Blessing of the Books

Two of my favorite words are “blessing” and “books” — and the U sponsors and runs an annual event that involves both of these things!

From today’s issue of Royal News:

Have books been a blessing in your life? Pass the blessing on! New and gently used children’s books, suitable for toddlers through young teens, as well as Spanish language books are being collected by the Panuska College of Professional Studies. On December 1, at 3:00 P.M. in the McGurrin Reading Room, Father Pilarz, S.J. will be blessing the books. The books will then be shared with the children of Scranton, and beyond!

Other useful information:

Collections boxes are located in: McGurrin Hall lobby, Weinberg Memorial Library lobby, Brennan Hall second floor, DeNaples Center by the Community Outreach Office and the John Long Center in the Exercise Science area. If you need books picked up from your office or if you would like a collection box placed in or near your office please call 941-6390.

As you can see, the Library is a great place to bring your books for kids who may not have any other opportunities to get books this year. It works out nicely — come to the Library to access the abundance of books and resources we’ve been blessed with as Scranton students, staff and faculty, and if you have any books lying around that you think the children of the greater Scranton area would enjoy, offer that blessing back by donating those books to the Blessing of the Books event! Everyone wins!

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And a special “Thank you!” to our U.S. soldiers — past, present, and future — who have served our nation selflessly and bravely, on this day in which we honor our Veterans! May God bless you and your service!!

Howard Gardner and Multiple Intelligences

On Thursday, October 30, 2008, the annual Harry Mullin M.D. Memorial Lecture was given by Howard Gardner, PhD, Harvard University, who is also a native of Scranton.  His lecture, titled “Multiple Intelligences: The First Twenty Five Years… and Beyond” was open to the public in the Houlihan-McLean Center.  I was among those that traveled to see Dr. Gardner speak.  The basic interpretation of Gardner’s theory is that we all possess intelligence in a number of different areas to varying degress.  No person is alike, not even identical twins when it comes to intelligence.  Our intelligences interact and communicate with each other just as a series of computers can interact and communicate with one another when programmed to do so.  I knew the basics of his theory of multiple intelligences, but I wanted to hear more.  Over the course of his lecture, Gardner did say that it was difficult to truly measure intelligence and that traditional tests of intelligence only measured an individual’s abilities to read and calculate.  This made sense as I thought about how each person is gifted in different areas and reasoned that IQ tests were flawed because they only assessed math and reading abilities.  I was not disappointed as Gardner described how he came up with his theory and how he believes that in the future education will be customized or tailored to the individual student in order to strengthen and improve a student’s multiple intelligences and enhance a student’s overall learning and abilities.  This revolutionary man and his theory will continue to spark debate and influence how humans think, learn, and act for years to come.  I look forward to seeing who the speaker for next year’s  Harry Mullin M.D. Memorial Lecture will be here at the University of Scranton.

Howard Gardner - Theory of Multiple Intelligence
Howard Gardner – Theory of Multiple Intelligence

 

Book-to-Movie

I think it goes without saying that usually, the book is better than the movie. But that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy seeing our favorite stories played out in front of us — it’s like a concrete manifestation of our imagination! Or, maybe it isn’t, if the movie doesn’t do your imagination justice… Though this is usually the case, I find that often the best movies are the ones based on books. Maybe it’s because the source material is fleshed out so well, simply because it was first in book-length format.

Either way, I came across a neat website that has movie trailers for soon-to-be released movies, which are based on books. The book covers are side-by-side with the trailers. And I’d say there are some awesome sounding movies coming out in the upcoming year!

So, check it out here. And let us know what books-to-movies you’re looking forward to this year!

For my part, the one I anticipate the most is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This isn’t on that website, but you can see the latest trailer here. But out of the movies on that side-by-side website, I’d say the most interesting-sounding of the lot is The Reader.

What do you think?

Did you know?

The Weinberg Memorial Library has several Dell and Gateway laptops that University of Scranton students can borrow, for free!  You can check out a laptop at the Circulation desk and use it anywhere in the Library, for up to three hours.  All you need is your Royal Card.

laptop1

Circulation coordinator Pat Savitts gave me a few pointers for laptop borrowers:

  • If your three hours are up and you haven’t finished your work, you can call down to the Circulation desk from your cell phone to renew your loan – as long as no other students are waiting for a laptop.
  • Don’t leave your borrowed laptop unattended.  If you need to step away from it, ask a friend to keep an eye on it for you.
  • Be prepared to either save your work to a flash drive or email it to yourself.  To protect your privacy, your files will be automatically deleted when you shut down the laptop.
  • Our laptops aren’t connected to the UniPrint system, so if you need to print your work, either save it to a flash drive or email it to yourself, and then use one of the computers in the Pro Deo room or the second floor computer lab (or any other computer lab on campus) to print.

Happy borrowing… and don’t forget to vote today!

Library staff on stage

Looking for a scare?  This weekend, the Actors Circle of Scranton presents “Jekyll and Hyde,” a Broadway musical based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (haven’t gotten to read it yet?  You can borrow it from the Library!).

Library staff member David Hunisch plays Simon Stride, Jekyll’s rival.  I got to see the show last weekend, and David’s performance as the pretentious Simon was spot on.  He did a fantastic job transforming himself into a villain.

Jekyll and Hyde will be at the Providence Playhouse in Scranton all weekend – the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday shows are at 8pm, and you can also catch a matinee on Sunday at 2pm.  Tickets are $15 for the general public, but students can get tickets for $10.  Call 570-342-9707 for reservations.

To David and the cast, from all of us here at the Weinberg Memorial Library — break a leg!

New face at WML – Reference Librarian

Greetings to all University students, faculty, staff, and members of the public! I am yet another new staff member at the Weinberg Memorial Library (WML).  My name is Neil Grimes and I was born and grew up in Wilkes-Barre which is a part of the Northeast PA region.  You can find me working at the Reference desk on Sundays from 12pm-5pm and Monday evenings from 6pm-11:30pm.  I began working at the WML back in March of this year.  Everyone has been very welcoming and supportive!  I can’t thank everyone enough for making me feel like the University of Scranton is almost like a second home.  Each day that I spend on campus I find that I learn something different and something new from my co-workers, students, faculty, and members of the public.  

For my undergraduate education, I attended King’s College in Wilkes-Barre where I majored in history and secondary education.  During my undergraduate years, I worked at UPS where I sorted, scanned, and loaded packages and mail that was being sent to places all over the United States.  If you are curious as to how the whole shipping process works, feel free to ask me.  Following my four years at King’s I went on to graduate school at Clarion University of Pennsylvania where I received my Master’s in Library Science.  Following graduation, I began working as a high school librarian in the Wilkes-Barre area. 

Among the skills that I feel one needs to succeed in the 21st century are critical thinking skills, effective writing skills, public speaking skills, and research skills.  These are all skills that I have sharpened over the years and that I use on a daily basis.  Whether we realize it or not, people are constantly using their research skills when they seek to answer questions in their daily lives.  Librarians are very helpful in instructing people as to the best way to research and answer questions, even the most difficult questions.  You would be surprised as to how much you can learn from librarians!  Don’t be afraid to ask for help as librarians are very good to pointing you to the information that you are looking for.

I have been interested in reading and libraries as far back as I can remember.  Among the first books that I ever read were by Dr. Seuss, as I am sure that these are among the first books that most children read.  The most recent book that I finished was I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, a true crime story that solves the case of Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance once and for all.  I won’t reveal any of the details, but I do highly recommend that you read the book.  Recently, I read that Martin Scorsese is going to make this book into a movie starring Robert DeNiro. 

"I Heard You Paint Houses"

Outside of spending time in libraries , I love to travel and have been to Italy, Toronto, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Tampa, Florida, and Lawrence, Kansas.  This is not a comprehensive list of the places that I have been to, but it does hit many of the highlights.  Every new place I travel to brings with it new memories as well as the opportunity for some great photographs.  There are some great places to take photographs on campus, don’t be afraid to capture some memories when the chance presents itself.

Why is 94% so great?

Last May when they picked up their commencement information, graduation garb, and other necessary materials for making their final exit from the University of Scranton, the graduating class of 2008 completed their Senior Survey.   In this survey, students are asked a variety of questions about their experience at the “U” during the past four years.  Questions range from cafeteria food to lab equipment and virtually every other subject in between.  Of course we as librarians are always interested in their opinion of how they found the library resources and services to be useful and helpful to their academic careers.  The results for the Class of 2008 are in and the great news is that the seniors experienced a 94% satisfaction rate with the Library.  This figure is also compared to students at other colleges and universities in our peer institutions – and we excel here as well.  I would like to pose a question to all readers of this blog.  If you were to take the Senior Survey today (no matter if you are a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior) what one improvement would you make to raise the satisfaction level even higher?  Every few years the library undertakes a survey sent to a random sampling of students asking questions about library resources, hours, services, etc.  But this informal question can help us make improvements (if realistic and within the bounds of fiscal responsibility) even before the next survey reaches your Royalmail account.

Going digital

A page from "Prominent Men of Scranton and Vicinity," one of WML's newly digitized books

A page from “Prominent Men of Scranton and Vicinity”

This fall, the Weinberg Memorial Library is one of 14 institutions participating in a mass digitization pilot project.  The program is headed by PALINET, a network of more than 600 libraries, archives, and museums  in the mid-Atlantic region, with a goal of making electronic copies of interesting books available to the public via the internet.

So far, we’ve had six local history books digitized by Internet Archive.   All six were written before 1923, which means means that they’re in the public domain – so we can post them on the internet without violating anyone’s intellectual property rights.  What’s fantastic about the digitized books is that:

  1. they’re now accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime (while the physical books are only available to people who visit the WML Special Collections library in person, during limited hours), and
  2. they’re full-text searchable!

Check out our books on the Internet Archive website here.  You can browse through the books using the “flip book” viewer, and you can also download PDF copies of each book.  If your family is from the area, be sure to use the full text search box in the flip book viewer to search for your last name – the books are great resources for genealogists.  Or just look at the great pictures, like this 1882 line drawing of the proposed design for the Lackawanna County Courthouse from “Memorial of the Erection of Lackawanna County” (if it looks a bit different from what you see on the Square today, it is!) —

Proposed Lackawanna County Courthouse, 1882

Proposed Lackawanna County Courthouse, 1882

Happy Fall Break!!

 

The leaves of Northeastern PA

The leaves of Northeastern PA

 

Now that midterms are over, take a walk outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and amazing foliage that Fall has brought us!! 

The Library is closed until Tuesday, October 14th, when we will reopen at our regular hours of 8am-11:30pm. 

We look forward to seeing everyone refreshed and ready for the second half of the semester… See you then!