Daily Archives: May 7, 2018

Making the most of electronic resource databases: a multi-disciplinary approach

Submitted by: Tara LaLonde

In a world of limited library collections funds (with decreasing purchasing power as subscription prices increase), it is essential to get the most out of the resources to which we already subscribe. The University Libraries is fortunate to subscribe to a wealth of electronic databases (Database A-Z), many of which are tailored to one or a few departments or academic disciplines. Electronic databases assemble a wealth of information that is likely relevant to many more disciplines than just the ones to which they are marketed.

The Donald W. Hamer Center for Maps and Geospatial Information does not manage any serials collections funds. That said, we often consult and find useful information in subscription electronic resources when responding to patron questions. We often consult the same five or six databases, but this got us thinking, “What geographic information exists in other databases? From this question was born a semester-long student project to explore the electronic database list in search of useful geographic information. The result of the project was a comprehensive inventory of geographic information in the electronic databases to which the University Libraries currently subscribes and some informational material that highlights a few of these resources.

The project exposed the students to library resources with which they were unfamiliar. This is an  opportunity for them to take a closer look at some of the electronic resources with maps and geospatial content related to topics of interest and/or that was relevant to their majors.

For more information on the process of reviewing content within the electronic resource databases, check out our project page on the Maps and Geospatial Electronic Resources Inventory. For a listing of the electronic resources with map and geospatial content identified, see this table that includes the name of the electronic resource and brief description of maps and geospatial content. See sample images of maps and geospatial content from various electronic resource databases in this powerpoint, which includes the following six categories:

1) news and current events
2) history
3) economic and business
4) US politics and demographics
5) world politics and demographics
6) miscellaneous
Additional information on a few databases with map and geospatial content from the  Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) , Passport (Euromonitor), and Race Relations in America are included.


“Celebrate Penn State!” with a special sale on PSU Press books!

submitted by: Cate Fricke

"Reading Shaver's Creek" book cover .  "Evan Pugh's Penn State" Book cover . "The Nittany Lion" book cover .  "We Are a Strong, Articulate Voice" book cover

Penn State University Press is offering 40% off select titles about the Penn State community through May 11th. The online sale includes new titles such as Reading Shaver’s Creek, a collection of literary reflections about the area surrounding Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, edited by Penn State Altoona professor Ian Marshall, and Evan Pugh’s Penn State by former Alumni Association Executive Director Roger L. Williams, as well as backlist favorites The Nittany Lion: An Illustrated Tale by Jackie R. Esposito and Steven L. Herb and We Are a Strong, Articulate Voice: A History of Women at Penn State by Carol Sonenklar.

Browse all titles included in the sale here: www.psupress.org/PSUBooks2018.html

Discovery Day Testimonial

Submitted by: Carmen Gass

Discovery Day 2017

“There is a lot to discover on Discovery Day! Last year, I discovered many people were interested in making stab-bound books. (You might say the Mann Room was really booked that

“At Discovery Day 2017, I attended a session on Internet privacy, web archiving, and even taught my own session on basic bookbinding techniques in between. I laughed (at how little I knew about security on the net), I learned (about great ideas people have for documenting current events through social media archiving), I cried (tears of joy at how many people were eager
to create their own stab-bindings).”

Jose Guerrero, Diversity Resident Librarian

Tech Tip: Create a form in Microsoft Forms

Submitted By: Ryan Johnson

One of the new exciting tools in Office 365 is Microsoft Forms.  With Microsoft Forms, you can easily create surveys, quizzes and polls.  To create a form, following the instructions below:

screen shot for tech tip

Create a form

  1. Under My Forms, select New Form or New Quiz.
  2. Enter a name for your form. You can also enter an optional subtitle for it.
  3. Select Add Question to add a new question to a form or quiz. You can choose to add ChoiceTextRating, or Date questions.
    • For choice questions, enter the text you want to display for the question and each of the choices.
  4. Select Preview at the top of the design window to see how your form will look on a computer or mobile device.


Customer Service Tip: We’re the Front Desk, Not the Shipping Department

Submitted by: Carmen Gass

The short version of my story is this: At a recent conference, the client gave their speakers a gift – a backpack filled with swag that included fancy water bottles, fleece pull-overs and more. This wonderful gift was a little large to fit in my suitcase, so I decided to box it up and mail it to my office. As I was heading to the FedEx office, one of my fellow speaker-buddies told me he took his to the front desk of the hotel where they conveniently accommodated his request to ship
the gift to his home. I decided to do the same, but my experience was the antithesis of his.

Just like my buddy, I took my gift to the front desk. When I asked about having it shipped to my office, the gentleman behind the counter said, “We’re the front desk, not the shipping  department.”

At first, I thought he was joking, but when it was obvious that he wasn’t, I was shocked by his answer. Read more here 

Events: May 7

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 1968.psu.edu. Barbara Hackman Atrium, Pattee Library.



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.*