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April 23: National Poetry Month Activities Start at WSU Libraries

Spine poem by Holly Luetkenhaus, WSU Libraries instruction librarian.

One of Lorena O’English’s favorite poems from her “misspent youth” is a cautionary tale about two maiden sisters, one of whom falls under the spell of goblin merchants selling fruit too good to be true. Only the strength of her sister’s love saves her.

Creepiness factor aside, “Goblin Market,” composed by English poet Christina Rossetti and published in 1862, is partly why O’English, social services librarian at Washington State University Libraries, has helped to organize events that celebrate National Poetry Month every April for eight years.

“We’re celebrating poets as creators,” O’English said. “So we want students and others facing the stress of finals and the end of the school year to stop, take a break and be creative too.”

O’English, instruction librarian Holly Luetkenhaus, humanities librarian Erica Nicol and graphic designer Amy Grey have planned three poetry-related activities for the rest of the month and early May: Poem in Your Pocket Day on Wednesday, April 23; Dada Poem Day on Wednesday, April 30; and Spine Poetry Day on Wednesday, May 7. All events take place in the WSU Libraries’ new book area on the Terrell Atrium first floor.

For more on the activities, read the WSU News story.

Library Hours Again Extended for Dead Week, Finals


Back by popular demand, Washington State University students will have round-the-clock access to Holland and Terrell libraries during the last two weeks of the semester.

The libraries will open at noon Sunday, April 27, and remain open 24/7 through 10 p.m. Friday, May 9.

“We heard from quite a few students who were grateful for the extended hours last time,” said Susan Shipman, Access Services manager at WSU Libraries.

Parker Gross, president of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Alpha Gamma chapter), said during dead and finals weeks his schedule revolves entirely around academics.

“In previous years, it was inconvenient for me to pack up at 1:45 a.m. and find a new and less conducive environment when I wasn’t nearly done with my studies,” said Gross, a sophomore majoring in management and operations and marketing. “Last year, I was able to fully utilize the 24-hour library schedule to prepare myself for exams. I cannot thank the library faculty and staff enough for the new system.”

Associated Students of WSU Sens. Dylan Heyne and LaKecia Farmer said ASWSU has been working closely with WSU Libraries’ Associate Dean Beth Blakesley and Dean Jay Starratt to extend the Holland and Terrell hours.

“Establishing a 24/7 library during dead and finals weeks is a student service promoting academics at WSU and is instrumental to the success of students during a crucial period in the semester,” they said.

UNIV 300 Returns this Fall, Teaching Students to be Selective Researchers

Fire hydrant drinking fountain at MIT Stata Center, Cambridge, Mass. (Photo by Wally Gobetz, courtesy of Flickr)

Lotus Development Corp. founder Mitch Kapor spoke for the majority of uninitiated Web users when he said, “Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.”

Washington State University Libraries and the Office of Undergraduate Education are bringing back a class this fall that will teach university students to moderate that flow of information – and to be more effective researchers in the process.

A one-credit course first offered in 1995, UNIV 300: Accessing Information for Research helps students better understand the modern information landscape, including scholarly communication and the Internet. They learn important concepts and skills related to information access and evaluation, such as advanced database search techniques and choosing sources that are credible, relevant and accurate.

UNIV 300 will be offered Monday and Wednesday mornings Aug. 25-Oct. 15. Priority registration for fall courses begins today (April 14).

For details about the course, read the WSU News article.

April 3: Crimson Reads Celebrates Faculty-Authored Books


A faculty author’s road to publication may only be fully appreciated by the librarians who, whether offering information or an ear, walk the same road to bring that book to light. Trevor Bond, head of WSU’s Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections, followed one faculty member’s progress for eight years. For the full WSU News story, visit….

To recognize the achievements of those who’ve published a book from 2010 to the present, WSU Libraries will hold the inaugural “Crimson Reads: A Celebration of WSU Faculty Authored Books” at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in the Terrell Atrium. Refreshments and musical entertainment will be offered.

The event program includes a welcome and introduction from Beth Blakesley, associate dean of the WSU Libraries; opening remarks by Frances McSweeney, vice provost for faculty affairs and Regents professor of psychology; and an address by Matthew McCluskey, chair of the WSU Department of Physics and Astronomy.

For more about “Crimson Reads,” including a full list of published works and detailed descriptions of books by faculty authors, visit

Libraries, Museum of Anthropology Welcome History Students for Research Exploration

From sewing a miniature book binding to watching a demonstration of shaping a stone tool, nearly 200 eighth-graders from Lincoln Middle School recently took a whirlwind tour of library sciences and anthropological research at Washington State University to prepare for their final history project this spring.

WSU manuscripts librarian Cheryl Gunselman shows Lincoln Middle School visitors one of the many rare and unique books at the WSU Libraries.

The teens visited the WSU Libraries and the WSU Museum of Anthropology to glean ideas for their “Night of the Notables” on March 26 and 27. Students investigate an important historical figure, write a paper and answer questions as that figure, in costume, during an evening event for parents and friends.

For the full story, visit the WSU News site at….

Library Anxiety: It’s Real and Students Can Beat It


As Washington State University classes resume this week, humanities/social sciences reference librarian Erica Nicol has just the remedy for new and returning students who get the heebie-jeebies just opening the doors to campus libraries. Her online guide explores the origins of library anxiety and offers tips for beating it (

For the full story, visit the WSU News site.

Summit Requesting to be Streamlined (coming January 20th)

Streamlined Summit Requesting through Search It

Content from the thirty-seven libraries within the Orbis Cascade Alliance (Summit) is now fully integrated through the single search interface of Search It, and as a result of this integration, the Alliance will roll out enhancements to the Summit requesting process on January 20, 2015.  Some of the benefits of these enhancements are that patrons will experience fewer authentication requests and increased availability awareness of Summit items at the point of request.

Search It is WSU’s search interface that retrieves results from databases and catalogs found in academic libraries across the Pacific Northwest. In Search It, all content available to WSU students, staff, and faculty is immediately accessible, and all other content from the neighboring thirty-six institutions can be requested and quickly delivered. The full integration of the Summit catalog into the Search It interface will create new opportunities for enhancements and improvements that will benefit those who use these library services.  

For those of you that have used the Summit search interface ( for discovery should note that this URL will no longer be available after 1/19/2015.  If you want to search WorldCat, you can find WorldCat via FirstSearch and WorldCat for non-WSU affiliates on our Find Databases A-Z page or, if you prefer,  WorldCat results are also integrated into the Search It  search scope that is labeled Everything + (beta).

If you would like to give feedback regarding this change, or anything related to Search It, please use the form provided at the bottom of every page in Search It and provided here for convenience:

Associate Dean Beth Blakesley Named Editor-in-Chief of Top Library Journal


Beth Blakesley, associate dean of libraries at Washington State University, assumes leadership this month as editor-in-chief of the “Journal of Academic Librarianship” (JAL), one of the top publications in the academic libraries field.

Established in 1975, the international and refereed journal publishes articles on issues related to college and university libraries. JAL provides information on subjects of interest to academic librarians, including technology, trends and research in international librarianship, a guide to sources and analysis of library metrics, book reviews, bibliographic essays and more.

“From the earliest days of my library and information science education, JAL was one of the sources I often turned to, and I was proud to publish in JAL earlier in my career,” Blakesley wrote in her introductory editorial for JAL’s first issue of 2015. “It is quite an honor to now be taking the reins as editor of the journal.

“In the past twenty-four years, we have seen many changes in the technologies we use, but our mission remains the same as it has. Budget constraints have been an underlying theme for decades, shaping our efforts to do more with less. I am particularly interested in what library history, much like history in general, tends to show: that (very) similar issues present themselves, and we keep trying to solve them with (slightly) different versions of the same tools.”

Blakesley has been with WSU Libraries since 2003, first as head of library instruction, then as assistant dean for public services and outreach before stepping into her present role as associate dean in 2008.

Before joining WSU, she served as information services librarian at Indiana State University and reference/instruction librarian in literature, languages and cultural studies at University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

Blakesley has contributed editorial services to other library-related publications and co-edited the Association of College and Research Libraries’ “Information Literacy Instruction Handbook.”

She wrote the second edition of “Great Women Mystery Writers,” a bio-bibliographic guide to 90 English-speaking women writers, and co-wrote “Literary Research and the American Modernist Era” with WSU humanities librarian and bibliographer Bob Matuozzi. Last year, she also served as a jury member for the Washington State Book Awards.

Blakesley received her bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish from the University of Dayton (Ohio) in 1991 and her master’s in library sciences from Indiana University (IU) at Bloomington in 1993. She also received a master’s in comparative literature from IU in 1995 and a postgraduate certificate in digital archives and records management from San Jose State University in 2013.

Courtesy renewals for the beginning of school

As a courtesy to our users to aid in breaking in a new semester and in recognition that some users are unable to renew some material online the Libraries has decided to renew all items that are currently due during the first two weeks of the semester (1/13/2014 – 1/25/2014)  for our users that are able to check out books for six weeks (undergraduates and community users for example).

For our users that are able to check out books for the entire semester  (faculty, staff and graduate students for example) we are renewing all items to be due on our normal end of term date of 5/12/2014.

Please note: this courtesy renewal does not include any media, juvenile, Summit or ILL items (basically anything that does not check out for either six weeks or an entire semester).

If you are having issues with any of these items please contact a library access services desk for assistance ( has hours and contact information for all of our campus libraries). 

We expect to complete the renewals by the end of the week (some of you in Pullman may have already noticed!).  If you have questions about this process please do contact a library access services desk or fill out a feedback form at .

WSU Libraries’ Updated Website Launches January 6th

WSU Libraries has taken the first step in updating the Libraries’ website, and rolls out an updated look on Monday, January 6th. “Our website did a great job for a long time,” said Web Services Librarian Ray Henry, “but with the launch of Search It and its new interface, we decided it was a good time to update not only the look and feel, but also the underlying structure of the website. We’ve made some good improvements, including friendlier URLs and cleaner navigation, which are good first steps.”

Future improvements to the site will include a more mobile- and tablet friendly responsive design, and other changes that will come after the Libraries does several rounds of user testing. In the meantime, site visitors who’d like to provide feedback have plenty of opportunities to so so, including the website feedback links at the bottom of every page on the site. “You can submit our feedback form anonymously, or if you’d like to hear back from us you can add your email address,” said Ray. “We’d really like to hear from you, especially if you are experiencing any challenges with the new site. We want it to be the best it can be, and we can’t do that without the help of the whole community!”

Additionally, Libraries site visitors can visit the new site FAQ page at for more information.

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