Daily Archives: June 18, 2018

Identifying Pennsylvania historic base map and geospatial resources

By: Tara LaLonde

Base map layers are common reference geographic information portrayed in many print and digital mapping projects (e.g. elevation, transportation networks, political boundaries, populated places etc.). Patrons often come (in person and virtually) to the Donald W. Hamer Center for Maps and Geospatial Information looking for base map information for current and historical time-periods. Library staff now have a new resource for recommending good base map layers for the state over the past 200 years – the Pennsylvania historic base map layers table.

The PSU historic base map project was conceived as an effort to explore the library’s physical and electronic collections of geographic information. The project was inspired by the Pennsylvania Geospatial Coordinating Board’s effort to implement authoritative modern base map layers for Pennsylvania. The coordinating board identified specific “themes” for categorizing map layers, such as transportation and hydrography. Similar thematic divisions to categorize base maps in the Pennsylvania historic base map layers.

Thematic categories are:

  • Geographic Names
  • Landmarks
  • Transportation
  • Hydrography
  • Municipal Boundaries
  • Land Ownership
  • Elevation
  • Land Use & Land Cover
  • Remote sensing

Maps included in the table were judged by staff to be the best available examples of their category for a 10-year period (for maps published between 1900 and the present) or for a 50-year period (for maps published between 1800 and 1899). The results of the project identify both existing library holdings of historic base map information as well as serving as a guide for future collection development of missing historic base map information for Pennsylvania.

For more information on the process of reviewing content for inclusion in this project, check out our project page.


HUB Gallery A→CHROMATIC: Drawings and Paintings, 2013–2018 by J. Harlan Ritchey

By: Carmen Gass

On display May 29 – July 28, 2018, in the HUB Gallery

A→CHROMATIC represents a comprehensive overview of painter J. Harlan Ritchey’s artistic development and coincides with the 5-year anniversary of his introduction to the gallery world.

The subject matter of A→CHROMATIC can be divided into four broad genres: landscape, still life, floral, and abstract. Within each of these genres Ritchey works to explore specific themes and emphasize the elements that he considers to be most conducive to those themes. In the landscape genre, those themes are a connection to perspective and place while the floral genre
explores a connection to rhythm and color; the still life genre emphasizes a connection to composition and form, and the abstract genre’s theme focuses on a connection to pattern and theory. Each image carries a range of art-historical, cultural, and biographical influences but invites the viewer to arrive at their own aesthetic or critical judgements.

J. Harlan Ritchey is an Information Resources and Services Support Specialist in the Engineering Library. He received his BA in Filmmaking from Penn State in 1999, with Honors in Visual Arts. He is a self-taught artist and has for the past several years done fine art and illustration commissions for a range of local and national clients. Ritchey’s first public exhibition was in 2013, and in 2015 he began teaching art classes. He currently lives and works in State College, PA.


Research coffee at the Special Collections Library

By: Rachael Dreyer

Are you working on a research project using archives or Special Collections materials? Are you thinking about using archives or Special Collections in your research? Yes? Excellent! Join us for
our next Research Coffee Hour on June 27 from 10am to 11am in the Mann Assembly Room (Room 103), on the first floor of the Paterno Library.

We’ll get things rolling with a brief lightning talk that will give you tips and tricks for expanding your search for material that is relevant to your research topics. You’ll learn how to read a finding aid for helpful research clues, and how to continue your research beyond Penn State’s Special Collections Library.

Continue the discussion as you share your research challenges and gain ideas from others and learn more about the collections and research assistance available in the Special Collections Library. Participants will also have the option to engage in research consultations with members of the Research Services Team; if you would like to take advantage of brief research consultations immediately following the event, please register here: https://tinyurl.com/y9dh7q74.

This event is open to all Penn State students, faculty, staff, and community members. We look forward to seeing you there!

New Garmin GPSMap 64st GPS Units available for circulation

By: Tara LaLonde

Two new Garmin GPSMap 64st units are now available to check out from the Donald W. Hamer Center for Maps and Geospatial Information. These GPS units have some enhanced features compared to the old GPS units. The three older Garmin Oregon 450 GPS units will remain available for circulation. Each GPS unit is available to borrow for 7 days.

Garmin GPS map equipment

Garmin GPSMap 64st unit, holder, computer cable, and manual. (Photo by Heather Ross)

Additional information on these Garmin GPSMap 64st GPS units are on the Donald W. Hamer Center for Maps and Geospatial Information Libguide on Global Positioning Systems (GPS) guide.

A highlight of some enhanced features of these GPSMap St units include preloaded TOPO U.S. 100K maps and a 1-year BirdsEye satellite imagery subscription. The BirdsEye satellite imagery is accessed through the Garmin BaseCamp software, which is available on public computers within the Center for Maps and Geospatial Information. Another enhanced feature of the new units is that they can access GLONASS (Russia’s counterpart to the United States’ GPS system), which significantly improves their performance relative to older units.

Garmin GPS map equipment

Garmin GPSMap 64st unit with imagery and track. (Photo by Tara LaLonde) 

Xternal Libraries and Training Bulletin #45

BY: Ann Snowman

When browsing the CAT we sometimes run across an item with a non-library location, for example, “Leave the light on : a memoir of recovery and self-discovery” by Jennifer Storm, located in Boucke. These items are held by Associate or Affiliate Libraries at University Park. These highly focused collections are not University Libraries’ collections per se, but are
maintained by the various University departments and organizations that house them. University Libraries catalogs them and includes them in our catalog to make them discoverable.

Training Bulletin #45 provides an explanation of these materials and how to gain access to them. The term XTernal comes from a note field in the Workflows record that describes the item as something other than a University Libraries holding.

Link to Access Services Training Bulletins:

Tech Tip: New applications to be installed on University Libraries machines this week

By: Ryan Johnson

TeamViewer and IBM BigFix Self-Service Application will be installed and running soon all University PC machines.

Note: At this time, BigFix Self Service Application will not be available on Macs.

TeamViewer is remote access software that allows I-Tech to remotely connect to your computer to provide support when you need assistance, regardless of where you are, as long as you have an Internet connection. The TeamViewer Host client is a very small application that runs in the background on your computer that connects it back to our management console so a remote connection can be established when needed.

teamviewer screen shot

For more information on TeamViewer, please review the TeamViewer Staff Site page.

IBM BigFix Self-Service Application is a program that works in conjunction with the IBM BigFix system management console (which is used to manage library workstation) that allows users to one-click install available software applications. The software applications are offered ahead of time to select computers or groups of computers.

screen shot for tech tip

For more information on BigFix, please review the following staff site page.

Customer Service Tip: All customers are created equal – Just some are more equal than others

By: Shep Hyken (submitted by Carmen Gass)

In 1945 George Orwell published the literary classic, Animal Farm, which was required reading in my middle-school English class. I always remembered the line: All animals are created equal, just some animals are more equal than others. Someone recently referenced the book and this famous line, and it made me think about how customers are treated. Read more here.

Events: June 18

Summer 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 ClarkeJan. 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.


Wednesday, June 20: American Red Cross Blood Drive. faculty and staff can help save a life this summer by donating blood. 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in Mann Assembly Room, Paterno Library.
Friday, July 6: An Evening of Literary Readings. In collaboration with Webster’s Bookstore and Café, the Woskob Family Gallery will host an evening of literary readings and refreshments. Nicole Miyashiro will present two new ekphrastic poems based on Diane Samuel’s piece, “Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas/Testimony Against Gertrude Stein,” on view in the exhibition. 7 p.m. at Websters Bookstore and Cafe, 133 E. Beaver Ave., State College.

Thursday, July 12: 2018 Lee Bennett Hopkins Award event. Join winner Nikki Grimes, who will receive her award and read from her award-winning book, One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance. 2:30-3:30 p.m., Downsbrough Community Room at Schlow Centre Region Library, 211 S. Allen Street, State College.

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.*