Library and Academic Innovation Update, Fall 2021

Hamersly Library amidst fall trees

Photo credit: Seyed Abdollah Shahrokni

Library and Academic Innovation

After a year of rapid adaptation and actively seeking student and faculty feedback, Library and Academic Innovation (LAI) has undergone a year of transformation. 

  • Library and Academic Innovation has a new shared mission, vision, and values that align with WOU’s strategic plan.
  • Academic year Library Hours were adjusted based on student feedback, and the Library is providing WOU-only access during evening (after 6pm) and weekend hours.
  • The DMC is no longer active and LAI staff are working to identify alternative methods of support for WOU’s community. The Digital Production Room is now in Hamersly 201! More information is available on the DMC Web Page
  • The Library has a new Information Literacy Program, a new Collection Development Plan and an updated Collection Development Policy
  • The Library also has a new Research Clinic model for providing Reference service. Daytime clinic hours are on site, and evening hours are on Zoom. Librarians are also available for scheduled consultations. If you have questions about anything library-related, please chat, call or text the Library.
  • As of Fall 2021, WOU’s transition from Moodle to Canvas is complete. 
  • Center for Academic Innovation is offering new faculty development programs as well as instructional design consultations and support for teaching with technology. 
  • LAI envisions the Hamersly Library as a more welcoming space for BIPOC students. As one step in this direction, the Library has begun to implement bilingual English/Spanish directional signage, bookmarks and brochures.

Check out the Library’s updated list of WOU Faculty and Staff Publications!

The Library’s OER Program  has saved WOU students approximately $840,553.29 as of September 2021 (detailed report submitted by Sue Kunda). Our goal is to reach over one million dollars in student textbook savings by July 2022.

The Library celebrated Latinx Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting a Bilingual Story Talk with President Jay Kenton and Admissions Director Anna Hernandez-Hunter on September 29, 2021. This well attended event was coordinated by Freedom Center Co-Director Makana Ripley in partnership with the Freedom Center Board, City of Monmouth, and City of Independence. This was the Library’s first major in-person event since March 6, 2020. 

Academic Affairs

Note: these updates aren’t specific to LAI, but are related to efforts in Academic Affairs that Chelle has been leading or co-leading. 

  • Academic Affairs has partnered with Student Affairs to offer a Search Advocate workshop to be presented by OSU’s Anne Gilles in December 2021. 
  • Academic Affairs has decided not to extend our CircleIn contract for another year. This decision was based on a pilot during the 2020-2021 academic year which concluded in June 2021 with a feedback survey of students and faculty. CircleIn was not widely adopted, and was not found to be sufficiently serving the academic needs of WOU students. 


Updated LAI Mission, Vision, and Values

The 2020-2021 academic year was challenging. The COVID-19 pandemic started in Spring of 2020, so WOU began the academic year with almost entirely remote learning. Academic Innovation was just forming as a new unit, and their first task was to support the shift to online learning while also implementing a campus transition from Moodle to Canvas. The Library, unlike many academic library peers, opened to WOU students, staff and faculty for in person services during regular business hours while also providing robust remote services. This was also the year when WOU laid off significant numbers of Classified and Unclassified staff and exercised Article 15 of the WOUFT contract in an effort to align the university’s expenditures with it’s reduced budget and reduced student enrollment. LAI was impacted by these cuts, as were all other departments on campus.

Throughout this year of remote work, remote learning, and constant transition, LAI met as a full staff in monthly Strategic Planning Meetings. Those meetings allowed us to explore our new identity as Library AND Academic Innovation. By the beginning of the 2021-2022 academic year, we were ready to reemerge as a new entity, with a new mission, vision, and values. Our About Us page was subsequently updated in October 2020, after our first Strategic Planning meeting of the year. This was the first time the Hamersly Library mission had been updated since 2005, so it felt like a big achievement!

LAI Venn diagram