Monthly Archives: December 2014

Dean’s News

By Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications

I am pleased to announce that sabbatical leaves for the following University Libraries faculty have been approved:

Anne C. Behler, associate librarian, information literacy librarian
To teach an online course and conduct research into online students’ informational skills and needs as well as developing methodology for building effective collaboration with online learning stakeholders.

Bill Brockman, librarian, Paterno Family Librarian for Literature
To compile and edit The Uncollected Correspondence of James Joyce, to be published by Oxford University Press in three volumes.

Dawn Childress, associate librarian, Kalin Librarian for Technological Innovation, humanities librarian for German and Slavic languages and literature, French, and Francophone studies
To explore research/pedagogical use cases of travel diaries and how digital humanities approaches can facilitate advanced scholarship/teaching in this context.

Gregory A. Crawford, librarian, director of Capital College Library, Penn State Harrisburg
To compile materials for a book on resources related to atheism, agnosticism, and non-belief

Russell A. Hall, associate librarian, reference librarian, Penn State Erie
To research information literacy in the workplace by conducting research interviews with recent graduates to determine what information literacy sources and tools they used and if the skills transferred from their undergraduate experience to the workplace.

Richard L. Hart, librarian, head librarian, Penn State Erie
To research the history of the residence known as Glenhill Farm, which has been the core building of Penn State Erie since 1948, centering on the dealing of the owners of Glenhill Farm, Ernst and Mary Behrend and the prominent Philadelphia architect, R. Brognard Okie.

Steven L. Herb, librarian, head of the Education and Behavioral Sciences Library
To travel to four of the world’s premiere children’s literature archives gathering research for an encyclopedic Miscellany to be published in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the first children’s literature imprint in America.

Alexia I. Hudson-Ward, associate librarian, reference librarian, Penn State Abington
To research events, individuals, and locations involving Philadelphia’s free Black community from 1790 to 1865.

Glenn S. McGuigan, librarian, business/public administration librarian, Penn State Harrisburg
To explore social structure of the scholarly publishing system to better understand the networks between academic journals, scholars, and libraries.

Canvas pilot and LMS/Library integration

Submitted by Loanne Snavely, head, Library Learning Services

Recently, Blackboard announced October 15, 2016, as the end-of-life date for ANGEL, with some limited operational support to Penn State through December 2017 (more info). Thus the University is actively exploring options for a new Learning Management System (LMS). In addition to Blackboard, which was piloted previously, Canvas is currently being piloted. The University Libraries have been well represented in ANGEL for over 10 years and have been at the forefront nationally of Library/LMS integration. To carry on this tradition, and to fully utilize the advances in technology now available, individuals from multiple library departments — including Library Learning Services, I-Tech, RCR and Access Services — had a meeting on Friday, December 12, with LMS administration to explore the possibilities for effectively integrating the library into the new LMS, including Research and Course Guides, Ask a Librarian, Course Reserves and other services. It was an exciting and wide-ranging discussion on the possibilities for the new LMS/Library integration. Linda Klimczyk from I-Tech will lead the technology development for the University Libraries. Some options can be explored now in order to put them in place in time for implementation with the new LMS rollout in the future.

To fully understand the possibilities, Learning Design Librarian Amanda Clossen is participating in the Canvas pilot and has attended an extensive online training program. She will be using Canvas as the LMS to teach Library Studies 301h in Spring 2015. As a member of this pilot, she will be providing feedback, as well as participating in focus groups. In this capacity she will be able to represent the Libraries and advocate ways in which our resources and services can be strategically integrated throughout the pilot. Contact Amanda at with ideas and questions.

Reminder: cards available to alert parents of unattended children

cardsBy Rita Buhite,
User Services training coordinator

These pink cards are currently available for use at service desks. While we love seeing patrons of all ages in our libraries, sometimes we see young children left unattended. This may pose a problem to both library staff and to our young patrons. It is not the Libraries’ intention to seek out unattended children but rather to have a reasoned response prepared as problems present themselves.

The cards are a short note to parents explaining that we are excited to have their child in the library, but we cannot provide childcare to children left unattended in our facility.

Children under 12 should not be unattended by a parent or caregiver. Every effort should be made to inform parents bringing children under 12 to the Libraries that the parents (or caregivers) are responsible for supervising those children. Children under 12 without parents present will be given a card explaining the Penn State University Libraries policy, with a request to give the card to their caregiver or parent.

Policies and Procedures for the Safety and Well-Being of Children in the University Libraries can be found in Policy UL-AD28.

Share files with shared links in Box

By Ryan Johnson, technology training coordinator

Box allows for quick and easy sharing and restricting access to content via shared links. With customizable permission levels and a URL that’s easy to copy and paste, shared links can be used to send important content to coworkers and friends – both inside and outside your company.

Customizable permission levels, expiration dates and optional password-protection make Box shared links a secure, simple way to share important content.

Shared link settings can be accessed in the Share expansion menu for any file or folder:


Learn more about Share Links and all the various settings in the short video tutorial below:

LHR News: Dec. 15

Please join us in welcoming the following new hires:


Amber Sawtelle, Penn State Hershey
K. Hudson Saffell, Penn State Abington
MD Sabbir Islam, Penn State Abington
Ishrat Chowdhury, Penn State Abington

Events: Dec. 15

December 18, noon: Brown bag lunch and conversation with Robin Veder, professor of American Studies at Penn State Harrisburg, Mann Assembly Room. Her research links unexplored aspects of modern art, kinesthetic experience, and landscape design. Show up for fascinating new ideas.

Save the date:

Spring technology workshops:

  • Box at Penn State
    Description: This session will provide an overview of Box, the new cloud based file storage at Penn State. We will discuss how you can sync files easily across various devices and how Box can be used to share files and collaborate with departments and committees at the Libraries. Date: January 29, 2015 3:00 PM
  • Creating Accessible Word and PowerPoint Documents in Office 13
    Description: In this session, you will discover best practices to create accessible Microsoft Word and PowerPoint documents (updated for Office 13). Whether you create website content or just email and share documents with staff, creating accessible Office files is very important. This session will cover the basic techniques needed to optimize your content for accessibility. Date: February 26, 2015 9:30 AM
  • Introduction to SelectSurvey
    Description: 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. Date: February 12, 2015 10:00 AM
  • Office 13 – What’s New!
    Description: Office 13 will soon be available on Public and Staff machines at the University libraries. This session will cover what has changed in the main interface from Office 10 and what’s new in including the bookmark feature, inserting video from online sources and the ability to edit PDF documents. Date: January 14, 2015 10:00 AM

Other workshops 
Training workshops for the spring semester are currently available in TechSmart and on the Upcoming Library Training Opportunity Page. Scheduled trainings and workshops for next semester include:

  • All Things Nittany
  • Assisting Patrons with Disabilities
  • LionSearch and The CAT
  • Privacy and Confidentiality
  • So HELP Me – Customer Service Techniques
  • What, How, and Why of ILL

Please register in TechSmart for any of these exciting workshops. Everyone is welcome to attend. These workshops are sponsored by User Services Training.

Library News: Dec. 8

** Next week’s Library News (Dec. 15)  will be the last for 2014. The next one will be sent out on Tuesday, Jan. 6. Please submit any news or announcements by noon on Monday, Jan. 5, thanks.

Exhibit highlights Penn State markers

markerA visitor to Penn State University Park will notice the many blue signposts on campus. These Penn State Historical Markers note significant achievements made by Penn State and Penn Staters and are reminders of the University’s role in the history of higher education and in influencing scientific and societal changes. An exhibition of a selection of these markers, “A ‘Marked’ Tradition: Historic Innovations in Science and Technology at Penn State,” is on display in Sidewater Commons, 102 Pattee Library, December 3 through February 19, 2015.

The exhibition focuses on achievements related to STEM, an acronym for science, technology, engineering and medicine. They show Penn State as a global leader in STEM fields. Among the many highlights are atmospheric research, the first-seen atom, biomechanics applied to real-life sports action, the heart-assist pump and more.

Penn State’s libraries specializing in STEM—the Earth and Mineral Sciences Library, the Engineering Library, the Life Science Library and the Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library—remain central to the STEM advancements, providing researchers with print and online collections that help them to access critical sources of information.

The exhibition is open during regular library hours, available at 814-865-3063. For more information or if you anticipate needing accessibility accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, contact Jenna Gill, exhibits coordinator, at or 814-865-9406.

De-Stress Fest is back for finals

The University Libraries will once again hold a “Destress Fest” to help students relax during the upcoming final exams period. The event will be held from Sunday, Dec. 14, through Wednesday, Dec. 17, in Pattee and Paterno Libraries, and will feature a variety of activities designed to help students unwind. There will also be coffee and snacks. For more information, contact Megan Gilpin, 814-867-0069 or

The schedule is as follows:

Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno
10 a.m.–6 p.m.: Games and art therapy
1–3 p.m.: Chair massages (Monday and Tuesday only; first come, first served)
4–6 p.m.: Coffee and snacks
4–6 p.m.:University Health Services Student Wellness will offer relaxation music on iPods. Their representatives will also have a laptop with a biofeedback program to track heart rate and pulse, to help students better understand their stress levels. (Monday through Wednesday only)

Paterno Library Lobby, Paterno 1
Play-doh fun and puzzles (all day)

Pattee Library Lobby, Central Pattee 1
Wii, life-sized Jenga, puzzles, button-making machine (all day)

The branch libraries are also holding various de-stress events. Details below:

Architecture and Landscape Architecture
Dec. 7 –12
7-9 p.m.: Snacks
All day: Play-doh fun and games

Earth and Mineral Sciences Library
Dec. 14–19
Snacks throughout the day, jigsaw puzzles, and other activities

Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library
Dec. 15–19
Warm drinks every morning (bring your own cup), snacks throughout the day, puzzles and games

Engineering Library
Dec. 14–17
10-11 a.m. and 6–7 p.m.: snacks and hot drinks (Sunday: evening only) — bring your own cup
All day: puzzles and other activities

Events: Dec. 8

December 9, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Penn State Press Holiday Book Sale, Kern Building lobby. Shop the sale in person and receive a 30% discount (or purchase books through the Press’s website, using the code HS2014, for 25% off.) Visitors to the sale at noon can get their copies of “Field Guide to Wild Mushrooms of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic” signed by the author, Bill Russell. And don’t forget to check out the $5 book table! We offer free shipping to on-campus addresses; regular shipping charges apply everywhere else. For information on any of Penn State Press’s titles, visit or call 865-1327.

December 10, 12:15 p.m.: Truth about Exercise (film). Not all exercises “work out” equally. 18 Deike. See schedule

December 10, noon-4 p.m.: Holiday Arts and Craft sale to benefit United Way, Mann Assembly room.

December 10, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.: Forestry-themed scavenger hunt. Staff and faculty are invited to explore Pennsylvania Forest history through a hands-on, primary source activity in honor of 100th Anniversary of death of John Muir. Special Collections Library.

December 11, 3-4 p.m.: So HELP Me, Part 2. Register in TechSmart.

December 18, noon: Brown bag lunch and conversation with Robin Veder, professor of American Studies at Penn State Harrisburg, Mann Assembly Room. Her research links unexplored aspects of modern art, kinesthetic experience, and landscape design. Show up for fascinating new ideas.

Forestry-themed event honors 100-year anniversary of John Muir’s death

John Muir, influential Scottish American naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club, died 100 years ago in December. To honor his legacy, a hands-on forestry-themed scavenger hunt will be held on December 10, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., in the Special Collections Library, 104 Paterno Library. Engage your inner child this holiday season by joining in this activity with Special Collections photographs, letters, rare books, diaries and pamphlets. Enjoy an hour of fun with colleagues and learn something new about Pennsylvania leadership in forest conservation. The event is open to all. For more information, contact Doris Malkmus, outreach archivist: 814-863-4338.

United Way clothing sale

Many of you have asked us if we are doing another clothing sale. Here it is. It won’t be delivered in time for Christmas, but the first or second week back from break.

Back by popular demand! Men’s and Women’s Fleece! Want a tie dye? Check. Want to keep warm? We have long sleeve navy t-shirts, hoodies and blankets! Need to carry it all? We have a bag.

Link to what we are selling:
The blanket is made of heavy sweatshirt material and embroidered with the UL wordmark:

Click here to order:

Please make checks out Amy Miller and send to Donna Dean. — submitted by Heather Ross for the United Way team

New committee on disability services formed

Submitted by Dawn Amsberry

The Libraries Disability Services Committee, formerly called the Accessibility and Adaptability Interest Group, has expanded its membership and formalized its charge due to the increased importance of accessibility issues in libraries. Originally founded three years ago by Ann Snowman as an informal community of practice, the group has reformed as a Libraries-wide committee and now includes members from the Commonwealth Campus Libraries. The newly-formed committee held its first meeting on December 3, and will meet monthly on an on-going basis.

The Committee is sponsored by Ann Snowman, Head of Access Services, and Dace Freivalds, Head of Libraries Technology (I-Tech). Current membership includes: Dawn Amsberry, Library Learning Services (Chair, 2014-2015); Binky Lush, I-Tech; Emily Rimland, Library Learning Services; Rachel Smith, Resident Librarian, Dean’s Office; Karen Schwentner, I-Tech; Susan Hayya, Adaptive Technology and Services; Gerald Wion, Adaptive Technology and Services; Alexa Schriempf, Information Technology Services/Office of Disability Services; Linda Ferriss, Greater Allegheny Campus; Amber Lawrence, Fayette Campus; Bernadette Lear, Harrisburg Campus; Deborah Kiniry, Shenango Campus; Ben Hoover, Hershey Health Sciences Library; and Tina Laychur, Penn State University Press.

The Committee’s vision statement and responsibilities are below:

Vision: The Disability Services Committee is a community of faculty and staff who share a common interest in providing inclusive services and collections for library users with disabilities. We explore new technologies and services, advocate for physical and online accessibility in the Libraries, and develop programming and resources to raise awareness about all aspects of library services for people with disabilities.


  • Identify best practices for library instruction, collections, and services for people with disabilities
  • Develop and sustain partnerships with the Office of Disability Services, the Center for Disability Studies, and other relevant campus constituencies
  • Serve as a resource for Libraries departments and units
  • Advocate for accessibility in all formats

Comments and questions about the work of the Committee are welcome. Please contact the Chair at, or the entire committee at UL-DISABILITIES-SVCS-COMM@LISTS.PSU.EDU.

LHR News: Dec. 8

Upcoming Holidays:

December/January Holidays

This year, December 25 will fall on a Thursday, as will January 1, 2015. The official University holiday period begins Wednesday, December 24 and ends Thursday, January 1. Weekdays during that period are official University holidays.

In order to provide a generally more desirable and efficient application of time off, University offices and facilities, except for essential services, will be closed Friday, January 2, as well. Since January 2 is not a University holiday, employees will need to account for the time appropriately, e.g., with vacation or no pay. Any employee choosing to work on January 2 will be permitted to do so; however, temperature conditions in the work area may be less than ideal. Employees planning to work should discuss this with their supervisor, in advance. The University will be closed from the end of normal operations on Tuesday, December 23, and will reopen on Monday, January 5.

Full-time employees who are asked to work on an official University holiday must be given compensatory time and/or additional compensation according to the Holidays section of HR-34. Part-time employees with Earned Time status who are required to work would be paid time and a half for working on a holiday, per HR05. Supervisors should carefully plan and budget for the staff needed for minimum coverage on these dates, and employees may only work if required.

ESSIC Attendance Record Instructions for Official University Holidays:

  • For an employee who normally works on the day a holiday falls, who is not required to work: Select “Holiday” from the list of reasons. If an employee normally works more than his/her allowed holiday time (e.g. a 75% HR-88 employee who has a prorated 6-hour holiday, but his/her shift during this time period would normally be 8 hours), he/she should account for the remaining hours that day with vacation time, or must make arrangements to make up the remaining time during that same work week.
  • For an employee who is required to work on an official University holiday: If non-exempt, mark the actual hours worked (exempt employees mark nothing). Then, when submitting the attendance record at the end of the month, add the compensatory time earned in “Holiday Compensatory Time Earned” on the Paid Time Off Earned page, where vacation is added each month. As a reminder, this time must be used before vacation.
  • If a holiday falls on an employee’s regularly scheduled day off: The employee should add Holiday Compensatory Time when the record is submitted at the end of the month, according to the instructions in the above scenario. Nothing is marked on the actual holiday.
  • Employees who have HR-88 positions should follow the guidance outlined in the policy.
  • For guidance on other scenarios, please contact our office.

Note: Dickinson School of Law Libraries and George T. Harrell Library employees are provided with this information as employees of the University Libraries; however, day-to-day operational practices are guided by their respective Colleges. Dickinson and College of Medicine Library employees should speak to their immediate supervisor or local HR Representative for guidance, as necessary. Conditions of employment for Technical-service employees are further described in the “Agreement between The Pennsylvania State University and Teamsters Local Union No. 8.” Technical-service employees should refer to the Agreement for information related to the above topics.

New academic calendar zimlet for UCS

By Ryan Johnson, technology training coordinator

ITS recently announced the release of Academic Calendar Zimlet. This Zimlet will subscribe users to the various academic calendars for viewing within UCS.

To review the Academic Calendars available simply select the Academic Calendars Zimlet available on the Calendar tab in UCS.

zimletA window will appear with all the available calendars you can select. Click on Subscribe to the calendar you want added to your available calendars.

zimletThe calendar will now appear under your main calendar.