Author Archives: Jill Shockey

Events: March 25

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

promotional poster - Secret Lives of Girls and Women


Jan. 28-Sept. 1, 2019, Exhibit: “The Secret Lives of Girls and Women” Eberly Family Special Collections Library, 104 Paterno Library. Through the examination of books, letters, hand-written diaries and other archival materials, The Secret Lives of Girls and Women exposes a wide spectrum of feminine mysteries. The exhibition includes many hidden or concealed aspects of female life found within beauty secrets, secret languages created by women, literary secrets, social taboos and more throughout history. On display during Special Collections Library hours.


The Future is Now, exhibit graphic


Mar. 11-Sept. 26, 2019, Exhibit: “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, Feb. 7–Tuesday, Apr. 2: Spring 2019 Scholarly Communications Workshops. A series of workshops covering topics such as open access, copyright and fair use policies will be offered throughout the spring semester for students, faculty and staff.  Coordinated and led by Ana Enriquez, scholarly communications outreach librarian, all workshops are free and take place either on Zoom or Paterno Library. Varying times in Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library and via Zoom. To add this workshop series to your Facebook calendar, visit its Facebook Event online.

Monday, Mar. 25, International and Foreign Copyright: A U.S. Perspective. How does copyright law vary around the world? When you’re working across borders, which laws apply? Join us for a workshop on these and other questions. This is an interactive workshop wherein participants will work in small groups to address hypothetical copyright questions and then debrief their responses as a full group. 12:15-1:15 p.m., Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park. Register HERE.

Wednesday, Mar. 27, Introduction to Copyright: Permission and Who Can Grant It. Have you ever wondered how things enter the public domain? What rights you have to control use of your work? What rights you have to use someone else’s work? Learn more about copyright law at this interactive workshop where participants will work in small groups to address hypothetical copyright questions and then debrief their responses as a full group.12:20-1:10 p.m. via Zoom. Register HERE.

Thursday, Mar. 28, The Charles W. Mann Jr. Lecture in the Book Arts. Jesse Ryan Erickson, coordinator of Special Collections and Digital Humanities, associate professor in the Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences, and assistant director of The Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center, University of Delaware, will offer a lecture titled A Different Kind of Reading: Victorian Popular Afterlives, providing an examination of the works of Victorian author Ouida (1839-1908), and exploring the ways in which racial consciousness affects one’s interaction and engagement with a text through its textual contents and materiality. 4:30-5:30 p.m., Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, immediately followed by a reception in Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library.

Monday, Apr. 1,What is Sacred in Food Sovereignty Research. Megan Griffin, 2018 recipient of the Whiting Indigenous Knowledge Research Award, will present her research in a talk that will explore the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of sovereignty in agro-biodiversity conservation research, and is the first in the series of Whiting Indigenous Knowledge Student Research presentations for spring 2019. 3:30-4:30 p.m. in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, on the University Park campus.

Monday, Apr. 1, Edible Book Festival. Students, faculty and staff are invited to submit a book- or reading-themed cake to win a gift card. Edible book awards will be presented in a variety of categories. The public is encouraged to vote for their favorites and have a cupcake to help celebrate the event. Sign up at:

Tuesday, Apr. 2, International and Foreign Copyright: A U.S. Perspective. Offered as part of the Spring 2019 Scholarly Communications Workshop series.  12:15-1:15 p.m. via Zoom. Register HERE.

Wednesday, Apr. 3: Docunight: Iran Via DocumentariesOn 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. 

Thursday, Apr. 11, Geospatial Analysis: Using GIS Desktop software. An introduction to geospatial processes in ArcGIS ArcMap and ArcPro software. This informational session introduces and utilizes key software terminology, along with examples of the functionality within the software. Maps and geospatial examples will be provided in an interdisciplinary manner. More information about GIS is available HERE. 3-5 p.m., 211A Pattee Library, University Park. No registration is required, open to all Penn State students, staff, faculty and visitors, with remote viewing available online using Zoom.
Thursday, Apr. 25, MediaTech Open House. Stop in to see how MediaTech can help you; learn about the many equipment and technologies options are available for student use, plus register for prize giveaways. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Wagner Annex, behind Wagner Building on Curtain Road. For more info, call 814-863-3202.
Friday-Sunday, May 3-5: Spring Commencement, University Park.

Technology Expo 2019 graphic, Monday, May 6 11 A M to 3 P M Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in Innovation Park


Monday, May 6: Technology Expo 2019. The annual Technology Expo hosted by Media Technology Services and Support (MediaTech) to bring vendors and state-of-the-art technology equipment to regional I.T. specialists, facilities managers, and others interested in the latest multimedia and related devices and products available for educational, nonprofit and commercial use. 11 a.m.–3 p.m., Presidents Hall, The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, Innovation Park, State College, Pa. 

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.

Special Collections Library offers summer research travel awards

The Eberly Family Special Collections Library invites applications for its annual Summer Research Travel Awards. The awards are available in five different categories to applicants who reside outside a 100-mile radius of State College, Pa., and who are not Penn State faculty, staff or students.

For more information on the five categories of awards and additional requirements, or to apply online, visit:

Applications are due by April 1, and recipients will be notified by May 1. Contact Instruction & Outreach Specialist Katelyn Town at with any questions.


Fall 2018 edition of ‘The Library’ newsletter available online

The Fall 2018 issue of University Libraries newsletter “The Library: The Heart of the University” has been published on the Libraries website as an accessibility-friendly PDF.

cover page image of Volume 64 Fall 2018 newsletter edition of The Library: The Heart of the University. Title text Encouraging Student Success with collage of four horizontal images showing Libraries employees and students in multiple library locations looking at and discussing exhibit materials and other content.

Penn State University Libraries’ Fall 2018 edition of “The Library: The Heart of the University,” highlights the theme “Encouraging Student Success” throughout its pages.

The newsletter, published twice a year, is sponsored by the Libraries’ Office of Development and Alumni Relations, with content and design provided by members of its own team as well as the Public Relations and Marketing team.

In this issue, two feature stories support the “Encouraging Student Success” theme in depth:

  • “Focus on Interns” catches up with several former Bednar interns, noting where they are now are how their engaged scholarship experiences with the Libraries have benefited them.
  • “Open House” is a photo essay that walks readers through a brief timeline of students’ experience at the annual University Park event, what they learn about the Libraries at multiple multiple stations along their self-guided tours, and how Libraries volunteers introduce them to the role of an academic library in supporting their learning.

A new column, “Tech Knowledge,” aims to explain to readers some of the many ways today’s Libraries’ technology-based services and resources impact students’ academic success. The inaugural edition examines the Libraries’ connections to Canvas through e-reserves, embedded librarians, and the dedicated Libraries Resources tab. It also explains the functions of online consultations and the Ask a Librarian service.

The “Facts and Figures” column complements “Tech Knowledge” in this issue with data-driven charts and graphics illustrating the success of the Ask a Librarian service.

The 16-page newsletter PDF also features the Middlemas Arts& Humanities Library, the “Press Picks” column from Penn State University Press, and more.

It is accessible by clicking on the thumbnail above or by visiting the link It also is in the process of being posted to the Development and Alumni Relations page and the News and Events page on the Libraries website.

The print version is scheduled to be mailed by the end of this week to friends who have supported the University Libraries with gifts of $100 or more across the last five years.

2017-2018 annual report now online

cover page of 2017-2018 University Libraries annual reportThe 2017-2018 University Libraries annual report is now available online as a PDF via the “Organization at a Glance” page under the “About” section.

Since its origin in 2014, the annual report has been designed as a double-sided, trifold printed item containing brief University Libraries highlights and achievements of the fiscal/academic year, July 1 to June 30.

It is mailed to Association of Research Libraries peer organizations, members of University leadership, and select donors, and handed out to prospective donors and others at the discretion of the dean’s office and Development and Alumni Relations.

Source material includes items submitted to the dean and compiled in her’s annual Activity Report; Libraries news releases, blog entries, and publications, such as The Library newsletter; the Library Assessment Programs office; and unit-level information shared by unit/department heads with the Public Relations and Marketing (PRaM) office.

PRaM offers its sincere thanks to all unit-level leaders who submitted information and answered our questions.

April 25 is opening reception for student-curated “1968” exhibit

To celebrate the launch of the student-curated exhibit “1968: Student Activism at Penn State and Beyond,” Penn State University Libraries and The College of the Liberal Arts are sponsoring an opening reception 12:30-2 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, in the Barbara Hackman Franklin Atrium, Pattee Library. Donuts and drinks will be served.

Opening remarks will begin at 1 p.m., with speakers including Athena Jackson, Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair and Head of Special Collections, Lauren Nogay, Stelts/Filippelli intern and Paterno
Fellow, and Kathryn Salzer, associate professor of history.

The exhibit showcases various items from The Eberly Family Special Collections Library, including photographs, books and student publications. Lauren Nogay, a senior majoring in history and international politics, curated the exhibit with support from Clara Drummond, exhibition coordinator. Additional materials from the Eberly Family Special Collections Library will be on display during the reception.

The exhibit ties into a larger project, “Remembering ’68: Moments of Change”, which is spearheaded by the College of the Liberal Arts, specifically through the college’s Office of Digital Pedagogy and Scholarship. The college’s project includes new courses, film screenings, an oral history project with alumni, and numerous other events. For details and resources about the college’s project, visit The exhibit also is directly related to a new history course titled “The World of 1968: Moments of Change.”

Events: Dec. 4

Fall 2017
Academic calendar information for all campuses is available online.

horizontal exhibit graphic for The Painted Photograph: Selections from the B & H Henisch Photo-History Collection, extended through September 30, 2017, room 201A Pattee Library, displays five black-and-white historic photo portraits and their encased frames


Extended through Saturday, Dec. 8: “The Painted Photograph: Selections from the B. & H. Henisch Photo-History Collection exhibit,” Pattee Library operating hours, Paterno Family Reading Room, 201A Pattee Library, University Park.

book jacket front and back of novel "Sophie's Choice" by William Styron, plus black-and-white photo of author



Through Jan. 7, 2018: “William Styron: Books and Biography” exhibit, guest curator Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English James L.W. West III, Styron expert and biographer, Eberly Family Special Collections Library Exhibition Room, 104 Paterno Library, University Park.


snowy black and white photo with label in front, text reads "The History of Pattee Library and Paterno Library," exhibit, Aug. 21, 2017 through Jan. 15, 2018, in Pattee Library central entrance exhibit cases and adjacent Sidewater Commons, first floor Pattee Library, University Park.


Through Jan. 15, 2018: “The History of Pattee Library and Paterno Library” exhibitPattee Library’s central entrance exhibit cases and adjacent Sidewater Commons, first floor Pattee Library, University Park.

graphic of vertical book spines encircling exhibit title "Academic Libraries Around the World," exhibit, Diversity Studies Room, 203 Pattee Library, free and open to the public




Through Feb. 12, 2018: “Academic Libraries Around the World” exhibit, Diversity Studies Room, 203 Pattee Library, University Park.  


Sunday, Dec. 3–Friday, Dec. 15: End-of-semester/finals week extended hours, beginning Dec. 3 Pattee Library and Paterno Library open 24 hours, closing at 7 p.m. Dec. 15, and extended hours at McKinnon’s Café; extended hours at all locations available at

Wednesday, Dec. 6: Docunight: Iran via Documentaries, 7 p.m. Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park.

Friday, Dec. 8: Last day of fall classes. 

Sunday–Tuesday, Dec. 10-12: De-Stress Fest, University Park locations.

Tuesday, Dec. 12: Tech Update, by I-Tech, 10-11 a.m., Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park.

Tuesday–Wednesday, Dec. 12-20: Hanukkah.

Saturday, Dec. 16: Fall commencement, University Park and other Penn State campuses; details and speaker information at multiple Penn State campuses TBA in December.

Saturday, Dec. 16–Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018: Holiday limited hours, most locations (except Harrell Health Sciences Library), hours at all locations available at

Wednesday–Thursday, Dec. 27-28: Paterno Library cooling tower removal, all floors of Paterno Library will be closed to all individualsno exceptions — to comply with federal OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations. Large crane to be erected Dec. 26 and removed Dec. 29 to remove equipment on roof; expect sidewalk and Curtin Road closures Dec. 26-29. East Entrance (Paterno Library) may remain open, Pattee Library open and accessible during holiday hours. Details to be shared soon.

Please submit event information — and all Library News submissions — to Public Relations and Marketing via the Library News submission form.

‘The Library’ Fall 2017 donor newsletter now online

The Fall 2017 online version of The Library, a newsletter for the University Libraries’ donor audience, is now available for download as an accessible PDF on the Development, Giving to the Libraries, and News and Events pages of the Libraries’ website.

The cover story features limited-time opportunities for supporters of Penn State to secure University-provided matching funds for certain scholarships, early career professorship/librarianship positions, and other endowments and financial gifts, all of which are part of Penn State’s current capital campaign, “A Greater Penn State for 21st-Century Excellence.”

The newsletter is produced by Public Relations and Marketing in collaboration with and support from the Libraries’ Office of Development and Alumni Relations.

Hopkins Award’s 25th anniversary event Oct. 12

The 25th annual Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award will be presented this Thursday evening (Oct. 12) at 7 p.m. to winner Jorge Argueta, author of Somos como las nubes/We Are Like the Clouds, and honor recipient Nikki Grimes, author of Garvey’s Choice.

cover image title "Somos como las nubes/We Are Like the Clouds" shows silohouettes of people with packages walking in a row plus two children sleeping under the moon, illustrator Alfonso Ruano

“Somos como las nubes/We Are Like the Clouds,” Jorge Argueta’s 2017 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award-winning book

photo of smlining man with mustache and long braid, wearing hat and striped shirt

Jorge Argueta









Argueta will accept the award and the $1,000 prize, courtesy of Lee Bennett Hopkins, in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, on the University Park campus. Grimes also will accept her honor during the event. Both are invited to speak during the event.

book cover of "Garvey's Choice" by Nikki Grimes, Coretta Scott King author, showing Laura Ingalls Wilder Award seal on top of illustration of dark house with lights shining into darkness, connected to telephone pole and line strung with musical notes

“Garvey’s Choice” by Nikki Grimes, Hopkins Poetry Award honor recipient

photo of woman standing, wearing black shirt and pants with bright red necklace and extra-long red scarf or vest decorated with circle patterns

Nikki Grimes










While attendees are strongly encouraged to attend the award ceremony in person to be on hand for some special surprises prepared for the silver anniversary event, those who are unable to be present are invited to tune in for the livestream beginning at 7 p.m. via Mediasite Live.

Read more about both books and authors from the award announcement posted this spring on Penn State News.

Textbook and Educational Resources Fund is a Class Gift finalist

The Libraries’ Textbook and Educational Resources Fund is a finalist for the 2018 Senior Class Gift Campaign!horizontal image of physics textbooks on library shelf, labeled for fall titles on reserve, also includes Penn State Senior Class Gift logo

Voting is open to members of the Class of 2018 through midnight this Friday, Oct. 13, who can vote directly at

Individuals can donate to the Textbook and Educational Resources Fund at any time at


Libraries’ 2016-2017 annual report now online

cover of Penn State University Libraries 2016-2017 annual report, "Transformative Partners for Knowledge Outreach and Innovation" title, with six images of students in the Libraries, studying, readingThe University Libraries’ 2016-2017 annual report, “Transformative Partners for Knowledge Outreach and Innovation,” is now available online as an accessible PDF.

Print copies of the annual report are mailed to ARL peer institutions by the dean’s office and are shared with the Provost, other members of Penn State leadership and with select donors at the discretion of Libraries leadership and the Libraries’ Development team.

Libraries hosts Oct. 24 Open Textbook Network workshop sessions

The high cost of some course materials can impede students’ academic success, especially because the price tag prompts many students to avoid purchasing them. A workshop on Tuesday, Oct. 24, accessible to all Penn State faculty instructors, aims to lower students’ textbook costs and any perceived obstacles in favor of adopting high-quality, free or low-cost open educational resources.

The Open Textbook Network workshop, hosted by Penn State University Libraries, is available for instructors’ in-person attendance from 10 a.m. to noon in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, and also will be live-streamed via Mediasite Live for remote viewing from any Penn State campus. Faculty who RSVP to participate in the workshop — via email to Amanda Larson, open education librarian — will explore open textbook options for their course materials and will receive a $200 stipend for writing a short review of an open textbook from the Open Textbook Library.

A second session, a support workshop available for librarians, instructional designers and staff, will be presented from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Oct. 24  in Foster Auditorium and online for remote viewing via Mediasite Live.

A second session, a support workshop available for librarians, instructional designers and staff, will be presented from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Oct. 24  in Foster Auditorium and online for remote viewing via Mediasite Live. The afternoon session will be led by Meg Brown-Sica, assistant dean for Collections and Scholarly Communication at Colorado State University Libraries. The afternoon session also will be archived at for later viewing.

Registered faculty who are unable to sit in on the workshop in real time — either in person or online — are able to watch the online recording, which will be archived at for later viewing. Faculty who work in subject areas for which open textbooks are not currently available for review will not be eligible for the stipend but are encouraged to attend to learn more about open textbooks.

Penn State joined the Open Textbook Network (OTN), centered at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Open Education, in January 2017 to help support the use of high-quality, affordable course content. OTN helps support colleges and universities’ instructional use of open textbooks and practices. Its Open Textbook Library is the premiere resource for peer-reviewed academic textbooks, all of which are free, openly licensed and complete, according to its website. According to OTN, 70 percent of its textbooks’ reviews have four stars or higher, and all reviews and comments are freely available.

The full news release with additional information is available via Penn State News.

Room Scheduling Updates: Group study rooms, Foster Auditorium

horizontal image with calendar icon, text "Reserve a Group Study Room" with URL for online reservations and URL for additional details at

Updated Reserve a Group Study Room business-size promotional cards, posters and social media graphics help promote the new URL redirect — — which goes to the LibCal system and is available to implement across all Libraries locations with group study rooms.

All Penn State students now can schedule library group study rooms through a single online system,  and soon faculty and staff will see updates to how they request use of Foster Auditorium and what expectations the Libraries has for its use.

Group study rooms now reserved via LibCal
At the start of the fall 2017 semester, the Libraries began using a new room reservation system for students booking library group study rooms. The previous system, EMS, was replaced by LibCal (Springshare’s Equipment & Spaces module) at the end of the spring 2017 semester.

Ann Thompson, the Libraries’ LibCal product owner, worked with I-Tech and ITS to enable student users to access the reservation system using their Penn State credentials without creating an account, an improvement over previous requirements. As before, students can book group study rooms for up to three hours per day and two weeks in advance.

Students at all Libraries locations with group study rooms eventually will be able to use the same online system for reservations. Currently, students at Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Harrisburg, University Park and York are using LibCal for group study room reservations. The system is set up in 15-minute intervals with a booking default to a three-hour reservation, and students can easily change the length of time while making reservations.

LibCal sends a confirmation email to the student containing the reservation information as well as a link to cancel their booking. Online reservations can be made only by students at

Updates coming to Foster Auditorium request procedure and expectations for use
In other scheduling news, the Libraries soon will begin using the CollegeNET platform to schedule Foster Auditorium for both internal Libraries use and for external requests. Currently in the midst of a transitional phase toward full use by June 2018, CollegeNET is being implemented for event management use University-wide and already is being used for academic (classroom) scheduling at all campuses.

In recent months, a working group under the leadership of Associate Dean Anne Langley has been working on an update to Guideline UL-ADG03, “Use of Foster Auditorium.” The group, including Thompson, Emma Davidson, Athena Jackson, Rebecca Miller and Jill Shockey, has clarified priority uses, limitations/expectations and procedures for requesting and advertising use of the space. It is anticipated to be reviewed and approved at an upcoming Dean’s Library Council meeting.

The revised guideline has been updated to give external requesters a better understanding of Foster Auditorium’s primary purpose — for Libraries events, teaching and training — and outlines the Libraries’ expectations and best practices for its use.

Following the updated guideline’s approval, a date will be announced after which all requests for using Foster Auditorium must be submitted using CollegeNET. At the same time, Foster Auditorium will be removed from the UCS list of reservable locations. Please note: all existing UCS reservations will be migrated to CollegeNET.

Please watch for an announcement of a future Tech Update that will provide an overview of both LibCal and CollegeNET.

– submitted by Ann Thompson and Jill Shockey

Strategic Plan in Action: 3D printing

3D printing, or additive manufacturing, has grown from a small scale novelty of engineers to a ubiquitous technology approaching affordability for anyone. You may see 3D printed objects included in arts and crafts, used to repair appliances and other household hardware, and even as parts of the car you drive.

3D printing can involve plastic, metal, or even living cells. The “additive” part of additive manufacturing means layers of material are slowly deposited on top of each other until a 3D object is produced.  These are “printed” from a 3D computer model, which can be created from simple shapes or a complex CAD drawing. Penn State graduates use 3D printing in their jobs
from Boeing aircraft to local manufacturing to high-tech startup companies.

Students are learning both the software and hardware skills in courses offered by the Colleges of Engineering, Liberal Arts, and many more.  In the past only architecture and engineering students had access to 3D printing for specific courses, but thanks to a partnership between the Libraries and ITS, it is available to all students, staff, and faculty.

The Maker Commons, located at University Park in Pattee Library’s Knowledge Commons, has been offering free 3D printing since the Spring of 2016. It serves all Penn State campuses through an online submission form and delivery throughout the state through our lending services.

The Strategic Planning Action Team of Joe Fennewald, Ryan Wetzel, Trace Brown, and John
Meier have tracked the successes and challenges of the Maker Commons and other makerspaces across the University Libraries.

Since its launch just over a year ago, the Maker Commons has produced over 2,000 objects per semester from the 32 MakerBot printers on site. The success rate of these prints has improved from 70% to 90%, through changes including a weight limit for non-class projects. Almost half of the printouts each semester are for class-specific assignments from the Colleges of IST, Engineering, Arts and Architecture, and EMS. There were also a number of classes from Commonwealth Campuses using the Maker Commons for student projects.

Indeed, 3D printing and scanning technology have a large and growing presence throughout the Libraries.  In the Spring of 2017, the Harrell Health Sciences Library in Hershey dedicated its renovated Research and Learning Commons with twin 3D printers, virtual reality headsets, and other new technology.

Penn State Wilkes-Barre has offered free 3D printing to their local campus community since 2015.  Penn State Hazleton Library has offered 3D printing and makerspace programs since 2014 in conjunction with course curricula and campus activities.  Penn State Mont Alto Library also has a 3D resin printer from Formlabs. Penn State Schuylkill Library has a 3D printer (MakerBot 5th generation replicator) as well as a NextEngine 3D scanner. The Engineering
Library at University Park has a portable 3D scanner to create models of real
world objects.

Other Commonwealth Campuses and University Park branch libraries are exploring possible makerspaces tailored to their unique user needs.  The Maker Commons is also constantly improving their procedures for faster output and more efficient use of material. We are “making” the future at Penn State in the University Libraries.

– submitted by John Meier

Focus on Assessment: Summer 2017

Well, summer 2017 was yet another one that seemed to go by in a flash. Now that the new term is in session, it’s time to share some of what the Assessment Department has been up to and where we’re headed. In addition to consulting with many of you on projects — from conducting your own UX studies to assessing services — we’ve also been busy working to move the Libraries forward in a number of areas.

Some highlights from 2017 include:

  • UX work on Scholarsphere, subject library web pages, and assessing the new budget request system.
  • The Ithaka Survey of Undergraduates conducted in spring 2016, continues to provide additional insights about our undergraduate population. Susan Lane, as part of a job enrichment opportunity, continues to mine the data for insights relative to international students.
  • A study of international undergraduate students and what contributes to their feelings of belonging in our spaces was completed in spring, led by Diversity Resident Librarian Alia Gant, and Library Assessment Graduate Assistant Chao Su. Together they led a team of researchers to learn what we as Libraries do to promote a sense of belonging. They interviewed 27 library personnel across seven campuses, and conducted focus groups across three campuses to learn from the student perspective what Libraries can do to contribute a sense of belonging. For those interested, an internal report is available.
  • Both of the international undergraduate focused projects were used to develop a comprehensive report about what we know about the needs of our international student population and presented to Mark Mattson, Global Partnership and Outreach librarian. Mark has a number of activities and events planned for the upcoming term informed in part by report contents. We hope to share some of what we’ve learned in a forum later this fall.
  • Reporting out from our organization is complicated due to the many locations, systems, and oddities of our collections. To begin evaluating our processes for reporting with an eye toward improving accuracy & efficiencies, Sherry Roth and Lana Munip have teamed up to develop a database of reporting procedures. This project has the potential to reduce time and complexities in external reporting and improve the overall accuracy of the values we report.
  • In order to know how we’re doing we need to know how we’ve done in the past, and how we compare historically with peers. To that end we have compiled 10 years of key ARL data for the PSUL and our BTAA peers. We have also developed a 2015-2016 snapshot that includes rankings across the statistical categories. Now we’re working to get the data loaded to our web page so you can make use of it.

Looking forward, we’re going to continue to mine data from the Ithaka Survey of Undergraduates 2016, looking at subsets of responses for various purposes, including responses from engineering students, first-generation students, and overall responses to Information Literacy and other questions in the “Undergraduate Research” module. We plan to conduct a number of UX projects focused on aspects of our web presence. We are ramping up in preparation for reporting out to ARL, ACRL, & IPEDS, in addition to conducting the Library Inventory Report. We’ll continue with our benchmarking and visualization work.  We have some exciting plans to collaborate with colleagues at Montana State University around participatory design, which will culminate in a research project with first-generation students, and we are getting ready to begin work relative to building a library data warehouse.

This may seem like quite a full plate for a small office, but we like what we do so we’ll manage.

If you have assessment questions, or project ideas that you’d like help and would like to set up a consultation, reach out to anyone in the Assessment Department. We’ll be happy to work with you.

– submitted by Steve Borrelli

Pattee Library, Paterno Library initiate pilot of large digital screens

vertical image of large digital screen showing library information including upcoming events, available computers, and today and tomorrow's hours

The first phase of the digital signage pilot program includes static sign information with frequently refreshed computer availability and time and weather data.

A Digital Signage task force chaired by Kimlyn Patishnock, senior director of administrative and financial services, recently has been examining the University Libraries’ next phase of digital signage.

A pilot program began at the start of the Fall 2017 semester with the installation of two large, freestanding digital screens at the two main entrances of Pattee Library and Paterno Library near each welcome desk.

Each of the screens is installed vertically in orientation and displays the current time, weather information, the current day and next day’s hours of operation, computer availability by floor, as well as brief information about next five library events.

Prior to the screens’ rollout and screen content’s design, the task force sought user experience research from the Libraries’ Assessment Department.

The screens are touchscreen capable, and future phases of design during the pilot will explore interactive uses of the screen and its information.


CANCELED: Meet ‘Lair of the Lion’ authors Lee Stout and Harry West at Fan Fest

Update, Sept. 13: Unfortunately, the Fan Fest event has been canceled

Football fans who will be attending the Sept. 16 game against Georgia State University are able to meet Lee Stout and Harry H. West, authors of Lair of the Lion: A History of Beaver Stadium, at the PSU Press Fan Fest tent.

book cover, title "Lair of the Lion: A History of Beaver Stadium," by Lee Stout and Harry H. WestFeaturing more than 200 photos, Lair of the Lion is the first-ever history of the home of the Nittany Lions. It includes a look at the current stadium’s predecessors, “Old” Beaver Field, built in 1893 on a site northeast of Old Main, and “New” Beaver Field, built on the northwest corner of campus in 1909. The book, written by two longtime Penn Staters, Librarian Emeritus Lee Stout and Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering Harry H. West, was published in July by Penn State University Press.

Stout and West will be available to meet people and sign copies of the book from 5:00-6:30 p.m. on Sept. 16.

Lair of the Lion is available online from, or at the following local State College retailers: Ace Hardware, The Corner Room, The Family Clothesline, Harper’s, Lion’s Pride, McLanahan’s Penn State Room, Old State Clothing, Rapid Transit Sports, The Student Book Store, and the Tavern Restaurant.

– submitted by Cate Fricke

Libraries receives Gen. Beaver’s Civil War PA 148th regiment history volume

horizontal photo of four women standing behind rare book displayed on podium

Athena Jackson, Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair and Head of Special Collections (far left), and Jackie Esposito, University archivist (far right), receive Gen. James A. Beaver’s “The Story of our Regiment: A History of the 148th Pennsylvania Volunteers” from sisters Stephanie Dinges Bender and Cathy Dinges Torsell.

Sisters Stephanie Dinges Bender and Cathy Dinges Torsell presented a unique copy of Gen. James A. Beaver’s “The Story of our Regiment: A History of the 148th Pennsylvania Volunteers” to the Special Collections Library on Wednesday, Aug. 9. The item was donated from the estate of their parents, Robert H. and Edith Hopple Dinges of Bellefonte, Pa.

This volume of the regimental history was presented by Gen. Beaver to his wife, Mary McAllister Beaver, and was inscribed “To my dear wife, Mary McAllister Beaver, With the love of her husband James A. Beaver, Bellefonte, Pa 8 April 1905.”

In addition to serving in the U.S. Civil War as Commander of the 148th Pennsylvania Volunteers, Beaver was President of the Penn State Board of Trustees for two terms (1874-1882 and 1898-1914), acting President of the College from 19096 to 1908 and is the namesake for the University’s football stadium. Beaver also served the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as its 20th Governor (1887-1891).

For additional information about this unique donation, contact the Eberly Family Special Collections Library at or 814-865-1793.