Monthly Archives: March 2015

Library News: March 30

Dean’s News

I want to acknowledge that we are in some difficult days trying to make sense of Sabra Statham’s sudden passing. There really are no words, however, I did want to share some tributes we received recently. Dan Cohen of the Digital Public Library of America writes, “The DPLA family was devastated to hear that one of our Community Reps., Sabra Statham, passed away suddenly on Friday. Sabra was a digital project coordinator at Penn State and had joined the Reps program in 2014 as part of the second class. In the last year, she worked enthusiastically to represent DPLA in conversation with local Pennsylvania genealogy groups and in collaboration with her fellow Pennsylvania reps. She was multitalented: in addition to her innovative work in the library, she was an accomplished musician and a scholar of musical modernism. On a personal note, I met Sabra when I visited Penn State last year, and was enormously impressed with her and her many projects. She cared deeply about reaching a broader audience through digital means, and worked on many fronts towards that goal, including through DPLA. Recently Sabra was selected to receive a 2015 DPLA+DLF Cross-Pollinator Grant to attend DPLA Fest 2015. It’s hard for all of us to understand that she won’t be joining us in Indianapolis next month. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sabra’s friends and family.” We also received condolences from John A. Lupton who is president of the Association for Documentary Editing and executive director of the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission.

LFO recently passed the Open Access Policy where we asserted that the faculty of Penn State Libraries is committed to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. A news release announcing this was sent out and to date we have received kudos from a number of colleagues at other research libraries including Kent State and Texas A & M. The policy was also featured in Library Journal. Congratulations to all who were involved in developing the policy.

We are beginning onsite interviews for Associate Dean for Technology and Digital Strategies candidates. Please try to attend or view the upcoming forums and participate fully in evaluating these candidates for this critically important position.

Dewey to attend international library directors meeting

Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communication at Penn State, is among 20 library directors from 13 different countries, selected to attend LIBER Journées Programme, a meeting in Paris, France, this May, to discuss to strategic change as libraries and institutions redefine themselves in an ever-changing information and social environment. LIBER, Europe’s largest network of research libraries, with more than 400 member institutions, is re-inventing the library of the future.

Dewey notes, “I am honored to be included in this group of leaders, who aim to articulate the mission and goals of the library in the digital future and visions for research, teaching and learning. Our discussions will involve the use of information in future society and its relationship to media, knowledge organization, educators, universities, libraries and more.”

“I plan to share some of Penn State’s cutting-edge initiatives, including our Knowledge Commons for undergraduates; our Research Hub for the upper-level researcher; ScholarSphere, a sophisticated repository; among a host of other projects. I hope to come away with ideas for new and shared services to chart the future for Penn State Libraries’ global initiatives.”

The meeting will be held at the Institut d’études politiques de Paris, more simply referred to as Sciences Po, a public research and higher education institution in Paris. It will be led and moderated by programme chair, Professor Norbert Lossau, former director of Göttingen State and University Library, and current vice-president of the University of Göttingen, Germany. Key speakers will include: Judy Stokker, deputy vice-chancellor at Queensland University of Technology; Bruno Latour, professor at Sciences Po; Bruno Patino, dean of the School of Journalism, Sciences Po, and digital services director at France Télévision; and Wolfram Horstman, library directory, Georg-Ausgust-University, Göttingen.

New indigenous knowledge journal published

The Interinstitutional Center for Indigenous Knowledge (ICIK) and the Penn State University Libraries have jointly launched a new peer reviewed publication, IK: Other Ways of Knowing. This is an open access online journal edited by Helen Sheehy, head of the Social Sciences Library and Donald W. Hamer Maps Library, Amy Paster, head of the Life Sciences Library and Audrey Maretzki, professor emerita at Penn State.

The new journal replaces the former ICIK E-News and will be hosted on the University Libraries Open Journal System (OJS). Readers can register at and receive an announcement when new issues are available.

Some issues of the new publication will focus on a topical or thematic subject that will allow readers to explore in-depth, critical issues of indigenous knowledge (IK) and indigenous peoples. Other issues will include the research results from student recipients of the Marjorie Grant Whiting Research Awards, book reviews and news about ICIK activities. Unlike other publications on indigenous knowledge that focus on specific disciplines or regions, this new publication will take a global perspective and engage the issues related to IK in all disciplines and across all geographies. The first issue is guest edited by Judy Bertonazzi, of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, who selected the theme “Storytelling and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” Bertonazzi has a doctorate in English literature and criticism and has written and presented extensively on indigenous rights issues.

“We hope this journal will provide an outlet for indigenous community members and the scholarly community to exchange ideas and engage in meaningful conversations about the richness IK can bring to our collective understanding of the world around us,” says Sheehy.

“We will actively encourage and solicit submissions from indigenous peoples as well as from academics, students and those outside the academy who are interested in contributing an article, photo, poem, or statement related to a selected topic or theme,” she says.

For more information about the journal please contact the editors at (Sheehy) and (Paster).

German elected to international committee

Associate Dean Lisa German has been elected to the Knowledge Management Section Standing Committee of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutes (IFLA), serving 2015–2019. German, associate dean for Collections Information and Access Services within the University Libraries at Penn State, will begin her term this August, representing Penn State at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa. The 81st IFLA General Conference and Assembly, the congress will address “Dynamic Libraries: Access, Development and Transformation.”

German notes, “This is an exciting opportunity to bring Penn State into the conversation on global initiatives affecting libraries and the information profession.”

The IFLA is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. Founded in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1927, at an international conference, IFLA currently has 1500 members in 150 countries around the world. It is an independent, international, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that aims to promote high standards of provision and delivery of library and information services, encourage widespread understanding of the value of good library and information services, and represent the interests of members throughout the world. More information is available at

Dean of University Libraries Barbara I. Dewey emphasizes, “I envision Penn State Libraries as a leader in global initiatives and partnerships around the world. German’s representation in IFLA will share our initiatives as well as bring new ideas to Penn State.”

Read e-mail faster with Gmail Auto Advance

By Ryan Johnson, technology training coordinator

There are many interesting features in Gmail Labs. Gmail Labs is a testing ground for experimental features that may or may not change, break or disappear at any time. One of them is an Auto-Advance Lab feature which is a time saver. It’s recommended for people with hefty inboxes.

Gmail’s behavior is to return you back to the inbox whenever you delete, archive, or mute a conversation. Enabling Auto-Advance takes you straight to the next (or previous) email whenever you delete or archive a message. The little seconds saved do add up when you going through hundreds of messages.

Capture(34)Enable it from Gmail Labs (Gear icon > Settings > Labs). Definitely enable it if you are on an inbox spring cleaning spree.

New enhancement with ILLiad Version 8.5

By Shane Burris, ILL Systems Maintenance Specialist

The ILLiad interlibrary loan software used by the University Libraries was recently updated to version 8.5. This version allowed for more customer friendly application of the ILLiad WebCirc module used to check ILL materials out/in at circulation desks.

Material is now placed “In Transit to Pickup Location” by Interlibrary Loan staff. Once the item arrives at the designated pickup location and is received in WebCirc, the user receives an email that the item is available for pickup.

The ILLiad flow and notification schedule resembles that used by Workflows for holds.

1. ILL checks in the material from the lending library
a. ILLiad Status “In Transit to Pickup Location”

2. Material arrives at pickup site – circ desk staff update WebCirc “Mark Received” – this generates the patron notification email*
a. ILLiad Status “Customer Notified via Email”

3. Patron picks up material – Circulation desk staff marks WebCirc “Check Out”
a. ILLiad Status “Checked Out to Customer”

4. Patron returns material – Circulation desk staff “Mark Returned” in Webcirc
a. ILLiad Status “In Transit from Customer”

*Items with Pattee Commons Services Desk as a pickup site are at “Customer Notified via Email” when ILL staff deliver the items to the Commons Desk – they are ready for checkout upon delivery.

ILLTraining Bulletin #18 has been updated to reflect the changes in WebCirc procedure.

March 31: LFO Research Colloquium

The 2015 LFO Research Colloquium, organized by LFO’s Research Committee, will be held on
Tuesday, March 31, from 1:00 – 3:30 p.m., in Foster Auditorium and via Media Site Live.

The Colloquium will feature research updates from Barb Eshbach, Ben Goldman, Binh Le, Bernadette Lear, Jason Reuscher, and Ann Snowman. Open your browser window ( to learn more about the presenters and their interesting research topics.

LFO Research Committee:
Diane Zabel, Chair, Angela Davis, Dolores Fidishun, Jennifer Gilley, Penny Huffman, and Jeff Knapp

LHR News: March 30

Please join us in welcoming the following new hires:
3/30/15 Ty Emel, Audio Visual Technician A, Media and Technology Support Services

George Wang, Research Hub, Maps Library, and Knowledge Commons

Wishing the following employees well as they leave us:
Catherine Grigor, Public Relations and Marketing
Carrie Bishop, Penn State DuBois Library

National Library Week 2015: Still time to submit your photos

National Library Week will fall on April 12–18, and during that week, the Libraries’ homepage carousel will feature images of our employees at work. Thanks to all who have submitted photos so far. We are still accepting photos, so please take a few minutes to take some pictures of your colleagues (photos of small groups or individuals work best) and email them to This Library Management Council initiative is headed by Ann Snowman and Dace Freivalds.

LibGuides Expert Team to focus on usability, content, oversight

Submitted by Helen Smith, Web Implementation Management Team (WIMT) member

To facilitate the transition of our research guides to LibGuides, the Web Implementation Management Team has charged a LibGuides Expert Team. This team consists of Amanda Clossen (Chair), Sarah Pickle, Bonnie Imler, Amy Rustic, Stephen Woods, Helen Smith, and Vicki Brightbill. The team has begun to meet and has divided their work into three focus groups:

  1. Look and feel/usability — this group will focus on templates, standards, customization and usability
  2. Content — this group will focus on what content will go into LibGuides, content reuse and other best practices
  3. Oversight — this group will focus on how content is managed in LibGuides, author roles and processes and procedures for oversight of the guide collection.

The timeline for implementation of the LibGuides product is very short. We expect a pilot migration of some guides in May, with the beginning of a full migration in June. Feel free to contact any team member for more information.

Guest speaker to present on ‘Curating Community’

Anna Fariello, associate professor at Western Carolina University will present “Curating Community” on Friday, April 10, at noon, in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library. Her presentation, which will highlight successful cultural projects that interpret community culture and involve diverse partnerships, is open to the public and will also be available for viewing online.

Anna Fariello-Colloquium SpeakerIn this presentation, Fariello (left) will discuss her experiences at Western Carolina University where she worked with regional repositories to create robust, online access to archival collections. Her talk will cover past and current projects documenting Cherokee culture, her prior experiences working with an African American school neighboring Virginia Tech where she was an associate professor and her work with Latino and indigenous folk cultures as part of a Fulbright experience. She will also share strategies to involve underserved communities in the interpretation of culture in an attempt to uncover community voice.

A former Smithsonian Fellow and former Fulbright Scholar, Fariello is author of numerous book chapters, articles and conference presentations, and curator of over 40 exhibitions. She is author of three books on Cherokee crafts, art editor for the “Encyclopedia of Appalachia,” author of the interpretive travel guide, “Blue Ridge Roadways: A Field Guide” and co-author of the textbook, “Objects & Meaning: New Perspectives on Art and Craft.”
Fariello’s community work includes serving as curator for a former African-American school, project director of an effort to document Appalachian traditions, curator of exhibitions for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and designer of multiple interpretive waysides for local government. She has directed many grant-funded projects, administering state and federal funds including those from the Institute for Museum and Library Services and Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). She has given many presentations on digital humanities to organizations such as the North Carolina Preservation Consortium, Southeastern Museums Association and North Carolina Humanities Council’s Road Scholar program.

This presentation is sponsored by the University Libraries Colloquium Committee. For more information, or if you have questions about accommodations or the physical access provided, contact Martha Ney,

Information for Library News blog contributors

Starting next Monday, April 6, Public Relations and Marketing’s Jenna Kunkel-Gill will be handling the Library News Blog. Please use the Monday Messages form to send entries:

Longer articles and images can be sent directly to Jenna: Our deadline is still Thursday at noon for the following week’s news.

Events: March 30

March 31, 1-3:30 p.m.:  LFO Research Colloquium, organized by LFO’s Research Committee. Foster Auditorium and  Media Site Live. The Colloquium will feature research updates from Barb Eshbach, Ben Goldman, Binh Le, Bernadette Lear, Jason Reuscher and Ann Snowman. Go to to learn more.

April 6, from 1– 3pm: “Digital Aesthetics, Art, Life and Museums,” a conversation with Metropolitan Museum of Art digital asset specialist Neal Stimler and some of Penn State’s most progressive thinkers in this field, Foster Auditorium, first floor, Paterno Library. Registration is required. To register, go to

April 10, noon: Anna Fariello, Western Carolina University, will present “Curating Community,” Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library. Her presentation, which will highlight successful cultural projects that interpret community culture and involve diverse partnerships, is open to the public and will also be available for viewing online.

April 16: Norman Granz: The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice, presented by Tad Hershorn, Institute of Jazz Studies, Dana Library, Rutgers University, Newark. Details next week

April 20: “Inch by Inch…Building Institutional Capacity for DH Through Inter-and Trans-disciplinary Collaboration, presented by Orla Murphy, University College Cork, Ireland. Details soon.

April 22: “What is financial literacy?,” a workshop. 5:30–6:30 p.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library. In this workshop, Penn State Financial Literacy Manager Dr. Daad Rizk will discuss the skills that students need to acquire. She will present an overview of financial literacy and give specific steps and tips to examine and alter core attitudes and beliefs about money management as a prelude to reaching a successful financial life. Additional details are online at Registration is requested at

April 23: “Mapping Matters: Space and Place in the Humanities,” a one-day symposium on the intersection of mapping, digital humanities, and pedagogy, Pattee and Paterno Libraries. See details in this week’s blog post.

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

ASK a Librarian Workshops

ASK a Librarian

Join us for a month long series on ASK a Librarian.  Learn more about the software, online patron service and how to respond to the many types of questions received online.

Using the LibAnswers and LibChat Software
This workshop will provide users with an overview of key features and recent updates to the LibAnswers and LibChat software. Learn how to respond to email, answer a text message or converse through live chat.

Date:  Thursday. May 7, 2015
Time:  10-11AM
Location:  302 Paterno
Presenters:  Tom Reinsfelder and Helen Smith

Tips for Effective Reference Interviews and Patron Service
Even though our patrons are virtual, we still need to provide paramount patron service. In this session, learn skills necessary to chat from beginning to end and get our patrons to what they “really” need. Learn how to communicate in short segments and keep the patron updated and informed throughout the entire reference experience.

Date:  Thursday. May 14, 2015
Time:  10-11AM
Location:  Mann Assembly Room
Presenters:  Paula Contreras

Responding to Common (and uncommon) Questions and Making Effective Referrals
In this panel discussion, learn about the vast resources and services available to help our patrons get an answer to their question and how you can make efficient referrals to help our patrons get the information they need.

Date:  Thursday. May 28, 2015
Time:  10-11AM
Location:  Mann Assembly Room
Presenters:  Tom Reinsfelder, Helen Smith and Paula Contreras


All of these sessions will be available via Adobe Connect (
Please register for the sessions using TECH-Smart (

The Pennsylvania State University encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Rita Buhite ( or 814-867-5034) in advance of your participation or visit.

Ask the Workflows expert

By Barbara Coopey, assistant head of Access Services

Did you ever have a WorkFlows Circulation or Reserves question and was not sure who the best person would be to contact?

In order to improve communication and assist library staff with their circulation and reserves questions, the SirsiDynix Circulation-Reserves Expert Team created an online form for you to ask questions. The “Ask the Expert Team a Question” is located on the team’s intranet web page It is also linked from the Access Services Intranet web page Questions can be short like, “What is meant by the date in the Last Discharged field?” or more in-depth like asking for assistance or documentation on a particular process. Your question will be referred to the experts and someone from the team will reply to your question.

WIMT Update: Analytics

By Alex Brown, graduate assistant, Department for Information Technologies

(Brown is a graduate student in the College of Information Sciences and Technology and is a member of the Web Implementation and Management Team, WIMT.)

Web analytics is traditionally rooted in business, but the field has recently been expanding to several other fields including academic libraries. The expansion can be largely attributed to the free service Google Analytics. Since the release of Google Analytics, numerous web analytic studies within the context of academic libraries have been published.

While previous studies have proven elemental to improving academic library websites, these studies have also left a lot of room for growth primarily in terms of how web analytics can be interwoven with organizational strategy. Penn State University Libraries has recognized the need for implementing strategic web analytics and is one of the main focus areas, while migrating the website to a new content management system. The recognized importance of strategic web analytics will allow PSUL to emerge as a web analytics leader among academic libraries.

The process to implementing a strategic program has seen much success, but started by taking a step back from the data and asking questions such as: “What are our objectives? How can we measure the performance of these objectives? What technologies and methods are necessary to fulfill the plan?” Implementation has required organizational collaboration between management, web programmers, and analysts. This ultimately leads to the ability for data to provide actionable insight, not just for the present, but also sets in place a roadmap for future analysis as well.

Since the initiative to implement a strategic web analytics program has started, PSUL has implemented an overarching strategy, implemented new technologies and methods, and captured new forms of data. Despite success, the initiative is not complete, as web analytics is a process of continual improvement. Future methods, for example, seek to improve the efficiency of pixel space and measure the return on investment for databases. Web analytics is a powerful process that PSUL is committed to innovating and leading within academic libraries.