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!

August Library Hours Reminder

Just a heads up that starting this Wednesday, August 6th, the Library will be open 8AM-4:30PM on weekdays, and will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

We’ll be open on Royal Welcome Weekend, from 12noon-6pm on Saturday, August 23rd, and 12noon-11:30pm on Sunday, August 24th.

As of the 25th of August, we’ll be open our regular Fall hours.

Enjoy these last sunny, breezy days of Summer!!

Farewell, Professor Duke!

This is a summer of change here at the Weinberg Memorial Library. One such change is the departure of our esteemed Coordinator of Information Literacy, Prof. Katie Duke. Katie’s retirement after 23 years of serving the Scranton community is the beginning of the next set of adventures life has in store for her. Students and faculty in the Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Science, Mathematics, Nursing, Philosophy and Physics Departments know Katie for information literacy sessions in these subject areas which have always been exciting and useful, chock full of knowledge and gusto. The entire university community has Katie to thank for an Information Literacy program that is lauded and valued by so many, both within the university community and those outside of it. Her love for the research process comes out in all that she does, and for this she will be fondly missed.

Thank you, Katie, for your years of love and service!

“Study hard, and have fun!”

“New Books” Bookshelves have a new home

Here are our new shelves.

Check out our new book shelves, now located right next to the Reference Desk.

We just moved our “New Books” Bookshelves from the periodical area to the area right near the Reference Desk. This should make the new books in our collection a lot more accessible to you, and it also opens up the periodical area for more study space.

I took some time to browse these latest additions to our collection, and came across this cool book which I have plans to read as soon as I can:

The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy: One Book to Rule Them All

Clearly there is something for everyone on these shelves. Check them out!