Monthly Archives: April 2018

Altoona librarians host storytime series for preschoolers

By: Jessica Showalter

Altoona librarians hosted a “Story Time” series for preschool students from the Penn State Altoona Child Development Center.

About ten children ages 4-5 participated in each session, accompanied by their preschool teachers. Librarians read children’s books to them and then led them in activities related to the books

.World map for Altoona storytime

The events were planned around an international theme, so librarians chose books, arts & crafts, and vocabulary from around the world. During each session, the preschoolers colored parts of a large 3’x 5’ world map, which the library donated to their classroom. (Map pictured above.)

Alessia Zanin-Yost hosted her session March 1 and focused on Australian animals. Mary Lou Patrick presented books on art from the Netherlands and Italy at her session on March 12, and library director Bonnie Imler taught the preschoolers about South America with a bilingual book on March 29. Lori Lysiak wrapped up the series last week with books about China and Japan on April 5.

Patrick said, “The children were fascinated with the map, and they were very attentive while I read the books. I chose age-appropriate books about Leonardo da Vinci and Vincent van
Gogh, two of my favorite artists. I also taught them a few Italian words from the book about da Vinci, including bambina, bella, primavera, mamma mia, and addio. The children were practicing the Italian words on their way out of the session!”

Imler said, “I think the librarians enjoy this as much as the children. It allows us to bring out our ‘inner children’s librarian’ and get messy with glue, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes!”

mobile used for storytime, Altoona libs

Tech Tip: Update your preferred name in Workday before Office 365

By: Ryan Johnson

Office 365 will use your preferred name in WorkDay. Before we migrate into the new system this summer, you may want to verify your name.

Below are the steps to update or review your name in WorkDay:

 Change Preferred Name

  1. Log into Workday using your credentials. Upon logging in, you will land on your Homepage.
  2. From the employee’s homepage, click Personal Information worklet.
  3. Under the Change section, click on the Preferred Name button.
  4. Un-check the Use Legal Name As Preferred Name box.
  5. Change the First or Last Name as needed.
  6. Click on the Submit button.
  7. A confirmation displays.
  8. Click Done.

Note: It can take 5-10 business days for any changes to display in Office 365.

Discovery Day Testimonials

By: Carmen Gass

Testimonials from Discovery Day 2017.

“Last year, the Life Sciences Library presented a session on the little known collections of their library, including the Audobon prints, anatomical models and a tour of the Kneebone Mushroom Reference Library. We enjoyed introducing everyone to these collections and the lively conversations that ensued.”  – Amy Paster

Discovery Day 2017 mushroom growing kit

Mushroom growing kit on display in the Kneebone Mushroom Reference Library

“The Discovery Day book binding activity run by Jose Guerrero was a fascinating look in to the similarities across book binding, regardless of complexity. Spending the day with colleagues in an informal environment helps to foster and sustain connections across the libraries.” – Torrie Raish

Torrie Raish, Carmen Cole and Heather Froehlich – Bookbinding activity

Book binding with Jose Guerrero










More than Superheroes: Comics and Graphic Novels in the Libraries,  John Meier


“Every Discovery Day has been a unique experience for me, both as an attendee and a presenter. I have been on tours, learned yoga, storytelling, and many other memorable sessions.”

– John Meier






Solstice available in KC Group Study Rooms

By: Joe Fennewald

We removed pucks, cables and adapters from the group study rooms in the Knowledge Commons and have installed Solstice. By downloading the Solstice app, students can put on
the large room monitors what they see on their phone, iPad, or laptop. And, more than one can share at the same time. It will be a tremendous improvement to what we have had and increase the collaborative opportunities for our students.

Success at the Symposium: Information Literacy and Research Track at the 2018 Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium

By: Amanda Larson

This year marks the first time that University Library hosted a track at the Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium. Held on Mar. 17, at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center, the event welcomed over 500 Penn State faculty, staff, and students
to engage in a daylong conference about the intersections between data, technology, and education. This year’s Symposium featured keynote speaker Stephen Dubner who authored Freakonomics and hosts the Freakonomics Radio podcast, four concurrent conference
sessions, the Open Innovation Challenge, and a Discovery session with an ice cream social.

The Information Literacy and Research track offered both concurrent sessions and Discovery Table sessions as a part of their participation in the event. The concurrent sessions explored a new reference model that blends instruction, reference, and outreach by holding research parties presented by Christina Riehman-Murphy and Jennifer Hunter in “Research Parties: A Social, Interdisciplinary Reference Experience”; using BIRD by Muv technology in library instruction sessions to increase student participation in one shot instruction sessions  presented by Hailley Fargo, Deena Levy, and Victoria Raish in “Soaring with BIRD: Using Technology to Flip the Script on One-Shot Instruction”; enhancing student research skills by
offering them a librarian embedded in their course through the Embedded Librarian Program presented by Lisa Byrnes, Chris Cook, Emily Mross, Victoria Raish, Alexis Santos, Louise Sharrar, and Stephen Woods in “Leveling Up Student Research Skills Online Using the Library”; and how a combination of pedagogical strategies and technologies can leverage the digital humanities
as a way to increase digital fluency presented by Jamie Brenner, Reilly Ebbs, Kathy Salzer, and Dave Sandor in “1968: Promoting Digital Fluency through Student & Alumni Engagement.”

The Discovery session offered simultaneous presentations at individual tables where attendees had the opportunity to network with their colleagues and talk to presenters. Attendees learned
how to embed research resources into Canvas with Amanda Clossen; they also learned how they could use Google Chromebooks to enhance instruction with Erin Burns, Amy Deuink, Shannon Richie, and Beth Seyala; and they were introduced to a variety of web-based  geospatial applications available through the library with Tara LaLonde.

Each session in the Information Literacy and Research track were well attended with an overwhelming amount of positive feedback on the session evaluations collected throughout the day. Based on our experience this year at the Symposium, we are revved up to participate as partners again next year!


Customer Service Tip: Chill out! Customer service rage accomplishes nothing

By: Jeremy Watkin (submitted by Carmen Gass)

Classic road rage story. Driver A does something out on the road to wrong Driver B— whether it’s not allowing Driver B to merge, or cutting them off, or a myriad of other possible
inconveniences. Driver B then pulls up next to Driver A and uses a variety of expletives and gestures to shame Driver A. All the while, Drivers C through Z are standing by watching the scene unfold thinking how ridiculous and childish Driver B looks and probably feeling sorry for Driver A.

I witnessed such a scene recently and was reminded me of some of my calls with customers both as a customer service representative and a manager. You know those calls you get five minutes before your shift is over that end up making you (really) late for dinner? Read more here 


Happy 60th annual National Library Week

2018 National Library Week poster

This year’s theme is “Libraries Lead.” Today we are kicking off our social media campaign, created by PRaM interns Harrison Fetter and Colin Gallagher, with quotes from University Libraries peer research consultants as well as University leaders — students, faculty, and administrators.

We want to hear from you! Do you have a good story about how libraries have positively impacted your life, or have you or your colleague helped someone else understand the benefits of the University Libraries? Tell us in the comments below — or tweet/share it on social media and tag us @psulibs and we will retweet/re-share it!

Libraries Lead" national Library Week poster

Stand for State: Interrupting Bias and Discrimination, 4/5/18

By: Carmen Gass

What a great group of folks to complete the bystander intervention training on interrupting acts of bias and discrimination!

Penn State University Libraries (Heather Froehlich, Karen Hackett, Ally Laird) Penn State Fraternity and Sorority Life, Penn State College of Education, Penn State Alumni Association, Penn State Division of Undergraduate Studies - DUS, Penn State Office of Student Aid, Penn State World Campus, Penn State Career Services, Penn State College of Engineering

Penn State University Libraries (Heather Froehlich, Karen Hackett, Ally Laird) Penn State Fraternity and Sorority Life, Penn State College of Education, Penn State Alumni Association, Penn State Division of Undergraduate Studies – DUS, Penn State Office of Student Aid, Penn State World Campus, Penn State Career Services, Penn State College of Engineering

Strategic Plan Charge Update: General Education

By: Victoria Raish

The Libraries’ strategic plan reinforces our focus on programmatic and effective library instruction, which should be both intentional and able to be assessed. This programmatic and
thoughtful approach to instruction through the Libraries emphasizes the importance of strategically integrating information literacy into Penn State’s general education program.

In order to support this work, a strategic action team was charged with developing a “plan to integrate information literacy into the newly revised general education framework” (Teaching and Learning Goal 1, Objective 1). This aligns with the Penn State strategic priority of  transforming education. Our charge was not to develop a completely novel approach to general
education integration, as the library is already heavily involved with many general education courses providing students with a strong background in information literacy. Rather, our group was tasked with two tangible goals:

(1) to identify the courses in which we have integrated information literacy, to describe that
integration, and to describe characteristics of courses that would make them good candidates for library integration in the future; and (2) to create a set of programmatic learning outcomes
that define the scope of our integration into general education courses. The team was also charged with developing an assessment plan for both of these components. Members of the team responsible for accomplishing this strategic action item are Rebecca Miller, Erin Burns, Kristin Green, Stephanie Diaz, and Torrie Raish.

The team’s progress for the first charge includes sending out a survey to see which general education courses we were already partnering with, classifying those integrations, and researching the University’s course catalog to see which other courses could be would be good fits for library integration. This survey helped us identify over 100 unique gen-ed courses where we have already integrated information literacy on some level. This integration ranges from creating a course guide to offering one-shot instruction to embedding to offering information
literacy digital badges. The second part of the first charge involved identifying additional existing and forthcoming general education courses that would be a good fit for library  instruction. The team developed five categories of courses that may be appropriate for information literacy integration: research methods, workplace preparation, analysis of information, critical information consumption, and specialized information literacy connection.

The second charge involved compiling existing learning outcomes created by librarians at Penn State, curating them, and drafting new learning outcomes. We loosely followed an article titled “Be critical, but be flexible” by Andrea Falcone and Lyda McCartin in order to provide a framework for learning outcomes development. These were presented at the January COP conversation in which a Google Doc was shared. The goal of this Google Doc was to present
a draft of possible learning outcomes and seek feedback from colleagues as to how these learning outcomes meet our goals for general education integration. The general education team is now in the process of incorporating feedback and creating a set of more finalized learning outcomes.

Future communication on progress will take place May 9 at the Community of Practice and May 18 for the Instruction Steering Committee with a final report expected at the end of May. If you have any questions on progress and outcomes of the group, please email Rebecca Miller at


Onboarding Open Forum

By: Carmen Gass

Join us 10-11 a.m. Tuesday, April 17, in the Dean’s Conference Room, 510 Paterno Library, and via Zoom at, for the Onboarding Survey results and feedback/discussion, as announced and presented by the Libraries’ Onboarding Task Force at the April 3 Dean’s Forum.

(Forum recording available via Penn State login at

Penn State Sports Archives Appeal is Live

Honor the Past, Shape the Future postcard

By: Sarah Bacon

The Penn State Sports Archives in the Eberly Family Special Collections Library online  crowdfunding campaign has officially launched! Visit

You have the unique opportunity to help the Sports Archives expand its collection into new areas and preserve history in the Libraries by making a gift through Penn State’s crowdfunding platform, Let’s Grow State.

The Eberly Family Special Collections Sports Archives began a concentrated effort in 1988 to locate historical materials that would document the growth of athletics and achievements, with an emphasis on the University. Now, the Sports Archives is looking outward to expand collections into the following new territories:
• Olympic Sports, such as Gymnastics, Volleyball and Lacrosse
• Outdoor Recreational Activities, such as Fly Fishing, Hiking, and Spelunking
• Diversity in Sports/Indigenous Sports
• Sport Psychology
• Sports Medicine
• Ethical and Philosophical Issues

With your gift to the Penn State Sports Archives, you will allow us to enhance the scope of our teaching and research mission at the University Libraries. You will give our expert team of archivists the funding they need to continue to collect exemplary histories to help ensure our Sports Archives remains unrivaled in its scope.

Be one of our first supporters to make a gift! Visit

Thank you!
– University Libraries Development and Alumni Relations Department



Diversability/Disability Awareness Month

By: Dawn Amsberry

April is Diversability Awareness Month at Penn State. This month-long awareness campaign emphasizes the diverse talents and abilities of people with disabilities. The specific theme this
year is Autism Spectrum. In celebration of the theme, several campus-wide events are planned and listed on the Diversability web page. These events “promote an atmosphere where individuals are comfortable discussing and exploring questions about accessibility, equality, and inclusion for people with disabilities.”

The Libraries Accessibility Committee has compiled a list of suggested reading related to Autism Spectrum. The following titles can be found in the Libraries collections:

A History of Autism: Conversations With the Pioneers
Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Other ASDs
Autism, Adolescence, and Adult: Finding the Path to Independence
Best Boy: A Novel
Caring for Autism: Practical Advice from a Parent and Physician
Disability and U.S. Politics: Participation, Policy, and Controversy
Fall Down Seven Times Get up Eight: A Young Man’s Voice from the Silence of Autism
Ginny Moon Going to college with Autism: Tips and Strategies from Successful Voices
NeuroTribes: the Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People who Think Differently
Shining a Light on the Autism Spectrum: Experiences and Aspirations of Adults
The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum
Thinking in Pictures: And Other Reports from Life with Autism
To Siri with Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines
Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism

Tech Tip: How to know if a Website is Secure

By: Ryan Johnson

Tech Tip: security connection screen shot

There are two ways to simple ways to ensure you are on a secure website.

1.) Look at the web address in your browser; make sure the web address starts with https://

2.) Look for a closed padlock in your web browser. When you click on the padlock you should see a message that states the name of the company and that “The connection to the server is encrypted”

Important to Remember:

  • Do not log into a site if it is not secure as described above.
  • Do not log into a site if you feel it is a fake, call the company directly.
  • Log out of the site when you are finished.

A secure website creates an encrypted connection between your web browser and the site company web server. This encrypted connection prevents criminals on the internet from eavesdropping on your internet traffic with the purpose of stealing your information.

Note: Different web browsers have the padlock in different locations on the screen.


Events: April 9

Spring 2018
Academic calendar information for all campuses is available online.

"What Big Eyes You Have! Looking at the Wolf in Fairy Tales" exhibition, image from "The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault," illustration by Harry Clarke


Jan. 16–Aug. 26, “What Big Eyes You Have! Looking at the Wolf in Fairy Tales”exhibition, Eberly Family Special Collections Library Exhibition Room, 104 Paterno Library.



Depth of Field exhibit poster


Feb. 18-Aug. 13, “Depth of Field” exhibit, Diversity Studies Room, 203 Pattee Library, seeks to highlight the intersections of war in the Middle East with the history of war photograph



exhibit logo - 1968


Mar. 27-July 31, “1968: Student Activism at Penn State and Beyond” exhibit, Highlighting archival documents, photographs, and books from The Eberly Family Special Collections, this exhibit ties into a College of the Liberal Arts project titled Moments of Change: Remembering ‘68. Learn more about this project at Barbara Hackman Atrium, Pattee Library.


Wednesday, Apr. 11: Software in the Humanities and Social Sciences Workshop – OpenRefine, a free and open-source resource for cleaning, regularizing, and organizing complex data, with Jose Guerrero. Bring a bag lunch; noon-1 p.m. 403 Paterno Library and via Zoom at

Tuesday, Apr. 16: East to West, U.S.-China College Art Summit. Summit to bring scholars, artists, designers, business professionals, and policy-makers from China and from the U.S. together to share best practices in education program design, research, community development, and social impact. Panel discussions, 8:30 a.m. – 5:45 p.m. various locations in Pattee and Paterno Libraries.

Sunday, Apr. 22: International Write-In. Two sessions, 3:30-7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.-midnight. Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library. Interested writers can sign up today at:

Monday, Apr. 23: Working with International Students Workshop: Resources and Inclusive Strategies, 1-4 p.m., 221 Chambers Building, Krause Learning Space.

Please submit event information — and all Library News submissions — to Public Relations and Marketing via the Library News submission form. *Please note: The content submissions process may be changing soon; please stay tuned for updates.*

Annex request fulfillment rate hits an all-time high!

BY: Ann  Snowman

Last month the successful fill rate for 626 items searched reached a 100% fill rate averaged across three facilities.

One metric among many the Annex tracks is the rate of success in finding an item requested via the Onshelf Hold Items Report (I Want It). For a collection of its size and age a fill rate topping 85% is extraordinary. Furthermore, parts of the collection have moved multiple times compounding the opportunity for errors. In recent years, Annex staff have undertaken several
projects to steward the collection in a way that would increase the fulfillment rate. Barcoding projects, some reorganization of materials, and new standards set for reshelving and intake of
collections had an impact. As a result, the fill rate for the month of February reached 100%.

Success rates have been inching higher for some time. By way of comparison, for the period January-December 2017, the fill rate for 8,073 items searched was 99.576%, averaged across the three facilities. In January 2018, the fill rate for 645 items searched was 99.48% averaged across the three facilities.

As we phase into a new inventory system we anticipate our ability to locate requested items to improve even more so that those high success rates become standard.

Site Seeing Along the Digital Repository Road Map and Strategic Plan

By: Tim Auman

Like any other map, the Libraries’ Digital Repository Road Map can be muddled with the occasional detour or traffic jam. However, no matter the barricade, the overall mission remains the same: increase efficiency and communication by reducing the number of platforms and leveraging the Open Source community.

Initially introduced during a Tech Update in 2016, the Digital Repository Road Map established a route for several digital initiatives to follow through 2019. Using the Product Owner model, each initiative, or product, is led by an individual product owner who is responsible for coordinating the various stakeholders and resources necessary for the product’s success. A list of all Library Product Owners can be found at:

Two milestones passed in the past year were the launch of ScholarSphere 3.0 and the migration of The Pennsylvania Newspaper Archive from Olive to Open ONI. Using Samvera, Scholarsphere 3.0 now shares a common data model with other institutions and features revised interfaces for upload and discovery as well as improved metadata options. Now listed on the Databases A-Z, The Pennsylvania Newspaper Archive provides full-text searching to an ever-growing collection of more than 80 historical newspapers. The Archive uses the Open ONI platform, which the Library of Congress also uses for their Chronicling America collection.

One major project currently under construction is the Cultural Heritage Object (CHO Access) initiative that will replace CONTENTdm as the Libraries’ digital repository platform. CHO
Access will provide a better platform for both collection management and user access. Nathan Tallman gave a demonstration of the first Minimum Viable Product (MVP) on March 26th and all
library staff can keep up to date on the project’s progress at the Cultural Heritage Objects (CHO) intranet site.


Tech Tip: Overview of Office 365 apps classes in April

By: Ryan Johnson

Overview of Office 365 Apps Classes in April

screen shot of Office 365 Overview classes in April

Office 365 is not just email and calendar, it includes a suite of services that will available for all Penn State University Staff.  The session(s) below will provide an overview of some of these services you will have available to you as a part of Office 365.

Note: These session(s) will not review Outlook(Email and Calendar).  I-Tech will provide sessions on Email/Calendar at a later date.

Please read the description below and register with the links provided if you are interested in attending:

Overview of Office 365 Apps

Class Description:
Office 365 offers more than email and calendaring.  Included in the suite of products are tools to collaborate, create surveys, digital presentations and project and task management.  In this session, we will provide an overview of some of the new products in Office 365 that will be available to you.

Note: These session(s) will not review Outlook (Email and Calendar)


  • Review O365 including how to access apps
  • Identify key applications of O365 and their uses
  • Locate support and training resources for O365 Apps

If you have any questions about the session, please email or call 814-867-4095.

If watching the session over Zoom, please visit the following URL at the starting time indicated to participate:

The Pennsylvania State University encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Ryan Johnson ( or 814-867-4095) in advance of your participation or visit.

Customer Service Tip: Four ways to determine what your customer really needs

By: Emily Triplett Lentz (submitted by Carmen Gass)

Your customer—let’s call her Francine—adores your product, but she wishes it had one extra feature—we’ll call it Feature X—that would make her life easier and save her boatloads of time.

You don’t have Feature X. You’re not planning on building Feature X. Come to think of it, Francine is the only person who’s ever asked for Feature X. “What a weird idea, Francine,” you say to yourself. “Why would you want to do something like that?”

While you could tell Francine no and move on to the next conversation, more often than not you can help solve Francine’s problem in a way that works just as well (if not better) than
what she originally had in mind. It just takes a little effort to ask the right questions, figure out what her need really is, and convince her to implement the solution you suggest.

Here are four ideas to get you started.