Daily Archives: May 1, 2017

Strategic Plan in Action: Center for Humanities and Information

by Shea Wert, Engineering Library, Strategic Action Plan Blogging Team

Like the needs of those they serve, libraries evolve. One way that university libraries in particular are evolving is by directing their focus to enriching and illuminating the area known as digital scholarship—research or scholarship that makes use of the vast array of tools and opportunities that now exist digitally.

Although many universities have instituted departments to work on digital scholarship, Penn State’s Center for Humanities and Information (CHI) is the first to be created specifically in conjunction with the humanities. Created in conjunction with the College of the Liberal Arts, the center aims to fulfill the strategic action plan’s goal of providing scholarly collections and services needed for cross-disciplinary research by undergraduate, graduate and faculty researchers.

In alignment with the objective set for it, CHI is creating a research model that crosses organizational boundaries for researcher needs. In the case of the center, they are particularly focused on increasing digital scholarship within the humanities.

If you are anything like me, this all sounds quite interesting, but is a little harder to imagine what it all looks like off paper. I spoke with John Russell, the associate director of CHI to gain a better understanding of the work being done within. John was hired just over a year ago to head the CHI’s library-based component of the initiative. He notes that being physically located in West Pattee will hopefully contribute to the promotion of digital humanities, while also making it more convenient to work with other librarians.

Throughout last year, John and a working group consisting of Chuck Jones, Nathan Piekelek, Patricia Hswe, and Laura Helton worked on assessing the needs of digital scholarship across disciplines—particularly within the humanities. This has entailed compiling, and then assessing, the technology support that exists within colleges and the library in regards to digital scholarship.

One gap already located, for instance, has been the need for support in regards to text analysis. The center is planning to fill this need in the near future with a new hire specializing in text analysis that will be available to help researchers create data from, and find patterns within, sometimes very massive collections of text. For instance, one of the fellows of CHI is currently analyzing a huge set of Chinese literature from the 20th century.

The needs assessment will naturally be ongoing, but John has already reached out to others within the library that work around digital scholarship and the humanities to do everything from identifying the types of questions that are received to beginning to work on a webpage that compiles the related services. He also contributes as a regular resource in a digital art history course among many other things.

CHI at large supports the fellowship of up to six faculty members, doctoral students, and visiting scholars. These fellows participate in colloquia in regards to information and the humanities all while working on their own research and projects. They also participate in an annual conference. This year’s conference will happen on September 22 & 23 and will feature a panel on Mary Poovey’s “A History of the Modern Fact,” as well as presentations from all of CHI’s visiting fellows. More on the fellowships and fellows can be found here: http://chi.la.psu.edu/fellowships.

Moving forward, John is hopeful about CHI exploring ways to more actively become engaged with special collections. Although what that looks like exactly is still in the works, the idea of integrating technology into those very unique collections is quite exciting.

Keep an eye out for presentations and resources created by John Russell and CHI to learn more about the center or inquire about your own digital scholarship and research questions.

Schreyer Scholars named finalists for Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award

Schreyer Honors College Scholars Aviva Doery, Samuel Lapp and Alexander Walsh were selected as finalists for the 2017 Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award and will participate in a public oral presentation to be held from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 4 in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park.

The three finalists will present their individual thesis with a brief summary and conclusions and will answer questions from the audience. The 2017 finalists include:

— Aviva Doery, international politics, global and international studies, for “The Lives of Lesbian Women in Berlin Before and Beyond the Rise of the Nazis 1933-1945”;

— Samuel Lapp, engineering science, for “Modeling Intonation in Non-Western Musical Cultures”; and

— Alexander Walsh, mechanical engineering, for “Effects of Extrusion Temperature and Printer Nozzle Speed on the Tensile Properties of 3D Printed Polylactic Acid.”

The annual competition includes a review of the submitted theses by a faculty jury and a public oral presentation by the students chosen as finalists. It provides an opportunity to fully appreciate the academic quality of Penn State students and the depth of their undergraduate research.

The University Libraries initiated this award as a way to emphasize the importance of utilizing quality research methods and employing a thorough understanding of the legal and ethical issues related to the use of information – both key components of academic excellence. For Schreyer Scholars, the thesis is the capstone of their honors experience at Penn State. This competition recognizes the discerning inquiry and diligent research undertaken by the scholars in preparation of the completion of each thesis.

The submissions process for the Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award begins in January of each year. Students who have graduated in summer of the previous year or fall or spring of the current academic year are eligible to participate. Details are available at https://libraries.psu.edu/about/student-awards/outstanding-undergraduate-thesis-award.

For more information, contact Wendi Keeler at 814-863-5449 or wak109@psu.edu.

Libraries’ resources available online to graduating students

promotional graphic for Alumni Library, a benefit of the Alumni Association and partnership between the Alumni Association and University LibrariesWhen students graduate from Penn State, the Penn State Alumni Association can keep them connected to the University with a free year of membership that includes personal and professional benefits. One of these benefits is the Alumni Library offering access to a wealth of premium online databases and resources. And the Libraries’ “Ask A Librarian” tab can assist you as you uncover the history of Penn State, explore academic journals and research other interests.

The Alumni Library website features visual prompts that will lead you to collections of scholarly resources that Penn State librarians have selected as authoritative. You can also browse digitized University collections that are easy to use and accessible through this collaboration between the Alumni Association and University Libraries.

To access the Alumni Library’s premium databases, users must log in with their ID included on their Alumni Association membership card. A visual aid is available on the website, showing you where that information is located on the card. The Alumni Library also includes public information resources that are organized under topic-specific categories and merged with the databases that require you to log in.

Once you’re online, there are 75-plus highly skilled, professional, engaged librarians who can guide you through the process of locating information that you’re looking for — available through the “Ask A Librarian” tab located on the right-hand side of the screen.

The “Ask A Librarian” tab is available for all users of the University Libraries and Alumni Library websites, and, on average, response time is less than 30 seconds after submitting an online chat question. Because many librarians conduct and publish scholarly research in their respective areas of expertise, some questions are referred to librarian subject specialists to help ensure that inquiries receive the most appropriate response.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for by searching the Libraries’ digital collections, including La Vie and Daily Collegian archives, Ask a Librarian questions may be directed to the Research Services Team of the Special Collections Library, which also is the home of Penn State’s University Archives.

There are many additional benefits of Alumni Association membership and more information is available at alumni.psu.edu/membership to learn more.

An 8.5×11 promotional PDF with information about the Alumni Library is available for download to print or share with colleagues.

Subject of May 3 Docunight screening is the ‘greatest party on earth’

promotional graphic for Docunight: Iran via Documentaries monthly film screening

No expense was spared when the Shah of Iran spent the entire state budget, more than $600 million, on a party to celebrate 2,500 years of the Persian monarchy. The latest Docunight film, directed by Hassan Amini, suggests that the extravagant, five-day event would change world history, crystallizing opposition to the Shah’s regime and sparking revolution.

“Decadence and Downfall – The Shah of Iran’s Ultimate Party,” the May selection for the “Docunight: Iran via Documentaries” series, will be shown at 7 p.m. on May 3 in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park campus and at Mont Alto campus in the Mont Alto Campus Library. Co-sponsored by the Iranian Student Association and Penn State University Libraries, Docunight events are free and open to the public.

Released overseas in 2016 and aired by the British Broadcasting Corporation, “Decadence and Downfall,” includes footage from the processions and party held in the constructed oasis of pink silk tents at Persepolis. As royal guests and dignitaries dined at a five-course banquet with wine chilled by car-sized blocks of ice brought in by helicopter, resentment was building among the Iranian people.

Amini’s documentary includes photos and interviews with contributors who planned various aspects of the lavish event. He adds context through commentary by the Shah from interviews, the stories of an arrested student leader and the struggles of a nation and people forgotten.

Downloadable PDF promotional posters (University Park and Mont Alto) for this event are available to print or share with colleagues and organizations. For more information on this event, or for questions about accommodations or the physical access provided, contact Mark Mattson, global partnerships and outreach librarian, at 814-863-2480 or mam1196@psu.edu in advance of the event.


Technology Expo May 8 showcases latest technology

promotional graphic for May 8 Technology Expo

Attendees at Technology Expo 2017, set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, May 8, can try out many of today’s newest high-end technology products for educational and commercial use, and speak with representatives in the vendor showcase. Held in President’s Hall at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in Innovation Park at Penn State and organized by Penn State University Libraries’ Media and Technology Support Services, Technology Expo 2017 is a free event open to the public.

The annual Technology Expo brings together a variety of custom audio-visual and integrative technology vendors under one roof. Its vendor showcase features hands-on opportunities with the latest LCD flat-panel and interactive displays, projectors, touch-screen automation and control systems, whole-house/building sound systems, podiums and much more. Product vendors also will demonstrate their equipment on display.

University instructional support staff and faculty from all Penn State campuses are especially encouraged to attend, as well as facility and technology managers from schools, businesses, organizations and other individuals seeking to try out the latest-generation equipment offered by several prominent commercial technology companies.

The University Libraries’ Media and Technology Support Services, also known as MediaTech or MTSS, serves the University Park campus and offers equipment loans and technology services year-round tailored for Penn State students as well as faculty and staff. Equipment rentals are free when used with University Park credit-based courses.

Audio-visual equipment available to Penn State students, faculty and staff for credit instruction only includes cameras and tripods, sound and lighting equipment, data projectors and screens, video players, laptops, iPads and accessories. MediaTech’s rental counter is in Wagner Annex at the rear of Wagner Building, Curtin Road. For faculty and staff, MediaTech also offers video recording for class presentations, including Mediasite Live livestreaming services — viewable and archived at live.libraries.psu.edu — in five on-campus classrooms, in addition to Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library.

For more information about the Technology Expo 2017, call 814-863-0665. For general questions about MediaTech services, call 814-865-5400 during its normal business hours.

Writing into the night: A recap of our second International Write-In

illustration of pencil circling pencil drawing representing the continentsOn Sunday, April 23, the University Libraries hosted 71 undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff who participated in our second International Write-In at University Park. For eight hours, participants committed to working on writing, digging into assignments, and trying to finish off papers and articles before the end of the semester. Staged in the Mann Assembly Room, this event was planned in collaboration with the Learning Center and the Graduate Writing Center. With snacks, coffee, tea, writing consultants, and librarians, we were able to provide support and productive spaces for our writers. Including our volunteers, our total attendance was 82 people!

We hope to keep up the tradition and host another International Write-In this fall. Our primary audience continues to be graduate students and the committee hopes to expand our partners for future events. The participants expressed their gratitude for the space, snacks and atmosphere of productivity at this busy time of the semester.

Hosting the International Write-In is a team event and we have many individuals to thank. First, we’d like to send a big thanks to PRaM for help in promoting the event and providing beautiful graphics and signage. We’d also like to thank Joe Salem for his pizza support and Megan Gilpin for her pizza ordering wisdom. Thanks to Len White and the rest of the facilities crew for helping get the event set up. Finally, we’d like to thank Rachel White and Paul Burnell for their help the day of the event. We couldn’t have done it without you!

– submitted by Hailley Fargo, Knowledge Commons

When customer service gets personal

Customer service has the potential to really impact the lives of others. Sometimes there’s tremendous power when we connect with other human beings and do our job of solving their problem.

Read more from Jeremy Watkin in this Customer Service Life article: http://us14.campaign-archive2.com/?e=803d86c605&u=d434e7ed43ba6981dd5bfe976&id=e68e3813c3.

– submitted by Carmen Gass, User Training Services

How to get co-workers to step up their service

A question customer service expert Jeff Toister often receives from customer service professionals is “How do I get my co-workers to improve their service?

It can be frustrating to feel like you are giving it your all while colleagues settle for mediocrity (or worse).

Getting your peers to change is tricky. Approach a colleague the wrong way and you risk harming the relationship. Do nothing at all and things will likely stay the same.

That doesn’t mean you are powerless. This website lists three strategies you can try: http://us8.campaign-archive1.com/e=19c9d795c1&u=5807a192a714bb01025f1d318&id=baf5319472.

– submitted by Carmen Gass, User Training Services

Tech Tip: Two new features added to Box

by Ryan Johnson, I-Tech

Two new features were recently added to Box.

Recents now appears in the left-hand menu in Box. You can click on Recents to display a chronological list of your most recent actions (downloads, edits, upload, etc.) in Box.

Another new feature Box recently added allows you to search within any Box Note you have access to. To search, click on the magnifying glass icon at the top of the left-hand panel.

This will open a search box to search all your Box Notes.

LHR News: May 1

Please join us in welcoming the following new hires:

Joi Jackson – Reference and Instruction Librarian, Penn State Harrisburg

Internal Moves:
Nicole Gampe – IT Manager, Digital Scholarship and Repository Development

Events: May 1

Spring 2017

Through Thursday, May 4: De-Stress Fest, locations and times vary, University Park library locations.

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.

Through Sunday, July 30, “The Painted Photograph: Selections from the B. & H. Henisch Photo-History Collection,” hours of operation, Paterno Family Reading Room, 201A Pattee Library, University Park.

Through Wednesday, August 9, 2017: “Plastics: Knowledge and Information Taking Shape” exhibit, Pattee Library operating hours, Sidewater Commons and central entrance, Pattee Library, 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.

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

Wednesday, May 3: Docunight: Iran via Documentaries presents “Decadence and Downfall — The Shah of Iran’s Ultimate Party,documentary screening of a film about, around, or in Iran, or made by Iranians, 7 p.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park and Mont Alto Campus Library, first floor, Mont Alto.

Thursday, May 4: Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award Public, Oral Defense, three award finalists, 3:30-5 p.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park.

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


Maymester 2017 / Summer 2017

Sunday, May 7: arrival day, Maymester, University Park. Academic calendar information for all campuses is available online.

Monday, May 8: first day of classes, Maymester, University Park. Academic calendar information for all campuses is available online.

Monday, May 8: MediaTech Expo, Media and Technology Support Services invites vendors to showcase the latest in technology products, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., President’s Hall, Penn Stater Conference Center, University Park.

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

Thursday, May 11: University Libraries Awards, 2 p.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park, 3 p.m. reception in Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park.

Sunday, May 14: arrival day, first six-week summer session, University Park.

Monday-Friday, May 15-Sept. 8: “ABC: An Abecedarium from the 15th to the 21st Century,” exhibit, summer semester hours, Special Collections Library, 104 Paterno Library, University Park.

Monday, May 15: first day of classes, first six-week summer session, University Park.

Wednesday, May 17: Libraries’ annual Diversity Research and Programming Colloquium, 2:30–4 p.m., Foster Auditorium and Mediasite Live.

Tuesday, May 23: Content strategy conversation, 9-10 a.m., Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park.

Tuesday, May 23: Dean’s Forum, 2-3 p.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park and Mediasite Live.

Monday, May 29: Memorial Day, no classes.

Thursday, June 1: Discovery Day, University Park library locations.

Monday, June 5: last day of classes, Maymester, University Park.

Tuesday, June 6: study day, Maymester, University Park.

Wednesday, June 7: final examsMaymester, University Park.

Wednesday, June 7: Docunight: Iran via Documentaries, documentary screening of a film about, around, or in Iran, or made by Iranians, 7 p.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park and Mont Alto Campus Library, first floor, Mont Alto.

Thursday, June 22: Tech Update, by I-Tech, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park.

Friday, June 23: last day of classes, first six-week summer session, University Park.

Saturday-Sunday, June 24-25: study days, first six-week summer session, University Park.

Sunday, June 25: arrival day, second six-week summer session, University Park.

Monday, June 26: final exams, first six-week summer session, University Park.

Wednesday, June 28: first day of classes, second six-week summer session, University Park.

Tuesday, July 4: Independence Day, no classes.

Wednesday, July 5: Docunight: Iran via Documentaries, documentary screening of a film about, around, or in Iran, or made by Iranians, 7 p.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park and Mont Alto Campus Library, first floor, Mont Alto.

Wednesday-Sunday, July 13-16, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, Children’s Day July 12, BookFest July 15, State College and University Park campus.

Tuesday, July 19: PA Forward Information Literacy Summit, Pattee Library and Paterno Library, University Park.

Wednesday, Aug. 2: Docunight: Iran via Documentaries, documentary screening of a film about, around, or in Iran, or made by Iranians, 7 p.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park and Mont Alto Campus Library, first floor, Mont Alto.

Wednesday, August 9: last day of classes, second six-week summer session, University Park.

Thursday, August 10: study day, second six-week summer session, University Park.

Friday, August 11: final examssecond six-week summer session, University Park.

Saturday, August 12: Summer commencement, University Park.

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