Monthly Archives: January 2013

Collection Highlight: Brignano Collection

By Marty Goldberg, head librarian, Penn State Beaver
The Beaver Campus Library is proud to house an interesting and useful resource of more than 600 African-American autobiographies, dedicated in honor of Dr. Russell C. Brignano, professor emeritus of English. Brignano, who is now retired, was the prime force behind the establishment of this collection. In 1997, a ceremony was held in the Beaver Campus Library in honor of the dedication of this collection. Begun in 1990 with $5,000 from the Penn State Equal Opportunity Planning Committee, it has been supported through University Libraries monographic funds as well as gifts from library donors. Brignano, a recognized scholar of African-American autobiography, helped to develop the collection and donated many of his own books. The collection is designed to enhance awareness of the importance of African-American autobiographical literature and allows the campus to offer courses designed to explore the African-American contributions to literature, the arts and society.

Brignano was a member of the English Department at Penn State from 1975 to 1996 and achieved his doctorate in English from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Brignano taught composition and rhetoric, American and African-American literature and humanities. He also has pursued scholarly research into baseball literature, a personal passion. The author of numerous articles, bibliographies and book reviews, Brignano has authored two books: “Richard Wright: An Introduction to the Man and His Works” and “Black Americans in Autobiography: An Annotated Bibliography of Autobiographies and Autobiographical Books Written Since the Civil War.”

Afric Amer bookplate Beaver.jpg
Book titles in the collection run the full gamut of professions and experiences, including “Mirror to America,” by renowned scholar and historian John Hope Franklin; the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson’s life story in “I Never Had It Made;” musical great “Ray Charles’ Brother Ray;” and famous poet Nikki Giovanni’s “Sacred Cows and Other Edibles.” The best way to view titles in the Brignano collection is through an advanced search, limit it to Beaver Library, and in the shelf location scroll down to “Beaver–African-American Autobiographies.” All titles are available via the “I want It” button in The CAT, the online catalog. For more information, contact Marty Goldberg, head librarian, Beaver Campus at or call 724- 773-3791.

New Databases Boost Research in African American history

By Lisa German

Each year, all the libraries in the CIC pool funds in order to take advantage of consortial buying power to purchase library resources at a better price than we could obtain on our own. We purchased three databases this year: Nineteenth Century Collections Online from Gale, African American Periodicals, and Afro-Americana Imprints from Readex.

Nineteenth Century Collections Online is a set of archives arranged in modules that will be published over several years. The CIC purchased the first four modules encompassing over 10 million pages whose topics include British Politics and Society, Asia and the West: Diplomacy and Cultural Exchange, European Literature, 1790-1840 and British Theatre, Music and Literature: High Popular Culture.

African American Periodicals contains more than 170 periodicals published between 1825 and 1995 created by Readex, in partnership with the Wisconsin Historical Society that documents African American culture, history, thought, and opinion.

The Afro-Americana Imprints was created from the Library Company of Philadelphia’s collection and contains books, pamphlets, and broadsides spanning more than 400 years of African American History.

These two chronicles of African American history and culture have a tremendous impact on the ability for scholarly research. According to Alexia Hudson-Ward, associate librarian at Penn State Abington, “Locating and using pre-Civil War era primary source materials for African-American Studies is extraordinarily challenging. So many of the important items that provide a view of this history in totality (such as pro and con slavery periodicals and advertisements) are literally spread throughout the United States in various repositories, archives, and libraries. This is why having both of these databases is so valuable. Archival “mining” time is significantly reduced which can allow for uncovering of new historical insights for students, faculty, and researchers.”

These databases are now available to all faculty and students in the CIC. They are accessible through the Databases A-Z list on the Libraries’ front page. As soon as the MARC records are available and loaded into The CAT, these databases will also be searchable via LionSearch.

Green Team Seeks New Members

Submitted by Megan Folmar

Ever want to try your hand at being green? The Library’s Green Team is looking for new members! You do not have to be knowledgeable about the subject, just eager to learn. We have some exciting new initiatives starting this year, so now is a great time to jump on board.

The first meeting will take place Wednesday, January 16, from 3pm-4pm, in 214 Davey Lab.

If you have any questions about the group, please contact Megan Folmar at or email the team at

Save the Date: Spend Valentine’s Day with Access Services

Submitted by Melody Gehlbach

Access Services is holding a Valentine’s Day Open House on February 14, 2013, from 2:30 to 4:30 pm.

The event will be held in the staff areas adjacent to the Allen J. and Judith R. Weltmann Service Lobby. All units of Access Services will be represented.

A prize drawing will be held and light refreshments will be served. Please save the date and plan to drop in.

Events: Jan. 14 – 20

White Water, Black Gold?
Wednesday, Jan. 16, noon, EMS Library, 105 Deike.
A journey across Canadian watersheds in search of answers about the world’s thirstiest oil industry: the tar sands. (65 min.)

UPLEA Meeting
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 1-2 pm, 126T Paterno, Find out what UPLEA is all about!

Green Team Meeting
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 3pm-4pm, 214 Davey Lab. 

Library Research Classes

Wednesday, Jan. 16: 2:30-3:30 pm, W315 Pattee: Introduction to LionSearch 

Thursday Jan. 17: 2:30-3:30 pm, 302 Paterno: Library Research Basics 

Thursday, Jan. 17: 10-11:30 am, 302 Paterno: Introduction to Mendeley 

Presentation on OCLC Report and Data Gathering
Thursday, Jan. 17, 11 a.m., Mann Assembly Room. Jennifer Schaffner from OCLC Research  will be visiting the Libraries on January 17 and 18, and will give a presentation here during her visit. Schaffner’s talk will focus on the data gathered by OCLC for its 2010 report, “Taking Our Pulse: The OCLC Research Survey of Special Collections and Archives.” She will be using the data from the Penn State response to the survey and comparing it with the responses from the CIC and ARL as well as talking about current trends in special collections. Schaffner designs projects and leads work with the OCLC Research Library Partnership concerning archives, rare books, manuscripts, scholarly expectations, data curation, and collaboration among libraries, archives and museums. Besides the OCLC survey, she has been active with user-driven digitization initiatives, interlibrary loan of special collections programs, and collaborative collection development. For more information about OCLC Research, see:

Save the Date
Introduction to SelectSurvey 

Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 1:30 PM, 1 Paterno
Want to learn more about the survey tool for the libraries? Everyone at the University Libraries has access to SelectSurvey. In this Introductory class, you will learn basic survey creation, management and deployment.
Available online at
Duration: 1 hour Instructor: Ryan Johnson

LHR News: Jan. 14

Submitted by Cathy O’Connell

Pharmacy Network Change for 2013
Effective January 1, 2013, Target and Walgreens retail pharmacies no longer participate in the prescription drug network for the Highmark PPOBlue plan. If you currently use one of these pharmacies, you need to transfer your prescription to a network pharmacy.

**Please note that this change DOES NOT affect the specialty medications being administered through Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy.

Additionally, Express Scripts and Medco have merged as one company to manage your prescription benefit under your Highmark PPOBlue plan. The combined company is called Express Scripts. Until the renaming process is complete, you may see the name of either company on communications and on the website.

There will be no changes to your pharmacy benefit program.

Health Matters announces the return of Know Your Numbers!

  • Blood Pressure only – Thursday, February 7
  • Cholesterol/Glucose and Blood Pressure – Wednesday, February 13
  • Body Composition only – Thursday, February 21
  • Know Your Numbers Total (cholesterol/glucose, blood pressure and body composition) – Wednesday, February 27

These programs are by appointment only. To register, check available times and fees, go to and click on “register for programs.”

United Way 50/50 Raffle

Submitted by Amy Miller

The Libraries United Way Committee is conducting a 50/50 Raffle. Half of the funds raised by buying tickets will go to one lucky winner! It could be you! Previous winners won $276 and $183!!

Tickets are:

  • 2 for $2
  • 6 for $5
  • 20 for $10 (Best Value)

Tickets are on sale until Friday morning 1/18. Drawing will be at noon.

Contact any member of the committee to buy tickets: Amy Miller (ILL/Lending), Heather Ross (Social Sciences), Bonnie Osif (Engineering), Erica Noel (Lending), Robert Freeborn (Tech Services, Cataloging), Donna Dean (Tech Services, Cat Marking), Ashoo Kumar (NML), Melody Gehlbach (Access Services, 2nd Floor Paterno), Brian Beer (Penn State Press), and Jaimie Jamison (Tech Services, Electronic Resources).

If you are not in Pattee or Paterno Libraries, the Engineering Library or Penn State Press and would like to buy tickets, contact me and I will send you the two part tickets, and you will return one set of tickets with your money. Thanks as always for supporting the United Way.

How to Speed up your Android Phone

By Ryan Johnson

Is your Android Phone running a little slow? Try these steps to increase your speed:

Clean up your Storage Spaces: Most Android devices have two different storage spaces: your internal space (where apps are stored) and your SD card (where your music, photos, and many of your apps’ settings are stored). The SD card is easy to clean up–just delete any music, photos, and videos you don’t need. I have setup Dropbox to automatically upload my photos and videos to the cloud so they don’t take up space on my phone. Also, If you see any folders that look like settings for apps you’ve removed, you can delete those too.

The easiest thing to do to clean up your internal storage is to uninstall unnecessary apps that you don’t use anymore or games you no longer play. If this is not an option, you can try moving them to your SD card instead. This will free up that internal space and speed up your phone, but still keep all your apps close at hand. To do this, just head to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications. Select an app, and tap the “Move to SD Card” button to move it. Some apps won’t have this ability, but you should find that lots of your space-hogging apps have no problem living on your SD card.

move to sd card screenshot on phone
Give Your Battery a Boost: Another thing you can do to help your battery life is to go through your settings and make some adjustments. Make sure to keep the brightness down on your screen and make sure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are off when not in use. I personally use the Power Control Widget to monitor all of this.

Mother-Daughter Team to Share Indigenous Knowledge Research

“Indigenous Knowledge That Inspires: Lessons from Research and Praxis in Central Africa” will be held January 23, noon-1 p.m., in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library. The event is free and open to the public and can also be viewed live online.

me and mom in rwanda2012.jpg
The mother-daughter duo of Dr. Lee Ann and Arianna De Reus has worked in central Africa for seven years. In this seminar they will share some of the indigenous knowledge that continues to inspire their research and praxis. Lee Ann is an associate professor of Human Development and Family Studies and Women Studies at Penn State Altoona. She travels regularly to Panzi Hospital in eastern DR Congo to conduct research, develop programs for rape survivors, and inform her advocacy work in the US. In Rwanda she leads an annual student trip to develop entrepreneurial projects with vulnerable populations. Arianna is a sophomore at Penn State majoring in community, environment and development with concentrations in French, Arabic and humanitarian engineering and social entrepreneurship. She works in Kenya and Rwanda with local partners to construct, adapt, and market affordable greenhouses for small-scale farmers. Read the full story on Penn State Live.

Hear the Music of an American Cultural Icon

Hear the release of rare Paul Robeson vocal recordings from the Charles L. Blockson Collections of African Americana and the African Diaspora featured on Penn State’s Alumni Library at

Actor, concert singer, professional athlete, lawyer, and social activist, Robeson was one of the most important American cultural icons in the twentieth century. 
The current issue of the Alumni Library also features one of the first forestry schools in the nation, the Pennsylvania State Forest Academy (now Penn State Mont Alto) and how it shaped the state’s environmental history. Regular features include resource centers with information on agriculture, business, careers, genealogy and more.

Libraries to Broadcast Presidential Inauguration Ceremony

Penn State University Libraries will air the televised “Faith in America’s Future,” the 2013 Inaugural Ceremonies, on Monday, January 21, in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library. Doors will open at 10 a.m., and the broadcast will be 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition during the same time period, the News and Microforms Library, 21 Pattee Library, west, will broadcast the inauguration in the Film/Video Viewing Room as well as on three televisions, each with different networks and sound on one and closed captioning on the other two.

UPLEA Meeting Open to All

By Joshua Wilkins

The University Park Libraries Employee Association (UPLEA) will have its first meeting of the year on January 16, from 1 – 2 p.m., in Paterno 126T, and would like you to come and see what we are all about!

UPLEA is made up of faculty, staff (full-time and part-time) and student volunteers. Our mission is to provide opportunities that encourage collegiality and foster a sense of community throughout the University Park Libraries. We accomplish this though social and service events throughout the year.

There is no applying, votes, or initiation needed to be a part of what we do, everyone at the University Libraries is already a member of UPLEA!

We would love for you to come and be an active participant with us as we do our part to bring the libraries together, having fun and improving the communities of Penn State and State College.

A celebration of central Pennsylvania architecture

The University Libraries will host “A Celebration of Central Pennsylvania Architecture and the work of A. William Hajjar,” on Sunday, January 13, 2013, from 3 to 5 p.m., in The Eberly Family Special Collections Library. Activities include a display of original plans and drawings of local houses designed by former Penn State faculty member, A. William Hajjar. In the 1950s and 60s, Hajjar challenged the conservative look of the State College community with his contemporary-styled homes. More than 50 years later, his forty-plus buildings still delight those who appreciate post-war modern design, and their owners are proud to play a part in conserving a significant part of local history.

The event will also unveil a new digital collection: “Central Pennsylvania Architecture and Landscape Architecture.” The Hajjar architectural drawings are a recent donation by his children to the University. For more information, contact Tim Pyatt,

Jan. 7 LHR News

New Hires
Kate Armstrong, information resources and services support specialist, Tombros McWhirter Knowledge Commons

Internal Moves
Ryan Ake, reference librarian, Tombros McWhirter Knowledge Commons
Billie Walker, head librarian, Worthington Scranton Campus Library
Susan Ware, head librarian, Vairo Library, Brandywine Campus

Gwen Catchen, Arts and Humanities Library
Barbara Keiper, Nesbitt Library, Penn State Wilkes Barre
Rebecca Mugridge, Cataloging and Metadata Services
Linda Sheaffer, Cataloging and Metadata Services
Sara Whildin, Vairo Library, Penn State Brandywine

Library offers $1200 research travel awards

Three $1,200 travel grants are currently available to researchers who use collections from The Eberly Family Special Collections Library, located in Paterno Library, Penn State University Park.

The application deadline is February 28, and grant recipients will be announced March 29. The grants cover expenses incurred with travel to use University Park resources. Any faculty member, graduate student, or independent scholar with a research project that utilizes the Special Collections Library and lives beyond a 100-mile radius of State College, Pennsylvania, may apply for the grant. All applicants are encouraged to discuss proposed projects with Special Collections staff prior to submission

  • Two awards supported by the Dorothy Foehr Huck Research Travel Award will be given for research using any material in the Special Collections Library.
  • One award supported by the Helen F. Faust Women Writers Research Travel Award will be given for research using items related to women writers in the Special Collections Library.

Grant recipients are expected to use the collection between June 3 and August 30, 2013, and to participate in an informal public talk about the research project.

Tim Pyatt, head of the Special Collections Library and the Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair, created the travel awards using funding from his endowed position as an opportunity to showcase the wealth of materials in the collections. Now in its second year, the awards program gives scholars funding to pursue their research and highlights strengths of the collection.

Additional details are available at To view last year’s winners, see For more information, contact Luann Shifter at 814-867-0290.