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Penrose Library Blog

Whitman Undergraduate Conference 2018

by Amy Blau  Mar 30 18

The 20th Annual Whitman Undergraduate Conference will take place on April 10, 2018. Penrose Library and the Whitman College and Northwest Archives want to help students share their Undergraduate Conference research with the Whitman Community and beyond!

Sharing your research in ARMINDA, Whitman’s institutional repository, means that you have a link to your work that you can potentially provide to employers or graduate schools. Prospective Whitman students and prospective students in your major can see the kind of research that they too might want to do. You can choose to share with the world, or just with the Whitman community. Our distribution license is non-exclusive, so you keep your copyright and the right to share your research elsewhere as well.

Here are some examples of Undergraduate Conference projects we have collected in the last two years:


Nina Finley —  How to Spend an Alaskan Solstice: Sea Star Wasting Disease and Environmental Education in the North

Lin Luo — Culture, Family and Feelings of Closeness

Philip Stefani — Critique of Jacob Hashimoto’s When Nothing Ends, Nothing Remains

Zoey Watts, Jamie Friedman, and Marianne Kellogg — #ImWithHer: Predictors of Support for Female Candidates


Andrea Berg — Care and Control in Civil Immigration Detention

Spencer Mueller — Games and Social Identity in Danish Cafes

Anneka Sonstroem, Mira Engel, and Trevor Press — Disgust Conditioning and Eye Tracking

Leda Zakarison — Mipsters, IllMuslims, and MAZA: Muslim Americans and Social Media

If you would like us to post your presentation slides, paper, or poster in ARMINDA, here is what to do:

  1. Tell your Faculty Sponsor that you’d like to share your research, and make sure that they also think that this is a good idea. Both you and your Faculty Sponsor will need to sign a permission and licensing form that tells us how you want us to share your research. Here is the form that you will both need to sign (the same form that we use for honors theses). Both of you will need to initial the form to either make the research available to everyone everywhere on the Internet, or to make the research available only to Whitman community members. If you or your Faculty Sponsor have other plans for publishing your research and would like to put a 2-year embargo on your files, you can indicate that on the form as well. We need signatures on the form from every student who contributed to the project, so if you have co-presenters, you will all need to agree on how to share your work.
  2. Fill out the online form here with information about yourself and your conference panel, and attach the file for your presentation, paper, or poster. (Click on the “Login with your Whitman account” link to sign in.) There is more information about how to format your materials here.
  3. Turn in the permission form signed and initialed by your Faculty Sponsor, yourself, and any other contributors to your project to Penrose Library 213 before Friday, April 20.

Please contact Amy Blau with any questions about submitting your WUC project to share in ARMINDA.

Whitman staff access @ Penrose

by Emily Pearson  Mar 14 18

All Whitman College staff have access to Penrose Library and the Whitman College and Northwest Archives throughout the year. Use Sherlock, our interface to Penrose Library collections, as well as items held in Summit libraries and many online articles in our subscription databases, to discover interesting and exciting materials!

o   The Whitman scope lets you search in the half a million or so items in Penrose Library – mainly books, DVDs, and a few print journals.

o   The Summit scope includes another 30 million items held by 39 member libraries in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Books ordered from Summit libraries normally arrive within a week.

o   The Articles scope provides information about individual journal articles. Many of these articles are immediately accessible in full text; if we do not have full text access to an article you need, you can order it through Interlibrary Loan (which we call ILLiad).

With your Whitman ID, you can borrow up to 15 items at a time. You can borrow books for six weeks and DVDs and videos for six days. Some exceptions apply, including items on course reserves and non-circulating items.  The “Quick Check” box on right side of the library home page links to your account, where you can keep track of materials you have on loan and their due dates.  Immediate family members of Whitman employees may find information on obtaining a Whitman ID card here, which can then be used as a Penrose library card.

Your Whitman log-in allows access to our e-books and other digital collections (including academic journals and databases) remotely or on-campus. Make sure you are logged in on the library website to gain access (you will be prompted when it is required). You can find our list of databases here.

Staff can be in the library 24/7, with posted exceptions. The library is open from 9AM-9PM to the community. Outside those hours you will need to swipe in with your ID card to enter the library.

If you have any questions about resources, librarians have office hours from 9-5 Monday through Friday (look for the Research Help Here sign), and are available via phone and email as well.

The Office of LGBTQIA+ and PRISM’s Media Guide

by Emily Pearson  Feb 8 18

The Office of LGBTQIA+ and the student group P.R.I.S.M. have put together a list of digital media with LGBTQIA+ characters, actors, or creators. If you’re looking for something to watch or listen to, this can be a great way to find media with positive LGBTQIA+ representation. If you have suggestions to add to the list, you can submit them here for the Office’s consideration.

At Whitman, the library subscribes to Kanopy, where you can stream movies featured on this list as well as other films with LGBTQIA+ characters or creators.

If you are looking for more academic work relating to the LGBTQIA+ community, we subscribe to the database LGBT Thought and Culture, which contains both primary sources (including letters, periodicals, interviews, memoirs and ephemera) concerning the the political history of LGBTQIA+ rights as well as poetry and works of fiction by LGBTQIA+ writers.

You can also search our catalog for books, articles, and other resources. Because of the often-changing language within the LGBTQIA+ community, one way to make sure you are capturing the most resources appropriate to your research and potentially covering a wider time period is to add (homosexual* OR lgbt* OR queer) to your searches, such as: representation AND (homosexual* OR lgbt* OR queer). The asterisk captures anything that starts with the word it’s attached to, so in this case it captures homosexual, homosexuality, homosexuals, or lgbt, lgbtq, lgbtqia+, etc.

If you have any questions about the office of LGBTQIA+ or would like to be added to their mailing list, you can email Program Coordinator Vari Robinson at [email protected]. PRISM, a group for students that are LGBTQIA+ can be contacted at [email protected]. If you have any questions about library resources or want help with research, you can contact librarians here.

Introducing Sherlock 2.0

by Emily Pearson  Jan 12 18

Through Spring 2018, Penrose will be doing a soft launch of a new interface for Sherlock. You can choose this new interface by using the slider under the search box on the library home page, switching between Sherlock and the new interface, Sherlock 2.0. This new interface will be the default option in Fall 2018.

This interface offers a lot of new functionality and we hope you will find that it adds to your searching experience. The biggest change is your search will now be more intuitive with a more streamlined display. Whereas before you had to choose between seeing more details and requesting the resource or finding its location, now that is all in one central screen once you’ve clicked on the title, highlighted with the #1 in figures 1 and 3 and depicted in figure 2 (click to enlarge). Deciding between what you want to search (Whitman only, articles, Summit, etc.), course reserves, and Special Collections options are still available but have slightly moved (marked with the #2 in figures 1 and 3). You will still be prompted to sign-in, but can also do it in the top right corner (marked with the #3 in figures 1 and 3). This is also where you will find any items you pin.

Sherlock 2.0 has some new or updated features, including:

  • Pinning items you are interested in, then easily sending your pinned list to your email or citation manager. (Marked with the #4 in figures 1 and 3)
  • Seeing and exporting citations with one click from the record.
  • More functionality and easier browsing from your mobile device.

To note, if you switch between the two interfaces in the same session, you will need to log back in to see everything and to get to your account.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us at [email protected], or you can click on the feedback tab on the right of the screen, circled in the first screenshot.

Library Hours during Winter Break

by Amy Blau  Dec 15 17

Penrose Library hours between Fall semester 2017 and Spring semester 2018 will be as follows:

Friday Dec. 15:  close at 5 pm

Saturday Dec. 16 – Thursday Dec. 21:  9 am to 5 pm

Friday Dec. 22 – Monday Jan. 1:  CLOSED

Tuesday Jan. 2 – Friday Jan. 5: 9 am to 5 pm

Saturday Jan. 6 – Sunday Jan. 7: CLOSED

Monday Jan. 8 – Tuesday Jan. 9: 9 am to 5 pm

Wednesday Jan. 10: 3 pm to 5 pm; otherwise CLOSED for Academic Affairs Staff Retreat

Thursday Jan. 11 – Sunday Jan. 14: 9 am to 5 pm

Monday Jan. 15:  9 am to 10 pm

Tuesday Jan. 16:   9 am; 24/7 schedule begins for Spring 2018

Read a local newspaper!

by Kun Lin  Dec 6 17

By Steve Morgan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

Access World News is a current Penrose Library database subscription that provides newspaper articles from 6,365 different sources and from 135 different countries. It is a great tool to research local issues across the country and the world. Recently, Access World News began producing full-page images of The Oregonian (Portland, OR) shown in its original arrangement.  This view allows for browsing content and displays the print layout of the paper complete with articles, sections, and advertisements.  Back issues will continue to be available in a text-only version.

Local newspapers are an important element of the journalism ecosystem. Original reporting on local issues can provide an important check on local governments and informs local communities. Their content frequently feeds into national media outlets for discussions about issues on a bigger scale.  Other local newspapers available through Access World News includes Tri-City Herald, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, and Seattle Times.

Come on, get happy!

by Julie Carter  Nov 17 17

Feeling the “winter blues”?  Penrose Library houses six light therapy lamps for those who feel light deprived or are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  Our “happy lights” provide daytime light intensity by replicating early morning or late afternoon spring-time light levels.  Lamps are available on the first, second, and third floors of the library.  Please consult the instructions for proper use provided with each lamp.

Lamps furnished by ASWC Savings Fund Grant.

Dedication of CLOUD, a new installation by artist and Whitman professor M Acuff.

by Julie Carter  Nov 2 17

Cement book, part of CLOUD art installation.In the Penrose Library foyer this Friday, November 3rd, from 4:00 – 5:30 pm, Sheehan Gallery, Penrose Library, and the Whitman College Art Advisory Committee invite you to attend the dedication of CLOUD, an interactive sculpture installation by artist and Whitman faculty member M Acuff. Professor Acuff will offer additional insights on both this piece and their process. Following Professor Acuff’s comments there will be a small reception to welcome this new work into the campus collection.

This addition to the College’s art collection was made possible by support from the Gaiser Art Endowment.

Halloween in the Archives

by bronsodm  Oct 30 17

Whitman College Pioneer, October 29, 1987

In the Whitman College and Northwest Archives, you can see how Whitman students have been celebrating Halloween throughout the decades.

Whitman College Photograph Collection, Box 42

From Halloween recipes in the student newspaper to costume party photographs from the 1950s, we can gain a unique insight into the student experiences of Whitman College.

Whitman College Pioneer, October 29, 2009

Whitman College Photograph Collection, Box 42

Come visit us in the archives to see more snapshots of student life at Whitman College!



Whitman faculty and open access publishing

by Amy Blau  Oct 25 17

Last year for Open Access Week, we profiled a few Whitman professors who are writing and using Open Educational Resources in their classes. This year we’re talking with professors who have published works of scholarship in Open Access journals. We asked them about their reasons for choosing an open access journal and their experiences of the publishing process, as well as what they see as the larger significance of open access publishing. Three Biology professors — Dan Vernon, Ginger Withers, and Tim Parker — shared their thoughts, as did Sharon Alker (English) and Frank Dunnivant (Chemistry). For an overview of Open Access models for journal publishing, see the previous blog post.

Tim Parker has published two papers that are available by Open Access. In Biological Reviews, a hybrid journal published by Wiley, articles may be made open access for a fee. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution is a fully OA journal, which also charges for publication of research articles. Parker said, “All else being equal, I would prefer OA. However, OA typically costs money and this limits my choices. In the first article above, a co-author’s institution covered the fees for making the article open access. The second article was an opinion piece, and at least at that time, the Frontiers journals did not charge to publish opinion pieces. All that said, I also choose journals based on where I think the article in question will receive the best/most attention, and the top journals in my field are not open access by default.” For the Biological Reviews article, peer review followed the usual model (article sent out for blind review), but for Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, there was a different model, built on a system of iterative exchange of comments between reviewers and authors.

Ginger Withers had published a paper in the Open Access journal Neural Development in 2009, and recently published a paper in  PLOSone, one of the first-established open access journals. The decision to publish this recent work in an open access journal was deliberate, in order to increase readership, and to facilitate sharing and reusing images and figures with a Creative Commons license. Withers spoke highly of the rigorous peer review process at all of the open access journals she worked with. She originally sent the manuscript to an open access journal in neuroscience that does double-blind reviews: “We actually sent our paper to them and the reviews were favorable but the editor made the decision that it wasn’t novel enough.” PLOSone does charge for publication, and Withers characterized the APCs as “more than you would pay to publish in most journals,” but not significantly more than would be charged by a print journal to publish images or figures in color. Because her research had always relied on color images, budgeting several thousand dollars for publication costs was common.

Dan Vernon published a paper in Plants, an open access journal on all areas of plant science. His decision to publish in an OA journal was not based on its “open-access-ness.” “Because it was a new journal trying to get established, they were offering to publish without page charges for a short time.  Also, they were publishing a special issue on a topic related to my lab’s research, so I took the opportunity.  If anything, the open-access made me hesitate, because I had to first verify that this new journal was from a reputable publisher.”

The concern about whether or not a publisher is reputable is important. Frank Dunnivant described his experience publishing an article with an open access journal that turned out to have questionable scholarly practices. Dunnivant was aware of predatory journal publishing. He did some initial checking on the publisher, but initially it seemed OK and he sent in his paper. After about a week he received an email from the editor that his paper had been accepted for publication, which immediately raised red flags. He asked how it had gone through peer review so quickly, and was told that it had been recommended for publication without revision. At that point he did some additional investigation, and was on the point of emailing the editor to withdraw his paper when he found out that it had already appeared. The journal tried to bill him for the APC, but he refused to pay it.

Publishing conventions differ in different disciplines. In the humanities, there is rarely the expectation of paying to publish an article (perhaps with exceptions for publications that include many images), and the predatory journal market is much less prevalent. Sharon Alker published an article coauthored with her sister in the open access online journal Digital Defoe. Alker co-founded the society that established the journal, which is published by the Illinois State University rather than a commercial publisher. She described it as a “niche journal” with a close focus on Defoe and early-eighteenth-century studies, but with a goal to distribute that scholarship widely, to a general public as well as scholars. Therefore the online open access model was a good fit. It additionally allowed a variety of formats, including a lecture, poster session information, and pedagogical as well as theoretical research articles. Alker had a positive experience publishing with Digital Defoe because “This journal was quick and efficient. The process was smooth and the time to publication was good.” Moreover, Alker noted that “the peer review process was identical to that with a traditional journal. I would not have published there had it not been peer reviewed.” For Digital Defoe, the peer-review process is double-blind, and there is no charge to publish a paper.

In general, the researchers we spoke to were in favor of open access publishing, as long as rigorous peer review was upheld. Withers emphasized that open access journals increase the ability of researchers at institutions with smaller library budgets (domestically and especially in developing countries) to be a part of important scholarly conversations. Parker found that “OA is increasing access, but the publication costs are a major obstacle to many folks, especially in poorer countries. It’s not clear what solution to this will emerge. Publishing costs money, but who should pay?” Beyond the traditional publishing model, he sees real change in a pre-print culture, but is wary of their non-peer-reviewed status. Vernon was not convinced that OA has materially changed research in his area, as many traditional journals have opened up their archives following an embargo period, but he saw the addition of new legitimate OA journals as a positive. Dunnivant warned against publishing with an unknown journal.

The experiences of these Whitman faculty with Open Access publishing are consonant with the larger opportunities and challenges of 21st-century scholarly communications. Publishing expectations have risen in most disciplines, driving the establishment of new publishing venues (both reputable and predatory) and new measures to assess the reputation of both journals and articles. Peer review remains the hallmark of rigorous scholarship, and open access publications can support peer review in both traditional and experimental formats. The Internet has allowed nearly instantaneous global communication, and digital technology has drastically reduced the costs of reproducing scholarship. Publishing and preserving scholarship is not free, however, and the different business models for journals have a range of ethical as well as financial implications. Individual scholars, scholarly societies, academic libraries, and academic publishers all have something at stake in finding sustainable ways to ensure equitable access to research and recognition of scholarly achievement. Open Access as it is currently practiced may not (yet) offer comprehensive fixes to these questions, but the conversations it has begun are necessary if they are to be answered.