acting Consul General Dorj Bayarkhuu from the Mongolian Consulate of San Francisco formally presented the Order of Altan Gadas (the Order of the Polar Star) on behalf of the president of Mongolia to Wayne Richter of Western Libraries on May 6, 2015. 


This award is the highest state honor given by the president of Mongolia to a foreign national in recognition of individuals who have provided exceptional assistance to Mongolia. Past recipients include Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and retired Western Washington University professor Henry Schwarz.  


The quality and accessibility of the extraordinary Mongolian Studies Collection at Western Libraries is a result of the generosity of scholars such as Schwarz, Nicholas Poppe and John C. Street, and the valuable work of Wayne Richter. Richter is a nationally recognized expert in the creation and editing of bibliographic records for materials written in Mongolian and related languages, and he is the only cataloger in the United States who routinely creates national name authority records – work which involves considerable research in a field with only limited bibliographic and biographic resources.

Richter is an expert in the highly technical aspects of “MARC” encoding and the representation of non-Roman alphabet foreign language materials in online library catalogs. Using a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, ‘Strengthening Mongolian Language Resources in the United States’ in the early 1990’s, his work with bibliographic records allowed libraries worldwide to discover and request access to resources in the Mongolian Studies Collection at Western.


While noted for his great capacity for learning languages, including Mongolian, Uighur and Kazakh, Richter’s passion for the languages and cultures of Central Asia resulted from his undergraduate studies at Western, when he participated in one of the earliest “Western in Mongolia” summer programs. He later attended a Mongolian language course at Inner Mongolia University and then quickly transitioned from learning to teaching, introducing a credit course at Western in “Written Mongolian.”


His work in the highly specialized area of national standards for the Romanization of Mongolian and related languages has been recognized during his contacts with the Library of Congress, and the Committee on East Asian Libraries of the Association for Asian Studies. He has either developed or assisted in the development of Library of Congress standards for the Romanization of many languages and scripts, such as the Mongolian script, Uighur, Manchu, and Tod/Oirat/Old Kalmyk Romanization tables.


Richter also served as a consultant on the Unicode standards for Mongolian script for the International Standards Organization (ISO), which involved the encoding of Mongolian script for use in computer systems, a project made particularly complicated by the many disparities between modern pronunciation and traditional spellings encoded in Mongol script. Additionally, Richter developed some of the first fonts that allowed the display of Mongolian scripts on personal computers.


Richter has actively reached out to people who are interested in Mongolia and its cultures and languages, participates in meetings of the Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast, and is in regular contact with Mongolian scholars and librarians from other institutions who use Western’s collections. He regularly coordinates and leads tours of the Libraries’ Mongolian Studies Collection for a wide variety of individuals and groups, including Mongolian ambassadors to the U.S., U.S. Ambassadors to Mongolia, and many visiting scholars. Richter’s work to make resources available to scholars worldwide will impact Mongolian studies for decades to come.

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