Daily Archives: October 16, 2017

E-Book program focused on student affordability

By: Victoria  Raish

Student affordability has been on the minds of many people due to the rising cost of a degree and the ubiquity of content. In December of 2016, a team was charged with developing an equivalent course reserves model for World Campus students. The decision was made to focus on delivering E-Books to World Campus students directly through the Canvas Library  integration. This program is possible due to funding as part of my position as the online learning librarian to strategically increase our digital collections.

How the Process Works

We provide a list of available books to academic advisors, list the materials in the course catalog, and list them on this page: https://libraries.psu.edu/about/libraries/world-campus-and-penn-state-online/world-campus-e-books. The E-Books are listed directly in the course under the library resources tab in Canvas. We license all books that we can. This means we license E-Books that have a multiuser access model whether that is unlimited or linear lending. We will not license E-Books that have a limited access model.

Benefits of the Program

This program serves benefits to students and the library. We are strategically increasing our collections with materials that are also being used for courses. The program clearly benefits students due to affordability. Based on fall semester data, we are providing an estimated cost savings of $383,937 dollars with 164 E-Books and 140 unique courses. That represents 16.7% of all World Campus courses.

How the Program May Impact You

We are really excited about this program and the potential it holds for students and the library. There are a few different ways you may encounter this program. First, even though we list this for World Campus courses, it can also be used for residential course sections that use the same materials. However, we need to know this as we do not receive the same list of required materials for residential courses. Second, if you receive an email or inquiry for an E-Book for a World Campus course it is likely either due to this program OR due to people hearing about it and wanting to become a part of it. If the latter is the case, you can refer them to me. at victoria@psu.edu. Sometimes, an instructor will ask if a book can become part of the program so simply looking up the licensing options is a good first step towards letting them know if this is a possibility.

This program is an excellent OER effort for the university and shows the libraries’ commitment to student affordability. This program is complementary to other efforts such as the Open Textbook Network. If you have any additional questions, please email me at victoria@psu.edu.

Focus on Assessment: In Support of International Students, Multi-Campus Perspectives

By: Steve  Borrelli

Tuesday 10/31 at 2 p.m. in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library

Our international student population continues to grow, up from 12% of total enrollment in 2012 to over 15% in 2016 [Penn State Factbook]. We know that international students use our library services frequently, but are we, as libraries, meeting their needs? Over the past year, the Library Assessment Department has investigated how international students make use of our services and resources, what we do in support of them, and what aspects of library services and resources contribute to their feelings of welcomeness and inclusion while in our spaces. This event will present what we’ve learned, how learning has informed practice, and will highlight aspects of what we as a library system do to support this diverse population of students from multiple perspectives across the Commonwealth.

Please join us for the event on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm in Foster Auditorium. The event will be broadcast over Mediasite Live.

Speakers include:

  • Mark Mattson, Global Partnerships and Outreach Librarian
  • Paula Smith, Reference Librarian, Penn State Abington
  • Joi Jackson, Reference & Instruction Librarian, Penn State Harrisburg
  • Carmen Gass, User Services Training Coordinator
  • Susan Lane, Special Collections Cataloger
  • Chao Su, Library Assessment Graduate Assistant
  • Steve Borrelli, Head of Library Assessment

Classroom updates in Pattee and Paterno include laptop availability

By: Rebecca M Peterson

Library Learning Services is happy to report some upgrades to two classroom spaces in Pattee/Paterno. 
Main changes to W13 Pattee (located outside of the Maps and GIS area):
  • Workstations removed and laptops are secured in a locked cart
  • The room will seat up to 27 students (27 laptops available as well)
  • There are 3 height adjustable tables for anyone who needs this accommodation. The chairs are height adjustable as well.
  • Printers were removed from the room and relocated to the vending area adjacent
  • Individual white boards will be available for use during instruction (to remain locked in storage cabinet when not in use). These can be hung on a track around the room to showcase students’ work.
  • New carpet squares installed and whiteboards installed on walls
  • This room to remain open as a study space when not in use. It will be rekeyed as an instruction room, but in the meantime, Maps/GIS can open it if the room is locked for some reason.
Pictures of the laptop cart and the individual whiteboards are included, below. The  whiteboards should not be used outside of a class in W13 Pattee. 
photo of a clean whiteboard

W13 Pattee classroom whiteboard

photo of a laptop cart in a classroom

W13 Pattee classroom laptop cart

Change to 403 Paterno:
These rooms are both able to be scheduled for library sessions. More information and documentation will be forthcoming and an “open house” for W13 Pattee is being scheduled for you to come and explore the features of the room. In the meantime, please let us know if you have any specific questions. Any issues in either of these spaces should be handled the same way as the other library classrooms in Pattee/Paterno. If you plan to teach in either of these soon, we can set up a room orientation.
If you’re interested in using the Dell laptops in 403 Paterno (30 laptops), W013 Pattee (27 laptops), or the Chromebooks in W023 Pattee (40 Chromebooks), please contact Rebecca Peterson (rmr28@psu.edu). You may use the laptops while teaching in one of these rooms or f you’d like to take the laptops with you to teach in another space, here’s how: 
  1. Determine how many laptops you need. While the carts are mobile and convenient, they can also be cumbersome. LLS has laptop “baskets” you may borrow if you only need a few laptops. Each basket holds 5 laptops.  
  1. Contact Rebecca Peterson (rmr28@psu.edu) to schedule the laptops. Each set of laptops has an equipment calendar through UCS, so even if you have 403 Paterno scheduled, you still need to schedule the 403 Paterno laptops to make sure someone else hasn’t booked them to use elsewhere. 
Thank you to Libraries’ Administration for supporting these upgrades.

Any questions? Feel free to contact Rebecca Peterson at rmr28@psu.edu.

Strategic Plan Update: Action Plan progress as of Sept. 30, 2017

By: Martha  Ney

The Sept. 30, 2017 action plan update for the University Libraries 2014-2019 Strategic Plan is now available as a PDF.

The 2017-2018 Action Plan began with 19 actions – 4 for Advancing University Research; 7 for Discovery, Access and Preservation; and 8 for Teaching and Learning.  In this first quarter, 2 of the actions were substantially completed and/or operationalized, 11 are in process, 2 are in the planning phase and 4 are to be initiated.

We welcome your feedback on the current update of the action plan, process for updating the action plan, communications strategy, and revision to the strategic plan. Please feel free to send your comments or question to the Strategic Plan Steering Committee at: ul-strategic-plan-steering@lists.psu.edu.

Tech Update

By: Melody K Gehlbach

Please save the date!

Tech Update
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Foster Auditorium

Database Categorization –
Symphony Upgrade –
Office 365 update –
Email Cleanup in preparation for Office 365 –

If you cannot participate in person please join us via MediaSite Live:
Once logged in, click “I-Tech” on the left nav bar in the Mediasite catalog.

Tech tip: E-mail signature standards

By: Ryan Johnson

I was asked recently about signature standards.  While there isn’t a standard for everyone to follow at Penn State, here are some recommendations you can use:

Less is more: E-mail signatures should not be longer than 10 lines. Go wider rather than longer, and use pipes (|) to separate components. Use two spaces between content and pipes.

Images and logos: Do not use images or logos within the e-mail signature. Images can come across as attachments and appear chaotic. Many e-mail clients and mobile devices block the appearance of images. Images can also increase the size of e-mail in-boxes exponentially. For those with in-box size limits, this can be problematic.

Quotes: Refraining from the use of quotes or epigraphs is best practice for professional communications. It is important to avoid the potential confusion of external audiences assuming a particular statement represents the college’s official slogan, ideology, or brand promise.

Fonts: Use a simple 12-point standard font (preferred) or your e-mail client’s default font. Non-standard typefaces and HTML may not translate well across e-mail clients.

Rich text formatting: Use plain text so that the signature is compatible with all e-mail clients and devices. Avoid colors, special fonts, bold, italics, and graphics.

vCards: While vCards can be a convenient way to share contact information for some (using a .VCF compatible e-mail client), they add bytes and appear as attachments. It might be valuable to use a vCard for an initial correspondence, but sending it every time is redundant.

Be the point person

By: Jeff Toister

It’s amazing how many customer service problems occur because everyone assumes everyone else is doing their job correctly. One person thinks they have handed off the problem so they forget about it. The person who is supposed to receive the problem never does.  A great way to
keep problems from falling through the cracks is to take ownership of the situation and become a point person for the customer.

Here’s an example from Cindy, a customer service tip of the week subscriber: “A customer had previously left a voicemail message for a co-worker who had been on vacation. When she called in I assured her that I would get the information for her right away. Turns out it was actually an Information Technology problem for a different co-worker. When all was said and done there were others who had partial information regarding this customer’s request. I took responsibility for making sure her needs were met by getting all communication components from those involved and responded back to her quickly with what she needed.” I can only imagine what would have happened if Cindy has simply dumped the call into her co-worker’s voicemail instead of handling it!

Bonus info: It’s easier to be the point person when things go right. One way companies ensure this happens is by counterintuitively offering fewer options.

Green tip: America Recycles Day

By: Nicole  Schwindenhammer

Now that we are well into Autumn, many fall activities are in full swing, from hayrides and apple picking to finding the perfect pumpkin at a pumpkin patch.  This is a great time of year to enjoy the outdoors but it’s also a great time to remind ourselves of how important it is to take care of these great outdoors with recycling.

On November 15, a week before Thanksgiving, a really exciting event will take place called “America Recycles Day.” This program is a national initiative of Keep America Beautiful, which is a non-profit organization which educates people on keeping our planet clean through recycling.  America Recycles Day is a day to promote and celebrate recycling in the United States.

Each one of us can get involved that day in a number of ways.  One way is by holding or joining an event focused on educating and motivating others on recycling and all the ways we can
contribute to the good of our beautiful planet.  Another option to celebrate America Recycles Day is by taking a pledge to personally reduce, reuse and recycle in a number of ways.

By visiting the website www.americarecyclesday.org, you can learn much more about the big day and the many ways to get involved.  The website also has a page where you can register your event or find out where other events are being held.  So let’s get excited this November 15th and spread the word about recycling awareness.

There are so many things to celebrate this time of year and “America Recycles Day” is one of them.

Events: Oct. 16

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.

book jacket front and back of novel "Sophie's Choice" by William Styron, plus black-and-white photo of author



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.


snowy black and white photo with label in front, text reads "The History of Pattee Library and Paterno Library," exhibit, Aug. 21, 2017 through Jan. 15, 2018, in Pattee Library central entrance exhibit cases and adjacent Sidewater Commons, first floor Pattee Library, University Park.


Through Jan. 15, 2018: “The History of Pattee Library and Paterno Library” exhibitPattee Library’s central entrance exhibit cases and adjacent Sidewater Commons, first floor Pattee Library, 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.

Tuesday, Oct. 17: The Abundance Project: Radical Inclusion, the Power of Families, and Dreaming Bigger, 6-8 p.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library and streamed online for viewing via Mediasite Live.

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: Open Textbook Network workshop sessions, faculty must RSVP to Amanda Larson via email to be eligible for $200 stipend (see news release for details), 10 a.m.-noon session for faculty (available University-wide via Mediasite Live), 1:30-3 p.m. session for librarians and instructional designers (available University-wide via Mediasite Live), Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park.

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.