Student TechCon Position Open

Interested in working at the library? At the Weinberg Memorial Library you can earn valuable work experience and enhance your skills in a variety of different ways.

Weinberg Memorial Library

Currently, the Weinberg Memorial Library currently has an open Student TechCon position:

Library Outreach TechCon

This TechCon supports the Library’s Public Services initiatives and reports to the Library’s Evening Public Services Librarian, George Aulisio.

Afternoon, evening, and some weekend hours available.

Job responsibilities for this position include:

  • Publicizing Library events and services using the Library’s social media presence (with regular postings to the Library’s blog, Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter accounts).
  • Researching the usage of social media tools at other libraries.
  • Preparing informational slides, images, and video for the Library’s new television displays.
  • Photographing Library events and activities.
  • Assisting the Public Services Librarians in planning outreach activities.
    • Potential projects include gaming events and Earth Week.
    • Assisting the Digital Services Librarian and Digitization TechCon in promoting digital collections.
    • Assisting with other special projects as needed.

Preferred qualifications for this position include:

  • Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite, and Powerpoint
  • Familiarity with Mac operating system and software
  • Experience with audio/video editing and graphic design
  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Familiarity with social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, and with current social media trends and culture

Students interested should send an email to with information on their interest in this position. Please address any qualifications or interests you have that match-up with the description. Also, if you feel that you skills that you believe would be relevant to this position, but are not addressed in the description please elaborate on them.

Web Surfing Made Simple

While surfing the Web I came across a website which makes focusing on your work all that much more difficult.

StumbleUpon is a website which leads you to other websites.

The webpages you stumble upon could range from Government Fact Sheets, National Geographic Images, YouTube Videos, Flash Games, News Articles, Blog posts, just about anything you can imagine.

My first result was a great set of images which help to scale galactic objects in comparison to one another…

After that I stumbled on a game where you try to tranquilize sheep running from your herd.

Then an extremely interesting video from YouTube.

Lastly, a photo of Earth at Night from NASA.

You do not need to sign-up in order to use this site, but for people who do a lot of surfing I would suggest making a free account. Account members can chose what kinds of websites they most frequently enjoy. As you are lead to a new site you can decide if you Like or Dislike the site. The more you rate websites the more likely you are to be lead to sites that you’ll enjoy.

Happy stumbling!

Free Rice

What’s more fun than playing a game?

Free Rice

Playing a game that matters… is a multiple choice website which quizzes your general knowledge.

People spend hours wasting their time on games similar to this one, but the difference here is…

When you answer correctly on a Sponsor pays for a donation of Rice to the UN World Food Programme.

The more you play, the more you get correct, the more rice gets donated.

According to FreeRice’s FAQ section, FreeRice has:

Fed 27,000 Myanmar refugees in Bangladesh.
Provided take-home rations of four kilograms of rice for two months to 13,500 pregnant and nursing women in Cambodia.
Fed 66,000 school children in Uganda for a week.
Fed over 108,000 Bhutanese refugees for three days in Nepal.
Fed 41,000 children for 8 days in Bhutan.
Fed 750,000 cyclone affected people for 3 days in Myanmar.

The website defaults to English Vocabulary words, but you can click on Subjects at the top of the page to change it to something more to your liking, such as: Famous Paintings, Chemistry, Geography, Mathematics, German, French, Italian, and Spanish.

If you are going to burn time on the internet doing something similar, why not do it here? I guarantee if you spend an hour at this website you’ll feel a lot better than you would if you spent an hour at another website.

Indie Magazines for Everyone


One of my favorite websites to kill some time on is Issuu.

Issuu is a website which allows you to “Publish yourself.”

I think it’s pretty cool that you can publish your own work on this website, but that is not the reason why I enjoy it so much.

Issuu has a large collection of magazines which are all free for you to peruse. The only difference is that these magazines are not the ones that you usually see at the grocery store.

Because Issuu is free to publish on, a lot of magazines which are not mass-produced and are uber-popular in America use it to increase their readership.

The magazines are mostly Independent, Student run, or from outside the U.S.A. The content of these magazines ranges from Poetry, Photography, Art, Graphic Design, Film Reviews, Popular Culture, just about everything…

Issuu is a great way to get your daily dose of culture and to read something a little different for a change.

Check it out at

Share those photos!

Good news – we still have seats left for this Friday’s Technology on Your Own Terms workshop on photo sharing.

This time, Library systems staff member and computer training coordinator Vince Yanusauskas will present “Can You See Me Now?: Creating Digital Web Albums to Share with Family and Friends.”  Vince will demonstrate Google’s free Picasa service, which gives users 1 GB of free storage space to save, organize, describe, and share their favorite photos with their favorite people.

The workshop will be held on Friday, February 19th from 12pm-1pm in Weinberg Memorial Library Room 306.  If interested, be sure to register for a seat at, under Special Events.  All University faculty and staff are welcome.

Photo collage (made using Picasa) is courtesy of Flickr user Burnt Pixel, under a Creative Commons license.

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).

Introducing the Library Research Guides Wiki

ResearchGuidesWiki The Weinberg Memorial Library is proud to announce a new collaborative project this fall –  the University of Scranton Library Research Guides!

The Research Guides basically act as a starting point, where students and other researchers can find useful resources in their discipline.  We’re using the Guides as a “home” to bring together helpful databases, reference books, e-books, and web resources for each subject.  While we’re focusing on traditional academic disciplines, we’re also creating Research Guides for interdisciplinary issues like Sustainability and New Technology.

The best thing about the Research Guides, though, is that they’re in wiki format (like Wikipedia) – which means that anyone can contribute links or references they find useful in their work.  It also means that the Research Guides are fluid.  Unlike static web pages, they will change and adapt over time as contributors add, update, and reorganize resources.

We’d like to invite all members of the University of Scranton community to view, edit, and improve our Research Guides.  If you’re new to wiki editing, take a minute to visit our Getting Started page.  Let us know if you have questions, comments, or suggestions.  We’re looking forward to collaborating with you!

We Speak Web 2.0!

Thanks to all who attended the “Do You Speak Web 2.0?” session here at the Library today.  We had a great time – there were a lot of tough questions about the ins and outs of Web 2.0 that hopefully will lead into even more good conversations in the future.

If you missed the session or would like a refresher, you can see the slides below.   You can also see pictures from the event on our flickr page!

[slideshare id=1717427&doc=doyouspeakweb20-slideshare-090713201619-phpapp01]

Joining the Twitterverse

Ellen DeGeneres, The Daily Show, and 110 members of Congress all Twitter – so why not us?


From now on, get the latest Weinberg Memorial Library news (and an RSS feed of our blog posts) by following us – @UofSLibrary.  While you’re at it, reply and let us know what you think of our Library!  In 140 characters or less, that is.

If you’re like us and new to the Twitterverse, here are a few resources to help you get started on your new so-microblogged life:

  • Feeling tweepish about not knowing what the heck your tweeple are tweeting about? You need the Twitter Glossary from the Twitter Fan Wiki.
  • With Twitter Search, you can watch what the world is doing in real time.
  • Nearby Tweets helps you find other tweeple in your city.
  • Tweet Deck is an application that can help you manage your incoming tweets.
  • Last but not least, if you’re presenting to a group of techno-savvy people anytime in the future, check out speaking expert Olivia Mitchell’s recommendations for “How to Present While People are Twittering.”

Need help figuring out who to start following?  Here are some of our favorite Scranton tweeters – it is #followfriday, after all!

We’ve also noticed a mysterious new Twitter account, @scottpilarz.  Could it be our very own University president?

Update: On our Research Guides wiki you can now find an introduction to Twitter, as well as a continually updated list of University of Scranton Twitter accounts and our favorite NEPA Tweeps.

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.