Daily Archives: January 26, 2015

Install AdBlock for Firefox and Chrome for better, safer surfing

By Ryan Johnson, technology training coordinator

adblockWhether I’m working at Penn State, surfing the web at home or helping family and friends with their computers, one of the first things I do is make sure they install AdBlock.

AdBlock is a simple extension for Firefox and Chrome (versions for Safari and Opera are also now available) that prevents page elements, such as advertisements from being displayed. Not only will AdBlock block ads but it will also help block spyware and malware from installing on your computer.

If the page you are visiting requires a pop-up to complete a necessary function, you can always pause Adblock on certain web pages or an entire website by clicking on the icon that displays in your browser after installing and adjusting the settings.

iconTo try AdBlock, visit getadblock.com or install the extension for Firefox or Chrome directly (Privilege Guard is NOT needed). Don’t be confused with AdBlock Plus, with is a slightly different extension.

Events: Jan. 26

January 26, 1:30–3:00 p.m.: Mendeley. 302 Paterno Library. Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research library, collaborate with others online and discover other relevant papers based on what you are reading. To register, go to http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/lls/classes/research_basics_seminar.html.

January 28, noon: “What do Sherpas Think About Climate Change on Mount Everest?” Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library. The event is free and open to the public and can be viewed online.

January 28, 6:00 p.m.: Reading of Professor Charles Dumas’s new play, “Reconciliation,” presented by the United Nations Association of Centre County and the University Libraries, Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library.

January 28, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.: “The Power of YOUR Money: Who is in control?” Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library.

January 29, 3:00 p.m.: Box at Penn State. See TechSmart for location and details. 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.

February 4, noon to 1 p.m.: “The Swans came to Penn State too,” a talk by Charles S. Prebish, Foster Auditorium. Held in conjunction with the current exhibition, “The Way is in the Heart,” an exhibition of publications from the Charles Prebish Buddhism Collection, on display in the Franklin Atrium. Prebish is professor emeritus of Religious Studies at Penn State, where he served on the faculty from 1971 until 2006.

February 8, 2 p.m.: Gallery talk by Chip Kidd Collection Archivist, Alyssa Carver. Carver will discuss Chip Kidd Archive exhibit highlights and some of the challenges involved with organizing and preserving the hybrid (analog and digital) archive.

February 12, 2015 10:00 a.m.: Introduction to SelectSurvey. See TechSmart for location and details. 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.

February 19, 10:00–11:00 a.m.: Library Research Basics. W315 Pattee Library. Learn how to find books, articles and other materials in your research area or major by using the Libraries’ online databases. You will also discover library services that can help streamline your research process. Individuals not affiliated with Penn State can register by calling 814-865-9257. To register, go to http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/lls/classes/research_basics_seminar.html.

February 26, 9:30 a.m.: Creating Accessible Word and PowerPoint Documents in Office 13
See TechSmart for location and details. 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.

March 5: 10:00–11:30 a.m.: Mendeley. 302 Paterno Library. Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research library, collaborate with others online and discover other relevant papers based on what you are reading. To register, go to http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/lls/classes/research_basics_seminar.html.

March 2, 10:00–11:30 a.m., Endnote, W23 Pattee. EndNote can be used to search online bibliographic databases, organize references, images and PDFs in any language and create bibliographies and figure lists instantly. Attend one of these seminars to learn how to get the most out of EndNote. To register, go to http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/lls/classes/research_basics_seminar.html.

** Also see “Training and Enrichment Opportunities” for additional staff events.

Removing barriers to improve user experience

By Susan Hayya, coordinator, Adaptive Technology and Services

ats locker

Lockers in ATS are popular with students

After the lockers were installed in Adaptive Technology and Services, it didn’t take long for our students to discover them. They were excited to have a place to store their books in the same area where they studied.

One of our blind students wanted to know how the lockers worked. I directed him to the eight lockers, explaining that four lockers are stacked directly on top of another set of four lockers. Using his hand and starting at the top left locker and ending at the bottom right locker, he touched each locker, and assigned a number for each one.

He then asked how to lock and unlock them. By directing his finger on the keypad and reading the numbers out loud, I explained that he could enter a number combination of his own to use a locker. I removed my hand from his finger and he proceeded to retrace the rows and columns on the keypad. He then exclaimed that he understood it; it would be no problem, it was like cells in a spreadsheet. Now he was ready to lock and unlock it on his own. By keeping track of the cells he was able to input his code to open and close a locker. He was thrilled.

Access to the locker meant more to him than a place to put his personal items. It meant success, independence, and equal opportunity. He joyfully opened, closed, and locked each locker five times. Now that he and other students know how to use them, the lockers are in constant use.

ScholarSphere news

Want the latest information on ScholarSphere? See these two new posts on the Digital Stewardship blog:

  • “New Year, New Release” – on ScholarSphere 2.1:
    As of January 16, ScholarSphere is at Version 2.1. Folks may remember that we released ScholarSphere 2.0 in September 2014 and unveiled a brand new interface, based on user feedback and participatory user design activities that we undertook in the last couple of years. With the 2.1 release, we focused on improving the functionality of some existing features and broadened discovery possibilities for ScholarSphere content and authors.
  • “ScholarSphere Drop-In Hours: New Year, New Habits”
    The ScholarSphere Service Team has organized a few drop-in hours for anyone to come by and get advice and help on using ScholarSphere, or to talk with us about what you’re interested in seeing in the service in the future.

LHR News: Jan. 26

Please join us in welcoming the following new hires:

1/26/15 Jennie Levine Knies – Head Librarian, Wilkes-Barre

D’aundra Lewis – Penn State Altoona
Chen Chen Xu – Penn State Altoona
Aruba Tariq – Penn State York
Aimee Liu – Commons Services
Conor Stone – Earth and Mineral Sciences Library

Wishing the following employees well as they leave us:
Mary Derstein, Social Sciences Library

Discovery Day team seeks your ideas

The Discovery Day 2015 Programming Committee is seeking ideas, suggestions, and volunteers for presentations and poster sessions for Discovery Day , which will be held on Friday, May 29, 2015.

The survey contains four relevant areas:

  1. sessions suggested at our open forum
  2. teaching/presenting a session
  3. presenting a poster or infographic
  4. purchasing a commemorative 10th anniversary T-shirt

To submit suggestions or volunteer for a session or a poster, please go to:

Everyone is welcome to send in suggestions and we look forward to receiving them.
The deadline for responding to the survey is February, 6, 2015.

Feb. 3 Tech Update agenda

Time: 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Location: Foster Auditorium and MediaSite Live

  • 3D printing: Kyle Bowen with Education Technology Services will inform us of the capabilities of the 3D printing lab in the Knowledge Commons.
  • Where is it safe to store my stuff? Linda Klimczyk with I-Tech will give an overview of how to: identify the types of files that we have; public, internal/controlled, or restricted; resources of where to best house them, and retention best practices/requirements.
  • Drupal update: Charlie Morris from I-Tech will provide an update on the Drupal implementation while Binky Lush will provide an update on the Implementation and Management Team.
  • Aeon: Timothy Babcock with Special Collections will provide an update on the implementation of Aeon; the new Special Collections Management software.