Save the Date! Countdown to the Book & Plant Sale

Mark your calendars for April 25th and 26th!  We’re just 63 days away from the Weinberg Memorial Library’s annual Book and Plant Sale, and the Library’s already buzzing with plans for this year’s event, which will be held in the 5th floor Heritage Room.  As always, the Book and Plant Sale benefits the Friends of Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Memorial Library Endowment Fund.

Right now, we’re collecting donations of books, plants, and tag sale items.  If you’d like to donate, you can drop off your books or other contributions at the Library, in the boxes just inside the Monroe Avenue entrance.

Shoppers browse the 2008 Book Sale

Shoppers browse the 2008 Book Sale

We’re also looking for volunteers.  If you’d be willing to help us sort books and set up/take down the sale, please let us know!  Give Barb E. a call at 941-4078, and she’ll add you to the volunteer list.

This year’s sale starts on Friday, April 24th with a special “Preview Sale” for current Friends of the Library and Schemel Forum members (and current University of Scranton students – bring your Royal Card!) from 4pm – 9pm.  The sale is open to the public on Saturday, April 25th from 9am – 9pm and on Sunday, April 26th from 12pm – 4pm.  We’ll see you there!

Happy Darwin Day!

Note: Today we welcome Dr. Janice Voltzow, chair of the University of Scranton Biology Department, as our very first guest blogger!  Dr. Voltzow has been studying Charles Darwin’s life and works, in addition to her biological research in invertebrate functional morphology.

DarwinDay

February 12, 2009, marks the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and this year marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of his landmark book On the Origin of Species.  The theory of evolution by natural selection, as first articulated by Darwin and subsequently observed, verified, and tested by generations of biologists, is the foundation of our understanding of the complexity and diversity of life on earth.  It explains how life evolved from single-celled organisms to include all the various forms of life we see around us today, from single-celled bacteria to complex, multi-cellular, sexually reproducing organisms.  Modern biology, and indeed, modern life, rests on a foundation of evolutionary theory.  Molecular genetics has provided overwhelming support for Darwin’s mechanism of natural selection as the primary force of evoutionary change.   His theory continues to have a tremendous impact on our daily lives, including our understanding of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (bacterial populations that have evolved to resist the effects of anti-bacterial drugs or antibiotics) and the increasingly complete fossil record.  At The University of Scranton we are celebrating this event with seminars, workshops, and plenty of cake.  I encourage you to celebrate Darwin Day 2009 and to participate in the international celebration of the work of one of the great intellectual giants of all time—Charles Darwin.

There are a number of wonderful web sites available to help you learn more about Darwin and evolution.  All of his major works, notebooks, and most of his letters are now available at The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online at http://darwin-online.org.uk/.  For more of his incredible correspondence, see  The Darwin Correspondence Project at http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/.  And for a wonderful interactive site on the voyage of the Beagle, see http://www.aboutdarwin.com/voyage/voyage03.html.

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Thanks, Dr. Voltzow!  I’d like to add some of my favorite Darwin-related resources — check out last year’s Newsweek article comparing the lives of Darwin and his co-birthday celebrant Abraham Lincoln.  Another fascinating site is Tree of Life, a collaborative web project that brings to life the evolutionary tree that Darwin envisioned.  And if you still want to celebrate, Jonathan Eisen at UC-Davis offers you “10 simple ways to honor Charlie D.”

Countdown to the Lincoln Bicentennial

Here at the Weinberg Memorial Library, we’re celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday all month long, even though the big day isn’t until Thursday (February 12th). Yesterday, we opened our display of the national traveling exhibit, “Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation,” in the 5th floor Heritage Room.

The exhibit, organized by the Huntington Library and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, will travel to 63 different libraries in 31 different states.  The Weinberg will be hosting the exhibit through March 22nd – to see it, just head up to the 5th floor anytime during the Library’s regular hours.

Abraham Lincoln's Journey to Emancipation

Want even more Lincoln?  There’s still time to register for this Saturday’s free Symposium and Exhibit Opening Reception.  We’re excited to have three speakers share their knowledge of Lincoln and his time:

Best of all, we’ll be visited by Lincoln actor and historian Jim Getty, who will bring the 16th president “alive” as we celebrate his memory.  To join us on Saturday, just call the Special Collections librarian Michael Knies at 941-6341 to register.  (And check out Michael’s interview in yesterday’s Scranton Times-Tribune!)

WML Instant Messenger Now Up and Running!

The WML Instant Messenger!

The WML Instant Messenger!

 

Let’s run through a hypothetical scenario:

Its 9:30 Wednesday morning, you’ve been “awake” for a total of 10 minutes, you haven’t brushed your teeth, you haven’t eaten, and you are by no means ready to meet the world. You look over at your wall calendar and what do you see? –

Bring a copy of “The Devastated Nest: Crises of Identity in Wuthering Heights and Antigone” from Mosaic : a Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature to class Wednesday (10 am).

Okay, you have approx. 30 minutes to get ready for the world, get to the library, ask a librarian how to find the article, wait in-line to print the article, print it, and then run to class.

Oh, and you are still in your pajamas.

Because we feel sorry for you and how taxing the life of the American College student can be, the Librarians have just made your life easier…

We are online ALL DAY LONG from 8 AM to 11:30 PM.

Same scenario, this time instead of running to the library, you send out an IM to UofSRefDesk, a librarian promptly responds to your question, directs you to the article, you print it at home, and you still have time to put on a decent pair of pants and make it to class early enough to suck up to your professor.

So what was that Screen name again?

AIM = UofSRefDesk

MSN = UofSRefDesk

Yahoo! = UofSRefDesk

Google Talk = UofSRefDesk

I suggest adding us to your buddy list now, that way when you really need us, you won’t have to waste that precious time looking for our screen name again.

Oh, and if you look to your immediate left you’ll see the IM a Librarian “widget.” This little window is a portal right to a University of Scranton Librarian, it acts exactly the same way as an IM window except it lives in your browser. No need to register, just type your text and send. We will respond right inside the same window. This widget IM Window is also available on the Ask-A-Librarian Page.

So, remember no matter which program you use to chat, add us to your buddy list!

Go ahead, just say hello. We won’t mind – we like the attention.

Congrats, Coach Strong!

Congratulations to Mike Strong, coach of the University of Scranton’s women’s basketball team, on his 700th win!  Coach Strong joined the “700 club” of the NCAA’s winningest coaches this Sunday when the Lady Royals beat Drew, 73-54.

In celebration of this milestone, I searched the University of Scranton Digital Yearbook Collection and found this photo of Coach Strong (on the left in the third row) and the Lady Royals, on p. 62 of the 1980 Windhover yearbook:

Mike Strong with the 1980 Lady Royals

If you want to read more about Coach Strong’s 700th win, check out the University press release, or “The 700 Club,” an article by Scott Walsh that was in Monday’s Scranton Times-Tribune.

Inauguration Day

The inauguration of President Obama prompted me to do a little research on the customs surrounding this day. So I used a new research tool that can be found on the Library’s A-Z List of Databases. This new tool, called Credo Reference, is a great alternative to using Wikipedia because it allows you to find authoritative answers that it gets from hundreds of reference books in a broad range of subjects.

Here’s a snippet of what I found in the book, Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary:

Inauguration Day


From 1789 until 1933, the day on which the newly elected president of the United States began his term of office was March 4—now known as Old Inauguration Day. The day was changed to January 20 when the 20th Amendment to the Constitution was passed in 1933. When Inauguration Day falls on a Sunday, the oath of office is administered privately, but the public ceremonies are usually postponed until the following day.

The swearing-in of the president had been held on the East Portico of the Capitol building since Andrew Jackson’s 1829 inauguration. Former president Ronald Reagan changed the site for his inauguration in 1981. Since then, the swearing-in has been held on the West Terrace of the Capitol. This site, which faces out onto the Mall where thousands gather for the event, affords greater visibility for spectators. Reagan reportedly also liked the symbolism of the president facing west, out toward the rest of the country.

Inauguration Day. (2005). In Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, Inc.. Retrieved January 23, 2009, from http://www.credoreference.com/entry/5870131.

In addition to providing me with the basic information for which I was looking, Credo also provided me with links to related resources. By clicking on the Our Catalog link, I get a list of books that are in the Weinberg Memorial Library. By clicking on the Academic Search Elite link, I get a list of results from this database. Wikipedia can’t do that!

Credo automatically created a citation for me in APA format, but I could also get my citation in MLA format. And, I can e-mail the citation to myself, or save it in RefWorks. Wikipedia definitely doesn’t do that for you!

Give Credo a try, and when you do, post a comment to let me know how you like it.

U of Scranton yearbooks online, from Aquinas to Windhover

yearbookad-forbboard

January, named after the Roman god of gates and doorways, is not only a great month to celebrate the new year, but also to remember the past. The Weinberg Memorial Library has just made it even easier to reminisce by digitizing all of the University of Scranton’s yearbooks, from the 1916 Aquinas to the 2007 Windhover.

The Weinberg Memorial Library’s Digital Services department is proud to present the University of Scranton Digital Yearbook Collection, a 74 volume set of almost 20,000 digitized pages – all available to the public. You can browse the books to get a feel for each year’s unique student culture, or search the books to find photographs of your favorite University faculty, staff, and alumni!

Questions or comments? Contact the WML Digital Services department!

The Schemel Forum – Spring 2009

This Spring, the Weinberg Memorial Library’s Schemel Forum is offering a wealth of cultural enrichment opportunities, including three evening courses, a national issues forum, two luncheon seminars, and a piano recital.  Check out the Forum schedule (and the incredible range of the topics to be discussed) here.

At the April 29th Schemel Forum Luncheon Seminar, Parag Khanna, author of "The Second World," will speak on "A 21st Century Look at Global Politics and Economics."

At the April 29th Schemel Forum Luncheon Seminar, Parag Khanna, author of The Second World, will speak on “A 21st Century Look at Global Politics and Economics.”

What is the Schemel Forum?  According to the Forum’s director, University Senior Fellow and author Sondra Myers, “It is a noncredit, continuing education program for cultural enrichment at the University of Scranton, named for the late Rev. George Schemel, S.J., who was respected within the U.S. and abroad for his spiritual and educational talents… Schemel Forum courses are intergenerational and participatory.”* The class sizes are small, so discussion is encouraged (and lively!).

Why is the Forum important? Here’s Sondra again: “The Schemel Forum enriches the environment by stimulating people to think beyond their own fields of knowledge and create new ground for interaction, for envisioning the future, making new friends, and enjoying new experiences with old friends.”*

The Forum is open to the whole Scranton community – and University students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to get involved.   If you’re interested, check out the course offerings, and then contact Kym Fetsko at 570-941-7816 to register.

*Both quotations are from “Talk of the Times with Sondra Myers,” an article by Patrice Wilding in the September 3, 2008 Scranton Times-Tribune.

Chesterton Free Audio via LibriVox

“Love means loving the unlovable – or it is no virtue at all.” –G.K. Chesterton in Heretics

chesteron

After the hectic ending to Fall semester, followed by a nice, long break this year for Christmas and New Year’s, Intersession acts as a month-long “pause” of sorts in the Library’s regular, super-packed routine of the regular semesters. It’s a time when we get started on new projects, spend extra time finding out what’s going on out on the web and in the world, and using our findings to do our jobs better. Plus, with a manageable number of classes in session, we still get to see and interact with students who are looking to get ahead in their studies, which keeps us in touch w/ what you guys need and want out of your Library.

Along these lines, yesterday I came across a neat website and an awesome resource on the web, particularly for fans of G.K. Chesterton*. Chesterton was a prolific writer, a Roman Catholic, a fine storyteller and a very wise man. He is often read alongside C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, although he was not part of the Inklings*, who were sharing ideas and stories just after Chesterton’s time. I own a few of his books (the Library’s collection of works by Chesterton far exceeds mine!), however I have yet to really delve into his writings as I hope to.

So you can imagine my excitement to stumble upon an entire online audio library of many of Chesterton’s works. This collection is part of LibriVox, whose goal it is to record audio versions of all of the books in the public domain. The site as a whole is an awesome resource unto itself — especially if you are an aural learner, and has as its pithy tagline: “acoustical liberation of books in the public domain” (header of the LibriVox website).

If you’re a fan of Chesterton, or enjoy Lewis and Tolkien and are interested in another writer of stories and ideas who is a kindred spirit to those two great thinkers, take a look at/listen to the extensive audio collection of Chesterton’s works. If Chesterton doesn’t do it for you, have at the LibriVox Search Catalog to see if your favorite public domain writer’s works have been recorded and added yet. (Shakespeare, anyone?) And if you don’t see your favorite author from before 1922 (though there are exceptions to the public domain rule of “Published before such and such a date,” which are expounded upon here), volunteer to record his or her works yourself!

*These 2 links to information about Chesterton and the Inklings, I fully admit, are websites for organizations who are devoted to the work of both Chesterton and the Inklings, respectively. As such, their descriptions of their subjects are necessarily colored by their enthusiasm — however, I have found they are also quite factual, out of great respect for the people they are writing about.

…aaaaand we’re back!

So, the new year has started, and the Library is back to business as usual. Here are our hours of operation during Intersession:

Monday, January 5th — Saturday, January 31st

Monday-Thursday, 8:00AM-10:00PM

Friday, 8:00AM-4:30PM

Saturday, 12 Noon-6:00PM

Sunday, 12 Noon-10:00PM

Saturday, January 31st: Closed

Our Virtual Reference / Ask a Librarian services (Email, IM and 24/7 Chat) are all back as well. See the Ask a Librarian page for details, or just use one of the nifty widgets or links located on the left sidebar to access these services.