Monthly Archives: May 2015

WIMT Update: Usability expert team gets to work

The Usability Expert Team has been charged to design, conduct and analyze the usability studies that will inform changes to the Libraries’ web site as we migrate to the new Drupal platform. Members of the team are Angela Davis, Katie Garcia, Penny Huffman, Sherry Lonsdale and Bonnie Imler (chair). The team reports their usability study results and recommendations to the Web Implementation and Management Team as needed.

One of the team’s first assignments is to create “personas” of the libraries’ patrons. A persona is a fictional character that is a composite of characteristics and behaviors seen in that user group. Each persona has a first name, background story, use case, and details of their previous library experience. There are personas for new faculty, near retirement faculty, graduate students, World Campus, traditional and non-traditional undergraduate students. The personas are useful in web development to determine the needs, wants, and reactions of a particular group of patrons.

Usability studies on particular pages from the libraries’ web site have already begun, and will continue following the schedule outlined for the Drupal migration. The team will reach out to departments and campuses to schedule individual usability studies. Please contact us at UL-WEB-USABILITY@LISTS.PSU.EDU with any questions! —Bonnie Imler, WIMT Usability Expert Team

Letters About Literature contest winners announced

The Pennsylvania Center for the Book has announced the Pennsylvania winners of the 2015 Letters About Literature contest, a nationwide event sponsored by the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. The Center for the Book was established in 1977 as a public-private partnership to use the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading.


The winner of Level I wrote to C.S. Lewis

This contest invites students in three grade categories to write letters to authors—living or dead—explaining how the author’s words affected them or their world view. Maxwell Brenneman of Huntingdon won the Level I award (grades four through six) for writing to C. S. Lewis about “The Magician’s Nephew,” Christine Anna Troll of Somerset won the Level II award (grades seven and eight) for writing to George Orwell about “Animal Farm” and Alison Dalafave of Newtown won the Level III award (grades nine through 12) writing to J.K. Rowling about “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” Winners received a $300 cash prize and enjoyed lunch with their families and representatives from the Pennsylvania Center for the Book at the Nittany Lion Inn at Penn State University Park on May 23, 2015.

Level I honorable-mention winners are: Charlotte Borger of Malvern, writing to R. J. Palacio about “The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story,” Sophia Bradburn of Port Matilda, writing to R. J. Palacio about “Wonder,” Sarah Devan of State College, writing to J.R.R. Tolkien about “The Hobbit: or, There and Back Again,” Liza Escuadro of Huntingdon, writing to Patricia Reilly Giff about “Pictures of Hollis Woods,” Nathaniel McClain of Huntingdon, writing to Patricia Reilly Giff about “Pictures of Hollis Woods,” Fiona Mulley of Pennsylvania Furnace, writing to Trenton Lee Stewart about “The Mysterious Benedict Society,” Gabriella Quinones of State College, writing to Bobbie Pyron about “The Dogs of Winter,” Jennifer Waldron of Mount Joy, writing to John Green about “Paper Towns” and Kate Wojeck of Erdenheim, writing to Phillip Hoose about “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice.”


One student wrote to Roald Dahl

Level II honorable-mention winners are: Danica Barnes of Williamsport, writing to Jerry Spinelli about “Stargirl,” Melanie Bertges of Apollo, writing to Gayle Forman about “If I Stay,” Angela Campbell of Springfield, writing to Dave Pelzer about “A Child Called ‘It’: One Child’s Courage to Survive,” Alexandra Flagg of Wexford, writing to Stephen Hawking about “A Brief History of Time,” Aidan Gallagher of Springfield, writing to Roald Dahl about “Boy: Tales of Childhood,” Cassidy Glunt of Apollo, writing to Kristin Levine about “The Lions of Little Rock,” Makayla Schmid of Center Valley, writing to Suzanne Collins about “Mockingjay,” Kaitlin Siddons of Springfield, writing to Albert Espinosa about “The Yellow World” and Brian Ward of Springfield, writing to Derek Jeter (with Jack Curry) about “The Life You Imagine: Life Lessons for Achieving Your Dreams.”

A Level III honor of high distinction, which includes a cash award of $50, goes to Jackie Feffer of Boalsburg for writing to Nadege Fleurimond about “Haiti Uncovered: A Regional Adventure into the Art of Haitian Cuisine.” Level III honorable-mention winners are: Caroline Bremner of Erie, writing to Tim O’Brien about “The Things They Carried,” Amy Chai of Pittsburgh, writing to John Green about “Paper Towns,” Sarah M. Gawron of Cranberry Twp., writing to George R.R. Martin about “Game of Thrones,” Kira Nicholson of Scottdale, writing to J.K. Rowling about “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” Maria Schultheis of Alverton, writing to Shel Silverstein about “The Giving Tree,” Grace Vivio of Scottdale, writing to Laurie Halse Anderson about “Wintergirls,” Brian Waryck of Indiana, writing to Laura Hillenbrand about “Unbroken: a World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption” and Sarah Zarpentine of Indiana, writing to Lauren Oliver about “Delirium.”

Letters About Literature contest judges were Lynn Cockett, professor of communication, Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA; Megan Gilpin, coordinator of outreach, Library Learning Services, Penn State University Park, PA; Dr. Theresa M. Hoover, assistant professor of education, Wilson College, Chambersburg, PA; Linda Oatman High, author of books for children and teens/journalist/playwright, Narvon, PA; and Pat Hughes, author of books for children and young adults, Narberth, PA.

For more information about the contest and awards, please contact Caroline Wermuth, outreach coordinator, 814-863-5472; Visit the Pennsylvania Center for the Book website at

LibGuides migration update

Summer is nearly here, and with it is the LibGuides migration. Remember, LibGuides is designed to be user friendly. If you didn’t create guides in the CMS because it seemed too complicated, you might want to consider LibGuides training! The LibGuides Expert Team will be providing online training materials to make this process easy. In-person training workshops with a lot of time for guide creators to work on their content will be held on June 24 and July 7 from 10:00 a.m. – noon and 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., at University Park (Knowledge Commons 140). Training at the western and eastern campuses will be announced shortly!

Here is a reminder of the timeline for the migration:

  • Currently: The LibGuides Expert Team is doing the pilot migration of Library Learning Services Guides and Life Sciences, as well as creating training materials. Guide authors should be reviewing their guide content and prioritizing guides for migration this summer.
  • Early June: Training materials will be posted for Libraries’ employees to complete. Once training is completed, we will send out the link to all faculty and current CMS authors. LibGuides access can be requested using the account request system. This process will need to be followed by anyone who wants to create guides. With the release of the training materials, the migration will begin.
  • July 15: LibGuides Expert Team will check in with Guide owners on migration status.
    August 15: Guides that will be used for fall semester should be migrated. The LibGuides Expert Team will review new guides for accessibility and other content standards.

Remember, the LibGuides Expert Team is here to help you! If you need assistance or have questions or concerns about meeting the timeline above, please contact the LibGuides Expert Team at — Submitted by the LibGuides Expert Team

Estlund appointed associate dean for technology and digital strategies

estlund_karen(1)Karen Estlund (right) has been appointed associate dean for Technology and Digital Strategies for the Penn State University Libraries, where she will provide leadership, strategic direction and support for information technology. Her portfolio will include Library Technology (I-Tech), Media and Technology Support Services (MediaTech), Digitization and Preservation, discovery, web services and the Libraries’ digital research repository, ScholarSphere. She will also serve as liaison to Services and Solutions, a unit of Penn State’s Information Technology Services. Estlund will be a key member of the Libraries’ administration providing, along with other associate deans, collective leadership for the University Libraries.

Estlund comes to Penn State from the University of Oregon where she is head of the Digital Scholarship Center and associate librarian/professor. She also serves as project lead for the multi-institutional implementation of Hydra and directs the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program. Previous positions at Oregon include head of Digital Library Services and digital collections coordinator. Estlund also served as interim head of Digital Technologies and technology instruction librarian at the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, where she also taught web design as an adjunct professor in the Communication Department. She has consulted for the national archives in Senegal, Africa and the state Oregon.

Estlund has a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Arts from Reed College in classics. She is currently completing a PhD in communication and society/media studies from the University of Oregon. She has presented and written on a wide range of topics that have focused on digital collections and projects, digital preservation, digital repositories, gender studies, digital scholarship and publishing. In addition, she has an extensive portfolio of grants related to digital collections and scholarship. Estlund has played a leadership role and contributed to national Hydra groups and major initiatives such as Europeana and the Digital Public Library of America among others. She has also taught and developed curriculum for digital scholarship topics. Estlund plans to join Penn State in August.

June Events

Wednesday, June 3, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.: Tech Update in Foster Auditorium

Friday, June 5, 3 p.m.: Brent Wilson Gallery Talk, Special Collections Library. Open to all. Held in conjunction with the exhibition “Brent Wilson: Journals and Journeys Too”

Thursday, June 25, noon: Travel Award Winner Arielle Zibrak presents brown bag talk, Mann Assembly Room. More information on Zibrak and other winners:

Save the Date:

Thursday, July 9, 2 p.m.: Online Digital Journal Website demonstration, Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library.


Tech Update

Tech Update
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Foster Auditorium


Creative Commons Licensing:
Brandy Karl will be discussing creative commons licensing, including what they are, how to use them and what license to select, along with
the records management requirements associated with placing PSU-owned material under a CC license!

Drupal Update:
Timeline, Behind the Scenes and More …   – Binky Lush, Linda Klimczyk

Amanda Clossen will discuss the online training that users need to become authors, as well as how to submit a request to be an author.

New I-Tech Staff:
Introduction of Vicki Brightbill and Jeff Friday.

If you cannot participate in person please join us via MediaSite Live.

Login with Username: Library; password: Foster and then click I-Tech in the Mediasite catalog section

Behrend to Welcome Diaz

submitted by Russ Hall

We are pleased to announce that Stephanie Diaz will be joining us at Behrend as our new tenure-track Reference and Instruction Librarian.  Stephanie comes to us from Penn State York where she has been since 2013.  Prior to that she worked at Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina.  She received her B.A. from Bowling Green State University and her MLIS from the University of South Carolina.  Her anticipated start date is July 15.

Zabel: ‘Students are my number one priority’


Zabel received her award from Penn State President Eric Barron at a recent ceremony.

Diane Zabel, head of Penn State’s William and Joan Schreyer Business Library, has received the President’s Award for Engagement with Students, in recognition of her dedication to students during her 30-year career.

The award honors a faculty member who has demonstrated deep caring and involvement with students’ learning in the academic, social and professional realms. Zabel received her award from Penn State President Eric Barron at a recent presentation ceremony.

Over the past decade, Zabel, who is the Louis and Virginia Benzak Business Librarian, has conducted 650 course-related instructional sessions, reaching 17,000 students, and 64 workshops and orientation events, reaching over 6,300 students. During the 2014–15 academic year alone, she worked with 669 patrons. For Zabel, students are her “number one priority.”

“The aspect of my job that I have always enjoyed the most has been working with students. Librarians have faculty status at Penn State, however, librarianship is what we value the most. It’s not sufficient to be producing research and scholarship or to be active in the national and professional associations, you have to focus on doing your primary job well,” she notes.

Zabel teaches students at every stage of their academic career—from those starting out in first year seminars, to others working on their capstone projects. She also provides consultation help to MBA and doctoral students. Whether providing one-on-one research help or instructing large groups of students, Zabel tries to ensure that enough time is devoted to helping her students understand how to find the materials they need.

“It’s important to be empathetic. I think that one forgets how large the University is and how complex it is, and it takes very little time out of one’s day to be helpful to a student. Rather than have them spin their wheels and spend hours looking for something, we can help find it for them. That is important to understand – they come first. In the Business Library, our philosophy is that students take priority, so it’s not uncommon for everyone in this unit to drop what they’re doing and help a student,” she notes.

The Business Library has been actively participating in on-site consultation sessions in the Penn State Smeal College of Business for several years, providing research help to students at their point of need. This dynamic collaboration now extends to coursework—in 2013, the Library developed a business research analysis component for the required entrance-to-major course MGT 301, where students are tasked with preparing a report on a company using five core library resources. Students who consult librarians on their projects receive extra credit. This collaboration has proven very successful and it is one that the Library plans to continue.

Zabel says that she is honored to have received the award. “It shocked me, because I had no idea I had been nominated, which makes it more special,” she adds.

Tech Tip: Find out what’s hogging RAM in Google Chrome, and close it

submitted by Ryan Johnson


Google Chrome is a great browser but sometimes it can be a memory hog. If you want to monitor what is using so much memory, try using Chrome’s Task Manager.

To start, open Chrome and press Shift+Esc. This will open Chrome’s own Task Manager, which will give you a more accurate look into how much memory each tab, plugin, and extension is taking up. You can click the top of the “Memory” column to sort it by highest RAM usage to lowest.

Once you do so, you should have a good idea where to start. Maybe you need to close a particular tab, or maybe an extension isn’t really worth the RAM usage. If that’s the case, uninstall it from Chrome’s extensions page.

Tech Update

Tech Update
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Foster Auditorium


1.  Creative Commons Licensing:

Brandy Karl will be discussing creative commons licensing, including what they are, how to use them and what license to select, along with
the records management requirements associated with placing PSU-owned material under a CC license!

2.  Drupal Update:

Timeline, Behind the Scenes and More …   – Binky Lush, Linda Klimczyk

3.  Libguides:

Amanda Clossen will discuss the online training that users need to become authors, as well as how to submit a request to be an author.

4.  New I-Tech Staff:

Introduction of Vicki Brightbill and Jeff Friday.

If you cannot participate in person please join us via MediaSite Live: Login with Username: Library; password: Foster and then click I-Tech in the Mediasite catalog section

Knapp elected to leadership role on ALA’s Library Instruction Round Table


Foster Communications Librarian Jeff Knapp was recently elected vice president/president of ALA’s Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT). LIRT is an organization that advocates for library instruction, information literacy and lifelong learning within all types of libraries (academic, public, and school). “It is a much smaller group than ACRL’s Instruction Section and covers similar subjects, but the fact that LIRT includes all kinds of libraries rather than just academic libraries makes it somewhat unique,” says Knapp. Some of work includes the “LIRT Top Twenty” list of top 20 library instruction-related articles each year; the LIRT Librarian Recognition Award and Innovation in Instruction Award and committees that work on issues like students’ transition to college from high school, and working with adult learners.
Knapp has been involved with LIRT since 2004, when he first became active in ALA, and has held a number of positions in it since then. A few years ago, he led the effort to stop printing the organization’s quarterly newsletter and going electronic, saving  almost $15,000 a year, which was used to create the LIRT Librarian Recognition Award and Innovation in Instruction Award and fund some ALA Spectrum Scholarships for library school students of color. “I’d like to see those programs continue and grow, and find some new ways to reach librarians who don’t have the resources to attend conferences in person,” he says.

Top family literacy books for 2015 announced


Among the many children’s books published last year, 13 were chosen by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book to form A Baker’s Dozen: The Best
Children’s Books for Family Literacy for 2015.

Winners include: “Adventures with Barefoot Critters: An ABC Book” by Teagan White (Tundra); “Blizzard” by John Rocco (Disney/Hyperion); “Five Trucks” by Brian Floca (Atheneum); “Found” by Salina Yoon (Walker/Bloomsbury); “The Girl and the Bicycle” by Mark Pett (Simon); “I Spy in the Sky” by Edward Gibbs (Candlewick/Templar); “I’m My Own Dog” by David Ezra Stein (Candlewick); “Little Humans” by Brandon Stanton (Farrar); “Nana in the City” by Lauren Castillo (Clarion); “Shh! We Have a Plan” by Chris Haughton (Candlewick); “This Book Just Ate My Dog” by Richard Byrne (Holt); “Tugboat” by Michael Garland (Holiday); and “Two Tough Crocs” by David Bedford, illustrated by Tom Jellett (Holiday).

Selection criteria, annotations, tips for using the books, and more are available at A Baker’s Dozen website.

The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, sponsored by Penn State’s University Libraries, is one of 51 similar organizations nationwide established by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Its mission is to study, honor, celebrate and promote books, reading, libraries and literacy to the citizens and residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

For more information, visit The Pennsylvania Center for the Book website or contact Caroline Wermuth, outreach coordinator, Pennsylvania Center for the Book, at 814-863-5472.

Stern Cahoy wins Best Article of the Year award


Education Librarian Ellysa Stern Cahoy was recently announced winner of the Best Article of the Year by portal: Libraries and the Academy, for “Personal Library Curation: An Ethnographic Study of Scholars’ Information Practices,” which she co-authored with research anthropologist Smiljana Antonijević. This recognition gives each author a cash prize of $250 and a plaque from the Johns Hopkins University Press.

The article focuses on the research outcomes from a 2012 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant of $143,000 that investigated how faculty create and manage personal information collections. It details results of ethnographic interviews with Penn State faculty across the sciences, humanities and social sciences on their scholarly research practices. The results showed that faculty most often faced difficulties when finding and accessing new information, and when organizing and archiving research articles and other significant data or artifacts.

Announcing the award, portal: Libraries and the Academy editor Marianne Ryan noted, “Volume 14 of portal is a very strong collection of content; the competition for this selection was stiff. In judging the articles, the committee applied portal’s stated criteria of sound research methodology; the extent to which an article places library issues within a broader academic context; the quality of the writing; originality; and timeliness. All of the articles nominated, of course, meet or exceed these basic criteria, since they were chosen for publication in portal in the first place.” Ryan said that Stern Cahoy’s article stood as it demonstrated excellence in all categories, and best met the criteria of significant contribution to the literature and advancement of knowledge. The award will be presented in person at the Annual ALA Conference in San Francisco, in June.

Libraries hold annual award presentation

Libraries staff and faculty recognized for their outstanding work were honored at a reception recently in Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library. Barbara Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, introduced the recipients and presented the awards. Honored at the event were:

Awards2015_Imler_4450 (1)

University Libraries Award: Bonnie Imler, head Librarian, Robert E. Eiche Library, Penn State Altoona

Awards2015_McGregor_4444 Awards2015_Neff_4446 (1)
Margaret Knoll Spangler Oliver Libraries Award: Megan Mac Gregor, information resources and services support specialist, Wilkes-Barre Nesbit Library, and Verne Neff, manager, Collection Maintenance and the Annexes

Awards2015_Berray_4458 (1) Awards2015_Smith_4456University Libraries Diversity Award: Mohamed Berray and Rachel Smith, Libraries Diversity Residents

University Libraries Teaching Award: Amanda Clossen, learning design librarian