Category Archives: News

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

Bye: Myra Golden (submitted by Carmen Gass)

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

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

Development Impact Stories – Inspiration through generosity

By: Sarah Bacon

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

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

Abington Library celebrates International Education Week with international poetry

By: Binh Le

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Events: January 20

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

Roots/Routes: Contested Histories, Contemporary Experiences exhibition graphic

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

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

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

All Staff Conference 2020

By: Katelyn Town

Connection • Collaboration • Community

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

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

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

Thank you,
All Staff Conference 2020 Committee

2020 Sabbatical Approvals

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

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

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

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

Amy Knehans – from the Penn State College of Medicine.

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

Events: January 13

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

Roots/Routes: Contested Histories, Contemporary Experiences exhibition graphic

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

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

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

New documents concerning Access Services best practices

By: Lisa Moyer

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

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

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

by David Alan Skarupski
Submitted by: Stephanie Diaz

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

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

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

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

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

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

By: Makenzie Coduti

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

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

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

By: Myra Golden (submitted by Carmen Gass)

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

Call for Applicants: 2020 Whiting Indigenous Knowledge Student Research Awards

By: Devin McDuffie

Penn State graduate and undergraduate students are invited to submit proposals to conduct research between April 2020 and January 2021 on topics that focus on aspects of indigenous
knowledge. This is a competitive process. A maximum amount of $1,500 per project will be awarded. Funding is made available through the M. G. Whiting Endowment for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledge.

To apply, you must be a currently enrolled Penn State University student. Research must be related to an approved honors thesis topic, approved masters or doctoral thesis topic, approved topic for undergraduate capstone course, etc. If your proposal is funded, you will be required to present your research findings and/or project results at a fall 2020 or spring 2021 ICIK seminar. You will also be required to write an article highlighting the indigenous knowledge aspects of your project for publication in the ICIK journal: IK: Other Ways of Knowing.

We are also looking for faculty volunteers to review proposals.

The proposal deadline is: Feb. 23, 2020

For more information on the M.G. Whiting Indigenous Knowledge Student Research Awards, contact Mark Mattson, global partnerships and outreach librarian, at 814-863-2480 or
mam1196@psu.edu.

Access Services Bulletin #26: Ethical practices for borrowing privileges and holds

By: Lisa Moyer

Article Text: Please announce that a new Access Service Training Bulletin has been added to the Access Services Training Bulletin Intranet web page at https://staff.libraries.psu.edu/access-services-council/access-services-training-bulletins.

The bulletin is #26 and titled, Ethical Practices for Borrowing Privileges and Holds, and can be found under the Holds heading on the above web page.

Tech Tip: New Two Factor Authentication(2FA) features

By: Ryan  Johnson

On December 3rd, all users noticed a change to the 2FA prompt.  While the authentication process remains the same, the new 2FA prompt offers users the option to add a new device or manage their settings and devices directly from that prompt when they log in to WebAccess.

Users are also able to enroll and manage devices through a new 2FA management page that will be integrated into the Account Management portal.

Finally, included in the update is the ability to use a security key (such as YubiKey) or a Touch ID to login.

Arrivals and Departures

By: Robert Harris

In November we welcomed the following new employees to the Libraries:
Chris Blaska – Multi-Media Specialist, PRaM
Kevin Clair – Digital Collections Librarian
Carol DeArmitt – Financial Assistant
Jackie Rhule – Information Resources and Services Supervisor, Altoona
Jen Singletary – Technical Communications Specialist, Penn State Press
Lisa Weller – Financial Manager, Penn State Press

We said good-bye to:
Karen Estlund
Megan MacGregor

Green Tips: Green Paws Program update

By: Harlan Ritchey

Green paws photo

Hello all,
Last July the Engineering Library reached an important sustainability milestone when it completed the Green Paws program in its entirety. Penn State’s Sustainability Institute describes its Green Paws program as a way to “incorporate sustainability learning opportunities into daily life across the University.” It consists of four Levels, each with a checklist of  progressively challenging goals/activities for your office to reach. In order to meet the participation requirements, the Engineering Library had all employees (including students) choose the goals that interested them the most. After achieving each goal through research, meeting guidelines, and raising awareness, they shared their results with all coworkers. This process brought everyone on board and ensured the entire unit’s mutual commitment to
sustainability.

Upon completion of each Level, the Engineering Library received a certificate recognizing its accomplishment—and, upon completing the program, a personalized letter of recognition from President Barron.

If your unit is interested in starting its own Green Paws program, visit http://sustainability.psu.edu/greenpaws for more information, and other ways to become an advocate for sustainability.

Harlan Ritchey
Engineering Library
Chair, Green Team

Events: December 9

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

Roots/Routes: Contested Histories, Contemporary Experiences exhibition graphic

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

 
Tuesday, Dec. 10-Thursday, Dec. 19, Destress Fest. During finals week, Penn State University Libraries is offering fun and relaxing De-Stress Fest activities, coffee and snacks to help students at the University Park campus relax and ease stress as they study for finals and complete end-of-semester papers and projects. Extended hours at all University Park Libraries branches, as well as continuous 24-hour access at Pattee and Paterno Libraries. End-of-semester hours at all Libraries locations University-wide are available at https://libraries.psu.edu/hours-and-locations.
Wednesday, Dec. 11, Pop-up Exhibition: Witches and Magic and Ghosts, Oh My! Curated by students in HIST 292N: The History of Witchcraft, Magic, and the Supernatural, the exhibit features rare books and manuscripts fro the Occult Collection. Lightning talks begin at 12:20 p.m. Noon-2 p.m. in the Special Collections Library and Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, University Park.
Saturday, Dec. 21, Commencement

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