12,876 University of Scranton Records Now Available in the Digital Public Library of America

Last week at DPLAFest in Washington, DC, executive director Dan Cohen announced that the Digital Public Library of America had grown in its third year to include more than 13 million records. We’re proud to announce that 12,876 of those records were contributed by the University of Scranton Weinberg Memorial Library.

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Launched in 2013, DPLA is a digital platform and network that brings together descriptive information for rare and unique digital materials from more than 1,900 libraries, archives, and museums across the country. It’s a portal to the treasures of American cultural heritage, from digitized photographs, films, documents, and objects to born digital ebooks, video, and images. All of these materials are freely available on the web for use by researchers, students, teachers, genealogists, and the general public.

We’ve been building digital collections at the University of Scranton since 2008, and nearly all of our materials are already publicly available on our website at www.scranton.edu/library/digitalcollections (some items are restricted due to copyright, privacy, or donor request). So why participate in DPLA?

DPLA doesn’t host digital materials – they’re all stored and made accessible by contributing institutions like us, so it’s still our job to keep digitizing, describing, preserving, and publishing digital items. What DPLA does is make these materials discoverable and usable in entirely new and exciting ways. Metadata records (descriptive information) that we send to DPLA are aggregated into a stream of open data that can be used by software developers and others to create new tools or visualizations. Two of our favorites are the DPLA Visual Search Prototype and Culture Collage, which offer more visual interfaces for browsing and sorting through search results.

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(We also get a kick out of Term vs. Term, which compares the number of DPLA search results for two phrases. You know, like Scranton vs. Wilkes-Barre. Just saying.)

termvstermPerhaps most importantly, DPLA allows for unified access, which is important both for 1) users who don’t necessarily know what institution will have the records they’re looking for and 2) collections that have been physically fragmented across different institutions.

An example of the former might be a genealogist looking for information about family members from Scranton. Using DPLA, they can find not only relevant materials in our collections (like our yearbooks and Aquinas issues, which are excellent sources for information about our alumni) but they’ll also stumble across photographs, manuscripts, and books from the Lackawanna Valley Digital Archives, postcards from the Boston Public Library, stereographs and menus from the New York Public Library, and genealogical books from the Library of Congress.

An example of the latter is the Horace G. Healey Collection, an impressive set of 19th century penmanship and calligraphy. Half of the collection is available here on campus in our McHugh Special Collections (as part of our Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection), but the other half is at the New York Public Library. In DPLA, images of the artwork are reunited as they are digitized.

Our participation in DPLA has been in the works for almost two years. DPLA is unable to accept metadata records directly from individual libraries – there are just too many potential contributors! – so almost all of its data passes through nodes called Service Hubs. Most service hubs are established at a state or regional level, and Pennsylvania didn’t have one when DPLA first launched. Beginning in August 2014, a group of Pennsylvania cultural heritage institutions got together to discuss how best to collaborate on digital collections in the state. After a year of planning, coordination, and tons of work, the PA Digital Partnership was approved as a DPLA Service Hub in August 2015. On April 13, 2016, data from the PA Digital Partnership went live in DPLA, with 131, 651 records from 19 contributing Pennsylvania institutions.We’re incredibly proud to be part of DPLA and the PA Digital Partnership, and we’re thrilled to see our digital collections be more accessible and discoverable than ever. Congratulations to all our PA Digital colleagues, and happy searching to all!

Spotlight on Student Worker Olivia Homish

Olivia Homish was referred to us by the CTLE for a work-study position within the Library at the start of her sophomore year in 2013. Now, as she heads toward graduation this May with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, the Library Dean’s Office would like to take a moment to recognize Olivia’s hard work and dedication to our office over the last four years.

A second generation Royal and a native of Archbald, Olivia, was familiar with the University’s reputation and beautiful campus early on. During the past several years, Olivia’s enjoyed interacting with the kind and friendly students, faculty, and staff the University of Scranton is known for. The Dean’s office relied on Olivia to assist in office tasks with professionalism and congeniality, which she did with ease. She not only worked for us the last six semesters, you could also find her in the office over intersession and summer breaks.

Now that she’s a senior, Olivia would encourage other students to ask questions while in the Library; there are a lot of resources for students to use, which they might not be aware of.  Her favorite classes were her management classes and she also participated in Business Club. Olivia’s favorite movie is The Dark Knight, and she enjoys working out when she’s not in class. One fun fact about Olivia is she’s not done with her studies yet—she plans to pursue her M.B.A.! When she’s finished, she hopes to find work in healthcare management.

Olivia is a tremendous asset to our office, and will be hard to replace. Thank you, Olivia, for all your hard work. We wish you all the best!

Celebrate Scranton’s Charter Day with Coloring Pages!

This Saturday is Charter Day, Scranton’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of its incorporation as a city. There will be lots of events going on all day, but here’s another festive option for creative Scrantonians: Charter Day Coloring Pages!

These Coloring Pages were a collaborative effort between the Lackawanna Historical Society, the Lackawanna Valley Digital Archives, the Leadership Lackawanna #HistoricScranton team, and the University of Scranton Weinberg Memorial Library (we had way too much fun working on our Local History Coloring Book back in February and couldn’t resist coming back for more!).

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The pages feature images of the city and its past. Leadership Lackawanna’s #HistoricScranton coloring pages, created as part of a current class project with the Historical Architectural Review Board, highlight historic buildings and architecture. The remaining pages hold digitized drawings from local history collections housed at LHS, the Scranton Public Library, and our own University Archives and Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections. (We also included a few images from books digitized by other libraries that are now in the public domain.) Each digitized image is accompanied by a citation describing the image and its source.

LHS will be printing out pages for coloring contests to be held throughout this week, but you can also download a digital copy and print out your own. Happy coloring, and happy birthday Scranton!

Many thanks to all our partners, and extra special thanks to our Weinberg Memorial Library students and staffers who helped with selecting images and making them coloring-friendly!

Information Literacy

Information_Graphic_RGBIn 1989, the American Library Association defined Information literacy as a set of abilities requiring individuals to “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.”

This definition has informed library professionals at every level for more than 25 years.  On January 11, 2016, in conjunction with the adoption by the Board of Directors of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) of the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, an updated definition of information literacy was introduced. “This revised definition of information literacy emphasizes the importance of discourse communities within academic disciplines and the need for placing information literacy in the proper context within those communities.”1

Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.²

The Framework document identifies a cluster of six  interconnected core concepts or “frames” through which to understand, teach, and develop information literacy. These six frames are presented alphabetically and do not suggest a particular sequence in which they must be learned.

Authority is Constructed and Contextual

Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority is constructed in that various communities may recognize different types of authority. It is contextual in that the information need may help to determine the level of authority required.

Information Creation as a Process

Information in any format is produced to convey a message and is shared via a selected delivery method. The iterative processes of researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information vary, and the resulting product reflects these differences.

Information Has Value

Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world. Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information production and dissemination.

Research as Inquiry

Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field.

Scholarship as Conversation

Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations.

Searching as Strategic Exploration

Searching for information is often nonlinear and iterative, requiring the evaluation of a range of information sources and the mental flexibility to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding develops.

—–
¹Ariew, Susan. 2014. “How We Got Here.” Communications in Information Literacy 8 (2): 208-224.
²
“Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education,” Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), accessed April 15, 2016, www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework

 

 

The International Film Series Presents: The Black Balloon

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Image courtesy of Neoclassics Films Ltd.

When Thomas and his family move to a new home and he has to start at a new school, he just wants to fit in. That becomes more difficult when his pregnant mother is hospitalized and his father puts him in charge of his autistic older brother Charlie. Thomas struggles with the responsibility since he both loves and is sometimes embarrassed by his older brother. Will the support of his family and new girlfriend be enough to help Thomas fit in and accept his often chaotic family life?

Director Elissa Down drew on her experiences growing up with two autistic brothers, and she offers a realistic and sympathetic look at a family with an autistic teenager.  The Black Balloon is in English and stars Rhys Wakefield, Gemma Ward and Toni Collette.

Please join us on Wednesday May 4th at 7 p.m. in Room 305 of the Weinberg Memorial Library for this free event. Professor Allison Lai will lead a discussion following the film.

This event is open to faculty, staff, students, and the public. Please email sharon.finnerty@scranton.edu for more information.

Spotlight on Student Worker Melisa Gallo

bandbMelisa Gallo of Scranton, PA began her studies here in the Fall of 2012. One of her good friends, who also worked in the library, referred her to a job in Circulation Services at the end of her freshman year.  She began working at the start of the Fall 2013 semester and she’s been with us ever since.

Melisa studies Psychology and hopes to become a clinical psychologist. Dr. Orr, Dr. Karpiak and Dr. Norcross are her favorite professors.  She especially enjoys her Abnormal Psychology class as well as her Field Experience in clinical settings.  She is treasurer of the Psychology Club on campus.  She is also an active member of the Association for Psychological Sciences Caucus (APSSC), the Scranton Neuroscience Society, the Asia Club and Autism speaks U: The University of Scranton.

When she’s not studying or working, Melisa enjoys reading and watching movies. That’s why she feels like she belongs working in the library where she’s comfortable and enjoys the atmosphere. It’s exciting for her to see all of the new books firsthand and the Media department has many of her favorite movies to watch.  Her favorite book is The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.  Her favorite movie is Beauty and the Beast.  Another interesting hobby of hers is playing the alto saxophone.

Her advice to other students is to take advantage of all the library has to offer. Explore the Library’s collection and remember Interlibrary loan services when you can’t find what you need here!

Melisa is proud of her French-Canadian heritage and enjoys traveling to Canada to visit family. She also had a remarkable trip to Ireland that she will never forget.

Thank you Melisa! We hope you continue to go places!

Beverly Cleary Turns 100

Beverly_Cleary_1971Do you have a little sister or brother? One that was really wild and drove you crazy? That’s the story of Beezus and Ramona, two of the best remembered characters of world-famous children’s author Beverly Cleary. On April 12th, this amazing writer turned 100 and I couldn’t be more excited.

In fourth grade, my teacher read aloud The Mouse and the Motorcycle featuring Ralph S. Mouse who steals a toy motorcycle and has miniature adventures. I never read the Henry Huggins books about a boy and his beloved dog Ribsy, but I loved Ramona Quimby.

I didn’t have a big sister, I was the oldest, but Ramona’s adventures and love for her family were a lot like my brother and me growing up. Ramona plays outside, has a great imagination, and she even has a crush on a boy in kindergarten! She makes sacrifices for her family (like downsizing her Christmas list) and goes through ups and downs with family as her father goes back to school, her mother enters the workforce, and her father even struggles with moving for a new job. All of this while Ramona is growing up and struggling with her own problems like riding the bus alone and dealing with school bullies.

For young readers, just starting to read for pleasure, the Beverly Cleary books are very pertinent and enjoyable. These books are not there to teach a moral or lesson, but for pure enjoyment. And what better lesson than to read for fun?

Beverly Cleary is the queen of the early chapter book and will always have a place in this reader’s heart. Happy Birthday!

But, you don’t have to take my word for it…I asked students in the library if they remember Beverly Cleary and heard a definite “Yes!”:

“I read Ramona with my parents.”

“I remember watching the movie “Ramona and Beezus” when it came out.”

“I read it with my sister. She was older, so she was Beezus and I was Ramona.”

Available for Checkout:

Biographies

 

By Beverly Cleary

 

On DVD

Library Research Prize – 2nd Deadline Approaching

 LibraryResearchPrize_banner_FinalThe application deadline for the 2016 Library Research Prize is coming up.

Applications for research projects completed in Intersession or Spring 2016 are due Friday, April 29, 2016 by 4:00 pm.

The Weinberg Memorial Library Research Prize recognizes excellence in research projects that show evidence of significant knowledge in the methods of research and the information gathering process, and use of library resources, tools, and services. The prize is $500 for the winning undergraduate project, and $500 for the winning graduate project.

Complete applications will include a 500-700 word essay describing your research process and the ways you used the library in order to complete your project, a final version (or almost complete draft if necessary) of your research project, a bibliography or other appropriate listing of sources consulted, and a statement of faculty support.

For the online application form, tips on how to write a successful essay describing your research process, and previous winning applications, see www.scranton.edu/libraryresearchprize. For questions, email Bonnie Oldham, Information Literacy Coordinator, at bonnie.oldham@scranton.edu.