News from the Dean

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News from the Dean

Mark I. Greenberg, Dean of Libraries

Welcome. I hope you had an enjoyable winter break and are excited for the start of 2015.

As we begin the Winter Quarter, 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) has created Western CEDAR. 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. Over the last several months, content in CEDAR has grown to include a sample of 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. In conjunction with International Open Access Week, CEDAR officially launched back in October with presentations and hands-on workshops. To learn more about CEDAR and how you can get involved, don’t hesitate to contact the Libraries’ new scholarly communications librarian, Jenny Oleen or CEDAR project manager Kim Marsicek.

OneSearch (the Libraries online resource discovery system), live now for eighteen months, has had many of its initial bugs worked out. I hope you’re finding the ability to search “Books, Articles + More” to be a useful tool. Remember, you can narrow your search to just WWU or WWU + 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 are on the way in the next several months. An enhanced Summit borrowing system will enable 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. The OneSearch interface is undergoing user testing and revision as well. The Libraries OneSearch Management Team is 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 from a library professional via the “Chat with a Librarian” function. To make other suggestions for improvements or to know more about the Orbis Cascade Alliance partnership behind OneSearch, don’t hesitate to contact Rebecca Marrall.

In addition to improvements in the Libraries’ virtual space, there have been positive physical changes as well. Prior to Fall Quarter, Zoe’s got a major facelift with new tables and chairs and comfortable seating. An extension of the Learning Commons, Zoe’s particular environment attracts students seeking to study individually or in groups and places them in close proximity to learning support services and library research collections that can aid in their academic work. Special thanks to Director of University Residences Leonard Jones and Western’s District Manager for Dining Services Stephen Wadsworth for fully funding this upgrade. Right outside Zoe’s, you may notice that the Info Desk has been relocated closer to the Wilson entryway in order to better serve patrons. The Research Consultation desk, previously in the back corner by the Writing Center, was removed in an effort to increase “just in time” interactions between the Libraries research consultation staff and students working in the adjacent areas.

At the end of the current academic year, construction will begin on a digital media commons in Haggard Hall (paid from state classroom upgrade funds) to support film studies. In addition, the Libraries just received a major private gift to create a new research and writing studio, also to be located in Haggard Hall. These two improvements, planned to open in Fall 2015, join the recently established workshop/teaching space in HH 222, funded entirely with a gift from Don and Cindy (English ’84) Hacherl.

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.

Regards,

Mark I. Greenberg
Dean of Libraries
January 2015