You asked, we listened – new books in the Rec Collection

post-it board may 2015Last spring we set up a Post-It board in the lobby of Hamersly and asked you what books you’d like to see in the library’s Recreation Collection. We were delighted with the flood of responses and have worked over the summer to bring in as many of the suggestions as possible. Learn more about some of the new arrivals that we purchased in response to your requests.

Welcome back to campus and happy reading!

By request: new books in the Rec Collection

Last spring we set up a Post-It board in the lobby of Hamersly and asked you what books you’d like to see in the library’s Recreation Collection. We were delighted with the flood of responses and have worked over the summer to bring in as many of the suggestions as possible.

Some of them we already had – the people who requested Leaves of Grass, Catcher in the Rye, books by Oscar Wilde, the Twilight series, the Hunger Games series, the Harry Potter series, and books by Neil Gaiman are in luck!

And below is just a sampling of new arrivals that we purchased over the summer in response to your other requests. Browse the collection online or in-person to see all of our recreational books. Welcome back to campus and happy reading!

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang. Call Number: REC DOC

From Goodreads: “Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role-playing game where she spends most of her free time. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer–a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake… A perceptive and high-stakes look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture clash.”






Raven's Shadow #1-3 by Anthony RyanRaven’s Shadow #1-3 by Anthony Ryan. Call Number: REC RYA

From Goodreads: “Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of ten when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order. The Brothers of the Sixth Order are devoted to battle, and Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate, and dangerous life of a Warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order. From ‘a new master storyteller’ comes an epic fantasy saga of blood, honor, and destiny…”







Ms. Marvel by G. Willow WilsonMs. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson. Call Number: REC WIL

From Goodreads: “Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm!”








Gulp: adventures on the alimentary canal by Mary RoachGulp: adventures on the alimentary canal by Mary Roach. Call Number: REC ROA

From Goodreads: “Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find names for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? We meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks—or has the courage—to ask. And we go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a bacteria transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. Like all of Roach’s books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.”







Jesus land: a memoir by Julia ScheeresJesus Land: a memoir by Julia Scheeres. Call Number: REC SCH

From Goodreads: “For Julia Scheeres and her adopted brother David, ‘Jesus Land’ stretched from their parents’ fundamentalist home, past the hostilities of high school, and deep into a Christian reform school in the Dominican Republic. For these two teenagers – brother and sister, black and white – the 1980’s were a trial by fire.”







Percy Jackson & the Olympians #1-5 by Rick RiordanPercy Jackson & the Olympians #1-5 by Rick Riordan. Call Number: REC RIO

From Goodreads: “Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him…Join the adventures of Percy Jackson and his demigod friends as they fight mythological monsters and the forces of the titan lord Kronos.”

Get some light Spring Break reading @ the library

Just in case you need another reason to be excited that Spring Break is coming up… We just put out some fun “Spring Break Reads” on the 1st floor. Whether your idea of fun is a light beach read, a suspenseful mystery, a sci-fi thriller, or a collection of humorous essays.

No matter what genre, you can be sure they’re perfect for whiling away those lazy break days. Take a study break and check them out!

Spring Break reads

Spring Break reads

Meet your Hamersly staff: Dr. Allen McKiel

Each term, we introduce you to a few of the people who work to make Hamersly your favorite place on campus to do research, study, print your papers, meet with a group, or simply kick back and read in a quiet place.

This week, meet Dr. Allen McKiel, our Dean of the Library:

Dean McKielWhat do you do in the library? As dean of the library I am responsible to the university through the Academic Vice President for the administration of the library. My responsibilities include overseeing the library’s budget, coordinating its planning, operations, and personnel, and acting as liaison to the Academic Vice President and his management team.

How long have you worked in the library? A little over 7 years

What is your education and professional background? My undergraduate is in English Literature from Purdue University; the Master is in Library and Information Technology from Indiana University; and the Ph.D. is in Higher Education Administration from Indiana State University.

My first professional job after my Master was as a programmer for a large software development firm in Los Angeles, CA. Libraries were not hiring at the time because Proposition 13 had destroyed the tax base in California. Programming eventually took me back to libraries with programming jobs at companies that serve libraries, OCLC and then Notice at Northwestern University. Stepping out of the library realm, I worked for a few years as the Senior Systems Analyst for Planning at the Indiana Toll Road. From there I found my current career as an academic librarian, first as the Director of Libraries for Region 2 of Ivy Tech State College, then as Director of Libraries for Northeastern State University in Oklahoma, finally landing here in the most delightful of all my professional experiences at Western Oregon University.

What is one thing about the library you think everyone should know? Libraries are the collective efforts of society to provide equitable access to its intellectual and cultural heritage. They will continue indefinitely into the future albeit in forms integral to society’s evolving information and communication infrastructure.

What is the last good book you read? Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire.

What was your favorite book as a kid? The Hardy Boys series by Franklin W. Dixon.

Tell us a fun fact about you! I have a 2-year-old grandson that loves anything with wheels. He goes “beep, beep, beep!” when he backs up.

New Books in the Recreation Collection

We just got a fresh, new batch of books for the Recreation Collection on the first floor of Hamersly. We have something for everyone – from thrillers and mysteries to celebrity memoirs (we have A LOT of new celebrity memoirs) and everything in between!

Below is just a sampling of our new arrivals. Browse the collection online or in-person to see all of our recreational books!

Rainbow in the Cloud by Maya Angelou

Rainbow in the Cloud: The Wisdom and Spirit of Maya Angelou by Maya Angelou. Call Number: REC ANG

From Goodreads: a “collection of sage advice, humorous quips, and pointed observations culled from the author’s great works…Rainbow in the Cloud offers resonant and rewarding quotes on such topics as creativity and culture, family and community, equality and race, values and spirituality, parenting and relationships. Perhaps most special, Maya Angelou’s only son, Guy Johnson, has contributed some of his mother’s most powerful sayings, shared directly with him and the members of their family. A treasured keepsake as well as a beautiful tribute to a woman who touched so many…”







As You Wish by Cary ElwesAs You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes. Call Number: REC ELW

From Goodreads: “From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin…”







And if you like celebrity memoirs, you should also check out:

The Secret Place by Tana FrenchThe Secret Place by Tana French. Call Number: REC FRE

From Goodreads: “The photo on the card shows a boy who was found murdered, a year ago, on the grounds of a girls’ boarding school in the leafy suburbs of Dublin. The caption says, I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM…The Secret Place is a powerful, haunting exploration of friendship and loyalty…”







The Wild Truth by Carine McCandlessThe Wild Truth: The Untold Story of Sibling Survival by Carine McCandless. Call Number: REC MCC

From Goodreads: “In the more than twenty years since the body of Chris McCandless was discovered in the wilds of Alaska, his spellbinding story has captivated millions who have either read Jon Krakauer’s iconic Into the Wild or seen Sean Penn’s acclaimed film of the same name.

And yet, only one person has truly understood what motivated Chris’s unconventional decision to forsake his belongings, abandon his family, and embrace the harsh wilderness. In The Wild Truth, his beloved sister Carine McCandless finally provides a deeply personal account of the many misconceptions about Chris, revealing the truth behind his fateful journey while sharing the remarkable details of her own.”





The Republic of Imagination by Azar NafisiThe Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books by Azar Nafisi. Call Number: REC NAF

From Goodreads: “A passionate hymn to the power of fiction to transform people’s lives, by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Reading Lolita in Tehran.”

Most popular books of 2014

January book displayInterested in what the WOU community was reading for fun last year? Looking for a good book to dive into before classes get busy? Check out our new display showcasing the most popular books of the past year from Hamersly’s Recreation Collection: from thrillers like Gone Girl to series sensations like The Hunger Games to nonfiction explorations of mental health and military history.

The display is located on the first floor of the library between rooms 108 and 107, and the rest of the Recreation Collection is on the other end of the first floor.


Call for submissions

pure insightsThe Program for Undergraduate Research (PURE) invites you to submit your work to Western Oregon University’s peer-reviewed undergraduate research journal: PURE Insights.

The submission deadline is December 31, 2014.

Students and recent graduates (with a faculty mentor) can submit original research and creative work including technical papers, research articles, expository articles, poems, short stories, photographs, videos, and other creative works from all academic disciplines. All submissions to the journal must have a faculty sponsor.

Learn more

Here are three reasons to submit your paper:

  1. It looks great on resumes. A publication in a peer-reviewed journal will make you stand out from other candidates applying for jobs or graduate school.
  2. Going through the process of research – from drafting ideas to publication – will prepare you for more advanced research at the graduate and professional level.
  3. All articles published in PURE Insights will be discoverable in major search engines, such as Google Scholar, making them accessible for anyone and contributing to the global body of knowledge.

The current issue of PURE Insights as well as complete guidelines and a link for submitting your work is available online at:

The next online issue will be published May 2015. For questions about PURE Insights or the submission process, please contact Camila Gabaldon (

Hamersly has books to read for fun, too!

Reading in a hammockLooking for a good book (or two) to read over summer break? We can help!

The Recreation Collection on the 1st floor of Hamersly has something for every type of reader. *And* we just got a bunch of new books in. We have everything from thrillers to love stories to biographies – and everything in between.

Want a suggestion? Fill out this short form and your WOU librarians will get back to you with some books you might like.

New Books in the Recreation Collection

We just got a fresh, new batch of books for the Recreation Collection on the first floor of Hamersly. We have something for everyone: Oprah book club picks, literary award winners, celebrity memoirs, historical fiction, and more.

Below is just a sampling of our new arrivals. Browse the collection online or in-person to see all of our recreational books!

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, the bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees. Call Number: REC KID

The Invention of Wings

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue, the bestselling author of Room. Call Number: REC DON

Frog Music

One More Thing by B. J. Novak. A collection of short stories by the actor who played Ryan the Intern on The Office. Call Number: REC NOV

One More Thing

Things a Little Bird Told Me by Biz Stone, one of the co-founders of Twitter. Call Number: REC STO

Things a Little Bird Told Me

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, winner of this year’s National Book Critics Circle prize. Call Number: REC ADI


Longbourn by Jo Baker. The story of Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen as told from the servants’ point of view. Call Number: REC BAK


The Good Lord Bird by James McBride, winner of this year’s National Book Award. Call Number: REC MCB

The Good Lord Bird

Get Spring Break reading suggestions

readingDo your Spring Break plans include lying on a beach, couch, or [you fill in the blank] with a good book? Need some ideas for what to read? Fill out this short form and your WOU librarians will get back to you with a book or three you might like!




(Photo: “couple reading books” by Erin Kelly. Licensed under Creative Commons