Connie Mallison will retire from Western Washington University at the end of June after fifteen years working at Western Libraries. Connie began at Western on November 1, 2004 in an Administrative Assistant position reporting to then University Librarian Bela Foltin. During her first several years, the university librarian served as the university records officer, which meant Connie was also responsible for managing public records requests. She worked closely with the assistant attorney general and departments all over campus, and she earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues. To recognize her accomplishments, in 2007 she was awarded the President’s Exceptional Effort Award for her coordination of Western’s compliance with public records requests.
Over the years, there have been significant changes in Connie’s work, and for many years she also served as the events coordinator for the library. In thinking about that work, Connie expressed how much she loved being able to help make the events in the library a success, and how she also enjoyed working with so many wonderful people from throughout the university and the community. Connie was also instrumental in developing and bringing the "Canines & Cats on Campus" program to Western. In 2012, Connie received a call from Whatcom Therapy Dogs asking if the library had ever considered allowing therapy animals to visit the students. She talked with then Dean of Libraries Chris Cox about the possibilities, and ultimately they decided to launch the program.
“These visits to the Libraries by teams of dogs (and cats) and their owners to support our students during the stressful time at the end of the quarter have become very popular with the students,” Connie noted, adding “I’m happy to have helped make this special program possible.”
During the time Connie worked at Western Libraries, she saw Special Collections move from the second floor of Wilson to its renovated space on the sixth floor, followed by the addition of Zoe’s Bookside Bagel cafe into the former Special Collections space. The Learning Commons and Hacherl Research and Writing Studio were also created, and Copy Services relocated to the first floor of Haggard Hall to make room for the Digital Media Center. The Map Collection relocated from Huxley College, and ultimately moved to the renovated space on Wilson’s second floor.
“It has been fascinating to watch,” she remarked. “The library has been a busy place the last fifteen years, and I don’t expect that to change either!” As she looks toward the future, Connie shared that “even though I’m excited to take on my next ‘excellent adventure,’ the Libraries and everyone that I’ve had the privilege to work with over these last 15 years will always be very special to me.”
We at Western Libraries are grateful for the opportunity we have had to work with Connie, and she will be greatly missed. And while we are not able to celebrate with her in person at this time, we hope you will join us in wishing Connie all the best for a long, happy, and healthy retirement.