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.

The Streets of Scranton, now on Google

It’s even easier to find your way around Scranton, now that street-level photographic images of the city are available on Google Maps’ Street View feature.  Using Street View, visitors to our area or even newly minted Scrantonians can get a feel for what it’s like to drive or walk down our streets.

The Radisson, as seen on Google Street View

The Radisson, as seen on Google Street View

In an article titled “NEPA Goes Global on Google” in Saturday’s Scranton Times-Tribune, staff writer Laura Legere described the benefits of Street View:  “Google touts the program’s practical uses: it can help travelers preview landmarks on the way to a destination, shoppers discover if there are parking meters in front of a store, and homebuyers can peek at the neighborhood around a promising house.”

googlestreetview41

To use Google Street View, just go to Google Maps at www.maps.google.com.  Search for an address you’re interested in, and then click on the orange stick figure right above the zoom bar on the left hand side of the map.  You can drag the stick figure to “fly” over the streets, or just click on it to get into a full Street View image.  Once you’re in Street View, use your mouse or arrow keys to navigate through the entire 360-degree view.  As usual, if you need help using Street View, just ask one of the friendly librarians at the Weinberg Memorial Library for help!

You might notice that not all addresses or streets that you view in Google Maps have Street View images available – that’s because Google hasn’t yet photographed *all* of the streets in the Scranton area.  While West Scranton is well represented, and major roads throughout the area are visible, downtown Scranton, the Hill section, and the University campus aren’t in Street View at this time.  Google is constantly updating their maps, though, so keep your eyes open for Google cars on campus – you can spot them by the large cameras mounted on their roofs.

Google car, captured by Woodvines on Flickr

Google car, captured by Woodvines on Flickr

Enjoy the Lincoln 200th Birthday Celebration!

“Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation,” a national traveling exhibition that focuses on Lincoln’s quest to restore a Union divided by Civil War, opens at the Weinberg Memorial Library on February 9 through March 22. Organized by the Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif., and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, New York City, in cooperation with American Library Association, this free exhibition shows how Lincoln’s beliefs about freeing the slaves were transformed by war-time developments. “Forever Free” is made possible by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, created by Congress and charged with planning the national celebration of Lincoln’s 200th birthday.
Weinberg Memorial Library is offering a free one-day conference Saturday, February 14, 2009, 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. The conference will feature four speakers discussing topics such as Emerson and Lincoln, the Abolitionist Movement in Pennsylvania, the Underground Railroad in Northeastern Pennsylvania and will include an appearance by Abraham Lincoln, as portrayed by Jim Getty. The conference will conclude with a 1 p.m. reception in the Weinberg Library Heritage Room to view the exhibit. The complete exhibit schedule can be found at http://academic.scranton.edu/department/wml/lincoln-event.html. Please contact Michael Knies, 570-941-6341 or Michael.Knies@Scranton.edu for more information and to register for the free conference.

Library Service Hours Over the Break

So, we finally made it! Finals are over, and Christmas break has begun! *cue the celebratory trumpets*

Now is the time for all that book learnin’ to have a chance to settle into our minds and selves… And so, the Library is taking a bit of a break with you. Here are the Library hours over the break:

December 15-19, Monday-Friday — 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
December 20-21, Saturday-Sunday — Closed
December 22-23, Monday-Tuesday — 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
December 24, 2008 – January 4, 2009 — Closed

Please note that the Pro Deo room — aka the 24-hour room — closes with the library on December 23rd at 4:30 PM, and reopens on Sunday, January 4th.

In addition, our Virtual Reference services are taking a bit of a break along with us:

IM Reference Service via Meebo will be unavailable from Monday, December 15, 2008 through Sunday, January 4, 2009. The service will resume on Monday, January 5, 2009.

24/7 Chat Reference Service will be closed from 4:00 pm on Wednesday, December 24, 2008 through Thursday, December 25, 2008 for Christmas. It will also be closed from 4:00 pm on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 through Thursday, January 1, 2009 for New Year’s. The service will resume as usual on Friday, December 26th and Friday, January 2nd, respectively.

So, enjoy the break! Merry Christmas and many blessings this holiday season! See you in the new year…