New Technology Series for Students

The Reilly Learning Commons will be hosting brand new technology sessions demonstrating the new software available on the high-end PCs and Macs. The sessions will be taught by student technology consultants that work in the Learning Commons Tech Support office. Each session will last 45 minutes with demonstration and time for questions.

Audacity_Logo.svgHave Some Audacity:

Join us Thursday, March 5th at 4pm in room 124I of the Reilly Learning Commons at the Weinberg Memorial Library for a technology demonstration on one of the library’s new application: Audacity.  Learn how to create, record, import, edit, and mix audio.  Audacity is the perfect tool to edit sound files, record live audio, and add effects to your audio files.  ​

RSVP to or just drop in!

Stay tuned for future sessions on iMovie, Photoshop and More! Or if there is a topic you would like covered, please let us know!

Reilly Learning Commons–Technology and Features

The Reilly Learning Commons is now open 24 hours!! HURRAH!! As you enter the space you’ll notice lounge seating and a large digital sign to share news and updates about the Learning Commons.

The first two rooms as you enter the space are for the Writing Center. They’ll be providing tutoring here with both appointments and drop-in hours. To see their full hours for the space visit the new webpage. When tutoring is not scheduled, the rooms will be available for students to reserve.

There are 5 additional group study rooms around the perimeter. They also have large monitors with HDMI wires for students to view their laptops as a group. The group study rooms are reservable by visiting the website. We are encouraging students to always reserve a room so another group does not show up and ask them to leave. In each of the rooms, the blue walls are writeable! Some have chalk and some have dry-erase markers.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are four booth seating, or collaboration areas with large monitors and HDMI chords. You just have to plug the chord into the HDMI outlet on your laptop, this turns the TV on automatically. Once the TV is on, just push the play button on the wire and it will send the screen to the large monitor. You’ll be able to work on group projects more easily! Four students can have their devices plugged in at a time and switch between them by pushing the play button on each chord. These seating areas also have two stools and a high counter for additional students to work together.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn addition to the group study rooms and the collaborative booth areas, we’ve also added 6 new high end PCs and 6 new iMacs! They each have dual monitors and have brand new software including adobe creative suite, imovie, final cut pro, and more. We’ve ordered additional chairs so students will be able to work in pairs at these stations. We also have our 19 old lab PCs, and several open stations for students to bring their own device.

Along the back wall you’ll find the Tech Support office that will be staffed by student workers throughout the semester to help with technology in the space. The middle room along the back wall is for Lecture Capture. Students will be able to reserve this room and it will be used to practice presentations and record them online using Panopto, the same software used in classrooms for lecture capture.

The funding for the Reilly Learning Commons was done entirely through fundraising by the Library Dean, Charles Kratz and the University’s Development Office. The planning was done by a team of librarians, teaching faculty, members of IT Services, CTLE, campus facilities, and a design from architects Hemmler and Camayd.

Mathematica 8 Training

“Wolfram Research will be on campus Tuesday, September 18 to give a technical talk on Mathematica 8 from 11:45am-1pm.  The talk will be held in the Math Lab of the Loyola Science Center, Room 328.

This seminar will be given 100% in Mathematica and will show useful teaching and research examples for mathematics, the physical sciences, engineering, and business/economics. Ideas for creating universal examples in Mathematica that can be used by colleagues or students with no prior Mathematica experience will be a central theme.

The content will help attendees with no prior experience get started with the Mathematica language and workflow. Since there is a large amount of new functionality in Version 8, most intermediate and advanced users who attend these talks report learning quite a bit as well. All attendees will receive an electronic copy of the examples, which can be adapted to individual projects.

Students and Faculty from all departments are welcome to this event.

To make sure there will be enough space, please email to RSVP for the event.”

Ask-A-Librarian Instant Messaging

The Ask-A-Librarian instant messaging service, widgets on our websites, and text messaging services are currently having technical difficulty. Our provider’s servers are currently down, but they are working on restoring the services.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

For the meantime please call the Reference Desk if you need any help (570 – 941 – 4000) OR use the 24/7 Chat service  to get help from a librarian at another Jesuit University.

Wonderful Gmail Labs, pt. 1: Nested Labels

Here is Part 1 of a series of posts I plan to do, in which I share about the latest and (in my opinion) greatest features available in Gmail through Gmail Labs.

(Image borrowed from the Gmail blog post about Nested Labels, linked in the body of this post)

To all the Gmail users on campus…

Ever wish you could organize your thousands of archived emails into folders, like most other email clients allow? Well, now you can. Or, at least, you can do the equivalent, with a new Gmail Lab called Nested Labels.

Nested Labels allows you to create custom labels and sub-labels (which can even be color-coded), where the parent label, as viewed by default to the left of your inbox, can be expanded and collapsed to reveal (or hide) the sub-labels within that parent label.

I find this incredibly useful, since it allows me to categorize my huge archive, thus making older emails easier to find. It takes a little bit of time to set up, since you’ll need to go back and categorize all of your old emails from the past, assigning custom labels to the emails you want easy access to. But, if this is something you’ve wished Gmail had (or if you’ve been using the folders4gmail browser extension as a work-around, like I was), check out the Gmail blog post, linked above, for instructions on how to get started with Nested Labels.

Fall Break Upgrade Postponed!!

The Technology Support Center just announced that the software upgrades intended for this weekend have been postponed.  This means that email, Angel, and my.scranton will be available over Fall Break.  Library online resources (databases, catalog, interlibrary loan, course reserves) will all be accessible as usual, though the building will still be closed over the weekend.

Here’s the official notice from the Support Center:

The hardware and software upgrades scheduled for October 9 – 12 have been postponed. These upgrades will be rescheduled at a later date. University enterprise computer systems will be available as normally scheduled. As always, information technology questions or problems can be directed to the Technology Support Center can be reached at x4357 or

Also, the Library building will be closed from 4:30 pm on Friday 10/9, and will reopen at 8:30 am on Tuesday 10/13 for Fall break. The 24 hour Pro Deo room will be open this weekend. Have a great break!

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).

Pandora Radio, Music Genomes, & Beautiful Sounds

Here we are, in the thick of finals. All-nighters. Citation madness. Dum-dum lollipops from the Reference Desk.

I know all about it — I’m the trusty librarian that is up at least half the night with you this week, at the Reference Desk ’til 2 am when we close.

But boy, did I come across a gem of a website that I believe you will love as much as I do. Because we all love music, right? But of course we love very different kinds of music… And that’s where the brilliance of Pandora Radio comes in.

This website allows you to create personalized, customized Internet radio stations that play only the music you love. When I first heard about it, I was very skeptical as to how user-friendly, effective or accurate such a claim could be. But I moseyed on over to the URL, where I was prompted to input a favorite artist or song. I humored Pandora, and typed in “Jason Mraz.” A station called “Jason Mraz Radio” started playing, with the first song as “I’d Do Anything” off of his first studio album, Waiting for my Rocket to Come. Okay, that’s neat, and I figured it would just play Jason songs in succession… But then, the second song began, and it wasn’t Jason, but a groovy rendition of “Over the Rainbow” by a Hawaiian artist whose name I can’t remember, accompanying himself on a ukulele — a version of the song I had heard about but never gotten around to looking up. A little pop-up from Pandora told me they were playing this song because, essentially, it “sounds” like Jason’s music. Well, it wasn’t Jason, but it was groovy in all the ways Jason is, and I was pleased. And the neat part is, now I have learned about an artist I never would have known about, for free, who plays the same kind of music as Jason — the kind of music I like. This is very cool indeed.

So I started creating other stations, and decided it was well worth creating an account at the site, so I could save my stations for future use. Right now, I am listening to “Bluegrassy Instrumental” (one of the genre-stations they also offer), and I’m loving it. And when Pandora plays a song I like in particular, I have a few options: I can rate it w/ a thumbs up, so the station knows to play more songs like it, and I can also Bookmark the song, so I can remember the artist and album for future reference. There are also ways to interact with other Pandora Radio listeners, recommending songs, creating profiles, etc. This site rocks my socks, and it will rock yours too. Just trust me on that one.

But you may ask, how does Pandora achieve this? How can a website or even an extensive database of music know what songs are really like other songs? That’s where the Music Genome Project comes in. I won’t go crazy trying to explain how the participants do what they do, but in short, they basically map the musical DNA of every song, characterizing and analyzing each song for many things like “melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics” (taken from About Pandora — worth reading too). Then Pandora takes these DNA maps (as I’m calling them) and uses them to match songs with other songs, to create a stream of music that can continually be customized to fit your taste in that style of music.

I think this is just awesome, and I felt the need to share it with all of you. We all love music, and this tool not only gives open access to the thing we love, but it enables us to discover artists and songs we might never have before.

So, if you need music in the background while you work on papers and finals — for my part, certain kinds of music (like “Bluegrassy Instrumental”) help me concentrate — check out Pandora Radio.

This is technology and the Internet at their best.