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Friday, July 6, 2018

WMU Libraries Play a Part in National PBS Show

Regional History Curator, Lynn Houghton and the historical materials at the Zhang Legacy Collections Center regional history collections help tell the story of Kalamazoo's leadership in downtown development for a PBS show, "10 Streets that Changed America" 

The Chicago Public Broadcasting Service affiliate, WTTW, who produces the series "10 That Changed America", contacted Houghton in the spring then came to Kalamazoo and interviewed her for this 'Streets' project. She had researched the records of the pedestrian mall from materials in the WMU Regional History Collections archives.
Lynn Houghton, Regional
History Curator

It airs Tuesday, July 10 on PBS at 8 p.m.

As many natives know, the Kalamazoo Mall (the Burdick Street business district downtown) was the first pedestrian mall in the country. It was redesigned for pedestrians only in an effort to bring shoppers back to downtown. It was revolutionary for its time and it is why Kalamazoo was known as the Mall City for many years. Many cities copied the idea. Now it is the one-way street from the Radisson complex on Michigan Ave. south to the State Theater.

Kalamazoo's Burdick Street rates pretty favorably in the show with other well-known places like Broadway in New York, the National Road - Virginia to Illinois, and Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. The PBS trailer mentions how the street 'changed shopping in America'.

The mall designer hired by Kalamazoo is featured in this WWMT TV3 article.

The Zhang Legacy Center, Archives and Regional History Collections at WMU is the largest facility of its type in southwestern Michigan. It consists of historical university and regional records. The library holds letters, diaries, photography, and documents of area people, business and organizations. It also has several large photography collections, area newspapers, and electronic resources documenting Southwestern Michigan and beyond.

Friday, June 22, 2018

In the Works at Waldo

Coming to Waldo Library: Graduate Student Commons

A large space is being designed for graduate student needs on the third floor of Waldo. Coming later this summer is a great new graduate collaboration, study and meeting space.

Room 3080, previously the 'maps room' is now being fitted with new carpet, versatile furniture, LED lighting, and conversation groupings, for maximum flexibility in student usage. Maps are now more accessible on the second floor in government documents area.

Amenities of the new space are abundant natural light, separate group study rooms, computers, charging stations and late night hours (2 am for 5 days) in a quiet part of the library.

Look for the opening event in August, depending on the construction schedule.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Digital New York Times, free WMU subscription via the Libraries

The New York Times digital edition will continue to be provided to members of the WMU community by University Libraries through June 2021.

The new three year agreement will provide stability for those professors who want to develop class assignments around this resource. The New York Times in Education will continue to be a part of this subscription with an additional sign up.

For access you must sign up for a Group Pass using your e-mail.

Additional instructions are available at

Passes expire every 364 days so you may need to sign up for a new pass if you signed up last year.

Gems and Precious Metals Exhibit

New exhibit in Waldo Library lobby, the symbolic significance, power, and beauty of gems and precious metals.

Information through books from the Rare Books Room, for example:

A Taste for Splendor: Russian Imperial and European treasures from the Hillwood Museum

Five Centuries of Jewellery

The Headley Treasure of Bibelots and Boxes

Some properties historically attributed to precious and semiprecious stones:

  • Amethyst – protection, cleansing, intuition
  • Diamond – purity, fidelity, love
  • Emerald – love, compassion, abundance
 Enjoy more in the display cases, through mid-July.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Presentation: Michigan, My Michigan

A History of this State - From Territory to Statehood is a talk from WMU Regional History Curator, Lynn Houghton. She is part of the Zhang Legacy Center, Archives and Regional History Collections.

It is a Monday, May 21 event, 7 - 8:30 pm, downtown at the Kalamazoo Public Central Library, Van Deusen Room.

The history of Michigan is interesting, fascinating and filled with twists and turns. Join Houghton for a journey looking at all aspects of Michigan’s growth and development through events, topics, trends, themes and people, all of which have shaped this State. Along with being the Regional History Curator for the WMU Archives and Regional History Collections, Lynn taught Michigan History for Western’s Department of History from 2002 to 2017 and also does the Gazelle Sports Historic Walks.

Early Michigan map, 1838, half of the area does not yet have
county designations.
The Archives and Regional History Collections consist of historical University, regional, and local governmental records. It is the largest facility of its type in southwestern Michigan. The library holds letters, diaries, and records of area people, businesses and organizations. It also has several large photographic collections, area newspapers, and electronic resources documenting the story of southwestern Michigan. #ZhangLegacyCenter

Monday, May 7, 2018

WMU libraries medieval collections are renown

Special Collections and Rare Books at Waldo are closely connected to the World Medieval Congress that comes to WMU each spring. They house medieval manuscripts and facsimiles of books covering the Middle Ages that scholars use in their research. Students at WMU's Medieval Institute use these special historical documents in their classes throughout year.

Also, the unit supports the needs of the Medieval Institute, especially in terms of class instruction - particularly medieval history classes that use primary sources and help graduate students conduct research through document work.

The Medieval Institute and Special Collections and Rare Books esteemed collections are two of the reasons the medievalists have come to Kalamazoo for 53 years.

See several medieval exhibit cases in the third floor rotunda area of Waldo Library: new acquisitions, Beowulf materials, and a historical costume collection sampling.

More about the conference:


Thursday, May 3, 2018

Waldo Library Road Construction

If you are driving to Waldo Library this summer, please be aware of construction directly in front of Waldo on the Arcadia Loop curve. The parking lot behind the library is available but restricted (Lot 28). Access from the east, Arcadia road (near Elmwood Apts A or French Hall direction) The lot across the street is closed (by Moore Hall lot 27). The steam pipe work will last through early August.

Some of the sidewalks and road crossings are also restricted. Some days there will be additional dust and noise. The Library will remain open its regular hours through the summer:

Welcome Lori Kison

University Libraries welcomes Lori Kison to the position of Special Collections Coordinator. Ms. Kison has joined the Research Services Department and will be located in the Special Collections and Rare Book Reading Room.

Lori brings more than 25 years of experience of working with the WMU community including more than 20 years at WMU Libraries, mostly working in technical services/Resource Management and with additional experience in resource sharing and circulation. She has strong organizational skills, customer service experience, and enthusiasm, all of which will be invaluable in her new role.

Her BSC is from WMU in history with a public history/art history minor and an emphasis on archival and museum studies. This established an understanding of the importance of primary sources and their curation, and an enduring respect for and love of libraries.  We are delighted to welcome her back to WMU Libraries in the role of special collections coordinator within the Research Services department. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Student Employee Scholarships Awarded

Congratulations to the 4 student employees who were awarded scholarships recently from University Libraries! Full time students who work at University Libraries wrote an essay as part of their applications where they were judged on creativity, originality, and enthusiasm. 

The winners are: 
Hadlee Robinson from the Office of the Dean and Business Services,  with Sara Volmering supervisor. They are pictured here near her submitted essay.

Lindsey Hammel from the Swain Education Library, Brandon Meissner supervisor. (Not Pictured)

Ogden Wright from the Waldo Service Desk, Scott Smith supervisor. (Not pictured)

Yizhou Chen from the Waldo Service Desk, with Megan Brown supervisor. (below)

Each of the student awardees receive $1000. toward their next year college expenses and a certificate honoring their submission.

The third photo shows the staff scholarship committee along with supervisors and some awardees. From the left is Malissa Minnema, Khanh Hoang, Sarah Volmering,
Hadlee Robinson, Joshua Enos, Yizhou Chen, Megan Brown, LuMarie Guth, and in the back row is Brandon Meissner. 

Thanks to all for the great work on this project.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Additional Workshop added: Virtual Reality Workshops

New WMU Workshops Offered on Virtual Reality: Learn. Create. Play.

NEW WORKSHOP ADDED: Friday, April 20, 12 - 1:30 p.m., Creating an Exterior VR Environment in Unity.

VR offers significant potential in the areas of teaching, learning and research. Now you can explore the educational potential of this popular technology here at WMU. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to attend at the new Waldo Library VR Lab in the Lower Level.

Four different workshops are offered with limited seating. Daytime and nighttime offerings are available to fit your schedule. Workshop titles:

Intro to VR
Get your first look at Virtual Reality and learn about the different types of VR content. 

Getting Started with VR in Unity
Learn how to start making your own Virtual Reality content using the Unity development environment.  

Creating 3D Objects for VR
Virtual Reality isn’t very engaging without objects to interact with. Learn the basics of creating 3D models. 

Creating Art in VR with Quill, Medium, and Blocks
Creating art is an amazing experience in Virtual Reality thanks to the many creative applications available

Software tutorials are also suggested, see the links at the bottom of the Learning VR page: Unity, Unreal Engine, Blender

Thursday, April 12, 2018

VR Lab Extends Hours - Finals

Waldo Virtual Reality Lab extends hours for finals time. Extra hours have been added for April 20 - 22, Friday - Sunday for a break from finals stress. The Lab will be open through Thursday, April 26 at its regular hours which include late night times.

Come take a break and try one of 20 different titles in VR. 

Note: Lab will be closed break week, week of April 30.

Late Night Hours

Sunday - Thursday9 p.m. to midnight

Daytime Hours

Monday - Thursday2 to 6 p.m.

Final Exam Hours (April 20-29, 2018)

Friday, April 206 to 9 p.m
Saturday, April 216 to 9 p.m.
Sunday, April 226 p.m to midnight
Monday, April 232 to 6 p.m.
9 p.m. to midnight
Tuesday, April 242 to 6 p.m.
9 p.m. to midnights
Wednesday, April 252 to 6 p.m.
9 p.m. to midnight
Thursday, April 262 to 6 p.m.
9 p.m. to midnight
Friday, April 27Closed
Saturday, April 28
Sunday, April 29Closed

Waldo Library Open 24hrs for Finals

Starting on Sunday, April 22, at 10 a.m., Waldo Library will be open 24 hours a day for finals. The Service Desk will also be open 24 hours for assistance. For access during the late night hours, please swipe your Bronco Card. The Library will remain open until Thursday, April 26, midnight. 

To help you cross the finish line, we're making sure that the WMU students and employees have top priority access to all the computers in the libraries. Starting Friday, April 20, guest logins will be turned off during finals time. Guests are welcome to use wifi on their own  portable devices.

More details here:

Finals at Waldo Library, Open Late: April 20-21 'til midnight & Very Late: April 22-26, 24 hours,
starting at 10 am Sunday - Thursday midnight. Use your Bronco ID for late access.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Welcome Jonathan Kirkwood

University Libraries welcomes Jonathan Kirkwood to the position of Archival Storage Coordinator. Mr. Kirkwood has joined the Libraries Research Services Department and will be located at the Zhang Legacy Center, Archives and Regional History Collections.

He brings considerable archives experience in processing and preservation with dedication to excellent service. Kirkwood as been with University Libraries for more than 4 years as a student assistant and temporary employee in the branch library. He's performed a range of duties including managing the ingest of thousands of items into the archival system; training students and coworkers; and providing patron assistance. He combines many qualities with a commitment to continuous development that currently includes pursuing an Masters in Library Information Services (MLIS) focused on archives and digital content management from Wayne State University.

Jonathan earned a BA and an MA in Public History from WMU. He has worked as a preservation intern at the Library of Congress in Washington DC, an archival intern at the National Archives in Chicago, and was employed as an Archival Consultant at Kingman Museum Battle Creek.

Zhang Legacy Center, Archives and Regional History Collections building

Monday, March 26, 2018

Appointments with Your Librarian

It's easier than ever to get an appointment with your subject librarian. Students and faculty can get the help they need with a quick-schedule appointment through this service at WMU Libraries. There are over 4.5 million items available, let us help find the ones you need

Whether you need help getting more on-target search results, finding good digital databases for your research, or figuring out proper citations - a consultation can really help. 

We have over 12 librarians that specialize in over 50 subjects to assist you. Here's how:

  • Click the subject librarian listing:
  • Find the librarian that specializes in your subject
  • Choose a time
  • Put in your name and email, and you have an appointment!
  • Done. You will both get an email. (Please note the location of the librarian)
  • Options: can have a consultation by phone or Google Hangouts if the Librarian agrees

Here is also the directory listing of WMU Librarians:

Having a consultation with a librarian who knows your area is now an easier process and a better result for you. 

The Libraries want to help you succeed.