Library Publishes New Open Textbook for College Writing

Portland State University Library is pleased to announce the publication of EmpoWord: A Student-Centered Anthology & Handbook for College Writers by Shane Abrams, Adjunct Faculty, Portland State University and Portland Community College.

EmpoWord is a reader and rhetoric that champions the possibilities of student writing. The textbook uses actual student writing to exemplify effective writing strategies, celebrating dedicated college writing students to encourage and instruct their successors: the students in your class.

Through both creative and traditional activities, readers are encouraged to explore a variety of rhetorical situations to become more critical agents of reading, writing, speaking, and listening in all facets of their lives. Straightforward and readable instruction sections introduce key vocabulary, concepts, and strategies. Three culminating assignments (Descriptive Personal Narrative; Text-Wrestling Analysis; Persuasive Research Essay) give students a chance to show their learning while also practicing rhetorical awareness techniques for future writing situations.

This textbook is designed for students of first- and second-year college composition courses (in Oregon, WR-115, 121, 122, and 222), but it is also a great tool for college prep students, more advanced writers, or independent learners. Early teachers are encouraged to use the textbook to support them in curriculum design, and experienced teachers can use it to supplement their tried-and-true methods.

The book is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Empoword is the newest of 20 open textbooks authored by faculty at Portland State University and published by Portland State University Library. PSU Library funds faculty authorship of open textbooks with the help of generous donor support, as part of our goal to reduce the cost of higher education for Portland State students.

Portland State University open textbooks have been downloaded more than 78,000 times all over the world.

Browse the complete collection of open textbooks at Portland State University Library

OpenCon 2018 Scholarship for PSU Early Career Researcher

Portland State University Library is pleased to sponsor a scholarship for one early career researcher to attend OpenCon 2018.
Open Con information

OpenCon is a platform for catalyzing change in this culture, at scale and in context. OpenCon’s programs work to develop, activate, and connect a global community of next generation leaders who are driving the culture shift toward open locally, nationally, and internationally…OpenCon’s flagship global meeting helps drive this culture change by bringing together the most energetic, engaged students and early career academic professionals. Participants learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, develop critical skills, find collaborators, and catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information—from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital research data.

Eligible applicants must be early career professionals at Portland State, with 10 years or less experience post-terminal degree in their field.

The scholarship recipient will agree to serve as an “open” ambassador at Portland State and in their home departments. This entails creating a short video about their experience that will be used for the Library’s news and other University communication channels. Additionally, the recipient is expected to work with their subject librarian to organize a brown bag or other informational event for the recipient’s home department to further discuss all things “open.”

The application deadline is August 15, 2018. The recipient will be notified by September 30, 2018.  Apply here.

For questions, please contact Jill Emery,, Collection Development and Management Librarian.

Bob Schroeder Wins Butler Award

Portland State University Library is pleased to announce the winner of the 2018 Kenneth W. and Elsie W. Butler Award for Library Faculty Service, Associate Professor and Education Librarian Bob Schroeder.

Robert Schroeder joined the PSU Library faculty in 2004. Professor Schroeder has served most recently as Education Librarian. As his colleagues noted, Professor Schroeder is a tireless advocate who learns from students, and views his reference and instruction work as a transformative dialogue between student and librarian. Rosalyn Taylor, Coordinator of Instruction/Adviser for the TRiO program, explains that Professor Schroeder excels in “…creating a welcoming atmosphere and sense of belonging to new students. He demystifies the library for students, encouraging them to inhabit it in the may ways they are while reminding them of his role in their experience at PSU.”

With Kimberly Pendell, Social Work and Social Sciences Librarian, he developed the Culturally Responsive & Inclusive Curriculum Guide, intended to support PSU Faculty in learning and exploring how to create curriculum and engage in pedagogical practices that honor the rich breadth and diversity of experiences and backgrounds of Portland State students. In 2014 his book Critical Journeys: How Fourteen Librarians Came to Embrace Critical Practice was published, and he published a series of two articles, “Exploring Critical and Indigenous Research Methods with a Research Community: Part I – The Leap, and Part II –the Landing.” Professor Schroeder serves as a co-editor-in-chief of the journal Communications in Information Literacy (CIL) and spearheaded the journal’s move from its former online home to reside as a journal published in partnership by the Portland State University Library, making CIL the fifth journal in the Library’s portfolio of journals.

Congratulations to Bob on this well-deserved award!

Professor Emeritus Kenneth W. Butler and his wife, Elsie W. Butler, established a fund to recognize outstanding performance by a member of the Branford P. Millar Library faculty each year. The award recognizes excellence of library service to students, faculty, and other library patrons.

Learn more about the Butler Award and previous recipients.

Explore the Library’s Manga Collection at the Manga Café, May 22-June 4

Portland State University Library is pleased to present the Manga Café on the Library’s third floor from May 22-June 4.

Artwork by Chihiro Howe

Our collection of manga will be on display in the southwest corner, overlooking Stott Field.

On Friday, May 25, manga artist Chihiro Howe will offer a free drawing session to PSU students. Supplies will be provided. After the drawing session, the Library will serve snacks.


Workshop: Manage Citations with Zotero and Mendeley

""Citation management software allows you to download citations and articles from various websites and databases, electronically store and organize the citations, annotate and highlight articles, and format the citations for your paper and bibliography. This workshop covers the advantages and disadvantages of Zotero and Mendeley, helping you decide which one is right for you.

Date Offered
Wednesday, May 2, 4–5:30 p.m.

Library, Room 160
1st Floor, Across from the elevators

Stephen Fadel

No RSVP required. This is a drop-in workshop.

Library Publishes New Open Textbook for English Language Learners

Portland State University Library is pleased to announce the publication of a new open textbook, Transition with Purpose: Pathways from English Language to Academic Study, by Michele Miller and Anne Greenhoe.

Book coverThis open access textbook will guide students through their English language to academic degree studies. The textbook is used for three seminars in the Portland State University Undergraduate Pathways Program for English language learners.

Part one of this textbook is a guide for moving from ESL study to academic study at Portland State University.* It includes the resources students will use to understand policies and processes governing their degree study and their transition to academic coursework. Part two focuses on how academic skills are used across various disciplines and is comprised of activities and assignments designed to practice these skills.

Key elements include culture and expectations in an American university, transferring academic skills from ESL to content-specific academic courses, and helpful exercises to be academically successful.

The book is the work of Michele Miller, Academic Advisor, Intensive English Language Program and Anne Greenhoe, Instructor, Intensive English Language Program.

Transition with Purpose is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Portland State University Library publishes open textbooks through PDXOpen, an open access textbook publishing initiative. The Library works with Portland State University faculty authors to publish high-quality open access textbooks designed specifically for their courses. These books are free to students at Portland State and to anyone in the world.

PDXOpen textbooks are available in PDXScholar. 

*While much of the content of this book relates specifically to Portland State University, it is the hope of the authors that the structure of the text and the activities within it may inspire adaptations to fit the needs of other colleges and universities.

Library Purchases Arden Shakespeare Database

portrait of shakespeare

Portrait of William Shakespeare from the National Portrait Gallery in London (a public domain image).

The Library has purchased a new collection of play texts in the database Drama Library Online. 

The Playtext Core Collection segment of Drama Library Online has 1300 play texts from the British publisher Bloomsbury including the entire Arden Shakespeare as well as Methuen Drama and plays from Farber and Farber.

Students in all humanities disciplines will in particular find the Arden Shakespeare valuable. Theater students and faculty will appreciate the tools to find monologues and plays.

Each play’s entry screen has a discrete DOI so it’s easy to navigate to a specific play.

""Please note that the database includes content that we have not purchased. To see only the content that we can access, go to the upper right hand corner of the page and set the “Show subscribed content only” slider button to “on.”

If you have questions about this database, please contact your subject librarian.

Bring Your Kids to Campus on Friday, April 13

The University Library is pleased to participate in Bring Your Kids to Campus Day, sponsored by the PSU Resource Center for Students with Children, on Friday, April 13.

""PSU’s Bring Your Kids to Campus Day is a day-long, campus-wide celebration inviting students, staff, faculty, and their children to campus for events and activities. As a non-instructional day for Portland Public Schools, it’s the perfect opportunity for PSU parents to spend the day with their children.

Lounge at the Library

Stop by Room 160 in the Library in the afternoon, anytime from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., to see some highlights from our collection of children’s books. We’ll also have coloring, button-making, and healthy snacks.

More Information

Bring Your Kids to Campus Day

Register for Bring Your Kids to Campus Day

See the full schedule for Bring Your Kids to Campus Day

This event is FREE for all students, staff, and faculty.