Category Archives: Faculty news

Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO) is now a publication of Penn State University Libraries

The Libraries Open Publishing Program is pleased to announce the publication of Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO), an open access resource for educators. EMRO, which was previously published by the State University of New York at Buffalo Libraries, has been transferred to the Penn State University Libraries, with Angela Davis, Reference and Instruction Librarian at Penn State Behrend, serving as the new editor. Davis served as the social media editor since 2011, and has now taken on the role of Editor for the full publication.

Former Editor Lori Widzinski commented, “Little did I know when I started EMRO that my Editorship would last 22 years. As I transitioned to a new role as Technology Project Manager for the University Libraries at UB, it was time for EMRO to change as well. Having worked with Angela for several years, I knew the database would be in good hands and I was thrilled to see it move to the Penn State Libraries Open Publishing Program where it would retain its focus on open access.”

“EMRO is a unique resource that is used by libraries and educators of all types,” said Angela Davis, editor of EMRO. “It is one of the only places to find reviews of media produced by all the major distributors and from independent filmmakers, which may not be reviewed anywhere else. I am pleased that Penn State can continue on the important work EMRO does.”

Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO) is an open access database of critical reviews of media from major educational and documentary distributors and independent filmmakers. The reviews are written by librarians and teaching faculty from across the United States and Canada. The EMRO database began in 1997 as the AV Review Database, part of the peer-reviewed publication, MC Journal: The Journal of Academic Media Librarianship, an electronic journal devoted to issues in media librarianship. When the journal ceased publication in January 2002, the AV Review Database continued on as Educational Media Reviews Online. Each review is given one of five ratings, from “Highly Recommended” to “Not Recommended”.

“EMRO is a fantastic resource that serves numerous educators across the country and around the world. We are so happy to be providing support for this publication, and are especially thankful that EMRO has been publishing Open Access since its inception,” said Ally Laird, Open Publishing Program Specialist. “Publishing the content openly, without a subscription, allows for educators from all types of institutions, both public and private schools, to access quality reviews of educational media.”

EMRO is always looking for new reviewers, and encourages those who are interested to contact Angela Davis at EMRO reviews published in 2019 or later are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (CC BY 4.0), which means that anyone can use these reviews, so long as they comply with the terms of the license. Earlier EMRO reviews are not under the CC BY 4.0 license, but distributors are able to use portions of earlier reviews for promotional purposes, as long as the name of the database and the name of the reviewer are cited.

The Libraries Open Publishing Program, a part of the Research Informatics and Publishing department, currently publishes ten Open Access journals, five bibliographies, EMRO and other topical web portal publications, and two Open Access monographs. For more information on the Open Publishing Program, please visit, or contact Ally Laird at

Nelson and Spencer present on gamified instruction at national conference

By: Elizabeth Nelson

Elizabeth Nelson, reference and instruction librarian at Penn State Lehigh Valley, and Brett Spencer, reference and instruction librarian at Penn State Berks, presented at The Innovative
Library Classroom (TILC), hosted this year at William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, in June.

Their session, “Argument Architect: Developing a Research Boardgame to Teach Thesis Development and Source Evaluation”, discussed how they created a hands-on boardgame experience for ENGL 15 students learning basic research skills. Argument Architect invites small groups of students to construct a skyscraper with a topic as their foundation and a thesis as the
cap – in between, students must choose appropriate sources from a pile of source blocks by evaluating the title, citation information, and relevant quote from each source. Groups who
construct a building with at least three source “floors” that are relevant to their topic and support their chosen thesis are evaluated by their librarians and disciplinary faculty, who act
as “building inspectors”. Students explain their choice of sources and the “inspectors” help them see potential flaws or additional questions and provide guidance as needed; groups that
pass their inspection choose from an ever-changing Prize Bucket and may immediately build a new structure for a different, contradictory thesis or using different sources. This cooperative game seeks to help students increase their knowledge in the “Authority is Constructed and Contextual” and “Research as Inquiry” frames from the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education.

Attendees of the presentation learned how the game was created and had the opportunity to play a round themselves, using the real boardgame (and playing for real prizes). Overall,  feedback from attendees was positive, with requests for the game’s materials and instructions to be shared online as the most common comment.

As an additional point of interest, the session was led as a hybrid in-person/online presentation. Elizabeth traveled to the event and guided the in-person game session, but Brett was present virtually and able to participate in the presentation itself and engage with attendees during the Q&A portion. Support for hybrid presentations is still growing, but will hopefully become more commonplace as we look for ways to reduce the environmental impact of our physical travel while still participating in and developing our research through national and international venues.

Digital Scholarship & Data Services, November 2018 Update

By: Cynthia Vitale

Introducing Digital Scholarship & Data Services Summer of 2018 marked the official launch of the Digital Scholarship & Data Services department in PSU Libraries. This department pulls together 5 units and services areas under one umbrella department. The department enhances the technology-driven research capacity of the Penn State community. We partner with students, faculty, and staff to consult, provide training, and support projects in the areas of research data management, digital humanities, mapping, statistical analysis, and open publishing.

The new department includes:
– Data Learning Center: Lizhao Ge, Statistical Information Specialist
– Research Data Services: Robert Olendorf, Research Data Librarian, Seth Erickson, CLIR Software Curation Fellow & Hannah Hadley, IMLS Data Curation Workshops Project Manager
– Digital Humanities Services: John Russell, Digital Humanities Librarian & Heather Froehlich, Literary Informatics Librarian
– Maps & Geospatial Information: Nathan Piekielek, Geospatial Services Librarian, Heather Ross, Map Information Resources and Services Supervisor-Manager & Tara LaLonde, GIS Specialist
– Open Publishing: Allyson Laird, Open Publishing Production Specialist & Michele Barbin, Open Publishing Production Assistant

Please note, we are also considering a departmental name change, which you may have read about in the Admin Retreat notes. We’re still thinking through what this would mean – but will keep everyone updated!

TOME Open Access Subvention Grants – Applications Now Open!
Applications are currently being accepted for subvention grants to support open access monographs through the TOME initiative. TOME, or Towards an Open Access Monograph, provides grants of up to $15,000 to University presses publishing Penn State author’s
works for open access editions. For more information please see the website or email Ally Laird (

NVIVO Software Available on Library Computers
University faculty, students, and staff who want to analyze qualitative research now have access to the NVIVO software from public terminals on the 2nd floor of Paterno and within the Data  Learning Center.  Additional statistical and data analysis software on these computers include SAS, SPSS, and R, to name a few. Library support and services for NVIVO are in the works – stay tuned for more information!

Text Mining: web-based resources
If you know University faculty, staff, or students are interested in text mining, point them to the new guide developed by Literary Informatics Librarian, Heather Froehlich. This guide provides an overview of important considerations and resources for text and data mining – it should be used as a starting point.

Campus Maps Topic Guide  
We often get questions asking about campus maps.  Years ago we had scanned all our campus and State College maps to facilitate patron access but had never posted them. In conjunction with Special Collections, we now have one place we can point patrons to view a list of curated historic and current campus maps.

Service Spotlight: Data & Software Curation
Libraries have provided access and preservation to books, journals, and special collections for years, providing the same services for data, software, and other digital research assets is not so different. Data & Software curation is the encompassing work and actions taken by curators in order to provide meaningful and enduring access to the assets. These actions may be  technology-based through the infrastructure provided by Digital Scholarship & Repository Development, and more hands-on, such as the treatments provided by Rob Olendorf & Seth Erickson. Hands-on curation activities may include checking the files and deposits for completeness, creating or enhancing read-me files and metadata, running code, and linking datasets and assets to related online resources (such as publications and grant award  information).


DSDS Distinctions (2018-08-01 – 2018-10-30) Publications
LaLonde, T., & Piekielek, N., (2018). “Planning for Change: A Maps and Geospatial Information Services Survey,” Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, 90. DOI:10.5062/F43F4MW4

Huang, J., Bagher, M., Ross, H., Piekielek, N., Wallgrün, J. O., Zhao, J., & Klippel, A. (In Press). “From Archive, to Access, to Experience – Historical Documents as a Basis for Immersive
Virtual Reality,” Journal of Map & Geography Libraries.

Presentations, Posters, and Webinars 
Froehlich, H., “Vocabulary for Madness, 1400-1800.” ThincLab, University of Guelph. Presentation. October 25, 2018.

Froehlich, H., “Co-ops to Post-Docs: Models of Labor in Digital Scholarship” Digital Library Federation Forum 2018, The Council on Library and Information Resources + Digital Library
Federation. Presentation. October 17, 2018.

Froehlich, H., “The Semantics of Whorishness in Jacobean Drama.” 20th International Conference on English Historical Linguistics, University of Edinburgh. Presentation. August 29, 2018.

Roth, M., Froehlich, H., Vitale, C.R.H., “SHARE-ing Omeka in the Web of Scholarship.” Association of Research Libraries Webinar. October 4, 2018.

Schwenter, K., & LaLonde, T., “When the Flash Burns Out: Migrating the Cultural and Literary Map of Pennsylvania from an Adobe Flash Platform to a Robust Content Management System.”
Pennsylvania Library Association Conference. Poster. October 16, 2018.

Olendorf, R., “Putting theory into practice: Lessons from the Data Curation Network” Digital Library Federation Forum 2018, The Council on Library and Information Resources + Digital Library Federation. Presentation. October 16, 2018.

Russell, J.E., “Pedagogy for Data-Driven Humanities.” Digital Art History Summer School, Malaga, Spain, Sept 3, 2018.

Russell, J.E., & Froehlich, H., “Digital Humanities in the Classroom.” Penn State Altoona Teaching and Learning Conference, August 15, 2018.

Vitale, C.R.H., Ruttenberg, J., “Enhancing the discovery of distributed scholarly assets: an exploration of requirements”, Bucknell University Digital Scholarship Conference. Lewisburg,
PA. Presentation. October 6, 2018.

Vitale, C.R.H., Cox, K., Darby, K., Spies, J., “Critical issues in Open Access infrastructure: metadata, licensing, and data archiving in the social sciences”, Open Scholarship in the Social Sciences (O3S). Baltimore, MD. Panelist. October 19, 2018.

Local and National Workshops Conducted
Ge, L., & Olendorf, R., “Introduction to R.”  Pennsylvania State University. Workshop. October 9, 2018.

Ge, L., “Statistical Methods.” Schreyer Honors College, Pennsylvania State University. Workshop. October 2, 2018.

LaLonde, T., “Geospatial Exploration: Mapping and locations topics and applications.” Penn State University. Workshop. September 26, 2018.

LaLonde, T., “Geospatial Data: Library Resources and beyond.” Penn State University. Workshop. September 26, 2018.

LaLonde, T., “Geospatial Online: Overview of ArcGIS Online.” Penn State University. Workshop. October 3, 2018.

LaLonde, T., “Introduction to ArcGIS Pro.” Penn State University. Workshop. October 3, 2018.

LaLonde, T., “Geospatial Analysis: Using ArcGIS Desktop for location and demographic data.” Penn State University. Workshop. October 10, 2018.

LaLonde, T., “Open Source GIS: QGIS.” Penn State University. Workshop. October 10, 2018.

Vitale, C.R.H., Carlson, J., Fearon, D., Hadley, H., Johnston, L., Lafferty-Hess, S., Kozlowski, W., Moore, J., “Specialized Data Curation” [1.5 days]. Las Vegas, NV. Workshop. October 17 & 18, 2018.

New Service Appointments
Appointment: Russell, J.E. – Editor-in-Chief, dh+lib
Grant Peer Reviewer: Froehlich, H., – National Endowment for the Humanities (August 16, 2018)
Journal/Manuscript Peer Reviewer: Froehlich, H. – Mémoires de la Société Neophilologique (Modern Language Society of Finland) (October 2018)
LaLonde, T. Penn State University Libraries Instruction Steering Committee, at-large member
Ross, H., Penn State United Way Steering Committee member

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

By: Carmen Gass

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

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

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

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


Success at the Symposium: Information Literacy and Research Track at the 2018 Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium

By: Amanda Larson

This year marks the first time that University Library hosted a track at the Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium. Held on Mar. 17, at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center, the event welcomed over 500 Penn State faculty, staff, and students
to engage in a daylong conference about the intersections between data, technology, and education. This year’s Symposium featured keynote speaker Stephen Dubner who authored Freakonomics and hosts the Freakonomics Radio podcast, four concurrent conference
sessions, the Open Innovation Challenge, and a Discovery session with an ice cream social.

The Information Literacy and Research track offered both concurrent sessions and Discovery Table sessions as a part of their participation in the event. The concurrent sessions explored a new reference model that blends instruction, reference, and outreach by holding research parties presented by Christina Riehman-Murphy and Jennifer Hunter in “Research Parties: A Social, Interdisciplinary Reference Experience”; using BIRD by Muv technology in library instruction sessions to increase student participation in one shot instruction sessions  presented by Hailley Fargo, Deena Levy, and Victoria Raish in “Soaring with BIRD: Using Technology to Flip the Script on One-Shot Instruction”; enhancing student research skills by
offering them a librarian embedded in their course through the Embedded Librarian Program presented by Lisa Byrnes, Chris Cook, Emily Mross, Victoria Raish, Alexis Santos, Louise Sharrar, and Stephen Woods in “Leveling Up Student Research Skills Online Using the Library”; and how a combination of pedagogical strategies and technologies can leverage the digital humanities
as a way to increase digital fluency presented by Jamie Brenner, Reilly Ebbs, Kathy Salzer, and Dave Sandor in “1968: Promoting Digital Fluency through Student & Alumni Engagement.”

The Discovery session offered simultaneous presentations at individual tables where attendees had the opportunity to network with their colleagues and talk to presenters. Attendees learned
how to embed research resources into Canvas with Amanda Clossen; they also learned how they could use Google Chromebooks to enhance instruction with Erin Burns, Amy Deuink, Shannon Richie, and Beth Seyala; and they were introduced to a variety of web-based  geospatial applications available through the library with Tara LaLonde.

Each session in the Information Literacy and Research track were well attended with an overwhelming amount of positive feedback on the session evaluations collected throughout the day. Based on our experience this year at the Symposium, we are revved up to participate as partners again next year!


2017 ALA Annual Conference updates

As many Libraries employees may be aware, the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference is being held June 22-27 in Chicago. The following is a round-up of activities — including national leadership positions — many of our colleagues are participating in there, as well as at ALA-affiliated organizations’ June conferences. Thank you to those who submitted their activities for inclusion in this post, and congratulations to all who are representing Penn State University Libraries!

Ellysa Cahoy (education and behavioral sciences librarian and assistant director of the Pennsylvania Center for the Book) spoke Saturday on the panel “To Teach or Not To Teach Discovery Tools: Balancing Practical Instruction with the ACRL Information Literacy Framework,” which focused on challenges and potential best practices when using the ACRL Information Literacy Framework. She also is finishing her term as past chair of the ACRL Instruction Section.

Jennifer Gilley (head librarian, Elisabeth S. Blissell Library at Penn State New Kensington) is the chair of the Research Committee for the Women and Gender Studies Section and hosted the WGSS Forum on Saturday, June 24. Today she also is receiving the 2017 Association of College and Research Libraries Women and Gender Studies Section Career Achievement Award.

Today Athena Jackson (Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair and head of Special Collections) sat on the ALA Executive Committee meeting and received her gavel as incoming chair of ALA’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS).  Jackson also participated in a panel on Saturday titled “Reaching In to Reach Out: Examining the State of Inclusivity Across Libraries, Archives and Museums.” At the 2017 RBMS conference June 20-23, she sat on the panel session “Defining the Archive,” presented at the seminar “Leadership & Management In Special Collections: Becoming the Boss, The First Three Years and Beyond” and participated in a Q&A with RBMS leaders.

Jeff Knapp (Larry and Ellen Foster Communications Librarian) is finishing his term as ALA’s Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT) president during its 40-year anniversary celebration, and presided over its executive board meeting today.

Megan Mac Gregor (student engagement and outreach librarian, Nesbitt Library at Penn State Wilkes-Barre) presented at two round tables at ALA Annual. The first, “Transforming Our Academic Outreach Practices: reaching Our Students, Faculty and Staff, and Administrators,” held on Sunday, included her presentation “Just Smile: A Soft Rebranding,” about the Nesbitt Library’s focus on customer service and iterative, incremental and user-driven changes. The second, “Where There is Thunder, There is Lightning: EDI and Change in Libraries,” was hosted on Sunday by the ALA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Implementation Working Group. It included her presentation “He-Women, Femme-Men and everything in between: Flipping traditional gender norms and a classroom by reaching out with library resources.” 

On Sunday, John Meier (science librarian, Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library) attended the announcement of the first ever SEE-IT Award (Stories Engagingly Expressed – Illustratively Told) as part of its inaugural jury. The award will be given each year in collaboration between EBSCO and the CBC Graphic Novel Committee to celebrate the youth graphic novel with the highest literary quality. He also is attending the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Science and Technology Section (STS) leadership events, since he will become its chair-elect following ALA’s Annual Conference and serve as chair of STS next year.

Rebecca Miller (head of Library Learning Services) is serving on ALA Council as a councilor-at-large, which gives her voting privileges on ALA resolutions during council meetings at the conference. She also is chair of the ACRL New Publications Advisory Board, which met on Saturday. On Saturday morning, she was the invited speaker at “So, You’re a New Instruction Librarian,” based on her book The New Instruction Librarian, and on Saturday afternoon, Miller co-presented a poster (preview online) representing collaborative work with Steve Borrelli (head of Library Assessment), Victoria Raish (online learning librarian) and Christina Wissinger (health sciences liaison librarian). Today she is moderating an ACRL panel, “From Teaching to Leading: A Learning-Centered Management Bootcamp.”

Emily Mross (business and public administration librarian, Penn State Harrisburg Library) and Christina Riehman-Murphy (reference and instruction librarian, Abington College Library) presented a poster “Spirituality in the Stacks: A Study of Student Prayer in Academic Libraries” on Saturday. The poster (preview online) highlights research conducted to understand where and why students pray in their campus libraries.

Riehman-Murphy also presented a poster at Saturday’s ACRL Women and Gender Studies Section (WGSS) General Membership Forum. Her poster, “And the Award Goes to?: Awarding adherence to femininity during the first wave of feminism in the Ogontz Archives,” examines the discourses of femininity as found in the digitized award-winning and non-award-winning essays from the Ada Pierce McCormick Collection of the Ogontz School for Young Ladies Archive, housed at Penn State Abington College Library.

In addition, Riehman-Murphy and Jennifer Hunter (reference and instruction librarian, Penn State Abington College Library) received the 2017 ACRL College Libraries Section Innovation in College Librarianship Award on Friday evening, June 23.

Amy Rustic (reference librarian, Elisabeth S. Blissell Library at Penn State New Kensington) is concluding her year as 2016-2017 chair of the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) Reference Service Section. In this role at ALA Annual, she is leading section meetings, including the all-committee meeting and open house, serving as a member of RUSA Board, and participating in meetings with other section leaders, among other duties.

Ann Snowman was a panelist on Saturday during the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) Technology Community of Practice’s program To Fine or Not to Fine: That is the Question.” The panel examined current research and practice on the topic, and she shared information about payroll deduction and use of a collection agency.

Christopher Walker (serials cataloging librarian) is the invited speaker, with a colleague from the National Library of Medicine, this afternoon at this year’s Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) Continuing Resources Cataloging Forum. They are speaking on the topic, “The Serialist Mindset: Working with Continuing Resources and other Unsolvable Problems.”

Green presents at national conference

Kristin E.C. Green, acting head librarian and reference librarian at Penn State Worthington Scranton, was a presenter at The Innovative Library Classroom Conference (TILC) at Radford University in Radford, Virginia, in May.

Her session, titled “Dust off those Encyclopedias: Using Reference Sources to Teach the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy,” was formulated around the question, “What if the ideal tools for teaching undergraduate students the most critical information literacy concepts have been sitting in the stacks all along collecting dust, or wading out in digital space unencountered?

woman standing by shelves of library books

Kristin E.C. Green, image by Noelle Sweeney

Reference sources are an optimal medium to introduce all six of the ACRL Framework’s central concepts for information literacy, Green explains. Additionally, by understanding a reference source’s place in the information search process, students learn to consciously avoid the common pitfall of neglecting exploratory research before specifying their research topics. Thus, incorporating reference sources thoughtfully into instructional design contributes to the development of both information literacy and metacognition.

The innovation in this session lies not in the advocacy of using reference materials as instructional tools for information literacy education, but in using reference materials through the lens of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, Green said. It is in this combination of the newer theoretical model with the traditional aspects of the information search process and correlating the optimal resources of reference materials that will provide participants with a fresh perspective on their own lesson planning.


The full Penn State news article can be read online here:

Miller named 2017 Big Ten Academic Alliance faculty fellow

Rebecca Miller, associate librarian and head of Library Learning Services, is one of five Penn State faculty to be named a 2017 Big Ten Academic Alliance Department Executive Officer fellow. Approximately 65 faculty department heads and chairs from Big Ten universities are selected annually for the program.

“Rebecca arrived at Penn State less than 18 months ago, and in that time she has made a significant impact on teaching and learning in the University Libraries and throughout the University while pursuing an active research agenda and maintaining a national profile without our profession. In short, she is an ideal candidate to receive this recognition and opportunity,” Joe Salem, the Libraries’ associate dean for Learning, Undergraduate Services and Commonwealth Campuses, said.

The Department Executive Officers (DEO) program is one of two faculty leadership development programs offered by the Big Ten Academic Alliance. DEO fellows, who include both seasoned and newer department heads and chairs, meet during a three-day seminar at the Big Ten Center in Chicago to discuss topics focusing on departmental leadership skills, challenges and broader issues. This year’s seminar will be held Nov. 9-11.

Miller follows Karen Estlund, the University Libraries’ associate dean for technology and digital strategies, who was named a Big Ten Academic Alliance DEO fellow in 2016.

Penn State faculty interested in learning more about the Big Ten Academic Alliance’s Department Executive Officers Program and its Academic Leadership Program are encouraged to visit

LFO Research Colloquium on Thursday, March 16

The LFO Research Committee invites you to this year’s Research Colloquium to be held from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 16 in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park. This year’s Colloquium will be a mix of longer presentations and lightning talks, and will also be available on Mediasite.

Please see below for the schedule and more information about each talk.

1:00 – 1:05 p.m.  Opening Remarks by Dean Dewey
1:05 – 1:30 p.m.  Vanessa Eyer
1:30 – 1:55 p.m.  Nancy Adams and Val Lynn
1:55 – 2:20 p.m.  Jackie Esposito
2:20 – 2:25 p.m.  Break
2:25 – 2:50 p.m.  Nathan Piekelek and Ben Goldman
2:50 – 3:15 p.m.  Rob Olendorf
3:15 – 3:20 p.m.  Carmen Cole (Lightning Talk)
3:20 – 3:25 p.m.  Zoe Chao (Lightning Talk)
3:25 – 3:30 p.m.  Close/Thank you for coming

Vanessa Eyer
Preparing Engineering Students for What Lies Ahead: Developing Career Resources in Libraries

Engineering students are extremely career-driven and focused on finding a job before graduation, but few realize that the library may be a good source for information. Some librarians are also not aware that they have the resources and skills to assist students in this endeavor. This presentation will provide practical ways librarians can assist students in career development using successful examples and strategies from the Penn State University Park
Engineering Library and outside research. In addition, the presentation will discuss marketing and advertising methods for promoting these resources to students.

Nancy Adams and Val Lynn
What Counts as Knowledge?: Concrete Examples of an Abstract Concept from the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy

The constructed and contextual nature of authority is perhaps the most abstract of all the frames in ACRL’s Framework. We will share concrete examples of how the “evidence-based practice” (EBP) paradigm defines what counts as knowledge in health sciences and education. We will then discuss our research findings from an investigation of how librarians have negotiated the contested terrain of EBP in partnership with education faculty with whom they collaborate.

Jackie Esposito
Big 10 Institutional Records: Importance as a University Asset, Management of Content and Context, and Long-Term Preservation Issues

During the summer of 2016, Esposito traveled to all the Big 10 universities to determine the methods of institutional records placement; management principles, policies, and guidance; and preservation protocols. This presentation will outline best practices, lessons learned, and
recommendations for the future.

Nathan Piekielek and Ben Goldman
Climate Control: Vulnerabilities of American Archives to Rising Seas, Hotter Days and More Powerful Storms

Archives preserve some of our society’s most prized cultural possessions and yet some may be vulnerable to expected changes in future climate. We explore the potential effects and their interactions of three climate changes on archive locations throughout the U.S. — sea level rise, temperature warming, and surface water flooding. Results suggest that all national archives will
likely be exposed to future climate changes and those along the Atlantic coast may be especially vulnerable.

Rob Olendorf
A Game Theoretical Exploration of Open Data

Research data is becoming increasingly open due to both funder requirements and also a general cultural shift among researchers. In both cases, the argument for making data more open is that it advances the cause of science. However, many researchers correctly point out that making data open incurs costs such as increased time spent in management and documentation, archiving costs and risk of misuse. At the same time the direct benefits to researchers are limited, primarily to the potential of increased impact of manuscripts. I model this problem as a “common garden” problem using a game theoretical model known as the Prisoners’ Dilemma. The analysis reveals insights as to how researchers should behave to promote open data, and also potential changes to their environment that will also advance the cause of open data.

Carmen Cole
Using Citation Analysis to Inform Future Liaison Initiatives

To date, few STEM librarians have reported utilizing the bibliographies of undergraduate theses to determine the course of their liaison initiatives. The purpose of my research is to examine the College of Information Sciences and Technologies Schreyer Honors Theses bibliographies produced within the past five years. My intent is to draw upon a variety of metrics to aid in
informing future undergraduate instruction and outreach efforts. In this talk, I will share what led me to develop this research agenda, discuss past research, and present early findings.

Zoe Chao
Report from the UX Cafe

What is UX Cafe? By offering a cup of coffee and a granola bar, I had the opportunity to have conversations with students about the Libraries website. Do they click “I want it” or “Request”? What does the term “Library Collections” mean to them? I will give a brief report on the findings in this five-minute lightning talk.

– submitted by Jennifer Gilley, LFO Research Committee

Archivist named to diversity commemoration committee

Penn State President Eric Barron has appointed University Archivist Jackie Esposito to serve on a 19-member University committee to recommend plans for “a  comprehensive commemorative that celebrates Penn State’s history of and aspiration to diversity and inclusion.”

The committee, which convenes starting in August and is chaired by Marcus Whitehurst, Penn State’s vice provost for Educational Equity, has been charged to consider broad ideas that will recognize the University’s longstanding efforts as well as its future plans.

An announcement regarding the committee’s membership and charge notes, “In 2016, INSIGHT into Diversity also recognized Penn State as one of the first Diversity Champions in Higher Education.  Only nine other universities in the nation have been given this distinction.”

Stern Cahoy leads exploration of scholarly research activities

graphic representation of digital scholarship workflow with seven circles representing actions surrounding a larger circle representing the sharing of research information.

The digital scholarship workflow project is designed to help users more easily find, store, cite, and archive important works. Digital Scholarship Workflow, Ellysa Stern Cahoy, 2012.

The critical aspects of academic research — storing, organizing, annotating, writing, citing, archiving, sharing and reflecting on information — are inextricably connected with the act of finding information. Since 2012, Penn State Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian Ellysa Stern Cahoy has studied the scholarly research workflow, in collaboration with Smiljana Antonijevic Ubois, an anthropologist with a focus on digital humanities, and Penn State librarians John Meier and Eric Novotny, and funded with an initial $143,000 grant and a subsequent $440,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“As researchers, we have explored how users manage their scholarly research activities online, identifying areas of challenge and opportunity for libraries and software providers,” Cahoy said.

Their exploratory project aims to bring a library’s scholarly resources into the research stream of the user without the user explicitly visiting a library website or other library-affiliated page. Through projects like this, the Penn State University Libraries continue to move forward with efforts to bring information directly to their users, wherever they conduct scholarly research online.

The singular goal of this project was to connect the self-archiving process with the researcher’s home university, automatically capturing research articles for institutional preservation. The first phase of team’s research during 2012 and 2013 found the most problematic areas of scholarly research management included discovery, the finding of new information, and archiving, the saving of important information. The results of this research were shared in “Personal Library Curation:  An Ethnographic Study of Scholars’ Information Practices” published in portal: Libraries and the Academy, and recipient of the journal’s best article award for 2014.  A subsequent phase of research, which began in 2014, focused on implementing software solutions to connect discovery and self-archiving within the research workflow.

Recent software developments, including Elsevier’s acquisition of both the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN) and citation management software tool Mendeley, point toward a growing recognition that finding information is an action linked with other critical academic activities and research software.

In partnership with citation management software provider, Zotero, the research team worked to provide new options for users within the software. These options included feeds to provide discovery of new research articles from within the Zotero interface, as well as identification and storage of self-authored research articles.

The research team worked with Penn State developers Dan Coughlin, Carolyn Cole, Mike Giarlo and Patricia Hswe on a first-of-its-kind feature that allows the institutional repository software to directly connect with third-party software and automatically import published works. With this optimization, Penn State’s institutional repository, ScholarSphere, can link to users’ Zotero libraries and enable immediate preservation of self-authored work.


Highlights from ACRL Immersion

horizontal photo of seven people standing in front of full conference room next to screen

During the four-day ACRL Immersion teaching and learning program, Penn State librarians answered the question, “You came. You experienced. What’s next?”

 Don’t shush me, bro.

The Association of College & Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Immersion program came to Penn State May 17-20 at the Nittany Lion Inn. More than 50 librarians from across the Commonwealth signed up to participate in this four-day intensive workshop on teaching and learning practices, and how to apply them to the research skills, course sessions, and learning labs that our librarians provide at every campus. Public dialogue can be found on Twitter with the hashtag #immersionPSU.

The three Immersion faculty — Lisa Hinchliffe, Karen Nicholson, and Craig Gibson — facilitated our work in such a way to allow for us to focus on learning theories and various learning styles, as well as learning design and assessment. We were expected to read articles and be familiar with some of these ideas before we arrived, and were given a three-ring binder with the workshop slides and notes when we checked in.

Over the next four days, we hashed out ideas at large tables in groups, which allowed for us to really get a feel for many of the ways one can create a learning session, as a refresher for what we have already been doing in our teaching. It was also fun — we got to use playdough to help visualize our learning design processes and crayons for expressing our inner teachers, with plenty of Post-It notes covering my own Immersion notebook. I made a little pyramid with purple and pink playdough, and my drawing of my “inner teacher” is someone who has a sword and shield (inspired by my current Game of Thrones obsession).

It was a great event with lots of new Penn State librarians and plenty of time for catching up with our colleagues at other campuses. The breadth and depth of experience, knowledge, skills, and support that our colleagues possess across the Commonwealth becomes extremely evident an event like Immersion. A few of us have taught for more than 30 years!

By the end of Immersion on Friday, we were asked to come up with our six-word novel to summarize our experience. “Where’s the map? There it is!” Other participants tweeted theirs:

We would again like to thank Joe Salem for his support of this event, as well as the work of the Planning Committee — Anne Behler, Nancy Dewald, Russ Hall, Glenn Masuchika, Rebecca Miller, Rebecca Peterson, and Beth Theobald.

– submitted by Erin Burns, reference and instruction librarian, Penn State Shenango

ACRL Immersion comes to Penn State

Beginning tomorrow, May 17, nearly fifty of our Libraries faculty and staff will be gathering at the Nittany Lion Inn at University Park to participate in a four-day, customized version of the Association of College & Research Libraries Information Literacy Immersion Program. This program, often simply called Immersion, provides instruction librarians the opportunity to work intensely over the course of several days on many different aspects of information literacy.

There are now six different tracks, including Teacher, Program, Assessment, and Intentional Teaching, that individuals can select if they travel to one of the national Immersion opportunities that take place around the country. A full description of the Immersion program and its six tracks is available:

Here at Penn State, we are welcoming three Immersion faculty — Lisa Hinchliffe, Karen Nicholson, and Craig Gibson — for an Immersion track customized to Penn State University Libraries and the needs we have identified for evolving our teaching and learning.

Beginning at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17, the customized Penn State Immersion will focus on three main areas: classroom assessment techniques, collaboration with disciplinary faculty, and interactive and engaging learning design, including instructional technology. The program will run through the afternoon on Friday, May 20.

If you are unable to attend but would like to following along with the discussion, follow our Twitter hashtag, #immersionPSU.

Many thanks to Joe Salem for supporting this initiative, and to the Penn State Immersion Planning Committee, led by Amy Deuink and including the following members: Anne Behler, Nancy Dewald, Russ Hall, Glenn Masuchika, Rebecca Miller, Rebecca Peterson, and Beth Theobald.

– submitted by Rebecca Miller, Library Learning Services

Faculty news

Binh Le, Penn State Abington Campus librarian, had the following articles accepted for publication:

“Choosing to Lead: Success Characteristics of Asian American Academic Leaders” to be published in Library Management, Vol. 37, No. 1/2 , 2016.

“Leadership Aspirations of Asian Academic Librarians” (invited article) to be published in International Information & Library Review, Vol. 48, No. 2, 2016.

In addition, Le’s conference proposal “Characteristics of Library Leaders in the 21st Century” has been accepted for presentation at The 8th Shanghai International Library Forum to be held in Shanghai, China, July 2016.

Faculty News: Young recognized by Simmons College SLIS

courtney youngPenn State Greater Allegheny Head Librarian Courtney Young was recently awarded the 2016 Simmons College School of Library and Information Science Alumni Association Achievement Award. This honor is given annually to a graduate of the school who has demonstrated significant achievement in the profession and who has demonstrated excellence by achieving influence as an outstanding role model for library and information professionals. Young, who is also professor of women’s studies at Penn State Greater Allegheny, received the award during the Simmons Graduate Alumnae/i Reception at the ALA Midwinter Conference.

Faculty news

Heidi Abbey (humanities librarian, Penn State Harrisburg) is back from her sabbatical as of July 1 and while she was away she got married! Please join me in sending best wishes to Heidi — her new name is Heidi Abbey Moyer. — Christine Avery

Knapp elected to leadership role on ALA’s Library Instruction Round Table


Foster Communications Librarian Jeff Knapp was recently elected vice president/president of ALA’s Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT). LIRT is an organization that advocates for library instruction, information literacy and lifelong learning within all types of libraries (academic, public, and school). “It is a much smaller group than ACRL’s Instruction Section and covers similar subjects, but the fact that LIRT includes all kinds of libraries rather than just academic libraries makes it somewhat unique,” says Knapp. Some of work includes the “LIRT Top Twenty” list of top 20 library instruction-related articles each year; the LIRT Librarian Recognition Award and Innovation in Instruction Award and committees that work on issues like students’ transition to college from high school, and working with adult learners.
Knapp has been involved with LIRT since 2004, when he first became active in ALA, and has held a number of positions in it since then. A few years ago, he led the effort to stop printing the organization’s quarterly newsletter and going electronic, saving  almost $15,000 a year, which was used to create the LIRT Librarian Recognition Award and Innovation in Instruction Award and fund some ALA Spectrum Scholarships for library school students of color. “I’d like to see those programs continue and grow, and find some new ways to reach librarians who don’t have the resources to attend conferences in person,” he says.

Zabel to receive President’s Award for Engagement With Students

Diane Zabel, The Louis and Virginia Benzak Business Librarian and head librarian of the William and Joan Schreyer Business Library, is the recipient of the 2015 President’s Award for Engagement with Students. The award is given to a faculty member who goes beyond his or her responsibilities to engage and encourage students in learning. The honorees have made themselves available to interact with students outside class, link students to opportunities and help them build their confidence as learners and potential contributors to society. Read the full story on Penn State News: