Western Libraries News

Whisper of the Heart (5/3)

May 3rd Next Masters of Japanese Cinema Film: Whisper of the Heart  

 

The next Masters of Japanese Cinema film is Kondo Yoshifumi’s 1995 film Whisper of the Heart.  It will screen on Tuesday, May 3rd at 6:30 pm at the  Pickford Film Center, 318 Bay Street.

 

Whisper of the Heart is the first Studio Ghibli theatrical feature film to be directed by someone other than Takahata Isao or Miyazaki Hayao. Director Kondo Yoshifumi was an experienced Ghibli hand, however, having worked with the studio from its earliest days. Kondo was responsible for the visual design of Grave of the Fireflies, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Only Yesterday (which will screen at the Pickford in June). Tragically, Kondo died a few years after Whisper of the Heart was released, meaning that this is his only outing as director.

 

Scripted by Miyazaki Hayao, Whisper of the Heart is like many Miyazaki films in that the protagonist is an adolescent girl who is navigating a moment of change. Unlike Miyazaki’s work however, there is almost no element of fantasy, except for some sequences which are motivated as visualizations of the story that the main character is writing.  In this respect, Kondo’s film is closer to Takahata’s work in its ability to evoke the texture of daily life in Japan.

 

Co-sponsored by Western Libraries and the Pickford Film Center, the Masters of Japanese Cinema is one of the Pickford's longest running and most loved series, featuring some of the best films in World Cinema with movies that span both decades and genres. Each film in the series begins with an introduction from select speakers including local professors, artists, and educators. Whisper of the Heart will be introduced by Professor of English at Western Washington University, Dawn Dietrich, who teaches classes about anime, among many other topics.  Dietrich is also the Director of Western Reads,  and a Pickford Film Center board member!

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Speaking of Maps: Andy Bach

Andy Bach to Discuss Environmental History of the Ozette Prairies

Western Washington University Associate Professor of Environmental Geography Andy Bach will discuss his research exploring the relationship between historical vegetation changes in the Ozette Prairies, Olympic National Park, and human use of this region. “Archival Evidence for Historical Changes in Lowland Wilderness Meadows, Ozette Prairies, Olympic National Park,” will be held in the Map Collection (Wilson Library 170) at Western Libraries from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wed., May 11, 2016.  This presentation is free and open to the public.

 

Using a multi-media archival approach to understand the environmental history of the area, examining repeat air and ground photography, maps, and written records, Bach determined that the prairies originally began as natural wetlands before fire was used by indigenous peoples and European settlers to expand and maintain them. Later, in the absence of disturbance, they eventually began to revert to forest cover.

 

Bach’s research combines the use of historical maps with field methods of soil science, ecology, and geomorphology, to understand how natural landscapes of Washington have changed over time.

 

This event is being offered as part of the “Speaking of Maps” lectures, and is co-sponsored by Western Libraries and WWU’s Huxley College of the Environment.

 

“Speaking of Maps” are quarterly talks designed to highlight the use and value of maps in research, in teaching and learning, and in daily life. 

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Rick and Barbara Osen Endowment

Osens Establish Endowment for the Advancement of Western Libraries

               Rick and Barbara Osen at the endowment signing celebration, April 5, 2016

 

Earlier this year, Rick and Barbara Osen expressed their wish to make a gift to Western Libraries that would have a lasting impact. On April 5, 2016, members of Western Libraries joined the Osens in recognition and celebration of the establishment of the “Rick and Barbara Osen Endowment for the Advancement of Libraries.”

 

The endowment’s purpose is especially significant for Rick Osen, who worked at Western Libraries for 35 years, holding managerial and administrative positions that involved virtually every area of the organization, including acting Dean of Libraries from 2012 through 2013.  Osen’s decades of dedication and leadership positively impacted the Libraries’evolution and helped shape its future.

 

“It is particularly meaningful that Rick and Barbara should wish to create an endowment to support the professional and organizational development of staff and faculty,” explained Dean of Libraries, Mark Greenberg. “During his long career in the Western Libraries, Rick saw firsthand how advancing people’s skills and understanding advances their careers and improves library services to the Western community.  I am grateful to Rick and Barbara for helping Western Libraries to invest in people.”

 

While at Western, Osen was a strong proponent of professional and organizational development, and he worked to ensure that Libraries personnel had opportunities to advance their knowledge and skills.  Since his retirement in early 2014, Osen has stayed in close touch with his colleagues and has remained a strong supporter of Western Libraries. 

Rick and Barbara Osen joined by their son-in-law Robert and daughter Justyna at the endowment signing celebration.
 
“Rick was always on top of ongoing developments in academic librarianship and provided countless opportunities for library staff to stay current so that we could make use of the best of these ideas,” said Jeff Purdue, Learning Commons and Media Librarian.  “Through this endowment, he has found an ideal way of continuing that focus and demonstrating that though he is retired, his commitment to Western Libraries and the role it plays in the intellectual life of the University continues unabated.”

 

 Proceeds from the Rick and Barbara Osen Endowment for the Advancement of Libraries may be used to pay expenses related to professional and organizational development for Western Libraries faculty and staff through workshops, seminars, and other similar programs.  At their request, preference will be given to professional and organizational development activities that occur at Western.

 

“With an emphasis on funding training or workshops on campus, it allows all staff to benefit from engaging ideas that enhance work performance and facilitate a shared vision for Western Libraries,” said Special Collections Manager Tamara Belts. She added that the expansion of opportunities for individual staff training and development also benefits the Libraries as a whole, because recipients are able to bring back and share what they learn with the organization.

 

Western Libraries Administration looks forward to working together collaboratively and in consultation with Libraries faculty and staff, to identify professional and organizational development opportunities that maximize participation and positive outcomes for individuals and for the Libraries as a whole. 

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Candidate Open Forums

Three strongly qualified candidates for the Director of Teaching and Learning and the Learning Commons position at Western Libraries have been invited to Western Washington University for interviews beginning April 25th.

 

Each candidate will host an open forum and anyone interested is invited to attend. During this forum, candidates will facilitate a professional development session using pedagogy which clearly reflects their personal teaching philosophy.  

 

The schedule and locations for the open forums and candidate information are listed below:

  • April 25th  from 4 to 5pm  -  Library Presentation Room (Wilson Library 164f) - Carol Wittig, Head of Research and Instruction at Boatwright Library, University of Richmond. 
  • May 2nd  from 4 to 5pm - Haggard Hall Room 253 - Brett Bodemer, Coordinator of General Reference at Robert E. Kennedy Library, California Polytechnic State University.
  • May 12th from 4:30 to 5:30 pm Library Presentation Room (Wilson Library 164f) - Sarah McDaniel, Consultant & Associate Lecturer at the School of Library & Information Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison.
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Heritage Resources Newsletter

The Spring 2016 edition of Heritage Highlights is now available! In this issue, we explore themes of social justice and activism on campus and in the community, including anti-racism campagins, peace advocacy, care for the environment, and more.

Heritage Resources is a division of Western Libraries which includes the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and University Archives & Records Management.

Image: Joining Hands Against Hate symbol and slogan, courtesy of Arbeit Graphics, available in the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force records at CPNWS.

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Wayne Richter Honored

Mongolian Studies Special Issue Dedicated to Wayne Richter

Mongolia Society President Alicia Campi and founding director of Western’s Center for East Asian Studies, Henry Schwarz, present the special issue dedicated to Wayne Richter.

 

On Friday, April 1, 2016 at the Association for Asian Studies annual conference in Seattle, Western Libraries Asian Materials Specialist Wayne Richter received a tremendous honor.  President of The Mongolia Society, Alicia Campi, presented him with Volume XXXV (2013) of Mongolian Studies, the scholarly journal of The Mongolia Society, which is a special issue dedicated to Richter. 

 

Writes journal editor David Bade in the beginning of the special issue:

“Wayne Richter has been at the forefront of Mongolian studies in the United States as well as internationally for more than 30 years. . . .  It is largely because of Wayne’s many years of careful scholarly devotion to identifying and collating the works of each author represented in Wilson Library’s collection that other bibliographers, catalogers and scholars around the world find that the results of their searches make sense, and they are able to find what they want to find.”

 

Chief of the Asian & Middle Eastern Division at the Library of Congress Randall K. Barry and Tibetan expert at the Library of Congress Susan Meinheit pose for a photo with Wayne.

 

The quality and accessibility of the extraordinary Mongolian Studies Collection at Western Libraries is a result of the generosity of scholars such as Henry Schwarz, Nicholas Poppe, and John C. Street, and the valuable work of 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 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 efforts to make resources available to scholars worldwide will impact Mongolian studies for decades to come, and the dedication of this special issue of Mongolian Studies recognizes and honors that work.

 

For more information about Western’s Mongolian Studies Initiatives, please see the Center for East Asian Studies Mongolian Studies page, or this online guide about the Mongolian Collection.  

 

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Archives, Media, and Identity

Using Archives to Enhance Teaching & Learning

How can media history inform our understanding of our current moment? What is the role of media in the construction of identity, social hierarchies, and our understanding of power? Recognizing that archival and primary source materials provide evidence that can help answer these kinds of questions, Professor Helen Morgan Parmett decided to experiment by integrating an upper-class research and writing assignment with resources at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS), a division of Western Libraries Heritage Resources.

 

Last quarter students from Professor Morgan Parmett’s Communications Studies 416 class, “Cultural History of Media and Identity,” spent several hours at the CPNWS to review a variety of primary source archival materials in their consideration of the intersections between cultural history, media, and identity formation.

This was the first time many of these students had ever worked directly with archival materials, and CPNWS staff sought to provide contrasting examples of locally-produced media by also including materials that spoke to the experiences, interests, and voices of traditionally under-represented individuals and groups. For example, in addition to exploring historic issues of more mainstream publications such as the Bellingham Herald, students also examined the Northwest Passage, an alternative newspaper produced from 1969-1986, as well as a range of newsletters and educational materials produced by women’s organizations and LGBTA+ advocacy groups.

Heritage Resources Assistant Archivist for Outreach and Instruction Roz Koester helped facilitate the inquiry process by asking students to consider not just the materials in front of them, but to also think about what was not kept.

 

"Since we so often rely on written documentation to provide evidence of our shared cultural heritage, it's important to be aware that there are stories and experiences that remain untold,” explained Koester. “A lot of records don't get preserved, so, as researchers, you need to not only be thinking about the information that's available in the resources you're using, but also what might be missing. And we should all be thinking about how we can engage those hidden voices in order to preserve a more complete picture of our history."

As a required component of their research and writing assignment, students were expected to contribute to the scholarship of media history and identity found in secondary literature by constructing an original argument based on archival evidence of media influence on the construction Pacific Northwest identities.

 

Professor Morgan Parmett hopes that through this assignment, her students will develop a greater understanding not only of media history, but also of where we are now and how we are currently using media. She emphasized how we can learn much about today by considering the media histories of the past:

 

“For one, they disillusion us from the idea that things have always been a certain way by demonstrating the conflicts, debates, and struggles out of which our current moment emerged,” explained Professor Morgan Parmett. “These histories illuminate the fact that many of the debates we currently have about media and its societal effects are, in fact, not new. Seeing how these debates were resolved in earlier periods may provide insights for how we might move forward into our media futures in more socially just ways.”

Heritage Resources is a division of Western Libraries which includes Special Collections, the University Archives & Records Management, and the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies. Together these units provide for the responsible stewardship of unique and archival materials in support of teaching, learning, and research.  For more information about how Heritage Resources supports the research needs of students and educators, contact Heritage.Resources@wwu.edu.

 

TLA Dialogue Sessions

Spring Quarter TLA Dialogue Sessions begin April 6th

“How do we move beyond conversation to achieve self-sustaining equity and inclusivity at Western?” is the Teaching-Learning Academy’s (TLA) BIG question for 2015-2016. Faculty, staff, community members, and over 70 students worked collectively throughout fall quarter to create a shared question that addresses how we can better enhance the teaching and learning environment at Western.

 

More than 90 TLA participants spent winter 2016 exploring and gathering data to address this question, and spring quarter will be spent finalizing action proposals that address the BIG question for this academic year.

 

The spring TLA sessions begin Apr. 6 and 7, and meet every other week for a total of four meetings for the quarter. There are four dialogue group options:

 

·        Wednesdays noon-1:20 pm (Apr. 6, 20, May 4, & 18)

·        Wednesdays 2-3:20 pm (Apr. 6, 20, May 4, & 18)

·        Thursdays noon-1:20 pm (Apr. 7, 21, May 5, & 19)

·        Thursdays 2-3:20 pm (Apr. 7, 21, May 5, & 19)

 

While the sessions run for approximately 80 minutes, attendees are welcome to stop by based on their availability. All dialogue groups meet in the Learning Commons in Wilson 2 West.

 

Students can also participate for Communications practicum credit. For more information, contact Carmen.Werder@wwu.edu. To sign up for a TLA dialogue session email Shevell.Thibou@wwu.edu.

 

The Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) is the central forum for the scholarship of teaching and learning at Western Washington University and brings together a broad spectrum of perspectives from across campus. Engaged in studying the intersections between teaching and learning, TLA members include faculty, students, administrators, and staff from across the University, as well as community members.

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Babylonian cuneiform terracotta tablet: 2nd millennium B.C.

Publication Information: 
Iraq: publisher not identified, 3300-1200 B.C.
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Special Collections Rare Book Collection
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PJ4075.B33
March, 2016

Cuneiform is a system of writing first developed by the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia c. 3500-3000 BCE. It is considered the most significant among the many cultural contributions of the Sumerians. The "writing" consists of "wedge-shaped" characters, or pictographs, that represent a language.

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