Welcome. I hope you had an enjoyable, albeit brief, break and are excited for the start of spring quarter.
As I do periodically, I want to share the Libraries recent accomplishments and to let you know of exciting things to come.
The Libraries (in partnership with the Graduate School, Office of the Provost, and Office of Research and Sponsored Programs) launched Western CEDAR in fall 2014. The new online Institutional Repository advances Western’s commitment to enriching academic inquiry and strengthening communities by sharing the expertise and creativity of its students, faculty, and staff worldwide via the Web. Content in CEDAR has grown to include faculty and department research pages as well as student theses. This is just the beginning. All campus units are invited to disseminate reports, papers, datasets, conference proceedings, and the like. People interested in open access publishing will have an outstanding tool to manage the editorial process and to publish the final product. The Libraries will take an active leadership role in managing CEDAR day to day, teaching interested faculty, staff, and students about the software’s many capabilities, and educating them on their intellectual property rights and responsibilities. To learn more about CEDAR and how you can get involved, don’t hesitate to contact the Libraries’ scholarly communications librarian, Jenny Oleen or CEDAR project manager Kim Marsicek.
OneSearch (the Libraries online resource discovery system) has been live for not yet two years. I hope you’re finding the ability to search “Books, Articles + More” to be useful. Remember, you can narrow your search to “At WWU Only” or “WWU Libraries + Summit,” and you still can use your favorite databases just like you did in the past. For lots of great tips on making the most of OneSearch or to see known issues and product improvement plans, check out Search Tips. Also, any of the Libraries’ research consultation professionals can assist you with using OneSearch.
Significant OneSearch improvements have been made over the last several months, with more work to come. The enhanced Summit borrowing system, released in January, enables users to request items from the thirty-six other Orbis Cascade Alliance libraries directly through the OneSearch interface and to track those items via the MyAccount feature. In response to user feedback, the OneSearch interface is undergoing revision in order to enhance ease of use. The Libraries OneSearch Management Team has been working with faculty and students to make OneSearch more intuitive, to improve search capabilities, to enhance how results are displayed, and to provide seamless assistance via the “Chat with a Librarian” function. An improved version of the OneSearch interface will be tested this summer and ready for fall quarter. To make suggestions for improvements or to learn more about the Orbis Cascade Alliance partnership behind OneSearch, don’t hesitate to contact Rebecca Marrall.
In addition to developments in the Libraries’ virtual space, there are exciting physical changes underway as well. I am pleased to announce the merger of Research Consultation and the Writing Center into the new Research-Writing Studio, which will integrate academic support in a vibrant learning environment staffed by research consultants and writing assistants. The merger will occur in two phases. In the first phase (spring quarter), Research Consultation and the Writing Center will move to a temporary location behind the Student Technology Center (STC) in Haggard Hall. The second phase will be implemented by the fall 2015 when the Research-Writing Studio occupies its permanent home in Haggard Hall between the STC and Circulation Desk.
The Research-Writing Studio, funded exclusively by a private donation from a Western alumna, will feature flexible furnishings and mobile technologies to support core academic literacies such as researching, reading, and writing. Students can work on their academic projects individually, with peers, or with consultants. To accommodate the new Research-Writing Studio in Haggard 2, the oversize book collection will move to Wilson 267 and 174. The reference collection will leave its current home in Wilson 270 and be shelved next to the new studio.
Finally, to meet growing demand for the integration of visual literacies into Western’s curriculum, a new Digital Media Commons (DMC) will be built this summer on the second floor of Haggard Hall next to the Research-Writing Studio. The modern, million-dollar capital project was designed with input from faculty in five colleges and will consist of a fully equipped, 915-square-foot studio, a 338-square-foot control room, and a fifteen-seat computer lab to support media production and post-production projects. Under the direction of ATUS, the DMC will consolidate teaching and learning resources related to new media and will serve as a program partner in the Learning Commons. Stay tuned for more information about this transformational project.
As always, I encourage you to stop by to see me in Haggard Hall 231 or to send me an email if there is anything I can do to improve the Libraries.
Mark I. Greenberg
Dean of Libraries