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News from the Dean of EWU Libraries

EWU Libraries is Partnering with EWU Alumni from the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity to raise funds for the endowed Randy Van Turner Library Scholarship Fund and the EWU Archives Hidden Collections Digitization Project.

The Eastern Washington University Libraries is partnering with EWU Alumni from the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity to raise funds for the endowed Randy Van Turner Library Scholarship Fund and the EWU Archives Hidden Collections Digitization Project. Due to the collective efforts of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, the EWU Library Administration, and the EWU Foundation, we are making great strides to reaching our target goal to fund these important initiatives.

The EWU Libraries is excited to partner and help EWU students pursue their dreams by awarding scholarships and contributing to student success through our library collections. Part of that dream is to add even greater value and contribute on an even larger scale to the body of knowledge available to scholars at the local, national, and global level.

With the philanthropic efforts of the Pi Kappa Fraternity, the EWU Libraries has an opportunity to revive our digitization project that was put on hold in 2009 due to legislative cuts and subsequent budgetary constraints. The EWU Libraries have a wonderful collection of over a quarter of a million items of potentially substantive intellectual value and cultural significance. These hidden collections are currently not accessible.

Cataloging and digitizing primary sources often is outpaced by the amount of items that exist and requires a knowledge of archival practices. Imagine being able to view the photographic works of Edward Curtis, a culmination of 20 years of work preserving the rich heritage of Native North American tribes. Edward Curtis wrote, "While primarily a photographer, I do not see or think photographically; hence the story of Indian life will not be told in microscopic detail, but rather will be presented as a broad and luminous picture."

This is only one of many significant resources the EWU Libraries would like to preserve and make accessible. It is part of an information legacy for current and future generations and the role of libraries is to ensure that there is a record of our historical and cultural heritage. Contributions to the EWU Libraries support all the academic programs and the community at large.

The members of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and their enduring bond with EWU, and the difference that Eastern Washington University made in their lives, will be memorialized with the renaming of Archives & Special Collections and the Randy Van Turner Library Scholarship Fund, breathing new life into our quest to provide potential and existing scholars with opportunities and accessible research materials.

On behalf of the Dean of Libraries, Suzanne Milton, and Mike Westfall, Vice President of the Foundation, EWU thanks you, Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity!

To give, or learn more about the fund, please visit

Vision Statement:  EWU Libraries:  Partners of Learning: Leaders of Engagement

Welcome to the Eastern Washington University Libraries. Our mission is to stimulate and support intellectual inquiry; an affirmation and reflection of the mission and vision of Eastern Washington University. 

The University Libraries embrace our role as partners of learning and leaders of engagement as we continue to expand our vision of how to promote student success with quality, diversity, collaboration, and literacy as cornerstones.

In fulfillment of this commitment to enhance the academic and research culture, the University Libraries will continue to:

  • provide access to reputable resources that support the curriculum and individual inquiry
  • promote cultural diversity, increase cross-cultural exchanges and encourage positive interaction through events, multi-thematic/disciplinary programs, and access to virtual and physical resources
  • foster collaborative and individual learning through collections, instruction, services, campus and community partnerships, and the creation of an environment conducive to exploration and learning
  • encourage and facilitate critical thinking, information competence, intellectual independence, and lifelong learning skills
  • develop identifiable spaces for students that are responsive to university values
  • build on social learning as a key to student success
  • promote social responsibility and a greater sense of community and identity through faculty, staff, and student participation and engagement.

The campus community and interested stakeholders are invited to partner with the Eastern Washington University Libraries as we harness change and meet the challenges of the 21st century.  Libraries are essential to co-creating and transforming learning communities and supporting access to diverse resources that are available at the point of need for research and individual inquiry.  Join us as partners in promoting and sustaining excellence in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies, and in creating an intellectual center that benefits the community.   


Prior to her role as Dean of Libraries, Suzanne Milton served as Head of Reference Services, Chair of the Library Faculty, Coordinator of Extended Campus Programs, Access Services Librarian (Interlibrary Loan and Circulation Services), and Acting Head of Information Services.  Before coming to Eastern, Ms. Milton worked with the Inland Northwest Council of Libraries in Spokane and spent five years in the corporate sector as a librarian at St. Paul Medical Center in Dallas, National Realty Advisors, and the Dallas Museum of Art.  Ms. Milton holds a Master of Library Science from the University of North Texas and a Bachelor of Arts in German from California State University, Long Beach.


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