Summer Workshops for University Employees

The Library would like to invite all University of Scranton employees to two workshops that will be held in July.

Researching the Moving ImageInternet Movie Database logo
This workshop, presented by Kevin Norris, will look at some of the new developments that Web technology and social networking have brought to researching the moving image and motion pictures on the Internet. Attendees will explore some of the more useful and interesting Web sites and networks.

Light refreshments will be served.

When: July 8 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Where: Room 306 in the Weinberg Library

Do you speak Web 2.0

Do you speak Web 2.0?
Presenters Kristen Yarmey-Tylutki and George Aulisio will introduce attendees to the language of Web 2.0. A few of the topics that will be included are photo sharing, Facebook and Twitter.
Light refreshments will be served.

When: July 14 from 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Where: Room 306 in the Weinberg Library

Happy Darwin Day!

Note: Today we welcome Dr. Janice Voltzow, chair of the University of Scranton Biology Department, as our very first guest blogger!  Dr. Voltzow has been studying Charles Darwin’s life and works, in addition to her biological research in invertebrate functional morphology.


February 12, 2009, marks the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and this year marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of his landmark book On the Origin of Species.  The theory of evolution by natural selection, as first articulated by Darwin and subsequently observed, verified, and tested by generations of biologists, is the foundation of our understanding of the complexity and diversity of life on earth.  It explains how life evolved from single-celled organisms to include all the various forms of life we see around us today, from single-celled bacteria to complex, multi-cellular, sexually reproducing organisms.  Modern biology, and indeed, modern life, rests on a foundation of evolutionary theory.  Molecular genetics has provided overwhelming support for Darwin’s mechanism of natural selection as the primary force of evoutionary change.   His theory continues to have a tremendous impact on our daily lives, including our understanding of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (bacterial populations that have evolved to resist the effects of anti-bacterial drugs or antibiotics) and the increasingly complete fossil record.  At The University of Scranton we are celebrating this event with seminars, workshops, and plenty of cake.  I encourage you to celebrate Darwin Day 2009 and to participate in the international celebration of the work of one of the great intellectual giants of all time—Charles Darwin.

There are a number of wonderful web sites available to help you learn more about Darwin and evolution.  All of his major works, notebooks, and most of his letters are now available at The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online at  For more of his incredible correspondence, see  The Darwin Correspondence Project at  And for a wonderful interactive site on the voyage of the Beagle, see


Thanks, Dr. Voltzow!  I’d like to add some of my favorite Darwin-related resources — check out last year’s Newsweek article comparing the lives of Darwin and his co-birthday celebrant Abraham Lincoln.  Another fascinating site is Tree of Life, a collaborative web project that brings to life the evolutionary tree that Darwin envisioned.  And if you still want to celebrate, Jonathan Eisen at UC-Davis offers you “10 simple ways to honor Charlie D.”

Before You Vote, Surf

The 2008 presidential election is coming up quickly — only 40 more days until November 4th!

With all of the debates, town halls, news stories, and sound bites, it’s hard to keep up with all of the information from and about the candidates – even if you are a devoted CSPAN viewer.  And, here in the Library, we encourage everyone to examine information from several sources and think critically about a source’s accuracy, reliability, validity, and potential bias.  So I thought it might be a good idea to highlight a few useful news and fact-checking websites to help you make an informed decision on Election Day.

One of my favorites is the non-partisan Annenberg Political Fact Check, aka  The site reviews political ads and commercials from both campaigns and checks to see whether their statements are accurate.  They also answer “questions of the day,” submitted by the public, to help you understand the background behind various rumors and accusations — today’s is “Did Sarah Palin make rape victims pay for their own rape kits?” (Answer: “Palin’s police chief in Wasilla did that. Whether Palin supported this is not certain”).

As a recent transplant from Virginia, I’m also a fan of a Washington Post blog called “The Fact Checker,” where blogger Michael Dobbs grades the candidates’ claims.  He assigns between 1-4 “Pinocchios” to let you know whether a statement was absolutely true, completely false, or somewhere in the middle (for example, true but misleading).  The Post also has a neat 2008 Campaign Toolbox, filled with links to up-to-date news, polls, and analysis.  CNN has a similar site, the Election Center 2008.

Of course, after digesting all of this political information, you’ll need a break! That’s when it’s time to go watch a few episodes of The Daily Show.

Most importantly, though, don’t forget to register to vote.  There’s been a table for voter registration in DeNaples every day during lunch, or you can download a Pennsylvania voter registration form (and find out more about voting in Pennsylvania) at, a website published by the Pennsylvania Department of State.  And let us know where *you* find your election information, by posting a comment.