Category Archives: News

Pennsylvania and the 1918-1919 Pandemic

The University Libraries Microforms and Government Information staff is introducing a new project to increase awareness of the Libraries’ historical news resources. Each week we’ll offer a selection of newspaper articles documenting life in Pennsylvania during the historic pandemic.  While health and medicine will be regular features, we will also highlight other daily concerns, from shopping to sports, from movies to military affairs.

As the world grapples with Covid-19, there is renewed interest in the “Spanish influenza” of 1918-1919.  Overshadowed in history books by the events of World War I, the 1918-1919 pandemic caused an estimated 50 million deaths, worldwide.  Over 25 percent of the American population was afflicted with the flu which shortened the average life expectancy in the United States by twelve years.

Some articles will be from the PA newspaper archive which is freely available to all, others will be from Penn State subscription databases (available to Penn State users and visitors to PSU campuses). Look for the weekly updates at: https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/c.php?g=350496&p=7663157 and on the libraries’ Facebook and Twitter pages.

Getting to Know You: Linda Struble

By: Gale Biddle

Linda Struble and Ed on motocycle photo

When you’re from a very small town, you get used to people asking, “Where is that?” My hometown, Spruce Creek, Pennsylvania, is one of those small towns: a beautiful farming area between State College and Warriors Mark. If you blink too long while driving through it, though, you’ll miss it. I was incredibly surprised when I was talking with Linda Struble to find out that she, too, was from this tiny town. It was nice to chat with someone about the places we used to go (not that there are very many places!) This coincidence is just the first of many things that I found surprising and interesting about Linda.

Linda started as a part-time evening supervisor in the Engineering Library at University Park in 1995 before receiving a full-time position in 1998. In September 2009, she became the Information Resources and Services Supervisor-Manager. While working in the library, she took on the incredible task of also being a Schreyers Honors scholar and obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in Fine/Studio Arts in 2010. To work at the same place for 25 years like she has at Penn State, you have to have something that keeps you coming in every day. For Linda, it’s that she “loves getting to meet people from all over the world and learning about different cultures.” Just one of the many perks of working at Penn State!

Linda’s first job was working at a frozen pizza factory in Tyrone where (warning: if you really enjoy frozen pizza, you might want to skip this next part) she picked mold off the crusts before it went further down the line. Needless to say, it was a long time before she was able to eat a frozen pizza. Plus, she didn’t enjoy being cold all of the time, and to this day, she still has a scar from the shrink-wrapping machine. Growing up, Linda’s family owned a restaurant. This experience was where her love of baking started. She’s been a pastry baker for places from New York to Florida. She prefers Scandinavian baking since her father’s family is from Sweden.

And speaking of her family, an interesting note is that Linda is the only one in her family who is under six feet tall. In her spare time, Linda enjoys riding motorcycles with her husband, although she says she makes a better passenger than an operator. She also helps him with his roofing business by doing paperwork and sometimes climbing on the roof with him. They have
one daughter, who is an equestrienne, and Siamese cats. Linda loves Halloween (she really outdoes herself with the decorations,) reading, the beach, photography, and traveling. She has a brother who lives in Switzerland, and she’s enjoyed visiting him and traveling around Europe. She also enjoys being a dancer tracker at the Penn State Powwows.

I thoroughly enjoyed talking with Linda, and I hope you’ve learned some fascinating and interesting things about her. Now, we all have to try to forget about the frozen pizza thing…

Ten Questions with Linda Struble

1. Cereal—crunchy or soggy? — Crunchy
2. Favorite cartoon? — Bugs Bunny
3. What artist/band do you always recommend when someone asks? — AC/DC
4. There are two types of people in this world. What are they? — Righty tighty, lefty loosey (right-handers, left-handers and beyond)
5. You have $100 to spend. All your friends are busy. You have the whole day to yourself. What do you do? — Get a crème brulee and a pedicure after hitting the flea market
6. What is the best compliment you ever received? —Tom Conkling, the former Head of Engineering, told Linda that “you’re not like other artists,” meaning that he thought she had a good balance of creative and critical thinking skills
7. What one thing do you really but can’t afford? — A 1963 Corvette with a split rear window
8. Would you rather visit the past or the future? — Future
9. Favorite color? — Purple
10. First thing you would do if you won the lottery? — Visit Sweden

Tech Tip: Adding a link to Teams in your email signature

By: Ryan Johnson

Note: These instructions are written for the Microsoft Outlook website (http://outlook.office.com).  You can add a link to Teams in any email client, but the steps may be slightly different.

  1. Log into your Microsoft Outlook Mail
  2. Click on the Settings icon at the top right (it looks like a gear)
  3. Click on View All Outlook Settings at the bottom of the window outlook settings screenshot
  4. Click on Compose and Reply
  5. In the window pane to the right, within the Email Signature, type the following text at the top: Using Microsoft Teams? Click here to chat with me on Microsoft Teams
  6. Highlight Microsoft Teams? and click on the Insert Hyperlink icon
  7. For the Web Address use https://teams.microsoft.com and then click Ok
  8. Highlight here and click on the Insert Hyperlink icon again
  9. For the “Web Address” use https://teams.microsoft.com/l/chat/0/0?users=username@psu.edu and then click “Ok” (NOTE: change the ‘username@psu.edu’ to be your PSU email address)
  10. Click Save at the top right of the window.
  11. If done correctly, you will now have a line in your email signature that looks like the example below.

Outlook thumbnail screenshot

Tech Tip: Turn on live subtitles and captions in PowerPoint from Office 365

By: Ryan Johnson

Do you want to make your presentations better understood by everyone in the room? Some of your students may be a native speaker in another language or have difficulty hearing when you have a soft-spoken guest. Live Captions and Subtitles in PowerPoint can provide captions for your presentation in the same language you are speaking or translate it into another language in real-time!

How to turn on Live Captions & Subtitles:

  1. Open PowerPoint Presentation in PowerPoint on Office 365
  2. Navigate to the Slide Show menu.
  3. Select the Always Use Subtitles option.

Always use Subtitles screenshot

4. Choose where you would like the Subtitles to appear.

4.	Choose where you would like the Subtitles to appear.

5. After selecting the location of the Subtitles, navigate to the Spoken Language options.
6. Select the Spoken Language from the menu of options.
7. Next, choose the Subtitle Language for the translation.

5.	 After selecting the location of the Subtitles, navigate to the Spoken Language options. 6.	Select the Spoken Language from the menu of options. 7.	Next, choose the Subtitle Language for the translation.

8. After selecting the Subtitle Language, test your presentation to make sure your microphone  is working. Start the slideshow and begin speaking.

Virtual Peer-to-Peer Consultations

By: Claire Salvati

The Search Bar offers a suite of peer-to-peer undergraduate student services. Peer Research Consultants, Writing Tutors, and Tech Tutors support research, writing, and technology needs
through in-person (Fall & Spring) and virtual consultations. The services are a collaboration between the University Libraries, Penn State Learning, and Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology.

We will be launching virtual drop-in consultations and tutoring sessions during the Summer Session II. For more information about how to connect with our services, please visit the Search Bar Services page or https://libraries.psu.edu/services/search-bar-services.

Customer Service Tip: How to be a hero to your customers

By: Jeff Toister (submitted by Carmen Gass)

Heroism is a misunderstood concept.

Countless customer service employees have told me they can’t be a hero. According to them, their job doesn’t allow it.

“I’m a cashier/receptionist/call center rep/etc.,” they say. “There’s hardly ever an opportunity to be a hero to customers. Most of my interactions are routine.”

Customer experience expert and keynote speaker, Adam Toporek, believes all customer service employees can be heroes. He’s the author of Be Your Customer’s Hero, a book that shows anyone how they can be a hero to their customers. Read more here.

Tech Tip: Microsoft quarantine notification

By: Ryan JohnsonMicrosoft quarantine screenshot for tech tip

When Office 365 quarantines a message or file sent to a Penn State user it should generate an email that looks like the image above.

This message is usually legitimate. If you do not recognize the sender mentioned in the message it is very likely that the contents referred to are malicious and should not be opened.

If you recognize the sender and when you hover over a link in the message if it does not resolve to protection.microsoft.com or a subdomain of protection.microsoft.com please do not click the link and forward the message as an attachment to phishing@psu.edu.

Events: May 26

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

UPDATE: In light of the University’s March 11 announcement regarding measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic, nonessential events and meetings scheduled at University Libraries locations throughout the spring semester have been canceled, rescheduled or will be offered virtually. 

Earth Archives exhibition posterEXHIBITION: Earth Archives: Stories of Human Impact. To coincide with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Earth Archives explores the intersection of the environment, human activity, and the documentary record. Highlights of the virtual exhibition include representations of varied print, manuscript, and art works that invites the viewer to consider a range of environmental-related topics and will serve as a growing, centralized resource.

 

buttons from INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY: Highlights From the Ken Lawrence Collection

EXHIBITION: International Solidarity: Highlights from the Ken Lawrence Collection. A virtual look at the visual culture of political protest in the late 20th-century, to provoke thought about international solidarity in our own time, including human and civil rights, immigration, and independence movements.

 

Wednesdays, Apr. 22-June 10, Remote Research Webinar Series. Free webinars to assist Penn State researchers with shifting their research from onsite to offsite. The series highlights various University services and infrastructure to support remote research. All sessions will be held via Zoom. Additional resources for remote research may be found at https://remoteresearch.psu.edu.

Thursdays, Apr. 23-June 4, Research Data Skills for Graduate Students. Learn more about and improve skills in the areas of data management, data analysis, data visualization and data publishing. in collaboration with the Institutes of Energy and the Environment, the free virtual seminars highlight essential data skills that graduate students can utilize throughout the research data life cycle.All sessions begin at 3 p.m. Advance registration is required.

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.

Penn State University Press announces new books and journals for Fall/Winter 2020

By: Cate Fricke

Penn State University Press has unveiled its Fall/Winter 2020 catalog featuring new general interest and scholarly books in the fields of American history, literature, art history, religious
studies, rhetoric and communication, medieval and early modern studies, animal studies, and more.

Penn State Press cover art Notable forthcoming titles include A Pre-Columbian Bestiary: Fantastic Creatures of Indigenous Latin America, a whimsical compendium of imaginary and mythical Latin American beasts by Ilan Stavans, with vivid illustrations by Eko; The First Inauguration: George Washington and the Invention of the Republic by Stephen Howard Browne, Penn State Liberal Arts Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences; The Objects That Remain, a poignant memoir by Laura Levitt that explores how physical objects inform our understanding of trauma; and Menopause: A Comic Treatment, a collection of hilarious and insightful comics on hot flashes and much more, edited by MK Czerwiec.

Scholarly highlights include Deportable and Disposable: Public Rhetoric and the Making of the “Illegal” Immigrant by Lisa A. Flores, an important look at the history of language used to describe Mexican immigrants; Designing a New Tradition: Loïs Mailou Jones and the Aesthetics of Blackness, an exploration of the art and legacy of African American artist Loïs Mailou Jones
by Rebecca VanDiver; Robert de Reims: Songs and Motets, a critical edition of the work of the thirteenth-century French “trouvère,” edited and translated by Eglal Doss-Quinby, Gaël Saint-Cricq, and Samuel N. Rosenberg; and On Transhumanism, an essential and clarifying volume by noted metahumanist philosopher Stefan Lorenz Sorgner.

The Fall/Winter 2020 catalog also includes new titles in ancient Near Eastern and biblical studies from Eisenbrauns, which the Press acquired as an imprint in November 2017, and new journals
now available from PSU Press such as The Langston Hughes Review and Studies in the American Short Story. The Press is also pleased to release Field Language: The Painting and Poetry of Warren and Jane Rohrer, a publication of the Palmer Museum of Art that marks the occasion of a retrospective exhibition devoted to the working relationship between abstract painter Warren Rohrer and his wife, poet Jane Turner Rohrer.

To see all of Penn State University Press’s forthcoming Fall/Winter 2020 titles, visit
http://www.psupress.org/catalogs/PDFs/FW20_web.pdf

University Libraries Job Bank

By: Binky Lush

Do you have projects or tasks that need to be done, but haven’t had the time or resources to complete them?

Please consider submitting a job bank posting. The Libraries Job Bank is designed to match up work that needs to be done with Libraries’ employees who have extra time to help! These projects can be big or small, with varying degrees of complexity and skill needed. (Please note: All project postings should be approved by your supervisor or Department Head.)

Do you have extra time in your schedule, and are looking to help out on a Libraries’ task or project?

If you have more capacity in your schedule during this remote work time and you are interested in helping out with some interesting projects and learning more about work in other areas of the Libraries, please review the Job Bank postings and apply!

More information about the Job Bank is available on the Staff Site.

Events: May 18

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

UPDATE: In light of the University’s March 11 announcement regarding measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic, nonessential events and meetings scheduled at University Libraries locations throughout the spring semester have been canceled, rescheduled or will be offered virtually. 

Earth Archives exhibition posterEXHIBITION: Earth Archives: Stories of Human Impact. To coincide with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Earth Archives explores the intersection of the environment, human activity, and the documentary record. Highlights of the virtual exhibition include representations of varied print, manuscript, and art works that invites the viewer to consider a range of environmental-related topics and will serve as a growing, centralized resource.

 

buttons from INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY: Highlights From the Ken Lawrence Collection

EXHIBITION: International Solidarity: Highlights from the Ken Lawrence Collection. A virtual look at the visual culture of political protest in the late 20th-century, to provoke thought about international solidarity in our own time, including human and civil rights, immigration, and independence movements.

 

Wednesdays, Apr. 22-June 10, Remote Research Webinar Series. Free webinars to assist Penn State researchers with shifting their research from onsite to offsite. The series highlights various University services and infrastructure to support remote research. All sessions will be held via Zoom. Additional resources for remote research may be found at https://remoteresearch.psu.edu.

Thursdays, Apr. 23-June 4, Research Data Skills for Graduate Students. Learn more about and improve skills in the areas of data management, data analysis, data visualization and data publishing. in collaboration with the Institutes of Energy and the Environment, the free virtual seminars highlight essential data skills that graduate students can utilize throughout the research data life cycle.All sessions begin at 3 p.m. Advance registration is required.

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.

Customer Service Tip: How to get a talkative customer to cut to the chase

By: Myra Golden (submitted by Carmen Gass)

Research shows the average business call lasts two minutes longer than it needs to. The bitter truth is most of us spend far too much time on the phone with customers and co-workers in idle small talk or listening to the whiner, rambler, or storyteller.

So how do you politely end a call when you know it’s no longer productive? I’ll give you six of my favorite strategies for graciously bringing a long-winded caller back to focus. Read more here.

Tech Tip: Zoom security updates coming May 11

By: Ryan Johnson

To address increased security threats and recent security breaches during Zoom meetings—also known as “Zoom bombings”—new security updates will be implemented on May 11. These include changing the default settings of some features you may be accustomed to using in your meetings, including the chat feature, screen sharing, and meeting passwords.

What will be changed?
Many features will have new default settings. For a complete list of features affected, please visit the new Zoom Meetings page on the Office of Information Security website.

Who will be affected?
All Penn State students, faculty, and staff who use the most recent version of Zoom.

What is the best way to make sure my future meetings are secure?
Once you are using the latest version of Zoom, you can delete and recreate your previously scheduled meetings to apply the new security settings to those meetings. You should also alter as few of the new default feature settings as possible to maintain the greatest level of security against intruders and disruptions.

What actions do I need to take?
It is recommended to have the latest version of Zoom by May 11 to have easier access to make changes to settings. You must be using the latest version of Zoom by May 30, 2020 on all of your electronic devices—including desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices—to ensure that the program continues to run properly.

To update to the latest version of Zoom, follow the instructions below:

University Libraries Staff Laptop (PC and Mac) currently at home (including department/wireless-only laptops)
To install the latest version of Zoom on a University Libraries Staff Laptop at home, Connect to the VPN and download the Zoom update from Self Service.

Note: Any machines currently located at work, will be updated automatically. 

Staff Members who are using a Borrowed Laptops from Library Strategic Technologies
The users of the “Corona” laptops should download and install the Zoom update file and run it from the Box location below.

https://psu.box.com/v/psulibrarieszoom

Note: These machines will have to be upgraded to the latest version of zoom manually since these laptops are not connected to the Self-Service Application.

University Libraries Staff Using Personal Computers
For anyone running Zoom on their personal computers, please download the Zoom update from the link below and follow any on-screen instructions to update.

https://psu.box.com/v/psulibrarieszoom

Mobile Devices (Android, iPhone) iPads, Surface, etc.
Please update Zoom via your device’s app store.

Where to get help:
If you would like to reconfigure feature settings, instructions are available on the Zoom Meetings page and a step-by-step screencast is currently being developed that will be added to the page by May 8.

Ryan Johnson will also offer ½ hours Zoom Update Training Sessions at 10:00am and again at 2pm on both Friday May 8th and Monday May 11th.

All sessions will occur at https://psu.zoom.us/my/ultraining or by entering the meeting ID of 8148674095

Questions regarding the changes to Zoom or how to use them can also be directed to the Libraries Service Desk. 

 

Maps and GIS Assistant projects: fall and spring updates

By: Tara Anthony

Maps and GIS Assistant Projects: Fall and Spring Updates

The Maps and GIS Assistants of the Donald W. Hamer Center for Maps and Geospatial Information focused on the following collaborative ArcGIS Online StoryMap projects during the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters. Maps and GIS Assistants contributing to these projects included Ishaan Anavkar, Zhaogeng Ding, Jamie Friedken, Nicholas Friedken, Katie Giesa, Milan Liu, Daniel Valadas, Brittany Waltemate, and Thomas Whalon.

Office of Strategic Services (OSS) World War II Maps Project: These print maps in the collection were scanned previously, which were used in this project focused on georeferencing and digitizing content. This collection includes an international focus and represents multiple geospatial themes. This project was both an exercise for Maps and GIS Assistants to become more familiar with the process of georeferencing and digitizing, but also the process of creating ArcGIS online layers and a collective ArcGIS Online StoryMap. Example themes of OSS World War II maps include agricultural, transportation, and military topics.  See this page for more information on the project.

World War II OSS Maps StoryMap title page

Historic Altoona, Pennsylvania Landmarks Project: This project focused on 1909 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps from the Penn State Libraries’ Digital Collection as the source of geospatial information for the creation of an ArcGIS StoryMap using a newer interface. This project focused on the newer functionality built into ArcGIS StoryMaps including the creation of a guided tour and functionality for scrolling media and text content. Maps and GIS Assistants chose landmarks and buildings of interest to highlight from these Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps to learn more about features of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps and the setting of Altoona, Pennsylvania in the 1909 timeframe. See this page for more information on the project.

Historic Altoona, Pennsylvania Landmarks StoryMap title page

Historic Altoona, Pennsylvania Landmarks StoryMap title page

Access Services Training Bulletin update

By: Lisa Moyer

Access Service Training Bulletin #10, Accepting Replacement Copies, has been updated to reflect that patrons will not be charged a rebind fee when providing a replacement book. The
binding fee will remain on the fee schedule and may be applied if necessary and at the discretion of the owning library. If the replacement copy needs to be bound, the patron is responsible for the cost of binding.

The complete training bulletin can be found on the Access Services training bulletin web page at
https://staff.libraries.psu.edu/access-services-council/training-bulletins-numerical.