Daily Archives: October 2, 2017

Events: Oct. 2

Fall 2017
Academic calendar information for all campuses is available online.

horizontal exhibit graphic for The Painted Photograph: Selections from the B & H Henisch Photo-History Collection, extended through September 30, 2017, room 201A Pattee Library, displays five black-and-white historic photo portraits and their encased frames


Extended! Now through Saturday, Dec. 8, “The Painted Photograph: Selections from the B. & H. Henisch Photo-History Collection exhibit,” Pattee Library operating hours, Paterno Family Reading Room, 201A Pattee Library, University Park.



Through Jan. 7, 2018: “William Styron: Books and Biography” exhibit, guest curator Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English James L.W. West III, Styron expert and biographer, Eberly Family Special Collections Library Exhibition Room, 104 Paterno Library, University Park.


Wednesday, Oct. 4: Docunight: Iran via Documentaries, 7 p.m. Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park.

Tuesday, Oct. 10: Geospatial Data: Diving into library resources and beyond, 3:30-4:30 p.m., 211A Pattee Library and online via Zoom.

Wednesday, Oct. 11: University Libraries 25-Year Service Awards, 3:30-4:30 p.m.,Foster Auditorium and/or Mann Assembly Room, 102/103 Paterno Library, University Park, final location to be determined. 

Wednesday, Oct. 11: National Coming Out Day, part of National Coming Out Week at Penn State, details TBA.

Thursday, Oct. 12: Lee Bennett Hopkins Award event honoring authors Jorge Argueta (winner) & Nikki Grimes (honor winner), hosted by Pennsylvania Center for the Book, Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park.

Friday–Sunday, Oct. 13-15: Parents and Families Weekend, University Park.

Tuesday, Oct. 17: Geospatial Exploration: Explore mapping and location topics and applications, 3:30-4:30 p.m., 211A Pattee Library and online via Zoom.

Wednesday, Oct. 18: Promotion and Tenure Recognition Reception, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Paterno Family Humanities Reading Room, University Park.

Wednesday, Oct. 18: Tech Update, by I-Tech, 2-3 p.m., Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park.

Thursday, Oct. 19: Diwali, Hindu festival of lights, celebrated.

Tuesday, Oct. 24: Geospatial Analysis:Introduction to working with location data and demographic data, 3:30-4:30 p.m., 302 Paterno Library and online via Zoom.

Wednesday, Oct. 25: “What the Libraries Can Do for You,” library resources talk for Penn State faculty and staff, Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University and livestreamed via Mediasite Live.

Tuesday, Oct. 31: Geospatial Online: Overview of Online mapping options (ArcGIS Online and more)3:30-4:30 p.m., 211A Pattee Library and online via Zoom.

Wednesday, Nov. 1: Docunight: Iran via Documentaries, 7 p.m. Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park.

Sunday–Sunday, Nov. 5-12: Penn State Military Appreciation Week and Homecoming Week.

Monday, Nov. 6–Saturday, Dec. 16: NLM/NIH Traveling Exhibit: Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Surgeons, Life Sciences Library, 4th floor Paterno Library.

Saturday, Nov. 11: Veterans Day.

Monday–Friday, Nov. 13-17: International Education Week, details TBA.

Tuesday, Nov. 14: Penn State GIS Day, 1:30-5 p.m. speakers and lightning talks with 9 a.m.-5 p.m. poster display, Pattee Library and Paterno Library, University Park.

Nov. 19-25: Thanksgiving week break, no classes Nov. 20-24.

Thursday, Nov. 23: Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Wednesday, Dec. 6: Docunight: Iran via Documentaries, 7 p.m. Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park.

Friday, Dec. 8: Last day of fall classes. 

Sunday–Tuesday, Dec. 10-12: De-Stress Fest, University Park locations.

Tuesday, Dec. 12: Tech Update, by I-Tech, 10-11 a.m., Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park.

Tuesday–Wednesday, Dec. 12-20: Hanukkah.

Saturday, Dec. 16: Fall commencement, University Park and other Penn State campuses; details and speaker information at multiple Penn State campuses TBA in December.

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

Green Tip: Penn State EcoChallenge 2017

Join the Libraries Green Committee and the Sustainability Institute for the Penn State EcoChallenge 2017, a two-week competition October 11–25 that involves changing one — or more — habits that benefit our planet. Together, we’ll show that our individual changes can add up to real impact. Last year, over 8,000 people participated in the challenge, taking almost 62,000 actions and made lasting impacts like avoiding use of over 440,000 gallons of water and traveling over 80,000 miles by foot, bike, bus or carpool.

During the competition, you’ll connect with other EcoChallengers and earn points for accomplishing your challenge. The combination of collective inspiration, camaraderie and friendly competition makes change a little easier, and a lot more fun. The Challenge is open to all faculty, staff and students, so ask others to join as well. Last year, the largest competing team had 580 members, an easy number to beat with Penn State passion!

Registration for the Penn State EcoChallenge team is easy with just a few steps:


Tech tip: How to change your display name in Slack

By: Ryan T Johnson

Instead of using your Penn State ID as your username (or some other nickname), please consider using your Full Name in Slack.  This setting can help other users know who they may be chatting with and find your profile more quickly.

To change your display name, click on your name under the psu-libraries menu located in the upper left-hand corner of Slack.

Select Profile & Account.

Slack Profile & Account screen shot image

Select Edit Profile.

Change the Display Name field to your full name

Slack "Edit your profile" screen shot

Click Save Changes.

Pennsylvania Center for the Book seeks submissions: 2018 Letters About Literature contest

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. —The Pennsylvania Center for the Book announces the 2018 Letters About Literature Contest, a nationwide event sponsored by the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. This contest invites students in three grade levels to write persuasive letters to authors—living or dead—about how a specific piece of literature (fiction, nonfiction, a poem, or a play) affected them or changed their worldview.

Students in grades 4-12 are invited to submit to the 25th Annual Letters About Literature Writing Contest individually or as participants in a class/group assignment, and each state will recognize and award prizes to its winners. Librarians and teachers are encouraged to take advantage of this valuable exercise in reading, reflection and writing by motivating students to write and submit their very best.

Here in Pennsylvania, our winners will receive a $200 prize and celebratory lunch with his/her family and the other winners’ families near Penn State University’s University Park campus.

Entries for the 2018 contest will be accepted starting Nov 1, 2017 and must be postmarked on or before Jan 12, 2018.

The three qualifying levels include:

  • Level 1, Grades 4-6
  • Level 2, Grades 7-8
  • Level 3, Grades 9-12

The annual nationwide Letters About Literature Contest is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. For entry coupons and participation guidelines, select Pennsylvania from the Letters About Literature information page on the Library of Congress web site or review this Contest Entry Form: http://www.read.gov/letters/documents/LAL-Flyer-Jan-12.pdf.

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. Since 2000, the Pennsylvania Center for the Book has been sponsored by the Penn State University Libraries.

In addition to providing space and administrative support for the Center’s offices, the University Libraries and the Center’s co-sponsor, Dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications Barbara I. Dewey, provide in-kind contributions that include staff and faculty time as well as the Pennsylvania Center for the Book alcove in 201-A Pattee Library.

For more information about the Letters About Literature contest in Pennsylvania, contact Nicole Miyashiro, editor (nmm16@psu.edu), or visit the Pennsylvania Center for the Book website, www.pabook.libraries.psu.edu, where 2018 contest winners will be announced in the spring.


Rowing to victory!

By Megan McGregor

On an unseasonably hot September day this past Sunday, on the banks of
Wilkes-Barre’s Susquehanna River, a team of 19 students,
faculty, staff, alumni, and spouses, pitched a tent. They had been
brought together by Penn State Wilkes-Barre Librarian Megan Mac Gregor to row
for Penn State Wilkes-Barre in the 7th annual Dragon Boat Races hosted by the
Riverfront Parks Committee. In addition to Megan, Penn State Wilkes-Barre Library
was also represented in the boat by John Owens, information Resources and
Services Support Specialist, and Quentin Hugo, library student worker.

Dragon boats were originally used in ancient China as part of religious
ceremonies to appease the rain gods. Later a tradition of racing dragon boats
was established as a memorial to the warrior poet Qu Yuan, who committed
suicide in the Mi Lo River in protest against political corruption.

The boats are painted to look like dragons. Before the race a carved dragon
head and tail are attached to the long canoe-like hull, which is painted with
dragon scales. The boats fit two rows of ten people on each side. The
rowers’ paddles act as the dragon’s claws, propelling it through the
water, with the help of a steerer on the back with a rudder paddle, and a
drummer on a small high seat in the front, keeping the rowers in time. The
beauty of dragon boat racing is that while strength and endurance are
important, the real key is teamwork and harmony; making sure everyone is
paddling in sync.

Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s team drummer, student and winner of one of
2017’s Library scholarships, Amanda-Claudia Scott, had the added privilege
of blessing the boats before the first race of the day. She poured river
water over the head of one of the boats and sprinkled rose petals, while
wishing everyone a safe and harmonious race.

Penn State Wilkes-Barre was one of six teams from various local organizations
who participated in the races, a 200-yard dash between downtown
Wilkes-Barre’s two bridges. Each team participated in three races, competing
head to head with another boat, in an attempt to achieve the best time.

The 19 Penn State Wilkes-Barre rowers had a rough first race, losing to
their opponent by less than a second. Engineering Instructor Tim Sichler
stepped in with his rowing team experience, and made a change in the seating
positions, and the team established a count. When the second race came, the
team was ready, and set the fastest time overall. The team held it together
for their last race, a tough, blood pumping heat against the Wilkes-Barre
Family YMCA. It paid off.  Penn State Wilkes-Barre finished with a time of
33.84 seconds, and the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA, last year’s champions,
came in at 34.15 seconds.

 .  Dragon boat and racers on river

“The Ancestors Return: Three Gullah Homecomings to Sierra Leone” uncovers cultural link

Dr. Joseph Opala, American Lecturer and historian, will present The Ancestors Return: Three Gullah Homecomings to Sierra Leone on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library.

Co-sponsors of the program include the African Studies Program, African American Studies Department, the Department of History and University Libraries.

The Ancestors Return: Three Gullah Homecomings to Sierra Leone will document the Gullah connection thread that links the West African nation of Sierra Leone to the Gullah people of coastal South Carolina and Georgia, and traces preserved language, customs and traditions of the Gullah to Sierra Leoneans through the 18th century slave trade. Opala’s research highlights modern Gullah customs and traditions that can be traced back to Sierra Leone and the surrounding region, including their basket-making tradition, food preparation and a creole language that closely resembles Sierra Leone Krio.

In 1988, Opala’s research initiated a visit by Sierra Leone’s President Joseph Saidu Momoh to a Gullah community in South Carolina, and three subsequent historic “Gullah Homecomings” to Sierra Leone by Gullahs from South Carolina and Georgia have been powerful events for participants on both continents, breaking new ground historically. Additionally, Opala’s research has uncovered the longest text in an African language known to have been preserved by a black family in the U.S., and the first unbroken series of documents that links a South Carolina family to Sierra Leone – including slave ship records, slave sale records, and plantation records – connecting a black family of slavery origin to its ancestral home in West Africa.

Professor Opala taught African Studies at Sierra Leone’s Fourah Bay College from 1985 to 1991, James Madison University in Virginia from 1999 to 2010, and served as an advisor to Sierra Leone’s president on cultural policy and as Scholar-in-Residence at Penn Center, St. Helena Island, South Carolina. He was also a research fellow at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. He has presented lectures at universities and museums throughout the U.S. and has curated exhibits on Bunce Island and the Sierra Leone-Gullah Connection at major museums, including the New-York Historical Society in 2006 and Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History in 2010.

Mr. Opala’s research has been covered by the New York Times, Washington Post, and Associated Press.  He has appeared on CBS “60 Minutes,” MSNBC’s “National Geographic Explorer,” NBC News, CNN, BBC World Service radio, Voice of America radio, and NPR’s “The World, “Fresh Air,” and “All Things Considered” programs.