Changing Channels: The Next Generation of Television

It’s just about time to kick off another year of Technology on Your Own Terms, a series of workshops presented by the Weinberg Memorial Library and the Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence.

On Tuesday, October 18 from 12pm-1pm, Jason Oakey from the Office of Instructional Technology will present on Changing Channels: The Next Generation of Television. In this workshop, we’ll look at new options in home entertainment and media, from HDTV and BluRay to streaming video. We’ll talk about what consumers should look for when purchasing new television screens and introduce new streaming services like Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Apple TV.

All faculty and staff members are welcome, but seats are limited, so if you’d like to come please register at (under Technology On Your Own Terms).  We’ll meet in WML305, and a light lunch will be provided. See you there!

Free E-book Websites

Image courtesy of goXunoReviews, under a Creative Commons license

Winter weather keeping you indoors? Well the e-book is celebrating its 40th birthday this year! Why not download a free e-book to your device (Nook, Kindle, Sony Reader, smartphone), or just download and read one right on your computer. You’ll first need to check to see which of the different available text formats are compatible with your device.

To help you get started, check out this list of some of the sites where you can download free e-books, along with an informational quote from each website:

Project Gutenberg

“Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or eBooks.”

Internet Archive

“Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.”

The Online Books Page

“The Online Books Page is a website that facilitates access to books that are freely readable over the Internet.”

“ provides a user-friendly interface to read books online. Many tools are provided to explore and utilize this collection of public domain books, poetry, tutorials and audio.”


“Bookyards has a total of 17,008 books, 41,784 external web links, 4,197 news & blogs links, 384 videos, 32,963 Ebook links and access to hundreds of online libraries (800,000 Ebooks) for your reading pleasure.”


“We format and package books so that you can read them on a java enabled phone. Most phones sold today are java enabled – you probably have one in your pocket right now.”

Standard memberships are FREE and allow members unlimited access to eBooks in the HTML format or access to 5 eBooks each and every month in the PDF and/or TXT formats.”

All of the eBooks from are free…Many of the etexts are from the November, 2003 Project Gutenberg DVD.”

GetFreeEbooks is a free ebooks site where you can download free books totally free.”

Free Book Spot

“We have lots of links to free ebooks in more than 90 categories.  You can find scientific, engineering, programming, fiction and many other books.”

For more information, check out the following websites that have created lists of their favorite free e-book sources on the Web:

25 Websites for Download Best Free Ebooks

Top 9 Site to Download Free eBooks for Nooks and Kindles Reader that You Couldn’t Miss!

20 Best Websites to Download Free EBooks

Free eBook Websites

Ultimate List to Download Free E-Books

Technology On Your Own Terms in Spring 2011

Each semester, the Weinberg Memorial Library and the Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence (CTLE) offer a faculty and staff advancement series called Technology on Your Own Terms. The series introduces University faculty and staff to emerging technologies in order to encourage innovation in the workplace and in the classroom. We’re continuing the series in Spring 2011 with three new workshops, all of which will be held in the Library.

The Insider’s Guide to Smartphones
Wednesday, February 16 from 12pm-1pm in WML305

In this session, librarian Kristen Yarmey and technology services analyst Diane Jachimowicz will discuss some of the technology behind smartphones like iPhones, Androids, and Blackberries.  We’ll talk about what terms like 3G, 4G, tethering, and jailbreaking mean in plain English, what sensors like accelerometers and compasses mean for average users, how operating systems like iOS and Android differ, and what phone features to look out for in 2011 and beyond.  A light lunch will be provided during the discussion. (Taught by Kristen Yarmey, Weinberg Memorial Library, and Diane Jachimowicz, IT Services)

The Changing Face of Facebook
Wednesday, March 9 from 1pm-2pm in WML305

If you are a Facebook user, you have probably asked yourself at least once, “Why does Facebook make so many changes to its site?” In this session, librarian Donna Mazziotti will present an overview of the latest wave of changes made to the Facebook user interface. She will also offer a rationale for why Facebook is an ever-evolving tool, as well as reasons why users should embrace Facebook’s mission to always improve its product. After this session, attendees will grow from passive to proactive Facebook users, able to educate themselves about changes made to Facebook as the changes occur. A light lunch will be provided during the discussion. (Taught by Donna Mazziotti, Weinberg Memorial Library)

E-Readers: The Hype and the Facts
Wednesday, April 6 from 11am-3pm in WML305

Nook, Sony, Kindle, iPad, etc.  There are so many e-readers and tablet computers available that it’s getting harder to know which product to choose to fill a certain need.  Want some answers?  Drop in any time during a four hour showcase of e-readers and tablet computers at the Weinberg Memorial Library. Best Buy will have many products on display and provide knowledgeable staff to answer your questions.  You will learn about the Weinberg Memorial Library e-books available for download as well as where you can find free ebooks and how to convert regular documents to ereader formats.  Light refreshments will be served. (With representatives from Best Buy, the Weinberg Memorial Library, and the CTLE)

All faculty and staff members are welcome, but seats are limited, so please register for sessions you plan to attend at (under Technology On Your Own Terms).

Wolfram | Alpha

By now Wolfram|Alpha might already be old news, but just in case you haven’t heard about it, you should really check it out…

Caffeine Vs. AspirinWolfram|Alpha is set-up to look like a Search Engine similar to Google, but it is actually a “computation machine.”

This resource is a good tool for finding statistics, socio-economic data, information on a date, figuring out equations, and has data on specific locations.

You’ll see on their Examples by Topic page that Wolfram|Alpha could be useful for the following Subjects — Math, Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Education, Sociology, Criminal Justice, Engineering, Geography, and a lot more.

Just to get a feel for it, I suggest plugging in your Birthday to see what you get, then try doing a comparison, for example: Scranton, PA vs. Philadelphia, PA.

I’m sure you’ll at least find it to be interesting. Those of you who work with numbers, facts, and data might find this “computation machine” to be downright awesome.