Phase II of Learning Commons Complete: The Learning Commons has expanded to accommodate additional partners, including Career Services and math tutoring (a PLUS activity). This expansion included shifting library print periodicals from the main level of JFK to the lower level. In addition, there were shifts of several small library holdings, including LP records and folio (oversize) books. Verlinda Washburn is now director of the Learning Commons and the PLUS group.
New Catalog: The shared Summit Library Catalog, commonly known as SUMMIT, has undergone some major changes. In December 2013, the EWU Libraries, a member of the Orbis Cascade Alliance migrated to a new integrated information system. This new system supports unified resource management, optimizes resources and data, provides a cloud-based service, and has an open platform to allow for the development of collaborative applications. By December 2014, all 37 institutions will have migrated to Alma (the staff-side portion) and Primo (the public single-interface discovery and delivery portion for local and remote resources like books, journal articles, and digital objects). The Primo user experience is more streamlined, more personalized, and incorporates features like a personal e-shelf for re-running saved queries, receiving RSS feeds, and pushing results into third-party software like RefWorks.
Digital Commons: The development of the EWU Digital Commons is well underway. The library signed a contract with the Berkeley Electronic Press (bepress©) in January and is moving forward with configuration work on this institutional repository for the university. The library anticipates that the EWU Digital Commons site will be in production by early June. Some of the first collections to be included in the Digital Commons will be EWU’s master’s theses and recordings of performances and recitals from the Department of Music.
Fundraising Efforts: The EWU Libraries have been working with a group of EWU alumni from the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Members of this group, who have maintained a close bond over the past 45 years, came home to EWU on Feb. 8, 2014, for a celebration in the JFK Archives and Special Collections, where they raised over $100,000 in one evening.
The philanthropic efforts of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity will allow the EWU Libraries the opportunity to digitize over a quarter-million items of substantive intellectual value and cultural significance that are currently not accessible.
When the $250,000 goal of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fund is reached, JFK’s Archives and Special Collections will be renamed in the fraternity’s honor. In addition, a scholarship was created in the name of Randy Van Turner, an EWU graduate and founding member of the “Pike” fraternity who was killed in Vietnam shortly after graduation. A memorial for lst Lt. Randy Van Turner will be displayed in Archives and Special Collections, and proceeds from the $25,000 scholarship will be awarded to an Eastern student as early as 2015.