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Penrose Library Blog

Senior thesis help

by Emily Pearson  Oct 31 19

Are you writing a thesis? Librarians are here to help! Want to make a research plan? Unsure about the difference between an annotated bibliography and a literature review? Feel like you’re having a hard time figuring out sources? Need a citation management tool? We can help with all of these, and more!

Here are a couple things to know:

1. Our thesis page is your go-to place for all thesis info, including including citation management tools and how you can download Word for free.

2. Librarians are available and happy to help with any questions you may have, and you can find our contact info here.

We have office hours in the library from 9-12, 1-5 Monday through Friday. Just look for the Research Help sign to find the right office (all near the circulation desk). You can also schedule an appointment with one of us if you would like. In November we will be hosting drop-in help sessions.

Celebrating William O. Douglas

by Emily Pearson  Sep 18 19

In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the graduation of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas (1920), we have an exciting new exhibit on the Second Floor (Main Level) in Justice Douglas’s honor. The exhibit uses materials from the Whitman College and Northwest Archives to highlight aspects of Douglas’s legal career, work on the environment, and lifelong connection to Whitman. Along with photos and textual materials documenting his work on the Supreme Court, we also have on display every book from his prolific work as a writer. It was curated by David F. Schmitz, Robert Allen Skotheim Chair of History, and Rachel Glover, Class of 2019, with the assistance of Dana Bronson, Associate Archivist, and Emily Pearson, Instructional and Research Services Librarian. The exhibit will remain up through the Fall 2020.

Coronavirus information to stay informed

by Emily Pearson  Mar 9 20

Many academic publishers have made any coronavirus articles freely available. Here are some resources to learn more about COVID-19 coronavirus from government and academic sources.

How to spot (and stop!) coronavirus misinformation

Please excuse the mess!

by Emily Pearson  Jan 27 20

This winter, Penrose is getting a sustainability upgrade. We appreciate your patience while work crews convert all lighting to energy-efficient LED lamps. Please watch out for ladders and work crews. During this process, lights may also be turning on and off. This changed will reduce energy consumption of the lighting system by about 50%.

For any questions, please contact Campus Sustainability Coordinator, Elissa Brown ([email protected])

Learn more about sustainability efforts and Whitman College’s Climate Action Plan at

Penrose Library Winter Break Hours

by Julie Carter  Dec 17 19

Penrose Library hours between Fall semester 2019 and Spring semester 2020 will be as follows:

Friday Dec. 20: close at 5 pm

Dec. 21 –  Jan. 1: CLOSED

Jan. 2 – Jan. 3: 9 am to 5 pm

Jan. 4 – Jan. 5: CLOSED

Jan. 6 – Jan. 10: 9 am to 5 pm

Jan. 11 – Jan. 12: CLOSED

Jan. 13 – Jan. 19: 9 am to 5 pm

Jan. 20: 9 am to 10 pm

Jan. 21: 8 am;  resume 24 hours

Please note: The Whitman College Northwest Archives will be closed January 6-10, 2020 for a major collections maintenance project. There will be no public access to archival collections, the reading room, or reference services during this time. We anticipate that normal hours and services will resume on Monday, January 13.

Welcome back!

by Julie Carter  Sep 5 19

Penrose Library made several changes over the summer and we want to keep you informed. You may be wondering:

Where are the board games and popular literature collections?

We have moved these collections to the main (2nd) floor alcove near the films. Popular literature can be checked out for six weeks, films and board games can be borrowed for six days. We are still working on updating our floor maps.

Where is the art?

Penrose got an interior paint job this summer. Art will be curated (new pieces! different locations!) and installed by the Sheehan Gallery staff.

What’s happening with printing?

In a continuing effort by WCTS to offer no cost black and white printing and reduce paper waste, GoPrint has undergone big changes. After sending your job to print from a library computer or your personal computer, you then log on to a print release station to release your print job. Watch the process in action at this video. You can find more information on set-up here. For further assistance, please contact [email protected], or the WCTS Help Desk ([email protected] or x4976).

What if I have a question that isn’t listed here?

Just ask! All library staff is here to help and the circulation desk is staffed during our open hours. We also have a library FAQ online.

Peter Newland ’67 and Robyn Johnson Artists’ Books Reception

by Julie Carter  Aug 30 19

On Tuesday, Oct. 1, from 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm, Penrose Library and the Art Department will host a reception for Peter Newland ’67 and Robyn Johnson. Longtime collectors of artists’ books, Newland and Johnson will be donating a portion of their collection to increase the book arts holdings of the Whitman College and Northwest Archives, and establishing an endowment to support the development of the collection. The reception will be followed by an interactive open house featuring books from their collection. Faculty, staff, students, community members and kids are all welcome. We hope you can join us for this special event.

The Confluence Project

by Julie Carter  May 30 19

Find out about Penrose Library’s role in conserving the Confluence Project! This important collaboration has been featured in the latest Whitman magazine. Read more here.

Chief Timothy Park in Clarkston, Wa. One of the sites of Confluence.
Photo courtesy of Confluence.

End of Semester Hours

by Julie Carter  May 15 19

Penrose Library will be open:

  • May 14: open until 10 pm
  • May 15-16: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • May 17-19: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

We begin observing summer hours, M-F 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, on May 20th. Library hours can always be found on our website:

Submitting your honors thesis

by Emily Pearson  May 1 19

As we are a week out from honors theses being due, the library wants to remind you of a few things to ensure an easy submission.

We are happy to help and/or guide you through every aspect of submitting. Please do not hesitate to come in or email if you have any questions, we are here to help!
Drop-In Hours:
Date: May 2 – May 7
Time: 10-12PM & 4-6PM
Location: Library Cafe, 1st floor of the library
Purpose: Assist you with formatting issues, printing, and/or submitting
Appointments: If you think you’ll need more one on one help, you can make an appointment

What we need from you by next Wednesday (feel free to submit early!)

Reminder: The faculty code has changed regarding requirements for honors thesis submission to the library. Starting this year, you are only required to submit a digital copy of the thesis, though you will still need to turn in a physical copy of the Non-Exclusive Distribution License and the signed certificate of approval form. The distribution license requires you to pick which level of access you are providing to your work:

  • Open: Worldwide distribution via the Internet, or
  • Limited: Local distribution only to authorized users of Whitman’s network (current faculty, staff, and students), or
  • Opt-out: Not available to anyone (but still deposited). This is intended for cases where the topic or the treatment of the topic are sensitive or should not be shared

If you elect to have open access to your thesis, you can choose to print your thesis to be bound and shelved in the Allen Reading Room, where it can circulated. In the past, theses with limited access and opt-out were printed and bound but kept in the archives, but we are ceasing this unsustainable practice.

Forms: Both the Non-Exclusive Distribution License and the Certificate of Approval (2nd page of thesis template) need to be signed by your advisor. The Submission Agreement needs to be signed by any co-authors, even if they are not getting honors. Don’t forget to initial both the access section and the embargo section. The Certificate of Approval needs to be printed on archival paper (see below) and needs your information, advisors name, and correct date filled in. This is still required even if you are not printing your thesis.

Printer: The printer you should use in the library is the one marked 2nd_theses, between the front two public access computers near the WCTS desk. Your thesis should be printed one-sided.

Paper: We won’t be putting paper in the printer until the 7th to keep people from accidentally printing non-theses related material on it, but until then you can always go to Kathleen’s office right by the printer (213) from 8-4 M-F. If you are printing at night or on the weekends, the circ desk will have paper as well.

PDF/A: Your thesis needs to be saved as a PDF/A, this can be done on the computers next to the Theses printer using Acrobat. Instructions here

Computers: On Friday 5/3 we will be bringing out more computers to submit and print from, you can log into these computers on your own account.

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