Author Archives: Jennifer Ann Cifelli

Customer Service Tip: 7 Things you have to get right with your telephone customer experience

Bye: Myra Golden (submitted by Carmen Gass)

This is the 7-point call strategy I use when my work is to improve the telephone customer experience in a call center.

The lead-in, step 1, gets calls started on a positive note. Steps 2-6 are how to handle the body of the call in a friendly and warm way. The final step, end with a fond farewell, ensures you end
calls positively. Read more here.

Development Impact Stories – Inspiration through generosity

By: Sarah Bacon

Did you know that the development office posts impact stories on the Libraries website? Each one highlights how philanthropy helps provide more resources, services, or opportunities for students and the Libraries team to do even cooler things. In the latest post, INSPIRATION THROUGH GENEROSITY, Erica Fleming shares how the Code for Her workshop was critical to her learning code and bolstered her e-portfolio. Read the full  impact story here to learn how the Sally W. Kalin Early Career Librarianship for Learning Innovations endowment provided funding for Carmen Cole (founder of Code for Her) to create and launch this highly successful program.

“Code for Her was so fun! The learning environment was relaxed and supportive, and our instructors, Joss and Katie, made it super easy to ask questions. Even though people were at different levels, we helped each other. I liked that the workshop was project-based; we got to create something WE wanted to make and were interested in. Working towards a final product made it easier to learn.” – Erica Fleming, spring 2019 Code for Her participant

Abington Library celebrates International Education Week with international poetry

By: Binh Le

International Education Week (IEW) is a joint program of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Education designed to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange. Specifically, IEW aims to “prepare Americans for global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences.”

Penn State Abington held a number of events to celebrate International Education Week, between Nov. 18-22, 2019. One of the liveliest and moving events was the International Poetry Reading program. It was a collaborative effort of Penn State Abington’s Office of Global Programs and Abington College Library. Over the past few years, Penn State Abington Library has held a number of international poetry reading events. What made this recent poetry reading event unique is that Abington’s international students and faculty selected and read the poems that they love or are well-known in their countries. The poems were read in Chinese, English, Hindi, Korean, German, Russian, and Spanish. Topics covered included India’s struggle for independence (Durgam Giri), Haiti’s cultural traditions (Mama), one’s love for one’s country (Venezuela), personal stories (A Letter to Zerana), and, ultimately, love (Kiss Me, Kiss!).

Gerardo Erik Suarez, from Venezuela, selected and read (in Spanish) a poem titled “Venezuela” by Luis Silva. The poem begins with the following lines:
Llevo tu luz y tu aroma en mi piel (I carry your light and your scent on my skin)
Y el cuatrolen el corazón (And the cuatro in my heart)
Llevo en mi sangre la espuma del mar (I carry in my blood the sea foam)
Y tu horizonete en mis ojos (And your horizon in my eyes)

Y si un día tengo que naufragar (And if one day I have to shipwreck)
Y el tifón rompe mis velas (And the typhoon breaks my sails)
Enterrad mi cuerpo cuerca del mar (Bury my body close to the sea)
En Venezuela (In Venezuela).

According to Suarez, this poem is as popular as Venezuela’s national anthem.

Zhijie Yang, from China, read three poems in three different languages: one in Chinese, another in German, and still another in Russian! Originally, the organizers of the event intended to provide international students and faculty an opportunity to share their countries’ poetic traditions. But as it turned out, the event became a showcase of their own poetic talents. They read their own poems!

Valara Cheristin, from Haiti, read two poems she composed titled “Mama” and “Mercy.” According to Cheristin, she wrote the poem ‘Mercy’ to describe the masked cruelty that exists in the world today. Specifically, the poem attempts to point out Haiti’s rich cultural traditions. In so
doing, she hopes to change the ways how Haiti has been portrayed, as she termed it “the only bad side of Haiti,” in the popular mass media. She said “Every county has its problems. However, we definitely should not only focus on them [the problems].”

Denell Lewis, another student, authored the poem “You Fool You.” The poem starts:
Usually when I sat in darkness, I could still see.
But in that instant, there truly was no light.
My eyes were so weak.
They had no choice but to surrender to the weight of my tears.

“I would be nothing without you.”
You would never say so, but your actions deem this.
I have been banished.
You must be so powerful to have put me outside of myself.
I have been jogging in circles next to my soul.
Stuck in a feeing of emptiness and “un-wholed.”

Lewis wrote “You Fool You” for a class assignment. However, according to the poet “it turned out being an outlet to express things I was dealing with in my personal life.” And that “I would like to share this with PSU students because I think it might resonate. Whether they are dealing with a situation themselves or know someone else who feels helpless. I’d like to say that it always gets better.”

Focus on Assessment: spring 2020 update

By: Steve Borrelli

Before the term gets too far underway, I want to share some of the work Assessment Department Work completed in fall, and share some of what we have planned for spring.

First, spring Data Gathering Week will begin Monday, March 23, and run through Sunday March 29. Leigh Tinik has a couple of reminders planned, so keep an eye out for those. In the fall, we received data from all 25 participating library locations. Results from that collection period are available on the staff website.

Fall re-cap:

This fall, Library Assessment began piloting the provision of institutional data to library researchers. This is in response to OPAIR’s (Office of Planning, Assessment, and Institutional Research) refocus and pulling back on providing similar services. To date, Assessment has successfully supported two projects. Leigh Tinik is leading this effort and will similarly support the upcoming Ithaka Survey of Undergraduates, by developing the sample and de-identifying results before sharing with the research team. Assessment is working with the Office of Privacy & Information Security to develop good practices in support of this work, and will be meeting with Records management to further develop internal practices. We want to be good stewards of student and university data and are putting considerable effort to shoring up our practices so that we can provide and advise on data practices with confidence.

In the fall, Assessment completed two space related projects I’d like to highlight. The first, an investigation of the impact of the Collaboration Commons, was presented at the recent Dean’s Forum. The study highlights elements of the design that positively impact students and their work. The study was led by Lana Munip, and included Laura Spess from Lending Services. Laura was a full research team member working with Assessment as part of a job enrichment. The second study analyzed results of the Ithaka Survey of Undergraduates and Graduate & Professional Students to consider if the data supports dedicating space in Pattee and Paterno Libraries for graduate students. The study included an analysis of over 30 common space-related questions. The evidence showed that non-STEM graduate students reported similar levels of library facilities use as undergraduates, and that overall, UP graduate respondents were as or more satisfied than undergraduates. This, coupled with the finding that over 80% of UP graduate students reported having a place on campus to work on their research and papers, suggested that there was little evidence to support dedicating limited space exclusively to graduate students. The team for this study included Susan Lane (Cataloging Dept.) as a job enrichment and Steve Borrelli, assisted by Lana Munip. Reports from both projects are available in the Assessment Archive.

Spring projects:

In spring, external reporting gets into full swing, with ARL data due in January, and ACRL & IPEDS in February. Assessment plans to administer the Ithaka Survey of Undergraduates in March. Also beginning in March the Assessment Department plans to conduct an assessment of the impact of open-office environments on the LLS & Re-Pub units. We also hope to recruit a new department member.

Tech Tip: Automatic translation of messages in Outlook

By: Ryan Johnson

tech tip screen shot

Outlook can automatically translate messages you receive in another language.  Turn on this feature in Message handling settings or when you receive a translation suggestion.

To enable this feature by default, access your mailbox Settings using the Gear button and then click on the View all Outlook settings link available at the bottom.

Then access the General\Message handling section and locate the Translation section; you can then disable the translation service or define a list of language for which the message will not be translated

Then when you will received an email in a different language, depending of these settings you will be asked to translate it or it will not be translated.

Events: January 20

Spring 2020
Academic calendar information for all campuses is available online.

Roots/Routes: Contested Histories, Contemporary Experiences exhibition graphic

Through 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.

Monday, Jan. 20, Martin Luther King Day. Commemorative events include screenings of the documentary film “Freedom Summer” (2009), at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Foster auditorium, 102 Paterno Library. Beginning at 1:30 p.m. in Pattee Library’s Franklin Atrium, visitors can enjoy the sounds of Essence of Joy, the renowned student choral ensemble. The group will perform sacred and secular music that is rooted in African and African American traditions.
Tuesdays, Feb. 4-Mar. 31, Code for Her – Faculty and Staff workshop. Join other dedicated female and gender-diverse participants in this 9-week beginner coding workshop. Become familiar with HTML, CSS and JavaScript with no prior coding experience necessary! Limited seats are available, apply by Jan. 26 at sites.psu.edu/codeforher.
Thursdays, Feb. 6-Apr. 2, Code for Her – Student workshop. Join other dedicated female and gender-diverse participants in this 9-week beginner coding workshop. Become familiar with HTML, CSS and JavaScript with no prior coding experience necessary! Limited seats are available, apply by Jan. 26 at sites.psu.edu/codeforher.
Friday, Feb. 14, Douglass Day Transcribe-a-thon.  Presented by the Colored Conventions Project, celebrate Frederick Douglass’ “birthday” and help preserve Black history during a day-long transcribe-a-thon with the papers of Anna Julia Cooper. Visit douglassday.org for more information. Noon-3 p.m. in Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park. Additional events take place at Fayette, Scranton, and Brandywine campuses.
Wednesday, March 18, Voices 2020: The Share Your Story Showcase at Penn State.  Attendees sign up for 45-minute individual storytelling sessions where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and answered. A Showcase event is scheduled in Foster Auditorium. Sponsored by the University Libraries in cooperation with Adult Lerner Programs and Services, Schreyer Honors College, the Gender Equity Center, the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and the Center for the Performing Arts. More information and a sign-up link coming soon.
Friday-Sunday, May 8-10, Spring 2020 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.

All Staff Conference 2020

By: Katelyn Town

Connection • Collaboration • Community

We are seeking proposal submissions from staff members interested in presenting a session at the All Staff Conference on Wednesday and Thursday, June 3 and 4, 2020. Your ideas should be focused on Libraries’ or University initiatives to help your colleagues gain or improve job-related knowledge/skills, build relationships and rapport, and/or provide input other relevant topics.

Please submit your proposal by completing the form here by February 14.

If you have any questions, please email us: 2020Staffretreat@psu.edu.

Thank you,
All Staff Conference 2020 Committee

Getting to Know You – Shannon Richie

By: Gale Biddle

Amid the banging and clanging of renovations at the Lofstrom Library at Penn State Hazleton, you will find Shannon Richie continuing to field reference questions and instruct students on
library databases and services. He’s been a Reference and Instruction Librarian at Penn State since September 1999. Being part of the academic community and having academic conversations is the most rewarding part of his job, and it’s what he enjoys most about Penn State. In addition to teaching and providing in-person reference services, Shannon also volunteers to provide virtual reference help through the Ask-A-Librarian program. In fact, he was part of the pilot program and is the only one currently serving on the live AAL service from the original six members of the program.

Shannon grew up near the small town of Sunbury, just 50 miles north of Harrisburg. Sunbury is the location for the Weis ice cream plant, where Shannon had his first job (and a dream job for
many!) and spent his college summers working there before he went to library school. It was also here at the community library where he found a book, Carrier War in the Pacific, that would
create a lifelong passion in naval history. Years later, he tracked down the exact book he used to borrow, but unfortunately someone had purchased it before he could do so.

Shannon spends his free time with his wife, Sandra, and their two cats, Nita and Snicker. They rescued them as part of a pet adoption program. When they adopted them, they were told that
Snicker was the shy one. Time has proven that to be somewhat incorrect. Shannon describes him as a “holy terror” who likes to destroy things and bite toes. Nita is the docile one. However,
they still love them both and are happy to have adopted them!

Shannon enjoys building ship models, although these days he tends to collect them more so than build them. He also enjoys collecting major league sports cards, and for the last 10 years,
he has participated in the National History Day competition as a judge in the website category. In addition, he’s a devoted member of his church.

As part of my interview, I like to ask 10 random questions. One of the questions I asked Shannon led to an answer that I think deserves more space than a brief sentence, and I think it says a lot about him. He told me the story of a snowy Christmas Eve night when he was traveling with his family to church services. Along the way, they saw a man huddled in in the doorway of a building. They stopped to talk to the man and discovered that he had family in Pittsburgh but not enough money to get home to them. Shannon’s mother, who he calls the “real hero of this story,” gave him $20. After they returned home, Shannon and his family kept thinking about the man. They called the police and told them the story. After the police found the man, they chipped in to buy him a ticket to Pittsburgh. It may not have seemed like much to Shannon and his family what they did that night, but their actions probably meant everything to that man.

10 Random Questions
1. Favorite Movie? Gettysburg or Lord of the Rings
2. Place you’d like to visit that you’ve never been to? New Zealand
3. Is a hotdog a sandwich? No
4. Talent you wished you had? Being able to do woodworking
5. Dream job? Teaching naval history or systematic theology in seminary or grad school
6. Favorite cartoon? Tom & Jerry
7. Three people, past or present, you would like to have dinner with? Jesus, Abe Lincoln, and C.S.  Lewis
8. If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be? Tom Brady on Super Bowl Sunday, which won’t be happening this year! **Note: The joy expressed by this fact is solely the
author’s!**
9. Best gift you’ve ever given? See last paragraph of article
10. Favorite Color? Navy Blue

2020 Sabbatical Approvals

Sabbatical leaves for the following University Libraries faculty have been approved:

Amy Deuink – to study community aspects of academic libraries and utilization of library spaces not only to meet student needs but to include the libraries as part of their social lives.

Binh P. Le – to conduct research on the careers of Asian / Pacific-American academic librarians.

Sylvia Owiny – to investigate faculty and administrator’s understanding and use of Indigenous Knowledge (IK) at Lira University, Uganda.

Amy Knehans – from the Penn State College of Medicine.

A complete list of University Libraries faculty and sabbatical leave dates is available at: https://staff.libraries.psu.edu/deans-administrative-office/sabbatical-leave/sabbatical-approvals

Events: January 13

Spring 2020
Academic calendar information for all campuses is available online.

Roots/Routes: Contested Histories, Contemporary Experiences exhibition graphic

Through 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.

Monday, Jan. 13-Friday, Jan. 17, MLK Jr. Day of Service Libraries Food Drive. Join the PSU Libraries Diversity Committee in celebrating MLK Day of Service by donating to your campus food pantry! Food Collection boxes are located at campus libraries across the commonwealth, and at Pattee Library and Paterno Library on the University Park campus.
Monday, Jan. 20, Martin Luther King Day. 
Tuesdays, Feb. 4-Mar. 31, Code for Her – Faculty and Staff workshop. Join other dedicated female and gender-diverse participants in this 9-week beginner coding workshop. Become familiar with HTML, CSS and JavaScript with no prior coding experience necessary! Limited seats are available, apply by Jan. 26 at sites.psu.edu/codeforher.
Thursdays, Feb. 6-Apr. 2, Code for Her – Student workshop. Join other dedicated female and gender-diverse participants in this 9-week beginner coding workshop. Become familiar with HTML, CSS and JavaScript with no prior coding experience necessary! Limited seats are available, apply by Jan. 26 at sites.psu.edu/codeforher.
Friday, Feb. 14, Douglass Day Transcribe-a-thon.  Presented by the Colored Conventions Project, celebrate Frederick Douglass’ “birthday” and help preserve Black history during a day-long transcribe-a-thon with the papers of Anna Julia Cooper. Visit douglassday.org for more information. Noon-3 p.m. in Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park. Additional events take place at Fayette, Scranton, and Brandywine campuses.
Wednesday, March 18, Voices 2020: The Share Your Story Showcase at Penn State.  Attendees sign up for 45-minute individual storytelling sessions where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and answered. A Showcase event is scheduled in Foster Auditorium. Sponsored by the University Libraries in cooperation with Adult Lerner Programs and Services, Schreyer Honors College, the Gender Equity Center, the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and the Center for the Performing Arts. More information and a sign-up link coming soon.
Friday-Sunday, May 8-10, Spring 2020 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.

New documents concerning Access Services best practices

By: Lisa Moyer

The Access Services Council has added three new documents to the Access Services Intranet regarding best practices for staff involved in providing the libraries’ patrons with access services. See below for links to the documents:

Completing Financial Transactions Professionally
Dealing with Patrons Experiencing Homelessness
Upholding Patron Privacy and Confidentiality

Room dedication solidifies Lilley Library’s Room 12 as a place for collaborative learning on campus

by David Alan Skarupski
Submitted by: Stephanie Diaz

On Wednesday, Nov. 20, the John M. Lilley Library staff, in conjunction with the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Penn State Behrend officially dedicated Room 12, located in the basement of the library. The newly renovated room will be made available for use for classes at the beginning of the Spring 2020 semester.

At the room dedication, the final results of renovation efforts that began this past summer were publicly unveiled to both the Behrend faculty and the student population. The newly renovated
room features a smart board, five white marker boards, two flat screen televisions and a number of movable chairs and tables. In the near future, the room will also feature video conference technology.

With the technological and spatial enhancements, Room 12 provides an area for collaborative learning and interactive teaching that is progressive and innovative. The technological upgrades allow for H&SS students to process and store information provided during lectures more efficiently than ever before. The spatial enhancements allow for malleable classroom layouts that can be easily transformed on any given day, based on the nature of the daily lesson plan.

While the room will be used for H&SS classes, and language classes in-particular, the space is currently available for student use during library hours, and will also be available when classes are not being held in future semesters. While the room was dedicated by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, students in every major are welcomed and encouraged to utilize the room to the best of their abilities.

The renovation, which also included significant collaborative efforts with Behrend’s Information Technology Services, adds to variety of spaces in the library that are continuously expanding
and evolving. With the expansion of amenities being offered by the library, the opportunity for students from all schools on Behrend’s campus to maximize their potential through spaces and
services offered by the library continue to grow.

How Many Paperclips?! Engineering Library preservation and conservation display with contest  

By: Makenzie Coduti

The latest display in the Engineering Library is “Library Preservation and Conservation,” which explains what preservation and conservation are and what those practices might entail in library spaces. The display also briefly describes Penn State University Libraries’ Preservation Conservation and Digitization department. A paperclip removal project in the Engineering Library, completed last year, prompted the creation of this display. “Library Preservation and Conservation” outlines the Engineering Library Paperclip Removal project and why paperclips, especially metal ones, are detrimental to physical collections.

We ran a contest for the students to guess how many paperclips were removed from the general collection at the Engineering Library. We also offered prizes to students and patrons for their participation. First prize was a $50 Amazon gift card and a Libraries’ mug and goodies. Second place was a $20 Amazon gift card and a Libraries’ mug and goodies. The Engineering Library contest ran Oct. 31 to Nov. 23. There were 50 entries with guesses ranging from 700 to 200,000 paperclips. The actual number of paperclips was 9,777. The closest guess was 10,583 paperclips and the 2nd closest guess was 10,604 paperclips. The Engineering Library hopes to run contests like this in the future to prompt more student engagement and student awareness of University Library practices and services.

Customer Service Tip: How most people get it wrong when giving customers bad news

By: Myra Golden (submitted by Carmen Gass)

My husband and I were sitting at the big boardroom table at the closing office. We’d just sold our first home, and we were now closing on our new home. We thought we were in great shape, but, something went wrong. The bank didn’t transfer the money for the purchase of our new home. Read more here.