Daily Archives: October 14, 2019

Penn State University Press announces new Acquisitions Editor for Eisenbrauns imprint

By: Cate Fricke

Penn State University Press is pleased to announce that Jennifer Singletary will join the Press as the new acquiring editor for the Press’s Eisenbrauns imprint. She will succeed Jim Eisenbraun, who has remained with the imprint during its transition to Penn State University Press. Singletary brings to the position a wealth of experience in the fields of ancient Near Eastern and biblical studies. She holds a PhD from Brown University in Religious Studies, with a focus on ancient Near Eastern religions and Hebrew Bible. Most recently, she served as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Göttingen in Germany. She is the author of a forthcoming monograph, Objects of Their Trust: Manufactured Objects, Divine Qualities, and Attributes as Deities in the Ancient Near East, and coeditor of the forthcoming collection “As It Is Written”? Uses of Sources in Ancient Mediterranean Texts. She is also a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, American Schools of Oriental Research, the American Oriental Society, the International Association for Assyriology, and the Old Testament Studies: Epistemologies and Methods network.

“I look forward to working with the dynamic and dedicated team at Penn State University Press to continue to build and shape the high-quality catalog for which Eisenbrauns has been recognized since 1975, bringing innovative and important new books to the list, and upholding the imprint’s tradition of scholarly excellence,” said Singletary.

Established in 1975 by Jim and Merna Eisenbraun primarily as a means for students to purchase affordable books in ancient Near Eastern studies, Eisenbrauns grew over the years to include a publishing program, a pre-press house, and a book distribution and sales service. In 2017, Eisenbrauns secured the future of its highly regarded publications in ancient Near Eastern studies, biblical studies, biblical archaeology, Assyriology, linguistics, and related fields by becoming an imprint of Penn State University Press, where the books and journals have complemented PSU Press’s lists in religious studies and Jewish studies.

Publisher Jim Eisenbraun will retire in October. “Jim has been a publishing force in the field for decades now, leaving not only a strong legacy but also very large shoes to fill,” said Assistant Director and Editor-in-Chief Kendra Boileau. “Jennifer Singletary’s impressive scholarly credentials and true commitment to providing top-notch service to Eisenbrauns authors will offer exciting new publishing leadership for the field.”

Jennifer Singletary will join the Press in her new role on Nov. 1.

For more information, contact PSU Press Associate Marketing Director Cate Fricke at crf16@psu.edu or 814.865.1329, or visit https://www.eisenbrauns.org/



Development’s Wish List for Students re-Launch

By: Alex Boyda

Libraries' Development Wishlist graphic

This fall, the development team is thrilled to announce the re-launch of our refreshed Wish List for students. The University Libraries team came together and submitted their department’s specific and most critical needs. The Wish List includes your requests for resources, events, new technology, internships, and even the preservation of rare historical literature. They range in price from $200 to $14,000.

Thank you to everyone who submitted their students’ wishes: Alexandria Chisholm, Amy Paster, Brandy Karl, Carmen Gass, Christina Wissinger, Elise Gowen, Jamilyn Houser, Janet Hughes,
Jason Reuscher, Jean Voigt, Jennie Knies, Linda Musser, Megan Gilpin, Sandy White, Sue Kellerman, Torrie Raish

The more we all share the Wish List and collaborate, the more student wishes will be granted. How can you help? Share our Let’s Grow State page: c-fund.us/LibrariesWishList, with colleagues, friends, post on your Campus Library’s pages, and share all across social media. Please use hashtag: #PSUlibsWishList

As wishes are granted and funded, new items will rotate onto the list, so please check back frequently and keep submitting your requests via Qualtrics. Thank you!

Tech Tip: What is phishing and how to report it?

By: Ryan Johnson

phishing graphic

Phishing is the act of attempting to deceive a user into divulging personal or confidential information such as login credentials, credit card information, etc., to gain access to resources that enable them to steal your identity.

Phishing scams usually come in the form of email messages and false websites. Cyber criminals use social engineering to learn about their targets and then use that information to try and gather your personal information.

Things to look for to identify that you may be targeted include:

  • Spelling and bad grammar: Phishing emails are commonly plagued with spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Links in emails: Links in emails may appear as though they are taking you to a legitimate website however they can be disguised. Hover over (DO NOT CLICK)  links and see if you are being re-routed to some other page.
  • Threats: Some emails contain threats to include legal action, time sensitive materials, etc. These are designed to convince you to make a hasty decision and click a malicious link or open an unsafe attachment.
  • Spoofing a legitimate website or company: Some emails will appear to come from a legitimate company. However that is far from the case. Again, attackers will try to make everything appear to be legitimate but things such as suspicious URL’s (pages with names not associated with the website or company), or outdated information can be tell-tale signs something is not right.

If you believe you have been sent a phishing scam, forward the original phish as an attachment in a new message addressed to phishing@psu.edu.

For more information on how to report a Phish or view recently reported phishes, please visit here.

Arrivals and Departures

By: Robert Harris

In September we welcomed the following new full-time employees to the Libraries:
Katie Odhner – Reference Librarian, Abington
Emily Goodrich – Research Services Archivist, Special Collections
Laurin Davis – Information Resources and Services Specialist
Architecture and Landscape Architecture

We said good-bye to:
Natalie Kulick – Scranton campus

Events: October 14

Fall 2019
Academic calendar information for all campuses is available online.

Roots/Routes: Contested Histories, Contemporary Experiences exhibition graphic

Sept. 16 – Mar. 15, 2020, Exhibit: “Indigenous Roots/ Routes: Contested Histories, Contemporary Experiences.” Special Collections Exhibition Space, 104 Paterno Library. Reflections on the past five centuries of colonization and cultural exchange between Indigenous Peoples. Europeans, Africans, and later, Americans.


Ongoing The Future is Now, exhibit graphicExhibit: “The Future is Now.” Diversity Studies Room, 203 Pattee Library. Highlights from current and forthcoming equipment and assistance available to support students’ academic success from the Libraries’ Media and Technology Support Services and Adaptive Technology and Services departments.

Thursday, Sept. 12-Thursday, Nov. 21, Fall Scholarly Communications Workshops. Featuring in-person workshops at Penn State Behrend, Penn State Scranton, and Penn State Harrisburg, as well as a full roster of Zoom workshops, including our popular trainings on complying with public access policies from federal agencies. Specialized workshops for thesis and dissertation writers, instructional designers, and scholarly authors are included.
Monday, Sept. 30-Friday, Nov. 1, Libraries Short Edition fall writing contest: “Brunchin’ Around.” Submissions are being accepted for the  Short Stories’ fourth writing contest , open to all Penn State students, faculty and staff on the theme “Brunchin’ Around.” Winners will have their short stories or poetry displayed on all Penn State Short Edition story dispensers and win $100.
Wednesday. Oct. 16, Lynd Ward Prize for Graphic Novel of the Year. Nora Krug, 2019 winner of the Lynd Ward Prize for “Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home,” will receive the award during a ceremony and author talk, which is free and open to the public. 7-8 p.m. in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park.
Monday, Oct. 28, Data Visualization Session: Introduction to Data Visualization. Services from multiple areas of Research Informatics and Publishing, including statistical, geospatial, scientific and software data visualizations. 1-2 p.m. in 315 Pattee Library, University Park.
Thursday, Oct. 31, Dungeons & Dragons/Halloween Secrets in the Archives. Visit the Special Collections Library at 4-5 p.m. for a Dungeons & Dragons Character building workshop for new players, then join a quest to discover the halloween secrets within the archives from 5-7 p.m.—including your chance to examine the Aliester Crowley papers.
Wednesday, Nov. 6. Docunight: Iran Via Documentaries.On the first Wednesday of every month, Docunight features a documentary film about, around, or in Iran, or made Iranians. All events are open to everyone, and all films have English subtitles. Co-sponsored by the Iranian Student Association and the University Libraries. 7 p.m. in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park.
Tuesday, Nov. 12, Penn State GIS Day. Open to faculty, staff, students, and the public, an event to bring together those who work with GIS, geospatial technologies, remote sensing, maps and location-based research across disciplines. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in various locations throughout Pattee and Paterno Libraries on the University Park campus. Visit Penn State GIS Day for information and schedule of events.
Saturday, Dec. 21, Commencement

Please submit event information — and all Library News submissions — to Public Relations and Marketing via its Staff Site request form and selecting the “Library News blog article” button.

Getting to Know You: John Shank

By: Gale Biddle

John Shank. Head Librarian by day, unpaid Uber driver for his kids by night. How awesome would that be as a business card! As the Head Librarian at Penn State Berks and the incredibly busy father of six – yes, you read that correctly- six kids, John certainly has his hands full. But he handles it all with a great sense of humor and gratitude.

John Shank Headshot

John was born in Los Angeles, California. His family moved to Indiana before he turned one. By his pre-teens, he was living in New Jersey, and by the time he was a teenager, he was living in
Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. He majored in Political Science at Earlham College, but he realized that he had no idea what he wanted to do since didn’t want to teach Political Science or be a politician. As fate would have it, he stumbled across a job opening at the Montgomery County Community Library. From there, his career path would be paved.

John worked at both Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges before settling in at Penn State Berks in July 2001. He began as the Instructional Design Librarian, which was a first-of-its-kind at Penn State. In that position, he worked as the liaison between teaching and learning groups, IT, and the Library in order to help faculty adopt appropriate educational technology into their curriculum. In 2014, he became the Head Librarian. He continues to teach and do research, especially in the area of instructional technology.

As you can imagine, John is going non-stop with his 6 children- Katie, 15, Sam, 13, Daniel, 11, Sarah, 9, and twins Rebecca and Rachel, 7. Along with his wife, Jennifer, he finds ways to enable his kids to do what they want to do. Between shuttling kids from one practice to another, he finds time to coach soccer and play tennis. In fact, all his children play tennis, too.  Unfortunately, all of this leaves little time for a pet, despite his children’s pleas for one. Jokingly, though, he says that he and his wife will get one as soon as the kids leave the house so that they can complain about how they never got to have a pet growing up!

When it comes to Penn State, John is thankful for how conscience people are about doing their job. He sees how people across the board in the Libraries approach their job with a sense of value to what they do and provide. He appreciates the diversity and opportunities that the University offers. But, like so many have said before, the best part of Penn State is just the
people. He said, “I love the people I work with. I haven’t worked with a better group.” I’m sure they would say the same about him.

Well, I’m going to go take a nap. After hearing John explain his after-work routine, I’m exhausted just thinking about it!

Ten Random Questions with John Shank

1. Favorite Movie? The Mission
2. Best gift you’ve ever given? Time together with family
3. First thing you do if you won the lottery? Figure out how to do the most good with it
4. If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be? Pachelbel’s Canon in in D Major
5. Talent you wished you had? Be able to play the piano and speak all languages fluently
6. Top 3 people, past or present, you would like to have dinner with? Any great, great, great grandparent to see where I came from: all the major religious figures (Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, etc.): George Washington
7. Caramel—pronounce it like care-a-mel or car-mel? Care-a-mel, but I don’t like caramel
8. Dream job (obviously aside from the Library)? Auto reviewer for Consumer Reports
9. Favorite cartoon or cartoon character? The Far Side
10. Most embarrassing moment you’re willing to admit to? Didn’t see a wet spot on the floor of the cafeteria in college. Did a complete wipeout with food and feet flying up in the air

Libraries at the Great Insect Fair!

By: Janet Hughes

For the first time  ever, the University Libraries was asked to participate in the Great Insect Fair, held on Saturday Sept. 26 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in Snider Ag Arena.

Great Insect Fair, Libraries booth

The Great Insect Fair is an annual event hosted by the Department of Entomology in the Snider Ag Arena (https://ento.psu.edu/public/kids/great-insect-fair). It celebrates insects with lots of activities, games, crafts, tasty treats, learning opportunities, displays, and other fun stuff. This year, the Life Science Library was asked to participate by staffing a booth. We set up a trifold displaying book covers from our collections. We had coloring pages and crayons, Libraries swag (mini-Sharpies, sticky notes, and pencils), and games for visitors to play. The game “Match-A-Bug”, from the Education Library, was especially well received, with lines of kids waiting to play.

There were very few quiet moments throughout the day (estimated 4000-5000 visitors). It was a great opportunity to let folks know that, not only do we have a wonderful collection of books for all ages, we also have teaching materials, games and other cool stuff.

Great Insect Fair, booth closeup