Drone Days of Summer: Flying High at the Library with Access Aerial

One of our goals here at the Weinberg Memorial Library is to encourage thoughtful exploration of new technologies – we see experimentation as an important part of thinking and learning. Also, sometimes we just like to play with cool new toys. For both reasons, we were delighted to receive a visit earlier this summer from local drone photography team Access Aerial, who gave us the Library’s very first drone flyover along with a demonstration of their equipment.

We’ll confess – we had an in! Access Aerial’s two pilots, Lee DeAngelis and John Culkin, are also staff members in the University of Scranton’s Information Resources division. In their day jobs as Senior Systems Administrators, Lee and John help us keep the Library’s infrastructure running smoothly. Off hours, though, they’re out flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over community events, giving us a new perspective on our local landscape. Back in June, Lee used his drone to capture aerial footage of the Scranton Cooperage fire, demonstrating the potential value of drones in local journalism (and even getting a mention in Fortune). In July, Access Aerial photographed the construction of the brand new library at nearby Marywood University (we’ll admit that a tiny bit of librarian jealousy may have prompted us to set up our own appointment).

At the end of August, Lee and John brought over one of their Phantom drones for a demonstration at the Library. Their Information Resources coworker Ray Frey, also a UAV enthusiast, brought his own homemade drone along for the fun.

The PhantomDrone Flyover with Access AerialIMG_4291RayFlying down the Commons IMG_4282

The results were phenomenal: a beautiful video of our Library and campus and gorgeous drone’s-eye-view photographs.

Monroe Ave side   Commons sideCampusDCIM100MEDIA

As an added bonus, Lee and John came back to see us a few days later to do a “fly through” promotional video for our new Reilly Learning Commons!

We may have cheated a *tiny* bit. Shhh!

Reilly Learning Commons fly-in    Reilly Learning Commons fly-in

Overall, the experience has left us feeling quite majestic. From all of us here at the Weinberg Memorial Library, huge thanks to Access Aerial! We can’t wait to see what you’ll photograph next.

IMG_4331

P.S. Feel like you missed out on the fun? Lee and John will be bringing a drone back to the Library on November 13, 2014 at 12pm for “Everything You Wanted To Know About Drones, But Were Afraid to Ask!” They’ll be giving a presentation and demonstration (weather permitting) as part of the Library’s Technology On Your Own Terms workshop series. Faculty and staff can sign up at www.scranton.edu/ctleregistration.

 

Remembering Apollo 11, Honoring Glynn S. Lunney H’71

Today is the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, so it seems like a good day to honor NASA flight director Glynn S. Lunney H’71. A native of Old Forge, Lunney graduated from Scranton Prep and studied at the University of Scranton before receiving his B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Detroit.

Check out the full citation for his 1971 honorary doctor of laws degree in our digital collections! If you’re on campus, you can also browse through some newspaper clippings about his appearance and address at undergraduate commencement that year.

Hey! You! Get into our (Dura)Cloud!

DuraCloud logo

The Weinberg Memorial Library’s got a brand new cloud – and unlike Mick Jagger’s, on ours, not even two terabytes are a crowd.

Thanks to our new partnership with DuraCloud, the master files from our digital collections are now being preserved in a more robust repository, where we can monitor the health of our bitstreams, discover and repair any corruption or damage, and automatically back everything up offsite in Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier cloud storage.

This is a pretty important step up for us. Since our beginnings in 2008, our digital collections have expanded from 0 to 1.75 terabytes (that’s about 1,792 gigabytes!), with no signs of stopping anytime soon. At that scale, it was getting difficult for us to manage our own local and remote backups, and we were quickly running out of local storage space. The move to DuraCloud not only smooths out our workflow, it also gives us plenty of room to grow for the future.

As an added bonus, thanks to interoperability between DuraCloud and our Archive-It web archiving service, all of the web content that we capture for preservation from University-related sites will be automatically backed up in DuraCloud, too.

All of these changes are on the back end, so users won’t notice any difference – you can still search and browse our digital collections at www.scranton.edu/library/digitalcollections.

WML+10: Open Forum on the Future of the Library

wml10

One of our ongoing projects at the Weinberg Memorial Library is thinking about and planning for the future. Our WML+10 project is an attempt to envision what the Library’s building, collections, staff, and services will look like in 10 years. Working with representatives from the Library Advisory Committee, we’ve drafted a report summarizing our discussions so far, and we’re now looking for broader feedback from the University community.

If you’re interested in the future of the Library, please take some time to review our progress report and share your thoughts with us. We’re holding an Open Forum on Friday, May 9th from 12pm-1pm in the Heritage Room (please RSVP to kym.fetsko@scranton.edu) to begin the discussion, but if you can’t make it, please send questions, comments, suggestions, and concerns to us via email at digitalcollections@scranton.edu. We look forward to incorporating your input into our vision!

Seniors: Vote for Teacher of the Year

VOTE FOR:

 TEACHER OF THE YEAR

ATTENTION:  GRADUATING SENIORS

2014 University of Scranton Teacher of the Year Award

Each year the Graduating Senior Class selects its “Teacher of the Year.” Beginning Monday, April 28th, please vote for the faculty member who you believe best exhibits the following characteristics:

  • Maintains the highest standards of academic excellence and fairness.
  • Inspires interest in the discipline through personal enthusiasm and dedication.
  • Is consistently effective in communication.
  • Is available outside of the classroom.

The award will be presented during Class Night on Friday, May 30th, 2014.

HOW TO VOTE:  To cast your electronic ballot, access www.scranton.edu/toy

WHEN TO VOTE:  Monday, April 28th, 9:00 a.m. – Friday, May 2nd,5:00 p.m.

Remember a Faculty Member Whose Teaching Has Inspired You!  

(Posted on behalf of our CTLE colleagues)

Celebrating Our Towns: Lackawanna County Centennial Books and Community Histories

Our friends over at the Lackawanna Valley Digital Archives (LVDA) have just announced a new digital collection of local history materials:

Celebrating Our Towns—Lackawanna County Centennial Books and Community Histories is a collection of books honoring Lackawanna county towns, townships, boroughs, cities and areas.  These books were published by local authors and centennial groups to celebrate their towns.  This wonderful collection was made possible by a grant from the Willary Foundation.

One of our favorites is the Historical Booklet and Guide from Scranton’s Diamond Jubilee and Centennial celebration in 1941. Nearby towns represented in the collection include Archbald, Carbondale, Clarks Summit, Dunmore, Olyphant, and Throop, among several others.

Break a Leg, Players!

It’s opening night for the University of Scranton Players’ production of the musical She Loves Me, with the Weinberg Memorial Library’s own David Hunisch performing the role of Ladislav Sipos and Ian O’Hara playing in the pit.

To the entire cast and crew, from your friends and fans at the Library: break a leg!

The Day We Fight Back

The Day We Fight Back

Today, as part of The Day We Fight Back, a national demonstration against mass surveillance, the American Library Association is urging library supporters to ask their representatives in Congress to support the USA FREEDOM Act (S.1599 and H.R.3361).

ALA’s Washington Office explains why:

ALA is making this effort because of the library community’s long standing commitment to privacy, starting with the protection of patron library records. Grassroots support from ALA has meant a lot to the reform attempts since passage of the USA PATRIOT Act in 2001. Now with public knowledge about the extensive surveillance of telephone records and other revelations, there is an opportunity get some real reforms to the surveillance system. That is why we need our library voices to express the need for ending mass surveillance, bring due process to the FISA court process and rationality to the collection and retention of data about millions of people.

The FREEDOM Act, introduced by Senator Pat Leahy (D-Vermont) and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin), seeks to end bulk collection of Americans’ communications information and introduce transparency and oversight for National Security Agency investigations. As ALA explains:

This bicameral piece of legislation is intended to end bulk collection of telephone metadata, prevent bulk collection of Internet metadata, and permit companies to report publicly on the number of FISA orders and National Security Letters they have received and complied with, and the number of users (or accounts) whose information was sought under those orders and letters.

The bill would also require the government itself to make additional disclosures about the intelligence surveillance it conducts. It would also establish a process for declassifying significant opinions issued by the FISA court and create an Office of the Special Advocate charged with arguing for privacy at the FISA Court.

Please ask both your U.S. representative and senators to co-sponsor this important legislation. If your any of your legislators have already co-sponsored, please thank them for bringing more transparency and oversight to these spying programs.