The American Presidency – Schemel Forum

One of the unique programs that the Weinberg Memorial Library offers is the Schemel Forum, a series of lectures and courses that are open to members of the Scranton community.  The idea is that people from all different generations can continue their educations by discussing new ideas together.

There are several different courses being offered this Fall (see the full offerings on the Schemel Forum website) – the one I’m participating in is The American Presidency, taught by Morey Myers.  We just had the first of five sessions this evening on the third floor of the Library, and the room was PACKED – Morey’s reputation preceded him!

Our focus tonight was on the role of the President of the United States, as defined in the Constitution in Article II and Amendments XII and XXV. A lot of good questions came up — what exactly is executive power and how far does it extend?  Can a legal case be made that John McCain, who was born in the Canal Zone, is not eligible to be President?  Could (and should) the Electoral College system be eliminated in favor of direct election by the people?  I also learned a few new tidbits of American history: I never knew that Benjamin Franklin was actually the President of Pennsylvania, or that George Washington has been called the father of the modern expense account.  I had never even heard of Peyton Randolph before tonight!

The best part of the evening, though, was just being in a room with so many interesting people from the community.  The participants included 11 doctors, 6 lawyers, and the CFO of the new Scranton medical school – and I also spotted interim CAS Dean Paul Fahey.  I’m looking forward to meeting more of my fellow students in the next sessions.

Next Wednesday, we’ll be discussing the Federalist Papers.  Care to read along?

Letters to Sala Exhibit

An Update from Michael Knies, Special Collections Librarian:

Letters to Sala: A Young Woman’s Life in Nazi Labor Camps is a striking exhibition reproducing the letters, postcards, photographs, and personal documents that Sala Garncarz managed to save during five brutal years in Nazi work camps during World War II. Curated by Jill Vexler and co-sponsored by the Weinberg Memorial Library and the Holocaust Education Resource Center, this unique exhibition will be on view in the Heritage Room at The University of Scranton from September 1 through October 28, 2008. Charles Kratz, Dean of the Library & Information Fluency noted, “This traveling exhibition continues our commitment to commemorating the Holocaust through special programming in conjunction with the Holocaust Education Resource Center.”

A reception, featuring a talk by Sala’s daughter, Ann Kirschner, will be held on Sunday, September 14 from 1-4 p.m. Kirschner is the author of Sala’s Gift: My Mother’s Holocaust Story, which tells the story of her mother’s World War II experience.

This traveling exhibition was inspired by Letters to Sala: A Young Woman’s Life in Nazi Labor Camps, presented at The New York Public Library from March 7 to June 17, 2006. Support for this exhibition has been provided by the Righteous Persons Foundation, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the Berg Foundation, Trudy and Robert Gottesman, the French Children of the Holocaust Foundation and Nancy Schwartz Sternoff, Dobkin Family Foundation. Unless otherwise indicated, the letters, photographs, and documents in the exhibition are drawn from the Sala Garncarz Kirschner Collection, donated by the Kirschner family in April 2005, to the Dorot Jewish Division of The New York Public Library.

http://www.nypl.org/research/chss/sala/index.html
Traveling Exhibition Curator: Jill Vexler, Ph.D.
Traveling Exhibition Design: Monk Design, New York

At your service on Labor Day

For those that don’t know it yet, the Library will be open tomorrow, Labor Day, from 12 noon until 11:30pm.

Since this holiday weekend fell at the end of your first week of classes, we figured most of you would be staying in the area rather than taking trips home — and who wouldn’t with an amazing Italian food festival* occurring right in your backyard?

But after a long weekend of feasting Italian-style, the Library will be open and at your service, if you feel inclined to start tackling that first big research assignment your professors inevitably assigned or alluded to last week in class… You know you wanna. *wink*

And a happy and safe holiday weekend, from the Library to you!

*I am of course referring to La Festa Italiana, the ever-popular and famous annual celebration of Italian food and culture, occurring all weekend in Courthouse Square (the block made up of Linden St., Adams Ave., Spruce St. and N. Washington Ave.) here in Scranton. Visit La Festa Italiana for details.

Are you a Fan?

The Library is now on Facebook!

Show your love for The University of Scranton Weinberg Memorial Library by becoming a Fan of our page. Feel free to post your favorite photos of the Library, and use our Wall to give us comments and suggestions.

So far, we have 18 Fans. How quickly can we make it to 100?

OpenSource Software Makes Life Better

Currently, there are some really excellent free Windows applications which are great for making your lives, as students, easier. Most of these applications are available for download from www.download.com. Here are a few applications that I find excellent… 

1. WordWeb – See review and Download @ http://tinyurl.com/4t86s3

WordWeb is  an application that is practically invisible on your desktop, only a small icon is found in your toolbar, and it only pops up when you really need it. However, this application makes looking up definitions quicker and easier than ever before. Once you have downloaded the application, simply highlight the troublesome word in a browser, in a word document, and even PDF files – simultaneously press “CTRL + ALT + W” and a pop-up  window gives you the definition you need.

This application is published by Princeton University and pulls its definitions from their WordNet database, so its content is librarian approved.

2. Stickies – See Review and Download @ http://tinyurl.com/554fhw

Do you use Post-It notes to keep track of your assignments? Worse yet do you not keep track of your assignments?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you should seriously consider using Stickies. This application takes the Post-It note and makes it digital, so no more sticky pieces of paper all over your walls and on your monitor.

The sticky note could be moved around your desktop or in case of last minute assignments could be set to be “always on top” meaning no browser windows will cover it up, so it’s always reminding you to finish your work. Though the default style is super plain, you can customize the Background color, the Font, and the Font color so that it becomes a little more friendly on the eyes.

3. The StarDock ObjectDock – See Review and Download @ http://tinyurl.com/66asvt

As a librarian, I have an affinity for order, this includes desktop icons. Organizing your life is a good way of reducing stress and since many college student’s lives are lived on their computers, your desktop is a good place to start.

Now, with ObjectDock you can organize all of your Desktop Icons into a beautiful “MAC style” Icon Bar anywhere on your screen. Icons are animated and “Pop-up” when you scroll over them. So, now you can have the stylistic features of a MAC Operating System on your Windows PC.

Here’s a screen shot of my desktop and some of my open source items in action:

GJA's Desktop

Click me for a full screen view.

NOTE: There are many free applications out there, try not to download them all just because they are free. Many of the OpenSource applications found on the web are untested and could contain spyware. The items I have listed are tested as Spyware free and have made my life a little bit better.

Welcome back!!

The first week of classes is upon us! I have to say that seeing all of the students back on campus this afternoon was a welcome treat… And in honor of your return (and arrival, for all of you freshmen out there), the Library is open more often and later than we have been over the summer.

Here are our Fall 2008 hours:

Monday-Thursday, 8:00AM-11:30PM
Friday, 8:00AM-10:00PM
Saturday, 12 Noon-8:00PM
Sunday, 12 Noon-11:30PM

Also, a heads up about Labor Day weekend, August 30th-September 1st:

We are open regular hours on Saturday and Sunday.
On Labor Day (Monday) we are open 12 Noon-11:30PM.

And as always, the Pro Deo room on the first floor of the Library by Java City is open 24 hours.

Stop by the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor and say hi — we look forward to meeting all of you!

March of the New Librarians…

Hello there! My name is Donna Mazziotti*, and I’m yet another of your new librarians here at the U. Although I’ve been around since last March, I figured this is a great place to tell you a little more about myself. You’ll usually find me on the 2nd floor at the Reference Desk in the late afternoons and evenings, Sundays through Thursdays.

This is me:

Donna M. at the Reference Desk

Donna M. -- Your Friendly, Neighborhood Reference Librarian

So, what would you like to know about me? I hail originally from Elmsford, NY (right next to White Plains, NY, which is just north of NYC). I went to undergrad at NYU, where I majored in Drama and English. Any theatre or literature geeks out there will find in me a kindred spirit! Then I went to Library School at Long Island University, where they turned me into a Searching-Junkie. This means if you have a really tricky question about how to search for information about a topic, I won’t rest (literally) until we find something useful on it. In some circles, the fact that I enjoy this endeavor makes me a geek… But that’s okay, because I have way too much fun doing it, so I can say sincerely that I look forward to meeting you soon and helping you tackle those tricky research questions!!

See you at the ref desk…

*Not to be confused with Donna Ramos, our esteemed cataloging librarian.

Looking for a few good books?

If you are looking for a good read, check out the Book Sale area located across from the Circulation Desk. You will find some good books that you can purchase for $1.00 or less! Paperbacks are 25 cents each. You’ll find all types of books, from romance novels to the classics and everything inbetween. If you don’t find what you’re looking for today, don’t worry, this is an ongoing sale so new books are always being added. The Book Sale will expand to Galvin Terrace, the little park area just outside the Commons Entrance to the Library, for September 2, 3, 4, and 5 from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Another place that you will find some light reading is in the Quiet Study Room which is located on the 4th floor. Most of the books in that room are fiction, but you might also find some coffee table books. Other than the Quiet Study Room, there isn’t a separate area where you can find fiction. But if there is a particular book for which you are looking or if you have a favorite author, then you can search the Library’s catalog.

Use RefWorks to Create Bibliographies

RefWorks is an easy way to store citations and generate bibliographies in correct format, either MLA, APA, or any of numerous other format styles. Students and faculty can find RefWorks by going to the A-Z List of Databases and then clicking on the blue RefWorks button near the top of the page. The first time you access RefWorks you will be asked to create a log-in name and password.

Most databases will allow you to export citations directly to your RefWorks account. Once in the account these citations can be organized and stored in folders according to subject. From these folders you can generate bibliographies in correct format style. Using the Write-N-Cite component of RefWorks you can also insert correct parenthetical references into the texts of your papers as you write.

RefWorks is easy to use. There are helpful tutorials online. A useful “how-to” folder is available at the Reference Desk. And, finally, if you have problems or would like to schedule either a one-on-one training session or instruction in RefWorks for your whole class, please give the Reference Department a call at 570-941-4000.

New librarian in town

Kristen

Kristen

Hi everybody!I’m Kristen, the new Digital Services Librarian here at the Weinberg Memorial Library.I’ll be working on all sorts of digital library projects, from digitizing the University’s archival collections to using new technologies like social networking to better serve the University community– be sure to post a comment below if you have any ideas for me. As a former chemist, I’m also looking forward to working with the University’s science departments – although Katie Duke has left behind some enormous shoes to fill!

I’m originally from the Wyoming Valley, although I haven’t lived here in about eight years, so moving to Scranton feels like coming home. It’s been so fun over the past few weeks to rediscover all of my favorite places in NEPA, like the running path around Lake Scranton and (of course) Manning’s ice cream in Clarks Summit. But a lot has changed since I grew up here, so if you see me on campus, please stop me and let me know where YOUR favorite NEPA place is!