Western Libraries News

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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. 

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Undergraduate Research Award Winners

Western Libraries is pleased to announce the 2014 winners of the Undergraduate Research Award, which is an annual award given to Western Washington University undergraduate students who demonstrate outstanding library research in the writing of papers for courses taught across the colleges.

It recognizes excellence in undergraduate research papers based on significant inquiry using library resources and collections, and learning about the research discovery and information synthesizing process. 

Members of the 2014 award review committee included: Jeanne Armstrong (Libraries), Margaret Fast (Libraries), Carol Janson (Art), James Inverarity (Sociology), Tilmann Glimm (Math).

The 2014 Award Winners who will receive a cash award of $500.00 and an award certificate are:

  • Kristine Farwell (Economics), “The Impact of the Recent Global Financial Crisis on Microfinance Sustainability.”
  • Audrey Marsh (Biology), “Evolution of the Y-Chromosome in Primates.”
  • Celina Muñoz (History), “The Plague, the Poor, and the Problem of Medicine.”

 

The 2014 Honorable Mention recipient who will receive an honorable mention certificate is:

Jenna Wilson (American Cultural Studies), “Race Representations in Children’s Picture Books and Its Impact on the Development of Racial Identity and Attitudes.” 

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New Art Exhibit

Western Libraries is pleased to announce we are currently hosting selections from the work of artist Patty Bover in Galleries 2 and 3, (located on the third floor of Wilson Library in the area overlooking the Skybridge, and then also in the east hallway near the Children's Collection). Patty Bover is an ATUS staff member here at Western who will be retiring in June and devoting her time to her art on a full-time basis. Patty's husband David, who also works here at Western as the Associate Dean of the College of Sciences and Technology, makes all of the wooden frames for her artwork from reclaimed wood he either salvages or obtains from The ReStore.  

Patty Bover paint with acrylics and her technique involves creating depth with layers of paint while relying on her intuition to discover what she will paint. As she explains: 

"I mostly paint abstracts with whimsy tossed in occasionally.  For the most part, I paint intuitively.  I don’t plan paintings (when I do, they usually don’t turn out the way I planned anyway).  I put multiple layers of paint on a canvas or other substrate, making random marks as I go.  Eventually, one or more images appear.  I might keep those images or paint over them and continue.  Many layers of paint add a nice depth to the paintings, which definitely adds interest. Big and bold are my favorite ways of creating art."

Patty also states that she paints because she feels compelled to paint, and that acrylic painting has become her passion. 

"I love to share my artwork with others and find out what they see in the paintings and what feelings they evoke," said Patty, explaining that she appreciates the chance to show her work in the Libraries' galleries. Patty's work will be on display from now through May 26th. 

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Rare Books at Western Libraries

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 paul.piper@wwu.edu.

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Learn Zotero. Research Better.

TODAY (4/7)  is the first of several workshops and drop-in sessions where you can learn more about Zotero. What is Zotero? It's a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. Zotero collects all your research in a single searchable interface and automatically indexes the full-text content of your research, enabling you to find out exactly what you're looking for with just a few keystrokes. Join us in the Writing Center today from 4:00pm to 5:30pm for "Getting Ready with Zotero," or check out these other great sessions coming soon!

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The Speed of Trust

What do you know about the “speed of trust?” In Stephen Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust, he states:

“Nothing is as inspiring as an offering of trust. Trust truly is the one thing that changes everything. And there has never been a more vital time for people to establish, restore, and extend trust at all levels than in today’s new global society.”

With that said, the Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) would like to welcome faculty, staff, students, and community members to join in on this quarter’s dialogue surrounding trust on our campus and within our community. The spring 2014 dialogue group options include Wednesdays@12 or Wednesdays@2 on these dates: Apr. 9, 23, May 7, 21.  Also on Thursdays@12 and Thursdays@2 on these dates: Apr. 10, 24, May 8, 22. TLA begins meeting the second week of the quarter and continues every other week after that for a total of four sessions.  All sessions are held in Wilson Library 2 West.

Fall quarter’s TLA members crafted the big study question for the rest of this year: How do we ignite passion, purpose, and potential to co-create a culture of trust? To sign up for a dialogue group and get on the list serve, please email Shevell.Thibou@wwu.edu

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A Fresh New Look for the Western Libraries Website!

Western Libraries is pleased to announce that the library website will be getting a fresh new look starting March 24, 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.

UPDATE: Please see the summary report of the usability survey conducted in early February, 2014.

For more information about Western Libraries new website, contact Jon.Dillon@wwu.edu

 

New Website

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Campus and Community Children Exhibit

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.  

For more information about art exhibits in Western Libraries, contact Leslie.Hall@wwu.edu or Michelle.Becker@wwu.edu

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