Library renovation complete, variety of services offered


By Rebekah Frank


After four years, the newly renovated JFK Library has many different sections, floors and assets which offer a variety of help to students, faculty and community members.

The EWU library is an asset to students through the various resources the library has to offer. With its online database, the library offers students the chance to research, read and see all that is available to them. The library has also expanded, gathering options for student success through PLUS groups, one-on-one tutoring, the Writer’s Center and the Multimedia Commons.

The Learning Commons is a “student’s space,” said EWU Learning Commons director Verlinda Washburn. It is designed for students to study on their own, in groups, with tutors or any way a student wants to study.

According to Washburn, students are allowed to bring food into the Learning Commons, rearrange the furniture and talk as loud as they want while studying. The tutors are also located in the Learning Commons, which makes it easier for students to get everything they need while furthering their education.

Washburn said, “We want students to feel like this is their home.”

In addition to the Learning Commons, the library also has PLUS in order to help enhance student learning. PLUS offers one-on-one tutoring, online tutoring and supplemental instruction study groups.

The Writer’s Center provides students with both online and in-person feedback on their academic, professional and creative writing at any time. After seeking help with their writing, students can go to the Multimedia Commons to receive assistance on finishing their projects.

“Not only do they have the resources they’re going to need to write papers, they have access to tutoring and instructional help to do a better job of writing the paper,” said Charles Mutschler, library and University Archivist.

However, if students are unavailable to come into the JFK Library, there is also help available to them online. Students can get e-tutoring, search the library database and even have materials shipped to EWU from various universities thanks to the Orbis Cascade Alliance Summit Program.

Thanks to the Orbis Cascade Alliance, students can borrow materials from almost any university in Washington and Oregon, as well as from the University of Idaho. With the click of a button, students can have access to materials from different parts of Washington and Oregon.

“We have maybe around 700,000 books in our collection. The Summit is more like 9 million unique titles,” said Ielleen Miller, EWU Reference Librarian and Coordinator of Instruction.

Another service available when using materials from another university is Eastern’s transportation system. “We don’t rely on the mail; we actually have our own courier system,” said Miller.

For those who are writing papers or researching information and in need of reliable sources, the library has a searchable online catalog with e-books and other online materials instantly obtainable through PDF.

“You do have the advantage in our collection of knowing that the people who selected this have some knowledge about what sort of material they’re selecting and is it quality material,” said Mutschler.

Above all, the library staff said their priority is to serve students the best they can and provide them with the help they need to make learning more enjoyable.

“If you don’t teach students and give them the opportunity to really make learning a joy, then what are they going to go away from the university with?” asked Washburn.