Happy 2016. I hope the New Year brings you happiness, health, and success.
As we begin the Winter Quarter, I want to share information about important initiatives underway in the Western Libraries as well as recent accomplishments.
A new Senate Library Committee task force, made up of members appointed by the Faculty Senate, formed in late 2015 to tackle longstanding, serious library resources budget deficits facing Western. A representative group from across the University is serving on the task force, charged with identifying strategies for balancing the resources budget over the next five years. As part of its work, the task force will recommend specific cuts of 15 percent for FY17 and an annual process for possible future cuts of 10 percent for both FY18 and FY19 and 5 percent for both FY20 and FY21. The task force’s report is due at the beginning of spring quarter and will circulate for comment prior to implementation. Recommended strategies to balance the budget may include cancelling subscriptions to print and/or electronic journals and databases; spending less on one-time purchases like books and videos; relying more heavily on purchases of individual full-text articles instead of journal subscriptions; and/or using Summit and other interlibrary loan systems instead of acquisitions. To learn more about the library resources budget and the process underway to address it, please visit http://library.wwu.edu/sustainable-access or contact Senate Library Committee Chair Mark Springer or Director of Scholarly Resources and Collection Services Mike Olson.
The Libraries (in partnership with the Graduate School, Office of the Provost, and Office of Research and Sponsored Programs) launched Western CEDAR eighteen months ago. 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 107 faculty research pages located in the SelectedWorks Author Gallery, 26 departmental pages, Office of Survey Research reports, 450 theses, 111 Scholars Week poster sessions, the 2014 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, and the Journal of Educational Controversy. At the end of 2015, scholarship contained in CEDAR had been downloaded worldwide over 75,000 times. All campus units are invited to disseminate reports, papers, datasets, conference proceedings, and the like. People interested in open access publishing can manage the editorial process and publish the final product. The Libraries has taken 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) underwent a significant redesign last summer to improve functionality, clarity, and to add new features. The changes address user feedback provided over the past two years, including in three 2015 faculty and student surveys. Specific enhancements include better search filters for more refined results, clearer information about an item’s availability, better display of the item’s catalog details, and more intuitive language and descriptions. I hope the ability to search items available at Western, via Summit, and in electronic journals and databases all at once is proving useful. You still can narrow your search to just WWU or WWU + Summit and use your favorite databases just like you did in the past. For tips on making the most of OneSearch, check out OneSearch Tips. Also, any of the Libraries’ research consultation professionals can assist you with using OneSearch. To make suggestions for improvements or to learn more about the Orbis Cascade Alliance partnership behind OneSearch, don’t hesitate to contact Rebecca Marrall, head of the Libraries’ Resource Discovery Unit.
In addition to developments in the Libraries’ virtual space, there are exciting physical changes underway to transform the second floor of Haggard Hall. Last summer, Research Consultation and the Writing Center merged to become the Research-Writing Studio. The Studio integrates academic support for research, writing, and reading literacies in a vibrant learning environment staffed by experts. During Fall Quarter, as many as 1,000 students a week used the new flexible furnishings and mobile technologies to work on academic projects by themselves, with others, or with Studio staff. A private donation from a Western alumna fully funded this evolving initiative. Planned improvements for 2016 include an expanded Studio footprint, additional furnishings and technology, an enclosed workshop room, and a new configuration for the Student Technology Center service desk and public computers. In close proximity to the Studio, a new Digital Media Center (DMC) will open in Winter Quarter to meet growing demand for the integration of visual literacies into Western’s curriculum. The modern, million-dollar capital project was designed with input from faculty in five colleges and consists of a fully equipped sound stage, control room, and editing lab to support media production and post-production projects. Under the management of Academic Technology, in partnership with the Western Libraries, the DMC consolidates teaching and learning resources related to new media and serves as a program partner in the Learning Commons.
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