Monthly Archives: January 2017

Strategic Plan Update: Action Plan progress as of Dec. 31, 2016

The Dec. 31, 2016, action plan update of the Libraries’ 2014-2019 Strategic Plan Steering Committee is now available as a PDF. As you review it, please note the progress on these action items over the last quarter. In addition to all of the progress underway since the last quarter, a few opportunities will be available to participate in strategic action planning over the upcoming

A team of five colleagues (Heather Benner, Matt Ciszek–co-chair, Hailley Fargo, Rob Olendorf–co-chair, and Angel Peterson) will be reaching out to faculty and staff throughout the University Libraries to gather ideas for the 2017-2018 action plan over the next two months. A forum will also be announced soon to allow the action item teams that have completed their work to present it publicly.

A new monthly series in the Libraries News Blog on strategic initiatives underway will be starting in February. Four of our colleagues (Tim Auman, Elyssa Cahoy, John Meier, and Shea Wert) have agreed to write monthly articles about major strategic initiatives from not only the University Libraries perspective, but the national perspective as well.

National searches are underway for three strategic faculty positions developed to support the work of three action item teams, the Student Engagement Librarian, Open Education Librarian, and Entrepreneurship Librarian.

We always welcome your feedback on the current update of the action plan, process for updating the action plan, communication strategy, and revisions to the strategic plan. Please feel free to send your comments or questions to any member of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee:

Chris Avery (
Matt Ciszek (
Karen Estlund (
Jennifer Gilley (
Anne Langley (
Lana Munip (
Rob Olendorf (
Kimlyn Patishnock (
Sheila Sager (
Joe Salem (
Diane Zabel (

– submitted by Joe Salem, associate dean

Access to Afro-Americana imprints expanded

Title page for Relation du voyage du Cap-Verd. Par le R.P. Alexis de S. Lo, Capucin, published in Paris in 1637.

The Readex collection known as Afro-Americana Imprints, 1535-1922 contains digitized versions of more than 12,000 books, pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, broadsides, and graphics from the Library Company of Philadelphia’s African Americana Collection. Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, the Library Company is America’s first successful lending library and oldest cultural institution.

According to the LCP website, this unique collection documents “the western discovery and exploitation of Africa, the rise of slavery in
the new world along with the rise of movements against slavery, the development of racial thought and racism, descriptions of African- American life, slave and free, throughout the Americas, slavery and race in fiction and drama, and the printed works of African American individuals and organizations. The collection ranges in date from the mid-16th century into the early years of the 20th century.”

On Jan. 24, a file of 7,170 records for titles in the collection was loaded into The CAT by the Bibload Working Group, bringing the total number of records loaded to 9,258 to date. A Keywords Anywhere search in The CAT of “afamer” will retrieve the records. Future loads are expected as the collection grows.

The Libraries’ current Strategic Plan places an emphasis on describing and ensuring access to unique collections like Afro-Americana Imprints. Loading records into the catalog thus serves Goal 2 of the plan’s Discovery, Access, and Preservation programmatic area, to “improve access for future generations through stewardship of collections and resources.”

– submitted by Jeff Edmunds, Cataloging and Metadata Services

Digital Humanities and Information Literacy Workshop

groups of people with laptop computers sitting around tables having discussions

Earlier this month, a group of 18 Penn State librarians gathered in the Mann Assembly Room to learn about digital humanities and information literacy. I have been thinking about digital humanities instruction for some time and how, with all of its emphasis on showing how software works, information literacy was missing. After a few discussions with Rebecca Miller, we decided to create a workshop to see what digital humanities approaches might learn from ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy and what digital humanities might offer to library instruction.

The workshop began with surveys of digital humanities and information literacy, which was then followed by group conversations about three articles related to the workshop topic. Right before lunch was an attempt at a digital humanities classroom activity that also served to introduce participants to a few major digital humanities projects that could further stimulate thinking about the possibilities of digital humanities activities. The final activity of the day had participants back in groups to create a lesson plan for an instruction session.

Our stated outcomes for the workshop were to situate digital humanities within information literacy frameworks, think about integration of digital humanities tools into the library classroom, develop a lesson plan that centers around the use of one or more digital humanities approaches within an information literacy context, and develop a community of practice surrounding digital humanities and information literacy. Given that many of the participants had limited exposure to digital humanities methods, I was happy to see librarians expressing interest in thinking more about how digital humanities might fit into their work. Truly, this was just the beginning of a conversation and I’m working on different ways to keep these connections growing.

If you would like to talk more about this workshop or digital humanities in general, please contact me at

– submitted by John Russell, Center for Humanities and Information

University Libraries Discovery Day 2017 Open Forum Feb. 2

Discovery Day is a one-day event that will be held this year on Thursday, June 1, 2017.

In anticipation, please join the Discovery Day Committee for our Open Forum from 3-4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2 in the Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library. The meeting will provide an opportunity for the committee to collect your ideas about what you would like to participate in during Discovery Day.

If you are not available to attend the forum, please email us your thoughts: and we will make every effort to implement your recommendations.

Discovery Day Committee ’17

Canvas UX Team presentation Feb. 7

The Canvas UX Team has conducted extensive user-design research to explore how students use Canvas and how they feel when they are using Canvas. The research and findings have been presented at multiple conferences and show very interesting results on how our Penn State students interact with their learning management system.

This presentation and discussion will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7 in Foster Auditorium. It will be broadcast on Mediasite Live and recorded. We hope you can join us for the presentation and ensuing discussion.

Questions? Contact Torrie Raish.

Call for proposals for Indigenous Knowledge Student Research Awards

graphic with multiple images to promote a call for proposals for indigenous knowledge research awards

Presented annually, the M.G. Whiting Indigenous Knowledge Research Awards fund research topics that focus on aspects of indigenous knowledge for an undergraduate capstone course or honors, master’s, or doctoral thesis. Proposals are now being accepted for the awards, with a maximum amount of $2,000 awarded per project. The deadline for proposals is Friday, March 3, and the requirements and additional details are available online.

The award program is an initiative of the University Libraries and the Interinstitutional Center for Indigenous Knowledge. Awards are funded by the Marjorie Grant Whiting Endowment for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledge, created in 2008 with a gift from the California-based Marjorie Grant Whiting Center for Humanity, Arts, and the Environment. The center was established after Whiting’s death in 1995 as a way to preserve the scientific and humanistic legacy of a woman whose career as a nutritional anthropologist contributed to an understanding of the cultural interface between diet and health.

For more information on the M.G. Whiting Indigenous Knowledge Student Research Awards, contact Mark Mattson, global partnerships and outreach librarian, at 814-863-2480 or

An 8.5×11 poster with information about the M.G. Whiting Indigenous Knowledge Student Research Awards is available as a downloadable PDF here.

Dedication of new Harrell Health Sciences Library Research and Learning Commons Feb. 17

University Libraries employees are cordially invited to the dedication, ribbon cutting, and open house for the new Harrell Health Sciences Library Research and Learning Commons, starting at noon on Friday, Feb. 17, and featuring keynote speaker Jaime Casap, educational evangelist at Google.

To view or download a PDF of the digital invitation and program for the day’s events, please click here.

Space is limited for the Keynote Address and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Please RSVP for these events by Friday, Feb. 10 at or by calling 717-531-1119.

Free income tax assistance

If your 2016 gross income is $54,500 or less, your federal and state income taxes can be prepared by trained student volunteers for free. Appointments are available Wednesday, Feb. 1 through April 13 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 5 to 8 p.m., and on Saturdays, from 9 a.m. until noon. All appointments are held in 10 Ferguson Building.

To self-schedule an appointment online, visit: To schedule an appointment by phone, call 814-863-4147, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

– submitted by Carmen Gass, User Services Training


Dealing with difficult people webinar Feb. 2

We all work with a variety of personalities in the workplace. Coworkers or clients who are difficult or impossible to work with can affect your job and productivity. Effectively coping with difficult people is an invaluable skill and this one-hour webinar addresses how focusing on the issue, not on the anger or strong emotions conveyed by others, can lead to a more productive work environment. Clear and open communication, as well as customer satisfaction, can be increased through active listening and being more assertive in difficult situations.

To join the webinar at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2, click here.

– submitted by Carmen Gass, User Training Services

Tech Tip: Navigating Box at Penn State pages quickly

by Ryan Johnson, I-Tech

When you are on your Box homepage or in a folder with multiple pages of files, most users may click on the navigation arrows to move between pages one at a time.

application graphic showing arrows for navigating pages in the box application

A quicker way exists. If you hover over and click on the page number range, a drop-down menu will appear. You can click directly on the page number you want to navigate to.

dropdown menu for selecting pages in the Box application

Try this tip out if you want to save a few clicks and navigate to your content quickly in Box.

LHR News: Jan. 30

Please join us in welcoming the following new hires:

Joanna Charles – Interlibrary Loan
Harrison Fetter – Intern, Public Relations and Marketing
Kendra Hepler – Intern, Public Relations and Marketing
Bailey Hursh – Welcome Desk, Knowledge Commons
Arazi Lubis – Welcome Desk, Knowledge Commons
Aimee Pizarchik – Interlibrary Loan
Ruiqi Zhang – Commons Services

Events: Jan. 30

Spring 2017

Through Tuesday, Feb. 28: Poster Exhibit: University Libraries Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Monthposters designed by Penn State students for 32nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration poster design competition, Pattee Library, Central Lobby (mall entrance), University Park.

Through Friday, August 30, 2017: “100 Years of the Pulitzers: Celebrating Our Humanity,” exhibitArts and Humanities Library operating hours, Diversity Studies Room, 203 Patee Library, University Park.

Through Friday, May 5: “From the Trenches: The Great War in Sepia” exhibit, spring semester hours, Special Collections Library, 104 Paterno Library, University Park.

Through Friday, May 5: “Research Wrapped in Aesthetics: The Air Wall,” documentary exhibit, spring operating hours, Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library, 111 Stuckeman Family Building, University Park.

Thursday, Feb. 2: Dealing with Difficult People10-11 a.m., webinar.

Thursday, Feb. 2: Discovery Day Open Forum3-4 p.m., Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park.

Monday-Friday, Feb. 6-17: Blind Date with a Book, Franklin Atrium, W106 Pattee Library, University Park.

Tuesday, Feb. 7: Canvas UX Team presentation, 10:30 a.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park and Mediasite Live.

Thursday, Feb. 9: Getting to Know SimplyMap, Social Explorer, and PolicyMap3:30-4:30 p.m., Donald W. Hamer Maps Library, W13 Pattee Library, University Park, and Adobe Connect.

Friday, Feb. 10: The Galapagos Challenge: Stewardship in an Evolving Socio-ecological System, presentation by William Durham, 4-5 p.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park and Mediasite Live.

Wednesday, Feb. 15: Tech Update, by Libraries I-Tech staff, 10-11 a.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, and Mediasite Live.

Wednesday, Feb. 15: Human Library, 1-7 p.m., multiple locations at University Park.

Wednesday, Feb. 15: “Studying African Indigenous Knowledge for Improved Health and Biodiversity,” with Abderrahim Ouarghidi and Bronwen Powell, 3-4 p.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park and Mediasite Live.

Thursday, Feb. 16: Getting to Know GIS: GIS Literacy3:30-4:30 p.m., Donald W. Hamer Maps Library, W13 Pattee Library, University Park, and Adobe Connect.

Friday, Feb. 17: Harrell Health Sciences Library Research and Learning Commons dedication, ribbon cutting and open house, noon-5 p.m., Harrell Health Sciences Library Research and Learning Commons, Hershey. Space is limited for keynote address and ribbon cutting ceremony. Please RSVP by Feb. 10.

Wednesday, Feb. 22: Coffee with Carmen: Morgan Academic Support Center for Student-Athletes, noon-1 p.m., Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park.

Wednesday, Feb. 22: Dean Dewey’s Annual Open House, 2-3 p.m., 510 Paterno Library, University Park.

Thursday, Feb. 23: TEAM Library, 2-3:30 p.m., with Moses Davis, Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park.

Thursday, Feb. 23: Introduction to ArcGIS Online3:30-4:30 p.m., Donald W. Hamer Maps Library, W13 Pattee Library, University Park, and Adobe Connect.

Saturday, Feb. 25: One-day workshop on Indigenous Knowledge, with Abderrahim Ouarghidi and Bronwen Powell, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., location TBA, University Park. RSVP to Mark Mattson at

Sunday-Saturday, March 5-11: Spring break, no classes.

Tuesday, March 14: Centre County Reads: Panel discussion of Stacey Lee’s “Under a Painted Sky,” 4-5:30 p.m., Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park.

Monday, March 20: Edible Book Contest judging, noon-1:00 p.m., Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park.

Thursday, March 23: TEAM Library, 2-3:30 p.m., Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park.

Thursday, March 30: Charles W. Mann Jr. Lecture in the Book Arts, “Books, Bodies, and Circulations of Dancing in Early 18th-Century France and England,” by Linda Tomko, 4:30 p.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park, reception to follow in Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park.

Tuesday, April 5: Undergraduate Research Exhibition9:15 a.m.-2 p.m. poster sessions; 4 p.m. awards ceremony, Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center, University Park.

Friday-Saturday, April 7-8: Boundaries of the Human in the Age of the Life Sciences Capstone Conference, presentations by ten renowned scholars, Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park. Register by March 17.

Tuesday, April 18: Tech Update, by Libraries I-Tech staff, 2-3 p.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park, and Mediasite Live.

Wednesday, April 19: Poetry Slam7-9 p.m., Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park.

Thursday, April 20: 2017 Public Poetry Contest winners public reading, 7:30-8:30 p.m.,
Pennsylvania Center for the Book, Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park.

Friday, April 28: Last day of spring classes.

Sunday-Tuesday, April 30-May 2: DeStress Fest, 3-8 p.m, University Park library locations.

Monday-Friday, May 1-5: Final exams.

Friday-Sunday, May 5-7: Spring commencement weekend, most campuses.

Tuesday, May 9: COP Workshop, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park.

Please submit event information to Public Relations and Marketing via the Library News submission form.

Dean’s Doings

by Barbara I. Dewey, dean, University Libraries and Scholarly Communications

I recently had the opportunity to meet with Michael Kubit, Penn State’s new Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (CIO). He will report to Provost Jones and Vice President Gray. Mike will be responsible for leading Penn State’s IT operations. When I asked him about his priorities he noted four general areas — developing a shared vision, strengthening a culture of service around IT, optimizing Penn State’s IT resources, and positioning Penn State as a differentiator in such areas as visualization, augmented reality, etc. for teaching and research. He is very excited to work in partnership and collaboration with the Libraries and other entities. He most recently held the position of Deputy Chief Information Officer for Information Technology Services at Case Western Reserve University.

I was also pleased to meet Rich Bundy, Vice President for Development & Alumni Affairs, to discuss library fundraising and the Library Development Board. Rich grew up in State College and his father is our recently retired Blue Band Director, Dr. Bundy. As a history major, he was an avid user of our library and remains enthusiastic about our mission and activities. I gave him a brief tour and he was impressed by the changes.

Provost Jones invited me to join a small contingent of administrators to visit Penn State Mont Alto. We had a fantastic drive to the campus viewing beautiful farms, orchards, and vineyards as well as a comprehensive tour of the historic Mont Alto campus. Provost Jones gave separate town meetings for faculty, staff, and students. I had the opportunity to spend time with our wonderful and hospitable library staff — Lisa White, Head Librarian, Tom Reinsfelder, Reference Librarian, Jonathan Hindman, and Andrea Pritt, both Information Resources & Support Specialists. It was a terrific visit.

Next Dean’s Forum set for Jan. 30

Please mark your calendar and plan to attend the Dean’s Forum at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 30 in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park, or via Mediasite Live.

Dean Barbara I. Dewey will present an impressive list of kudos and the agenda continues with information on a collaboration between THON and the University Libraries presented by the THON Directors, an update on Penn State’s Voluntary Retirement Program, and a presentation by the Big Ten Academic Alliance Geospatial Team.

ProQuest product maintenance set for Jan. 28-29

During the weekend of Jan. 28, product maintenance will be performed worldwide to upgrade ProQuest products. As a result, several of the ProQuest databases to which University Libraries has access will not be available from 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28 through 6:00 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 29.

Affected products include the following research databases:
ProQuest platform (
ProQuest Congressional (
ProQuest Trials
Chadwyck-Healey US databases
Sanborn maps

This maintenance is being performed in order to update the infrastructure, enhance security, and increase the reliability of ProQuest databases. ProQuest notes that dates and times were chosen to minimize the impact to customers; however, it is recognized that this may affect a number of users. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you or your staff.

Thanks very much for your patience during this time.

Questions or concerns should be directed to An alert regarding this update is published on the University Library Alerts page.

– submitted by Karen Hackett, I-Tech

Human Library comes to Penn State Feb. 15

promotional graphic with information on Human Library event on Feb. 15

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, Pattee Library and Paterno Library will host the first Penn State Human Library. You may be asking yourself, “What is a Human Library?” Imagine a place where readers are able to “check out” a Human “book” and engage that book in “conversations that challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue” ( It’s a way for ordinary people to open up and share their experiences with others in a supportive and safe environment.

There are no limits to the people who can participate as books. We all have a story and there are plenty of people out there willing to listen. To see an example of a Human Library experience at Glendale Community College in Arizona, please view this video.

Planning began in July 2016 with members of a variety of campus departments coming together: Adult Learner Programs and Services, Center for Women Students, Counseling and Psychological Services, LGBTQA Student Resource Center, Multicultural Resource Center, Paul Robeson Cultural Center, Penn State Hillel, Schreyer Honors College, University Office of Global Programs and the University Libraries. The first task for the committee was to establish learning goals, objectives, and outcomes for the program. The goal? For participants to further their understanding of, and tolerance for, individuals with experiences different from their own.

If you are interested in participating in the Penn State Human Library as a reader, feel free to sign up with a book here:

Learn more about the Human Library experience coming to Penn State by reading the Penn State News article on the upcoming event.

– submitted by Megan Gilpin, Library Learning Services

Exhibit shows how Penn State research influenced popular solar design technique

A new Penn State exhibit in the Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library in the Stuckeman Family Building shows how research at the University in the 1950s influenced a passive solar design technique widely used today. “Research Wrapped in Aesthetics: The Air Wall” will be on display through May 5.

model of the Air Wall Test Building, at one inch to one foot scale

The research team has constructed a ½”=1’ model of the Air Wall Test Building, as well as several computational models, all of which help the researchers analyze different set-ups proposed by Hajjar in 1959 and better understand how this early technology compares to the technology of today.

The exhibit will include images and documents from Penn State’s libraries and archives, as well as a newly built model, all showing how Penn State faculty were among the first to explore solar design techniques intended to make the new
glass buildings more comfortable and efficient.

The current exhibit is the result of
research by an interdisciplinary team of Penn State faculty and graduate students who, in 2015, rediscovered the story of
the Air Wall when California architect
Mark Hajjar, William Hajjar’s son, gifted
his father’s architectural records to Penn State’s Special Collections Library.

The Raymond A. Bowers Program for Excellence in Design and Construction
of the Built Environment has funded the research into the history of the Air Wall
and development of computer

Ute Poerschke, associate professor of architecture and leader of this project, was joined by research team members Henry Pisciotta, arts and architecture librarian, Moses Ling, associate professor of architectural engineering, David Goldberg, practitioner instructor in landscape architecture, Laurin Goad, doctoral candidate in art history, Mahyar Hadighi and Mina Rahimian, doctoral candidates in architecture, and Anthony Vischansky and Marie McKenna, both 2016 master of architecture graduates.

Read the entire Penn State News article about this exhibit online.