From the Dean of Libraries and Learning Commons

November 10, 2020 by alaskowski


For the past few months, the term “uncertain times” has been used to describe the world we’re in right now, and rightly so. Many aspects of our lives have been drastically changed in a short period of time. But what is certain is that I’m proud of how EWU Libraries and Learning Commons has responded and adapted to evolving circumstances and challenges, and I’m grateful for the support of our donors which is helping us continue to provide the resources and services that help our students succeed.

Throughout this period, safety of our students, staff, faculty, and community remains our top priority. Resource needs have shifted with our current online environment; we are diligently striving to meet student and faculty needs while keeping within our budget reality. For example, demand for streaming video is incredibly strong during Eastern’s  continued online instruction approach. We quickly surpassed budget limits for streaming video before the fiscal year ended June 30. Thankfully, due to the generosity of our donors, we were able to employ funds from the Library Fund (the dean’s discretionary fund) to provide the streaming videos that were important for spring quarter classes without interruption.

With this need met, we were then able to employ an alternate, more affordable streaming service for this academic year. Because of the generosity of our donors, we are much better positioned to provide resources in a diligent and responsive fashion.

We are incredibly thankful for the endowment funds our donors provide to support collection purchases. In the current budget climate, the library is reviewing all collection subscriptions and purchases, and we have made significant reductions in some areas. Financial donations have allowed the library to maintain resources such as Mango Languages, RefWorks citation management system, Kanopy streaming videos, and IEEE electronic publications. You can read more about the library’s strategy for collection reductions and changes online.   

With student success at the forefront, Eastern Washington University will participate in GivingTuesday, the global generosity movement, on Dec. 1, 2020. GivingTuesday, created in 2012 as a day that encourages people to do good, has grown into a global movement inspiring hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. 

Image of Interim Dean Justin Otto
Interim Dean Justin Otto

We would be honored if you choose to support EWU Libraries and Learning Commons on GivingTuesday. There is the EWU Library Fund to provide funds which, at the discretion of the dean, are used to address emerging and evolving needs. And of course, there is the EWU Libraries’ Collection Endowment Fund, which provides funds to build and strengthen library support for student research. There are other giving opportunities as well, such as supporting scholarships. The EWU Foundation’s goal is to finish up the year by fully endowing five scholarship endowments that are very close to their target amounts. Once endowed, more deserving Eastern students will benefit every year. Learn more at.
-Justin Otto