Customer Service Tip: A boring customer service experience—that’s what our customers want

By: Shep Hyken (submitted by Carmen Gass)

Call me boring, but I want the same thing every time—at least when it comes to customer experience.

I want it to be good. I want it to be consistent. I want to predict the experience I’m going to have with the people and places I do business with. If you ask the CEO of a big company or the owner of a small business, I bet they would say the same.

We want our customers to always have a good experience with us—one they can count on always happening every time they do business with us. Read more here.

 

The Great Rare Books Bake-off

By: Mark Mattson and Christina Riehman-Murphy

#BakePennState graphic

The cakes and cookies are gone, the pie tins are cleaned, and the hashtags are counted. It was extremely close, but Penn State Libraries emerged the winner of the inaugural Great Rare Books Bake Off! 

 A collaborative project between the PSU Libraries and our international sister-library Monash University Library in Melbourne, Australia, the Great Rare Books Bake Off aimed to engage our collective communities with some of the tastier materials from the special collections of the two institutions. As a chance for cultural exchange, and a bit of fun during a time of limited travel and social interaction; and to raise awareness of the partnership between the two universities, the project encouraged individuals to try to bake one of the historic Australian or American recipes from our collections and post the results to social media. While PSU came out just ahead in submissions, both libraries consider the event a great success with over 160 individual submissions tallied between Monash and PSU. Given the fantastic engagement of the inaugural event, the partners are exploring the possibility of making the Bake Off an annual affair. 

To learn more about the event visit the event webpage and to see what people baked, visit Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and search for #BakePennState and #BakeMonash 

A huge shout out goes out to Christina Riehman-Murphy, the overall organizer of the event, as well as Jennifer Meehan, Clara Drummond, Maggie Welch, Marissa Nicosia, Mark Mattson, Heather Froehlich, Lillian Hansberry, Amanda Peters, Heidi Moyer, Barbara Lessig, Jennifer Cifelli, Bev Molnar, and Christopher Blaska for all of their help putting this together. And a big thank you to all of you who participated in the contest and to our colleagues at Monash for their willingness to give this a go! 

 

 

Events: Aug. 3

Summer 2020
Academic calendar information for all campuses is available online.

UPDATE: In light of the University’s March 11 announcement regarding measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic, nonessential events and meetings scheduled at University Libraries locations throughout the spring semester have been canceled, rescheduled or will be offered virtually. 

Earth Archives exhibition posterEXHIBITION: Earth Archives: Stories of Human Impact. To coincide with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Earth Archives explores the intersection of the environment, human activity, and the documentary record. Highlights of the virtual exhibition include representations of varied print, manuscript, and art works that invites the viewer to consider a range of environmental-related topics and will serve as a growing, centralized resource.

 

buttons from INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY: Highlights From the Ken Lawrence Collection

EXHIBITION: International Solidarity: Highlights from the Ken Lawrence Collection. A virtual look at the visual culture of political protest in the late 20th-century, to provoke thought about international solidarity in our own time, including human and civil rights, immigration, and independence movements.

Friday, Aug. 14, Libraries Trivia Night: Historical Markers. Trivia topics from markers located on campuses across the Commonwealth. will include campuses, diversity, equity, and research. University Archivist Angel Diaz will emcee the evening. Please register in advance for the Zoom event, 7-8 p.m.

book cover of "The Hidden Life of Life: A Walk Through the Reaches of Time"Thursday, Aug. 20, Libraries Lunch Book Club. The University Libraries quarterly book club will launch with the selection “The Hidden Life of Life,” including a Q&A and discussion of the book with author Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. Noon-1:30 p.m. via Zoom. Advanced registration required.   

Please submit event information — and all Library News submissions — to Public Relations and Marketing via its Staff Site request form and selecting the “Library News blog article” button.

Libraries virtual exhibition highlights 100 years of national disability rights movement and legislation

By: Angel Diaz

To coincide with the 30th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 2020, a new online exhibition, “Celebrating the ADA: The Legacy and Evolution of Disability Rights & Lived Experience at Penn State,” which explores the first 100 years of national disability rights legislation and the movement’s impact on the Pennsylvania State University community is available for view at https://sites.psu.edu/celebratingada.

Image: Physical Plant series, Greg Grieco photographs, 07488

Image: Physical Plant series, Greg Grieco photographs, 07488

This exhibition is the result of a February 2020 conversation between University Libraries and Student Disability Resources seeking to enhance cross-campus collaboration in building awareness and providing support to the Penn State community. Shortly after that meeting, in response to COVID-19 and transitioning to a remote work environment, a physical exhibition to recognize the 30th Anniversary of the ADA became impossible. This virtual exhibition is curated by a team from Penn State University Libraries and features digitized archival collection materials largely from the Eberly Family Special Collections Library to highlight the University community’s awareness and efforts towards accessibility.

In June 1920, US President Woodrow Wilson signed the “Smith Fess Act” (also known as the Civilian Vocational Rehabilitation Act) which expanded vocational rehabilitation opportunities and services to include, in addition to World War I Veterans, all Americans with disabilities. In the 70 years following the Smith Fess Act, a multitude of legislative actions were adopted that
focused on recognition of the civil and employment rights of those with disabilities. The passage of The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 criminalized discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The ADA is a civil rights law intended to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as any other individual. The civil rights protections of the ADA for individuals with disabilities are similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. Learn more about ADA here.

This exhibition invites viewers to simultaneously reflect on the legacy of disenfranchisement and marginalization in the US toward individuals based upon “ability” that encouraged attitudes
and bias supportive of exclusion and denial of opportunities with historical and present advocacy and activism to shift environments, cultures, and climates to prioritize the needs and
rights of individuals with any disability. The hope is that individuals and researchers can utilize these sources, thematically organized to reflect historical national context as Origins of Advocacy (1920-1969), Activism and Seeking Equality (1970-1989), The First 30 Years of the ADA (1990-1999), ADA in the 21st Century (2000-2010) and ADA Now (2011-2020), to foster and sustain discourse on diversity, equity, and inclusion as it relates to individuals with different visible and invisible abilities.

Highlights of the exhibition include virtual representations of varied documents and works such as former Penn State President John W. Oswald’s correspondence and reports related to activism response and legislative compliance; Office of Physical Plant and Office of Residence Life images, maps and records of assessment and mitigation of physical accessibility barriers on campus; relevant Daily Collegian articles; photographs from United Steel Workers Association (USWA); children’s drawings from the papers of Dale Harris (Department of Psychology 1959- 1978); and records of Association for Barrier-free Living, Environment and Design (ABLED), a student organization focused on the needs of students with disabilities at Penn State, in addition to sources focused on other distinctive individuals, initiatives, and resources.

“Celebrating the ADA: The Legacy and Evolution of Disability Rights & Lived Experience at Penn State” is curated by Racine Amos, Engagement and Equity Librarian, Angel Diaz, University Archivist, and Robyn Dyke, Collection Services Specialist and is open for viewing at sites.psu.edu/celebratingada. For more information, questions, comments or suggestions about this exhibition, please contact Racine Amos at rla5306@psu.edu, Angel Diaz at madiaz@psu.edu or Robyn Dyke at rdd3@psu.edu.

 

Tech Tip: Create strong passwords

By: Ryan Johnson

Using strong passwords is one of the most important ways to keep personal and Penn State information secure. While it might seem daunting to create a password without using easy-to-remember information, relying on a series of words and using memory techniques can help you remember even the most complex passwords.

The following guidelines can help you create strong passwords:

  • Choose a phrase that’s unique and familiar just to you.
  • Make new passwords different from your other passwords.
  • Don’t use words found in the dictionary or personal information like dates, names, and addresses.
  • Combine the first part of each word in a phrase, mixing at least 15 numbers, characters, and letters.
  • For example, “I love to play badminton” could become ILuv2PlayB@dm1nt()n.

 

Here are some things to avoid when creating passwords:

  • Your name, family names, initials
  • Significant dates/numbers
  • Pets
  • Birthdays
  • Hometown
  • Scholl name/mascot

Events: July 27

Summer 2020
Academic calendar information for all campuses is available online.

UPDATE: In light of the University’s March 11 announcement regarding measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic, nonessential events and meetings scheduled at University Libraries locations throughout the spring semester have been canceled, rescheduled or will be offered virtually. 

Earth Archives exhibition posterEXHIBITION: Earth Archives: Stories of Human Impact. To coincide with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Earth Archives explores the intersection of the environment, human activity, and the documentary record. Highlights of the virtual exhibition include representations of varied print, manuscript, and art works that invites the viewer to consider a range of environmental-related topics and will serve as a growing, centralized resource.

 

buttons from INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY: Highlights From the Ken Lawrence Collection

EXHIBITION: International Solidarity: Highlights from the Ken Lawrence Collection. A virtual look at the visual culture of political protest in the late 20th-century, to provoke thought about international solidarity in our own time, including human and civil rights, immigration, and independence movements.

Friday, Aug. 17, Libraries Trivia Night: Historical Markers. Trivia topics from markers located on campuses across the Commonwealth. will include campuses, diversity, equity, and research. University Archivist Angel Diaz will emcee the evening. Please register in advance for the Zoom event, 7-8 p.m.

book cover of "The Hidden Life of Life: A Walk Through the Reaches of Time"Thursday, Aug. 20, Libraries Lunch Book Club. The University Libraries quarterly book club will launch with the selection “The Hidden Life of Life,” including a Q&A and discussion of the book with author Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. Noon-1:30 p.m. via Zoom. Advanced registration required.   

Please submit event information — and all Library News submissions — to Public Relations and Marketing via its Staff Site request form and selecting the “Library News blog article” button.

Tech Tip: How to delay or schedule sending mail in Outlook on the web

By: Ryan Johnson

A feature previously only available in Outlook desktop client (PC only) is now available on the web version of outlook.

  1. After composing your message, select the dropdown menu next to the Send button.

2. Select Send later:

'send later' screenshot

3. Select the date and time you’d like the email to be delivered and click Send.

Outlook for Windows

  1. In the message, click the Options tab.
  2. In the More Options group, click Delay Delivery.
  3. Under Delivery options, check the box for Do not deliver before, and select a date and time.
  4. After you click Send, the message remains in the Outbox folder until the delivery time.

Customer Service Tip: Reset expectations

By: Jeff Toister (submitted by Carmen Gass)

Some customers want the moon. They’re inevitably frustrated when we can’t deliver on an impossible request.

There is something we can do.

** Set appropriate expectations**
Customers judge our service by whether we meet, exceed, or fall short of their expectations. When we get a chance to influence a customer’s expectations, we should be careful to set ourselves up for success.
Example:
Let’s say a customer asks you to do something that takes 30 minutes for you to do. You probably tell your customer you’ll get it done in 30 minutes, right? That’s a very dangerous promise. What if something unexpected comes up and it takes you longer than 30 minutes to complete? In the eyes of the customer, you’ve taken longer than you promised.

A better approach is to set expectations that provide you with some wiggle room while still being acceptable to your customer.

If the task will take you 30 minutes, why not see if the customer will agree to a one hour turnaround time? Getting back to the customer within 30 minutes will exceed their expectations. If something comes up and it takes you an hour, you’ve simply met your customer’s expectations and nobody is upset.

Bonus Tip: We often have many opportunities to manage a customer’s expectations. This short video explains how to find some of them.

 

Events: July 20

Summer 2020
Academic calendar information for all campuses is available online.

UPDATE: In light of the University’s March 11 announcement regarding measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic, nonessential events and meetings scheduled at University Libraries locations throughout the spring semester have been canceled, rescheduled or will be offered virtually. 

Earth Archives exhibition posterEXHIBITION: Earth Archives: Stories of Human Impact. To coincide with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Earth Archives explores the intersection of the environment, human activity, and the documentary record. Highlights of the virtual exhibition include representations of varied print, manuscript, and art works that invites the viewer to consider a range of environmental-related topics and will serve as a growing, centralized resource.

 

buttons from INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY: Highlights From the Ken Lawrence Collection

EXHIBITION: International Solidarity: Highlights from the Ken Lawrence Collection. A virtual look at the visual culture of political protest in the late 20th-century, to provoke thought about international solidarity in our own time, including human and civil rights, immigration, and independence movements.

Friday, Aug. 17, Libraries Trivia Night: Historical Markers. Trivia topics from markers located on campuses across the Commonwealth. will include campuses, diversity, equity, and research. University Archivist Angel Diaz will emcee the evening. Please register in advance for the Zoom event, 7-8 p.m.

book cover of "The Hidden Life of Life: A Walk Through the Reaches of Time"Thursday, Aug. 20, Libraries Lunch Book Club. The University Libraries quarterly book club will launch with the selection “The Hidden Life of Life,” including a Q&A and discussion of the book with author Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. Noon-1:30 p.m. via Zoom. Advanced registration required.   

Please submit event information — and all Library News submissions — to Public Relations and Marketing via its Staff Site request form and selecting the “Library News blog article” button.

New Maps and Geospatial Diversity Resources Guide

By: Tara Anthony

A new Maps & Geospatial: Diversity Resources has been published that highlights search strategies and selections of geospatial resources on diversity themes. Geospatial data, web maps, web applications, relevant library database resources, and digital map images are provided as starting points to users working on diversity projects with a geospatial component.

Maps & GIS Assistants gathered materials related to diversity themes and geospatial components during the Spring 2020 remote working period. A selection of these resources was incorporated into this guide. More information on their project can be seen on this sites page.

Tech Tip: How can I suppress Teams notifications when I’m in a meeting?

By: Ryan Johnson
"teams status" Teams screenshot

At its core, Teams is a collaboration platform that relies on people communicating, but sometimes you may want to hide notifications from popping up while in a meeting or when you’re presenting.  Instead of having to close Microsoft Teams or change your default notifications settings, there is an even easier way to temporarily suppress notifications.

  1. Click on your user silhouette located at the top right of Microsoft Teams.
  2. Click on your current communication
  3. Select Do not disturb.

Customer Service Tip: How to be a hero to your customers

By: Jeff Toister (Submitted by Carmen Gass)

Heroism is a misunderstood concept.

Countless customer service employees have told me they can’t be a hero. According to them, their job doesn’t allow it.

“I’m a cashier/receptionist/call center rep/etc.,” they say.
“There’s hardly ever an opportunity to be a hero to customers. Most of my interactions are routine.”

Customer experience expert and keynote speaker, Adam Toporek, believes all customer service employees can be heroes. He’s the author of Be Your Customer’s Hero, a book that shows anyone how they can be a hero to their customers. Read more here.

Events: July 13

Summer 2020
Academic calendar information for all campuses is available online.

UPDATE: In light of the University’s March 11 announcement regarding measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic, nonessential events and meetings scheduled at University Libraries locations throughout the spring semester have been canceled, rescheduled or will be offered virtually. 

Earth Archives exhibition posterEXHIBITION: Earth Archives: Stories of Human Impact. To coincide with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Earth Archives explores the intersection of the environment, human activity, and the documentary record. Highlights of the virtual exhibition include representations of varied print, manuscript, and art works that invites the viewer to consider a range of environmental-related topics and will serve as a growing, centralized resource.

 

buttons from INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY: Highlights From the Ken Lawrence Collection

EXHIBITION: International Solidarity: Highlights from the Ken Lawrence Collection. A virtual look at the visual culture of political protest in the late 20th-century, to provoke thought about international solidarity in our own time, including human and civil rights, immigration, and independence movements.

book cover of "The Hidden Life of Life: A Walk Through the Reaches of Time"Thursday, Aug. 20, Libraries Lunch Book Club. The University Libraries quarterly book club will launch with the selection “The Hidden Life of Life,” including a Q&A and discussion of the book with author Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. Noon-1:30 p.m. via Zoom. Advanced registration required.   

Please submit event information — and all Library News submissions — to Public Relations and Marketing via its Staff Site request form and selecting the “Library News blog article” button.

Pennsylvania and the 1918-1919 Pandemic

The University Libraries Microforms and Government Information staff is introducing a new project to increase awareness of the Libraries’ historical news resources. Each week we’ll offer a selection of newspaper articles documenting life in Pennsylvania during the historic pandemic.  While health and medicine will be regular features, we will also highlight other daily concerns, from shopping to sports, from movies to military affairs.

As the world grapples with Covid-19, there is renewed interest in the “Spanish influenza” of 1918-1919.  Overshadowed in history books by the events of World War I, the 1918-1919 pandemic caused an estimated 50 million deaths, worldwide.  Over 25 percent of the American population was afflicted with the flu which shortened the average life expectancy in the United States by twelve years.

Some articles will be from the PA newspaper archive which is freely available to all, others will be from Penn State subscription databases (available to Penn State users and visitors to PSU campuses). Look for the weekly updates at: https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/c.php?g=350496&p=7663157 and on the libraries’ Facebook and Twitter pages.

Getting to Know You: Linda Struble

By: Gale Biddle

Linda Struble and Ed on motocycle photo

When you’re from a very small town, you get used to people asking, “Where is that?” My hometown, Spruce Creek, Pennsylvania, is one of those small towns: a beautiful farming area between State College and Warriors Mark. If you blink too long while driving through it, though, you’ll miss it. I was incredibly surprised when I was talking with Linda Struble to find out that she, too, was from this tiny town. It was nice to chat with someone about the places we used to go (not that there are very many places!) This coincidence is just the first of many things that I found surprising and interesting about Linda.

Linda started as a part-time evening supervisor in the Engineering Library at University Park in 1995 before receiving a full-time position in 1998. In September 2009, she became the Information Resources and Services Supervisor-Manager. While working in the library, she took on the incredible task of also being a Schreyers Honors scholar and obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in Fine/Studio Arts in 2010. To work at the same place for 25 years like she has at Penn State, you have to have something that keeps you coming in every day. For Linda, it’s that she “loves getting to meet people from all over the world and learning about different cultures.” Just one of the many perks of working at Penn State!

Linda’s first job was working at a frozen pizza factory in Tyrone where (warning: if you really enjoy frozen pizza, you might want to skip this next part) she picked mold off the crusts before it went further down the line. Needless to say, it was a long time before she was able to eat a frozen pizza. Plus, she didn’t enjoy being cold all of the time, and to this day, she still has a scar from the shrink-wrapping machine. Growing up, Linda’s family owned a restaurant. This experience was where her love of baking started. She’s been a pastry baker for places from New York to Florida. She prefers Scandinavian baking since her father’s family is from Sweden.

And speaking of her family, an interesting note is that Linda is the only one in her family who is under six feet tall. In her spare time, Linda enjoys riding motorcycles with her husband, although she says she makes a better passenger than an operator. She also helps him with his roofing business by doing paperwork and sometimes climbing on the roof with him. They have
one daughter, who is an equestrienne, and Siamese cats. Linda loves Halloween (she really outdoes herself with the decorations,) reading, the beach, photography, and traveling. She has a brother who lives in Switzerland, and she’s enjoyed visiting him and traveling around Europe. She also enjoys being a dancer tracker at the Penn State Powwows.

I thoroughly enjoyed talking with Linda, and I hope you’ve learned some fascinating and interesting things about her. Now, we all have to try to forget about the frozen pizza thing…

Ten Questions with Linda Struble

1. Cereal—crunchy or soggy? — Crunchy
2. Favorite cartoon? — Bugs Bunny
3. What artist/band do you always recommend when someone asks? — AC/DC
4. There are two types of people in this world. What are they? — Righty tighty, lefty loosey (right-handers, left-handers and beyond)
5. You have $100 to spend. All your friends are busy. You have the whole day to yourself. What do you do? — Get a crème brulee and a pedicure after hitting the flea market
6. What is the best compliment you ever received? —Tom Conkling, the former Head of Engineering, told Linda that “you’re not like other artists,” meaning that he thought she had a good balance of creative and critical thinking skills
7. What one thing do you really but can’t afford? — A 1963 Corvette with a split rear window
8. Would you rather visit the past or the future? — Future
9. Favorite color? — Purple
10. First thing you would do if you won the lottery? — Visit Sweden

Tech Tip: Adding a link to Teams in your email signature

By: Ryan Johnson

Note: These instructions are written for the Microsoft Outlook website (http://outlook.office.com).  You can add a link to Teams in any email client, but the steps may be slightly different.

  1. Log into your Microsoft Outlook Mail
  2. Click on the Settings icon at the top right (it looks like a gear)
  3. Click on View All Outlook Settings at the bottom of the window outlook settings screenshot
  4. Click on Compose and Reply
  5. In the window pane to the right, within the Email Signature, type the following text at the top: Using Microsoft Teams? Click here to chat with me on Microsoft Teams
  6. Highlight Microsoft Teams? and click on the Insert Hyperlink icon
  7. For the Web Address use https://teams.microsoft.com and then click Ok
  8. Highlight here and click on the Insert Hyperlink icon again
  9. For the “Web Address” use https://teams.microsoft.com/l/chat/0/0?users=username@psu.edu and then click “Ok” (NOTE: change the ‘username@psu.edu’ to be your PSU email address)
  10. Click Save at the top right of the window.
  11. If done correctly, you will now have a line in your email signature that looks like the example below.

Outlook thumbnail screenshot