Category Archives: Dean’s Doings

Dean’s Doings

by Barbara I. Dewey, dean, University Libraries and Scholarly Communications

Late March through April brings many, many exciting events. I wish I could attend all of them.

Some highlights from the last few days for me was providing opening remarks for the COIL and University Libraries sponsored panel during OER Week (celebrated nationally and internationally). We had a terrific Dean’s Forum attended by upwards of 200 people featuring our colleagues, Gail Partin, Steve Hinckley, Cynthia Robinson, and Patrick Alexander to discuss the special features and relationships of the law libraries, health sciences library, and Penn State Press. We hosted a new faculty and staff orientation and I had the opportunity to meet and talk with 12 staff and three faculty who have recently joined the Libraries. We also had the fantastic Mann Lecture featuring Linda Tomko, an expert in historical dance, and featuring items in the Mary Ann O’Brian Early Dance Collection (1531-1804) which, among other things contains historical dance notations. The culmination of the last week in March was attending Penn State’s Alumni Achievement Awards. Congratulations to Kimlyn and John Patishnock whose son, Mark, received one of these very prestigious awards.

I hope you took the opportunity to go to the PAMS open house like I did. It was fantastic with new furniture configurations, more space for students and collaboration, a One Button Studio, and a light screen. Obviously, it is very popular with students. Gate count is up 25%.

The Commission for Women luncheon was amazing and featured Sue Paterno as the speaker. We have many library people on the Commission including Erin Burns, Liz Long, Sherry Lonsdale, Rebecca Miller, Suzanne Shamrock, Linda Struble, Tracie Wickersham and affiliate members Jane Ingold, Lisa Moyer, Jennifer Gilley, Torrie Raisch and Lana Munip.

I had the great pleasure to represent the University Libraries in the honor ceremony on April 1 at the New Faces of an Ancient People 13th Annual Traditional American Powwow with colleagues from Admissions, College of Communications and College of Education. We are all supporters of the Powwow. The ceremony is very special for many reasons. We were personally thanked by attendees and then encouraged to dance in a circle with them. I know many library staff volunteer at the Powwow, but if you have not yet attended I encourage you to try it. There is delicious authentic food and an amazing array of vendors. The event was held at Mt. Nittany Middle School, State College.

group of individuals at ceremonial powwow event


Dean’s Doings

by Barbara I. Dewey, dean, University Libraries and Scholarly Communications

Ann Snowman and I traveled to Harrisburg to meet with the other State Resources Centers. Penn State is the only academic library designated as a Center. We receive funds from the Commonwealth to support aspects of Interlibrary Loan, collections and digitization. Attending the meeting, in addition to us included:

Glenn Miller, Deputy Secretary of Education for Libraries (State Librarian)
Alice Lubrecht, Bureau Director, State Library
Mary Frances Cooper, President and Director, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Richard Kaplan, Manager, Reference Services, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Siobhan Reardon, President and Director, Free Library of Philadelphia
Tiffany Nardella, District Consultant, Free Library of Philadelphia

In addition to providing updates on our respective activities Maryam Phillips, HSLC, and Doreva Belfiore, Temple University (soon to be at HSLC) gave an exciting presentation about digitization efforts through the Power Library. We also discussed areas of continued interest including PA Newspapers, OER, workforce development and financial literacy, makerspaces, and other topics. The Center reps will now meet on a regular basis after several years in hiatus. They all thanked Penn State for continued leadership and hard work to support the Commonwealth.

Joe Salem and I traveled to Penn State Berks to attend the Transforming Education Strategic Initiative Forum. I met with the faculty and staff from Thun Library and also toured the library. It looks great with recent renovations and I was excited to sit down with the great folks who run Thun. Thanks John Shank and everyone.

Dean’s Doings

by Barbara I. Dewey, dean, University Libraries and Scholarly Communications

I attended the Harrell Health Sciences Library Research and Learning Commons dedication events on Friday, Feb. 17. Activities included a fascinating talk by Jaime Casap, Education Evangelist for Google, a dedication and ribbon cutting, and a wonderful Open House to celebrate this absolutely beautiful facility. The event was a huge success including a contingent of librarians and staff from University Park and the campuses. Congratulations to Cynthia Robinson and her team for an amazing transformation and an excellent day of celebration.

celebratory ribbon cutting for the Harrell Health Sciences Library of the Penn State College of Medicine

Photo by Darrell E. Peterson, Penn State Hershey Medical Center | The newly renovated Harrell Health Sciences Library Research and Learning Commons at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, opened its doors for a dedication, ribbon cutting and open house on Friday, Feb. 17. Pictured, from left to right, Nancy Adams, associate director, coordinator for education and instruction, Harrell Health Sciences Library Research and Learning Commons; Dr. Terry Wolpaw, M.D., MHPE, professor of medicine and vice dean for educational affairs, Penn State College of Medicine; Dr. A. Craig Hillemeier, M.D., dean, Penn State College of Medicine, chief executive officer, Penn State Health, senior vice president for health affairs, Penn State; and Cynthia Robinson, associate dean for library and information services and director of the Harrell Health Sciences Library Research and Learning Commons.

Dean’s Doings

by Barbara I. Dewey, dean, University Libraries and Scholarly Communications

I convened a Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA now instead of CIC) conference call to discuss recommendations from the recent report “A Vision for Next Generation Resource Delivery” prepared by the BTAA Discovery to the Delivery Project Action Committee. This report can be found, with two previous reports, at Many thanks to Barbara Coopey and Zoe Chao who have contributed to one or more of these reports. Almost all of the BTAA libraries were represented and strategies were discussed to make progress on recommendations for a more seamless and efficient ILL experience for our users. Stay tuned for progress on this vision.

President Barron provided a presentation for Quality Advocates on Feb. 10 on the Penn State All In initiative which begun about four months ago. He updated attendees on the various activities already held and those planned to support the effort to embed diversity and inclusion into the fabric of Penn State. The University Libraries is very active in the All In initiative at our many locations. Check the All In calendar for events happening all over Penn State, including the Libraries.

I was pleased to be invited to the Penn State University Press Editorial Board meeting. The Editorial Board reviews publication proposals and consists of Press staff and faculty from around Penn State. Members discussed projects ranging from art history, history, rhetoric, race relations, and graphic novels.

Dean’s Doings

by Barbara I. Dewey, dean, University Libraries and Scholarly Communications

Don Welch, Penn State’s first Chief Information Security Officer (CIS0), visited the Dean’s Office last week. As CISO, he will lead Penn State’s Office of Information Security and IT risk-management program. He reports to Provost Jones and Vice President Gray. We are very fortunate to recruit him from the University of Michigan where he held a similar position. He was attracted to the very collaborative working environment at Penn State and is in the process of learning about all aspects of the university.

The Library Administration met with the Faculty Senate Officers (Jim Strauss, Ann Taylor, and Matthew Woessner) as part of their regular visit to the University Libraries. They also met with faculty and will be meeting with staff and students soon. The officers are very supportive of the Libraries and our directions. They, like us, are concerned about the collections budgetary challenges and also the issue of student capacity.

Dean’s Doings

by Barbara I. Dewey, dean, University Libraries and Scholarly Communications

I recently had the opportunity to meet with Michael Kubit, Penn State’s new Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (CIO). He will report to Provost Jones and Vice President Gray. Mike will be responsible for leading Penn State’s IT operations. When I asked him about his priorities he noted four general areas — developing a shared vision, strengthening a culture of service around IT, optimizing Penn State’s IT resources, and positioning Penn State as a differentiator in such areas as visualization, augmented reality, etc. for teaching and research. He is very excited to work in partnership and collaboration with the Libraries and other entities. He most recently held the position of Deputy Chief Information Officer for Information Technology Services at Case Western Reserve University.

I was also pleased to meet Rich Bundy, Vice President for Development & Alumni Affairs, to discuss library fundraising and the Library Development Board. Rich grew up in State College and his father is our recently retired Blue Band Director, Dr. Bundy. As a history major, he was an avid user of our library and remains enthusiastic about our mission and activities. I gave him a brief tour and he was impressed by the changes.

Provost Jones invited me to join a small contingent of administrators to visit Penn State Mont Alto. We had a fantastic drive to the campus viewing beautiful farms, orchards, and vineyards as well as a comprehensive tour of the historic Mont Alto campus. Provost Jones gave separate town meetings for faculty, staff, and students. I had the opportunity to spend time with our wonderful and hospitable library staff — Lisa White, Head Librarian, Tom Reinsfelder, Reference Librarian, Jonathan Hindman, and Andrea Pritt, both Information Resources & Support Specialists. It was a terrific visit.

Dean’s Doings

by Barbara I. Dewey, dean, University Libraries and Scholarly Communications

It’s a new year and I am trying a different kind of column highlighting selected activities I’m involved in as they happen. Nicki Hendrix and I just returned from a brief trip to Naples, Florida, where we visited with several alumni donors. We also attended the Naples Penn State Alumni Chapter where I gave a talk about the Libraries.

To read my comments given at the talk, open a browser to:

I focused on what students are doing in the library in their own words, highlights of Special Collections, and major initiatives including OER, the Campaign, our work supplying Penn State collections to the Commonwealth, and the 100 Years of the Pulitzer Exhibition. The chapter meeting was attended by about 40 Penn State alums.

Reminder: Dean’s Forums scheduled for Jan. 17 and Jan. 30

The Dean’s Diversity Forum will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17, in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, and available via Mediasite Live. Moses K. Davis, director of the Penn State Multicultural Resource Center, will present on the topic: “Growing up Moses: Why I Show Up in Love.”

Please mark your calendar and plan to attend the Dean’s Forum at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 30 in Foster Auditorium or via Mediasite Live. Dean Barbara I. Dewey will present an impressive list of kudos and the agenda continues with information on a collaboration between THON and the University Libraries presented by the THON Directors, an update on Penn State’s Voluntary Retirement Program, and a presentation by the Big Ten Academic Alliance Geospatial Team.

Sabbaticals approved for Libraries faculty

By Barbara Dewey, dean, University Libraries and Scholarly Communications

I am pleased to announce that sabbatical leaves for the following University Libraries faculty have been approved:

Ann W. Copeland, Head, Cataloging and Metadata Services
April 1-Sept. 30, 2018 — To research serial publications that are manuscripts then finalize and publish rules for cataloging Manuscript Serials.

Jeffrey A. Knapp, Larry and Ellen Foster Communications Librarian
Sept. 1, 2017-Feb. 28, 2018 — To create an embedded information literacy program for the College of Communications.

Eric C. Novotny, Humanities Librarian
Jan. 1-June 30, 2018 — To explore the application of digital methodologies to ongoing research in library history.

Henry A. Pisciotta, Arts & Architecture Librarian
Sept. 1, 2017-May 31, 2018 — To determine the role aesthetics can and should have in the design of academic library facilities.

University Libraries 2015-2016 Annual Report: Partners in Advancing Scholarship and Discovery

The University Libraries is pleased to share its 2015-2016 annual report, “Partners in Advancing Scholarship and Discovery.” The report highlights some of our accomplishments and initiatives during the past academic year as they relate to our strategic plan programmatic areas of Teaching and Learning; Discovery, Access, and Preservation; and Advancing University Research.

A University Libraries-wide committee, appointed by the Libraries leadership team, contributed content and reviewed the report, which also was informed by the dean’s annual activity report, the Ithaka S+R survey and additional data-driven sources. Committee members included Steve Borrelli, Chris Holobar, Joe Fennewald, Brent Hurley (succeeded by Nicki Hendrix), Athena Jackson, Sue Kellerman, Binky Lush, Tom Reinsfelder, Emily Rimland and Jill Shockey. Committee members sought input from units in an effort for content to be as widely representative of the  Libraries’ achievements and activities as possible.

The annual report may be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF file. Print copies of the annual report are sent to targeted donors and prospective donors, peer institutions and others at Libraries leadership and Development’s discretion. The PDF also has been shared with members of Penn State’s academic leadership.


Dean’s Forum set for Wednesday, Aug. 17

from Dean Barbara I. Dewey

Colleagues, please join me for the Dean’s Forum at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, August 17, in Foster Auditorium and on MediaSite Live. We will kick off the fall semester with a presentation by Anne Langley, Associate Dean for Research, Collections, and Scholarly Communications on research services changes and updates. She will also talk about her work to identify all of our committees and task forces.

I will present an impressive list of kudos, which are not to be missed!

Budget update: July 29, 2016

from Dean Barbara I. Dewey

The University’s Operating Budget was approved by the Board of Trustees on July 22, 2016.  This budget includes an increase in state support of 2.5 percent or $5.6 million, for a total appropriation of $315.7 million. Penn State’s budget planning effort focused on minimizing the impact on Penn State’s students. This budget includes modest tuition rate increases as well as a modest salary increase program. Details regarding the salary increase program will be released in the coming weeks.

The student information technology fee is being phased out, so we did not receive any funding from this fee this year. The Libraries operating budget is flat for 2016-2017.

As requested in 2015-2016 from the Provost, we will continue to review travel requests. For all travel requests, we request details about the activity, role, and goal of the travel request. We have implemented the following guidelines for reviewing and approving travel requests:

  • Presentations and/or leading part of the event, session, or workshop using professional funds, priority for untenured tenure-track faculty;
  • Work / research to be conducted using professional funds or endowments;
  • Penn State official representation and essential support for strategic directions  (no more than two representatives maximum);
  • Travel for Arts and Humanities collection development purposes is funded through endowments; and
  • Grant supported travel is approved by the terms of the grant.

We depend on each of you to provide excellent stewardship of tuition and taxpayer dollars. If you have any questions about any aspect of the budget, please contact me or Kimlyn Patishnock.

Dean’s News: April 25

by Barbara I. Dewey, dean, University Libraries and Scholarly Communications

I had the great pleasure of attending the Penn State retirees luncheon hosted by President Barron last week. Although not all attended I note that there were 10 staff retirees eligible to attend and all together they represent 230 years of service to Penn State and Penn State Libraries. Their work is greatly appreciated.

I hope some you could attend the many events great events surrounding Blue/White weekend. The Library Development Board met on April 15 and greatly enjoyed their time in the Pattee-Paterno Library complex. Thanks to all who helped with logistics, presented, or otherwise made our guests feel very welcome. Soon we should have additional information about the next Penn State fundraising campaign and the Libraries’ part in it.

A number of librarians and staff joined me for the Commission on Women Annual Awards Banquet recently. We are very proud of Sherry Lonsdale, I-Tech Database Specialist, who will be part of the Commission leadership team serving this coming year as co-chair elect, and also of Jackie Esposito, who was recognized at the event for being nominated for the Rosemary Schraer Mentoring award.

Dean’s News

I hope you will be able to join me for the Dean’s Forum at 10 a.m. on April 5. I will start with a fantastic list of kudos, which you should not miss!

I will then provide information about the budget along with an opportunity for you to ask questions. Briefly, the good news is that units and Colleges do NOT have to give back 4 percent of “temporary” general funds for the current year because the legislature passed the 2015-16. For the Libraries this means that we do not have to give back $858,081.

However, we are still asked to prepare, just in case the state does not pass a budget for 2016-17, for a 5 percent reduction in permanent funding, or $1,072,601. Strategies to meet the target would include using vacant positions, reduction of wage budget, reducing partnerships and sponsorships, and reducing travel. It’s hoped the budget will be passed in a timely manner and the 5 percent reduction will not be necessary.

I want to thank everyone for your support and fiscal restraint during the uncertain winter months. I also want to thank President Barron, Provost Jones, and Dean Rousch (Agricultural Sciences) for their tireless work in Harrisburg resulting in a successful outcome.

We will also talk about the Libraries Strategic Plan’s action Items and implementation plans and have an update on space planning.

– Barbara Dewey, Dean, University Libraries and Scholarly Communications


Dean’s News

By Barbara Dewey, dean, University Libraries and Scholarly Communications

I am pleased to announce that sabbatical leaves for the following University Libraries faculty have been approved:

Ellysa S. Cahoy, librarian and education librarian
To analyze research results of integration of ScholarSphere into Zotero interface, work collaboratively on next phases of Zotero / ScholarSphere integration, and develop educational materials on the role of the liaison librarian in optimization of the scholarly works.

Jacqueline R. (Jackie) Esposito, librarian, University archivist, and head of Records Management
To identify and evaluate the institutional placement within the CIC-Big10 higher education institutions of both University Archives (historical records programs) and Records Management programs.

Jennifer R. Gilley, associate librarian, and head librarian, New Kensington Campus Library
To research the publication histories of four books that were collectively considered the foremothers of black feminism.

Bonnie Imler, associate librarian, and head librarian, Altoona Campus
To research and write a book on the usability of library discovery systems

John Riddle, associate librarian, and head librarian, Fayette Campus Library
To research women who worked in the silent film industry in Pittsburgh and the great Pittsburgh area and prepare a paper for publication.