Daily Archives: December 14, 2015

Library News: Dec. 14

Dean’s Diversity Forum features guest speaker Marcus Whitehurst

Dr. Marcus Whitehurst, vice provost for Educational Equity, was the guest speaker at the Dean’s Diversity Forum last week. During his presentation, Whitehurst touched on a number of areas, including the changing demographics of public high school graduates in Pennsylvania, the Office for the Vice President of Educational Equity’s (OVPEE) pipeline approach that targets middle and high school students in specific Pennsylvania counties, and how diversity strategic planning is being integrated into Penn State’s new strategic plan through 2020. Whitehurst also highlighted programs available through the Equal Opportunity Planning Committee, which provides seed funding for diversity initiatives at all campuses. The presentation is available for viewing on Mediasite Live.

Dr. Marcus Whitehurst standing in front of room speaking during presentation

Dr. Marcus Whitehurst, vice provost for Educational Equity, was the featured speaker Dec. 10 at the Dean’s Diversity Forum in Foster Auditorium.

Salem selected as 2016-17 ARL Leadership Fellow

photo portrait of Joe Salem

Joe Salem, University Libraries associate dean for Learning, Undergraduate Services and Commonwealth Campus Libraries

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has selected Joe Salem Jr., Penn State University Libraries associate dean for Learning, Undergraduate Services and Commonwealth Campus Libraries, among 28 individuals in North America — one of 22 from U.S. universities, including four Big Ten schools — to participate in its 2016–2017 Leadership Fellows 16-month program beginning in January.

It’s a great honor for the University Libraries for Joe Salem to be selected for this prestigious and highly competitive program,” Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, said. “The valuable exposure to an array of forward-thinking ideas, initiatives and perspectives about higher education from this program that Joe will bring will help inform the Libraries’ strategic pursuits in the years to come and will strengthen our position to best serve our students, faculty, staff and visiting researchers.”

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in the United States and Canada. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. Its executive leadership program facilitates the development of future senior-level leaders in large research libraries and archives. Created in response to a continued need to develop future leaders of ARL member institutions, the program is designed to build on self-assessment and reflection and to explore a personal or professional area of interest in the context of a group setting.

“I am very honored to have been selected and look forward to working with my colleagues in the cohort and within ARL. The mentoring, networking, and sharing of best practices within many diverse research library settings offered through Fellowship participation will help me to make stronger contributions to my role within the University Libraries,” Salem said. “I am most excited about the opportunity to bring new ideas back to Penn State and to share the innovative work that we are doing at the University Libraries with our colleagues across the country.”

During the course of the program, each fellow will construct a learning plan; engage in a customized, immersive experience to shadow a library director; participate in three weeklong institutes hosted by sponsoring ARL institutions; participate in online synchronous sessions; and attend semiannual Association Meetings.

This sixth offering of the program is being designed by Association staff in collaboration with the Leadership Fellows Advisory Group and the directors of the three sponsor libraries: University of Alberta, Colorado State University and Duke University. The program begins in January 2016 and runs through April 2017.

The 2016-17 Leadership Fellows represent a broad array of backgrounds, experiences, and institutions in North America, including six librarian faculty from five universities in Canada and one librarian faculty or administrator each representing Big Ten schools the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

For more information, visit the ARL Leadership Fellows program website.

Libraries homepage starting website migration process

This story appears in Penn State News. For internally-focused news with additional information about the migration, see Binky Lush’s post “Upcoming Libraries website changes”

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Visitors to Penn State University Libraries’ website may start to notice a few changes by the end of 2015. The Libraries will receive a new homepage in advance of the spring 2016 semester, marking the halfway point and the first public phase of a two-year, iterative process to migrate its web content to a new responsive design and Drupal content management platform.

“The Libraries’ Web Implementation and Management Team and Libraries Technology department have been working since January 2015 to identify, plan and implement migration of its content to a new user-centered site that will integrate many systems into a faster, easier site for information retrieval,” Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, said.

Curating more than 10,000 pages of online content serving Libraries patrons, 36 subject and campus libraries and more than two dozen administrative departments is no small task. The Libraries website is moving to a more streamlined, responsive and open-source Drupal interface, supporting the goal of providing a better experience for Libraries online visitors.

“We are overhauling the Libraries’ online content, which includes many external databases and information portals, during this transition with the goal of simplification and greatly improving the online user experience,” Karen Estlund, University Libraries associate dean for Technology and Digital Strategies, explained.

The web team’s charge has included developing a plan for better website functionality, prioritizing phases of migration and developing a strategic vision for the Libraries’ web presence. Improved information and resource access and discoverability is the central focus of the website redesign.

screen capture of new Libraries homepage design

Starting Dec. 21, visitors to Penn State University Libraries’ homepage may notice a new design. The Libraries is launching the first public phase of its two-year project to migrate all its online content to a Drupal content management platform.

The first round of changes to the Libraries website encompasses the Libraries homepage and top-level landing pages. In addition to a new look and feel designed to align with Penn State’s primary web presence, this first iteration will refine the delivery of news and events content. An existing small slideshow interface will be replaced with a full-width background image that will highlight individual Libraries news, events, resources and services. This approach will improve the website’s universal usability, including accessibility. Other news and events content will be moved to a separate page linked from the homepage via the main image. The search box itself will receive visual improvements, but its functionality will not change.

Future Libraries website changes will include incremental improvements of all aspects of the site, including content, navigation and user interface design. The projected completion date is Sept. 30, 2016.

Development Newsletter Fall 2015

Our latest Development Newsletter was published in November. Please click on the image below to download and read it (PDF version). A limited supply of copies remains in Public Relations and Marketing. If you would like a copy, please email us:

The Library - Fall 2015

Resources for emergency situations

Last week Penn State News featured this story: “Leadership reminds community of safety resources.” It contains valuable information that all Libraries employees will want to read. David Gray, senior vice president for Finance and Business, is quoted “Penn State is committed to providing the safest possible campus environment for our students, faculty and staff, no matter which campus they call home. Sadly, we are reminded regularly that it is not possible to entirely prevent violence in any community, however we can reduce the chance of violence by remaining vigilant and caring for ourselves and those around us.”

Numerous resources and policies concerning emergency situations exist online. The following may be helpful (some are specific to the University Libraries, while others are University-wide).

The University has a number of support programs in place to assist individuals, including Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), through Student Affairs. CAPS offers students free access to group therapy, individual counseling, crisis intervention and psychiatric services. Penn State employees have access to the HealthAdvocate employee assistance program. Employees and their family members can access confidential help 24/7 by calling 866-799-2728.

While it is not possible to address every conceivable emergency situation specifically, many valuable resources are available. If you have questions, please contact Rob Harris, manager, Libraries Human Resources (rch20@psu.edu)

The CAT database processing underway soon

by John Attig, Cataloging & Metadata Services

During December, the Libraries will be sending our entire database (almost 6 million records) to be processed by our authority control vendor, Backstage Library Works. The goals of this processing are:

— To provide a fresh and up-to-date authority file; this should maximize the consistency of access to our data through The CAT and through LionSearch.

— To make the changes associated with the new cataloging rules, RDA, in as many records as possible (not just the most recent ones); almost all of these changes will only be visible on the “more information” tab in The CAT; the most noticeable changes will be:

  • expansion of many abbreviations to their full forms — e.g. “333 pages” instead of “333 p.”
  • inclusion of fields that identify the type of content and the type of carrier in every record; these elements replace the General Material Designations (GMDs) that were included in the titles of many records; existing GMDs are not being deleted, but are not being added to new records; the new content/carrier fields will be used instead.
  • publication, distribution, manufacture, and copyright information is being split into separate fields, with appropriate labels

In addition to these changes, some new keyword and browse indexes are being added; the keyword indexes are available in both The CAT and WorkFlows, but the new browse indexes will only be available in WorkFlows. The most useful of these new indexes is a separate index for Genre/Form terms (which until now have been included in the Subject indexes).

Because the entire database — and the authority file — needs to be reloaded and indexed, it is necessary to switch The CAT to the TEST server for the entire Winter break. We expect that all the processing will be done sometime on December 28.

Once the database has been reloaded, a copy will be sent to ProQuest who will load it into Summon and rebuild all the indexes for LionSearch. This reindexing is estimated to take 2-3 weeks, and we anticipate that it will be completed on or near the beginning of classes in January. While the new indexes are being built, LionSearch will continue to be available using the old indexes.

Upcoming Libraries website changes

by Binky Lush, on behalf of WIMT (Web Implementation Management Team)

As you all know, we will be rolling out the new Libraries homepage and top level pages (About, Research, Community and Ask) on December 21! We wanted to offer you a preview and point out some of the changes you can expect.

Our new pages will be more in line with the overall University web look and feel, complying with the Penn State Strategic Communications’ recommendations. The style and color palette are updated, and the new pages are fully responsive, meaning that they work equally well on any device, from mobile phone to large screen desktop.

  • My Accounts and Renew Books are still in the header, though higher up and to the left of the search box.
  • The “Ask A Librarian” widget will look different, but will function exactly the same way.


  • Search Box – The search box on the homepage is more prominent and visually simplified. The tabs and functionality will remain the same with the exception of the site search, which has an improved relevancy ranking and will search across both the Drupal and CQ platforms.
  • Featured Image – Replacing the news carousel on the home page will be a large image behind the search box, and a caption with a link to further information.

With our guides now migrated into LibGuides, we’ve developed a new Library Guides page, for easier guides access and discoverability.

The new pages will include an updated alerts system with varying levels of alerts and the ability to close the alert once it has been viewed by the user. As we transition from CQ to Drupal, alerts will be posted in both systems.

Hours and Locations
Until January 4, the Hours and Locations link on every page will go to the CQ hours page (http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/hours.html). We have all of the hours listed here through Jan 4.
After Jan 4, with our new hours in place, the Hours and Locations link will go to the new hours page in Drupal. This is also an easy way to navigate library locations (replacing the “change library” link in CQ).

IP Redirects at campuses
Currently, on Libraries’ managed public workstations, when a user goes to the Libraries’ homepage, we default to the campus-specific libraries homepage. For example, if a user is on a Libraries’ managed public machine in the Altoona Library and goes to libraries.psu.edu, the Altoona Libraries homepage will be delivered. Because of the necessary redirects in running CQ and Drupal in parallel, the campus specific IP redirects will not take place as we make the switch to Drupal. This means that all campus workstations will default to the general Libraries homepage.

Preview the site here: https://ul01qa.libraries.psu.edu/ (Note: You will need to be on the Penn State network to view)

We will be doing testing, as well as minor tweaks and bug fixes, until December 21, so you will see small changes taking place over the next week in the preview.

We’d love your feedback, which can be submitted here or via the Website Help link in the new page footer.

Don’t power down, log off during Winter Break

winterbreakby Ryan Johnson, technology training coordinator

If you are leaving your laptop at work over Winter Break, you should close any applications and Log off (not shut down or lock) your machine to continue to receive any necessary updates, such as the scheduled update to Workflows. Your monitors can be turned off.

This also applies to any emergency security updates that can happen at any time and will restart your machines automatically (usually after business hours).

For additional best practices for your work machine, please visit the Workstation Management training page.

LHR News

Please join us in welcoming the following new hires:

Mary Derstein – Research Hub, EBSL, Maps Library, and Knowledge Commons
Chase Webb – Research Hub, EBSL, Maps Library, and Knowledge Commons
Nada El-Hillal – Research Hub, EBSL, Maps Library, and Knowledge Commons
Jessica Singer – Earth and Mineral Sciences Library
Malik Morris – Penn State Altoona




Mon., Dec. 21, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Cookies Around the World, Mann Assembly Room. Do you have a favorite cookie recipe to share? Would you like to sample some traditional cookies made by your colleagues? Join the Diversity Committee for this tasty pre-holiday event with a global theme.

Save the date:

Monday, Jan. 18, 2016: Special events in the Libraries for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Commemoration include:

  • 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Continuous showings of two videos: “Martin Luther King Jr.: Look Here” and “Martin Luther King Jr. Day: The Making of a Holiday,” Foster Auditorium, E102 Paterno Library
  • 1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.: Essence of Joy Vocal Performance, Barbara Hackman Franklin Atrium

Library League of Centre County networking event, 5–7 p.m., Feb. 12, Mann Assembly Room. Free and open to any and all library employees in Centre County. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to Ann Snowman, ams32@psu.edu

Discovery Day will be held on Thursday, June 2, 2016 this year. If you would like to be a part of this year’s committee please contact Ann Snowman, ams32@psu.edu

Reminder: Cookie sharing event

Don’t forget to join the Diversity Committee for an around-the-world cookie sharing event from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm., on Monday, December 21, in Mann Assembly Room!

Cookie crowdsourcing!
Add your cookie to our Google map: The Cookie Map (press edit to add your cookie)

Instructions are here (Click here: Instructions for Adding Cookies), but it really is easy. (You should enable editing in the Word document for proper viewing on all devices.) Just pinpoint your country, fill in the pop-up with your name and cookie name, and save it. We already started populating the map with our offerings. Alternatively, send an email to Sherry Roth: (ssr11@psu.edu)

Thanks to Heather Ross for finding another map with recipes attached: https://food52.com/p/cookies-of-the-world

Please join us! You don’t need to bring any cookies, but please feel free to bring your lunch as this event will be held over the lunch break.