What Students Should Know about Peer to Peer File Sharing

Photo courtesy of Phoney Nickle, under a Creative Commons license
Photo courtesy of flickr user Phoney Nickle, under a Creative Commons license

Here at the Library, we love pirates.  (Who doesn’t?)  But we don’t love hearing about our students being pirates – that is, pirating music, movies, or other copyrighted material.

Here’s what you need to know about pirating:  Downloading or distributing whole copies of copyrighted material for personal use or entertainment without *explicit* permission from the copyright owner is against the law – and the movie and music industries are increasingly searching for and prosecuting people who violate their copyright (yes, including students – for a first hand account, see “How it feels to be sued for $4.5 million,” by Joel Tenebaum).

For this reason, the University of Scranton is particularly concerned about peer-to-peer file sharing.  Not all file sharing is illegal – you can legally share content that you’ve created, or content for which the creator has given permission to share  (for example, some artists and musicians choose to share using a Creative Commons license – like the photographer who took the pirate photo that we’ve used at the top of this post).  But sharing anything that’s under copyright – and that’s mostly everything! – is a violation of both federal law and the University’s Student Computing Policy.

As a result, the University prohibits some peer-to-peer applications and limits bandwidth on others, and student violations  are taken very seriously – see the  University’s Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Policy.

So what’s a movie-and-music-loving student to do?  There are *legal* ways to listen to music and watch movies either for free or for a low price.  For music, try out free internet radio stations like Pandora or playlist.com.  If you prefer to own your own mp3s, check out Amazon’s mp3 store – songs are often $0.99 or less, and each week samplers of new music are available for free.  For movies, become a fan of the University of Scranton Programming Board on Facebook to get the latest updates on free movie showings on campus.  If you’re willing to pay a few bucks, explore streaming music services from Netflix or iTunes.

Want to know more?  If you have questions about the University’s policies on file sharing, contact the Technology Support Center at extension 4357.  If you have general questions about copyright, feel free to ask a librarian – we have lots of resources on copyright and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

William Bernhardt to Receive Distinguished Author Award on Saturday, Nov 14th.


The talents and skills of the 2009 Recipient of the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award, William Bernhardt, reflect many aspects of the contemporary library.  William Bernhardt is an author, a teacher, a mentor, a researcher, a composer, and communicator.

As an author, Mr. Bernhardt had sold more than 10 million books in various countries.  Library Journal has called him the “master of the courtroom drama.”  The Vancouver Sun dubbed him “the American equivalent of P.G. Wodehouse and John Mortimer.” He introduced the Ben Kincaid series in 1991 with Primary Justice and published the 17th in the series, Capitol Offense, in 2009. The Susan Pulaski series has two titles, Dark Eye and Strip Search.  Among his other novels is the collection Legal Briefs which also contains stories by previous Distinguished Authors Philip Margolin and Lisa Scottoline.   Royalties from the sale of this book benefited the Children’s Defense Fund.  Contributors to the anthology Natural Suspect donated author royalties to the Nature Conservancy. His works for children include a biography of civil rights leader Ada Lois Sipuel, who broke the color barrier for higher education in Oklahoma and throughout the south.

In his recent book, Nemesis: The Final Case of Eliot Ness, Bernhardt solved the mystery of America’s first serial killer, the so-called Mad Butcher of Cleveland, whose identity has eluded investigators for decades. In the most recent book in the Ben Kincaid series, Capitol Conspiracy, Bernhardt keeps the series fresh and contemporary with a story that takes attorney Ben Kincaid to Washington, D.C., for a high-profile case involving controversial anti-terrorist legislation, political skullduggery, and murder.  In 1999, he founded HAWK Publishing Group.  Each summer HAWK sponsors Writing Workshops to “nurture and mentor aspiring writers.”  These efforts facilitate publication by new authors. In addition to mentoring new writers, HAWK has published books by acclaimed authors such as Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist N. Scott Momaday, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Janis Ian, and PBS newsman Jim Lehrer.  His new book, Capitol Offense” is due out on Sept. 29th.

Among the awards Bernhardt has received are the Oklahoma Book Award for Best Fiction in 1995 for Perfect Justice and in 1999 for Dark Justice; the Southern Writers Guild’s Gold Medal Award in 1998; a Career Achievement Award at the 2000 Booklovers Convention in Houston; and in 2000 the  H. Louise Cobb Distinguished Author Award, “in recognition of an outstanding body of work that has profoundly influenced the way in which we understand ourselves and American society at large.”  (Contemporary Authors)  In addition to his law degree, Bernhardt also holds a Masters Degree in English.  His specialty field is Victorian literature.

I hope you will join us for this celebration of the works of William Bernhardt.  For ticket information, please click on the Distinguished Author web site or contact Kym Fetsko at 570-941-7816.



Charles Kratz

Flu information from EBSCO and CDC

A CDC image of H1N1

This year, the flu is a hot topic of conversation – between Pandemic H1N1 (popularly referred to as swine flu) and the regular old seasonal flu, there’s a lot to talk about.   If you want to make sure that you have all the facts, be sure to check out the Influenza Evidence-Based Information Portal.

The portal is a free service offered by EBSCO, a publishing company that provides many of the Weinberg Memorial Library’s subscription databases.   In order for information to be included in the portal, it has to be evidence-based – which means that it’s based on the best available research findings.  The portal will be updated as new evidence comes in throughout the 2009-2010 flu season.

The portal features three sections – one each for clinicians, nurses, and patients.  The patient section includes information about both Pandemic H1N1 influenza and seasonal influenza – including their causes, symptoms, and recommended prevention and treatment.  There’s also information about both the seasonal vaccine and H1N1 vaccine, from their risks to who should and should not get each vaccine (did you know that people who are allergic to eggs shouldn’t get the H1N1 vaccine?).

For more information about the flu, also check out the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) pages  on H1N1 and the seasonal flu.  You’ll find resources on current flu activity in both the United States and internationally, as well as additional information on vaccines for both strains of influenza.

And don’t forget to follow CDC’s recommendations for preventing the spread of influenza — cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze, wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, and stay home if you feel sick.  Let’s hope the University of Scranton community stays healthy this year!

Update: The Pennsylvania Department of Health just released a new website, H1N1 in PA. It includes a calendar feature that will be updated to show when the vaccine will become available in your area.
Another update: The University of Scranton now has its own H1N1 information page.

Last but not least: We’re keeping a running list of useful H1N1 resources on our Research Guides wiki.

Interdependence Day 2009

The city of Scranton is celebrating Interdependence Day this year on Thursday, September 10.  Launched in Philadelphia in 2003, Interdependence Day was created in reaction to the events of September 11, 2001 and is meant to be a time to reflect on how all peoples of the world are connected.

Several interdependence events will be held throughout the city and Northeastern Pennsylvania this week.  On Thursday, Kevin Klose, dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, will give the keynote address entitled “We the iPhone People: A Revolutionary Interdependence” at 5:30pm at the William J. Nealon Federal Building.  While this event is by invitation only, University of Scranton community members are welcome to attend “All You Have to Do is Listen,” a talk by NPR commentator Rob Kapilow, planned for Wednesday, September 16 at 7:30pm in the Houlihan McLean Center.

Many thanks to Sondra Myers, co-founder of Interdependence Day, Senior Fellow for International, Civic and Cultural Projects at the University of Scranton, and director of the Weinberg Memorial Library’s  Schemel Forum, for coordinating this year’s Interdependence Day events.

P.S. Interested in learning more about interdependence?  Browse the Weinberg Memorial Library’s catalog and check out one of our books.

Update: The University’s Associate Provost for civic engagement and University mission, Dr. Steven Jones, wrote a column on interdependence for the 9/11/2009 Scranton Times Tribune.

Is it Peer Reviewed?

Articles in journals that are peer reviewed or refereed are reviewed by experts in the subject area in addition to being edited by the publishers.  Because this is the highest level of scholarship, many assignments require peer reviewed sources. Ulrichsweb, found on the Library’s A-Z List of Databases,  is a good way to identify peer reviewed journals.

You can search by keyword or title.

search by title or keyword

Searching for the keyword adolescence resulted in a list of titles.  The legend indicates peer reviewed or “refereed” titles with a column in front of the title.

Ulrichs legend

titles that are peer reviewed

Clicking on a title gives you more information about that journal.  There are also links to Serials Solution and to the library’s catalog.  In addition to finding out if a journal is peer reviewed, you can use Ulrichsweb as a database by searching for a keyword or subject and using the Serials Solution link to get the fulltext of articles in other databases.

links to Serials Solution and the Library's catalog

Serials Solution

Questions?  Ask-a-Librarian.

Open Labor Day Weekend

Just a reminder that the Library will remain OPEN this weekend for normal business hours, except for Labor Day itself (Monday the 7th), when we will be open from 12 Noon until 11:30 pm.

So, while I know most of you will be out and about enjoying what NEPA has to offer this weekend, feel free to come on into the Library and get a leg up on your work for this semester!

One additional note: Our Library Help 24/7 Chat Reference Service will be CLOSED on Monday for Labor Day, but is available all other times throughout the weekend, and resumes again on Tuesday with 24/7 service.

Enjoy the weekend!

Fun Stuff to do this Labor Day Weekend!

Today is First Friday! First Friday art walks are held on the first Friday of every month at galleries and businesses around Downtown Scranton. Get the First Friday map for September at http://firstfridayscranton.com

La Festa Italiana, an annual end-of-summer Italian festival that’s held on Courthouse Square, Scranton. Hours are Saturday and Sunday, 12 noon to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 12 noon to 9 p.m. Featuring delicious Italian food! The University of Scranton Jazz Band will be playing on Saturday from 9:30 to 11:00pm, and there will be fireworks on Sunday at 10:00pm. For a complete schedule of events, go to http://www.lafestaitaliana.org/index.htm

Shuttle transportation will be provided between La Festa and the Steamtown National Historic Site (300 Cliff St.) for Rail Fest, a 1940s themed celebration with Union Pacific “Big Boy” locomotive tours, railway post-office presentations, steam-powered rail excursions to Moscow, trolley rides, behind-the-scenes tours, big-band performances, rail photography and art exhibits, model-train displays and old-time radio comedy sketches by the Dietrich Theater Radio Players., Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call340-5200 or visit http://nps.gov/stea

Labor Day Weekend Carnival, with amusement rides, food vendors and games. Wachovia Arena parking lot, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Township. Tonight at 6; Saturday through Labor Day, beginning at 2 p.m. Information at http://sandsamusementspa.com

For other fun stuff to do this weekend checkout the Electric City calendar at http://www.ecweekend.com/calendar

Tweet Your Words


Our first Technology on Your Own Terms workshop is coming up on September 15th!  If you’re a University of Scranton faculty or staff member and would like to learn how to use Twitter, come join us – just be sure to register (under Special Events), since seats are limited.

Update: Did you miss “Tweet Your Words”? Notes from the workshop, along with lists of University of Scranton and Scranton-area tweeters, are posted on the Library’s Research Guides wiki.

Technology on Your Own Terms

The Weinberg Memorial Library and the Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence (CTLE) are proud to announce a new faculty and staff advancement series, Technology on Your Own Terms.  The series will introduce University faculty and staff to emerging technologies in a hands-on environment, in order to encourage innovation in the workplace and in the classroom.

Technology on Your Own Terms will begin this Fall with four sessions:

Tweet Your Words
Tuesday, September 15 from 12pm – 1pm (WML 306)

You’ve heard about Twitter on the news – now find out what it’s really like.  In this workshop, you’ll create a Twitter account and post  your first tweet.  You’ll also learn how to follow other tweeters and find useful information in the Twitterverse.  (Taught by Kristen Yarmey-Tylutki, Library)

Curl Up with a Kindle
Thursday, October 1 from 12pm – 1pm (WML 306)

Learn how to use an entirely new class of device -a convenient, portable reading device with the ability to wirelessly download books, blogs, magazines, and newspapers. The device is the Amazon Kindle.  During this workshop, you will learn how to use many of the Kindle’s features including digital highlights and notes. (Taught by Aileen McHale, CTLE)

Really Simple Steps for Managing the Web: An Introduction to RSS
Tuesday, October 13 from 12pm – 1pm (WML 306)

This workshop will explain how RSS feeds and RSS readers can help you manage the abundance of information available on the web.  You’ll create a Google Reader account and will learn to import, organize, search, and share up-to-date content from your favorite websites.  (Taught by Kristen Yarmey-Tylutki, Library)

Stay Alert! Keeping Your Research Up-to-Date
Thursday, October 29, from 11:30am – 12:30pm (WML 306)

Do you spend an inordinate amount of time keeping your research up-to-date? During this workshop you will learn how to set up e-mail alerts and use RSS feeds to gather scholarly information.  (Taught by Bonnie Oldham, Library)

Sessions will be taught in Weinberg Memorial Library Room 306. All faculty and staff members are welcome, but seats are limited, so please register for sessions you plan to attend (select Special Event).

Register today for University for a Day


The Second Annual University for a Day
Saturday, September 12, 2009
8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Start the new season thinking! We invite you to join us for a day of listening to, reflecting on and talking about some ideas and people that have changed our world.  Take part in this feast for the mind at The Schemel Forum’s second annual University for the Day.

Full Schedule:

8:45am – 9:30am Registration

9:30am – 10:45am Toni Morrison’s A Mercy: A Paradigm and a Cautionary Tale of Interdependence in a New World (presented by Stephen Whittaker, Professor of English and Theater)

11:00am – 12:15pm Rosalind Franklin: Another Twist in the DNA Double Helix (presented by Janice Voltzow, Professor of Biology)

12:30pm – 1:30pm Buffet Luncheon

1:45pm – 3:00pm The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Run it: White Collar Crime and the Global Financial Crisis (presented by David Friedrichs, Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice)

3:15pm – 4:30pm Globalization: For Better and Worse (presented by Goodwin Cooke, Professor of International Studies at Syracuse University)

4:30pm – 5:15pm Reception

All this plus morning coffee, lunch and a closing wine reception in very good company for a very low price! Free to current Schemel Forum Members. $25.00 Schemel Forum Non-Members.  Reservations are required, so please register by contacting Kym Balthazar Fetsko, Schemel Forum Events Coordinator, at 570-941-7816 or fetskok2 (at) scranton (dot) edu.  Also be sure to check out the full Schemel Forum fall schedule!

University for a Day is made possible through the generous support of the Neighborhood Development Trust Fund and the Scranton Area Foundation.