Skip to content

The Reilly Learning Commons

September 19, 2014

This guest post was written by Sheli McHugh.

photo 3 The University of Scranton’s Weinberg Memorial Library held a Ribbon Cutting ceremony this week to officially open its Reilly Learning Commons. Space on the first floor of the library was renovated over the summer to include new group study rooms, collaboration spaces, and high-end technology. The renovation was entirely completed with donations raised through an initiative led by Dean Charles Kratz for the Weinberg Memorial Library’s Twentieth Anniversary. The main donations came from the Reilly family. Joseph Reilly worked at the University of Scranton for many years in the maintenance department and two of his sisters, Evelyn and Katherine, were both early female graduates of the school.


A Learning Commons committee assembled and consisted of library staff, teaching faculty, CTLE staff, IT Services, and campus facilities. The committee began with researching other libraries’ learning commons and trends in services. The committee took field trips to Penn State University, University of Pennsylvania, and St. Joseph’s University to tour their libraries. Focus groups were conducted with faculty to learn about services and technology they would like to see in the library for their students to complete projects in their courses.

The committee created a plan from their research for what they wanted in the Reilly Learning Commons and presented this vision to the architects from Hemler & Camayd. The architects, campus facilities, and IT services worked to bring this vision to life over the course of one year. In spring 2014, the committee finalized a floor plan, ordered technology, and green lighted construction.

The Space:

photo 4The Reilly Learning Commons has 8 group study rooms. Two are dedicated to the Writing Center, which provides help to students in the evening. They will be holding both appointments and drop-in hours. When tutoring is not scheduled, the rooms will be available for students to reserve.

There are 5 group study rooms around the perimeter. They each have large monitors with HDMI connections for students to view their laptops as a group. The group study rooms are reservable through SpringShare’s LibCal software. We are encouraging students to always reserve a room. In each of the rooms, the blue walls are writeable. Some have chalk and some have dry-erase markers.

We also have a room dedicated to lecture capture. Students are able to record presentations using Panopto software and save them online. They can view themselves back for critique or send copies to their professors.

photo 5There are four booth seating, or collaboration areas with large monitors and HDMI cables. Four students can have their devices plugged in at a time and switch between them by pushing the play button on each chord. We are circulating additional adapters for other devices in case they don’t have HDMI ports on their devices. These seating areas also have two stools and a high counter for additional students to work together.

In 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. Students can work in pairs or small groups at these stations. We also have our 19 older lab PCs and open stations for students to bring their own device. We have also added a Tech Support office that is staffed by student workers daily to help with technology in the space.

The Future:

We see our new Learning Commons as the first step toward our long term plans for the Weinberg Memorial Library. We hope that feedback and use of the space will drive change upward to the other floors of the building. We are very excited to see how students use the new space and the technology we are providing. For more information about this initiative, contact Sheli McHugh, Learning Commons Coordinator.

Call for Panelists

September 18, 2014

Good morning.
The “Connect & Communicate Series” of free virtual events for academic librarians is seeking panelists to discuss “Discovery and the Future of the Catalog” in a one-hour virtual panel discussion (using the AnyMeeting presentation platform) to be held the week of November 10th.

Topics to be covered include: what a discovery service will and will not do; how it can be used with the catalog, integrated into the catalog, or as a replacement for the catalog; issues with implementation; effects on staffing; and patron response and usage.

The panel discussion will consist of a moderator posing questions to a group of panelists. Attendees will be given the opportunity to ask questions of the panelists in the final portion of the discussion.

Serving as a panelist will look great on your résumé or CV!

Please submit a brief statement of your interest in participating as a panelist, including information about your experience with your institution’s discovery service, by Tuesday, September 30th via our form at

Contact Jill Hallam-Miller, Connect & Communicate Series Planning Committee Chair,
at with questions.

Best regards,
Connect & Communicate Series Planning Committee

PaLRaP: Looking Ahead, Looking Back

September 10, 2014

With the publication of Volume 2, issue 1, Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice (PaLRaP) celebrated its one year anniversary of publication and got its second year of publication off to a strong start; the editorial team is now looking ahead to volume 2, issue 2. This last year and a half has seen continued growth and change as PaLRaP continues to adapt to the needs of its readers. As we move forward with the journal, we want to take the time to share with you information about that growth and change and we also want to share some fun facts about the journal thus far.

What’s New in Year 2

  •  In order to enable us to remain a free scholarly resource for our readers, PaLRaP now has a “Support PaLRaP” section on its website. You can support PaLRaP through donations to the journal or through membership in Pa Library Association.
  • In an effort to make it easier for you to find and share journal news via Twitter, the PaLRaP team will now begin using the hashtag #palrap when it posts updates about new issues, calls for submissions, and journal articles. We encourage you to use the hashtag as well when you share information about the journal via Twitter.
  • Finally, PaLRaP was added to Ulrichsweb Periodicals Directory and to SHERPA/RoMEO, a database that lists publishers and information such as their publication conditions and policies and author rights. Visit PaLRaP’s page here.

Fun Facts

  • The top social sites people have used to access PaLRaP are Facebook and Twitter, so keep sharing PaLRaP through all of your social media outlets and don’t forget to use #palrap on Twitter.
  • PaLRaP has readers all over the world. Overall, the top 5 countries for PaLRaP readership are:

1. United States
2. Brazil
3. Canada
4. UK
5. Australia

  • In August 2014, the top 5 countries for PaLRaP readership were:

1. United States
2. Brazil
3. Australia
4. Germany
5. Egypt

  • The overall top 5 most popular PaLRaP articles are:

1. Making your mobile device an art expert: Using QR codes to tell the story behind artiFACTS in your library
2. Online job tutorials @ the public library: Best practices from Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Job & Career Education Center
3. Using the filter bubble to create a teachable moment: A case study utilizing online personalization to engage students in information literacy instruction
4. The Heritage Hunt: From start to update
5. Using social media to promote international collaboration

Consider Becoming a Peer Reviewer/Check out The Latest Issue

PaLRaP is always in need of peer reviewers. If you’re interested in becoming a peer reviewer for the journal, email for more information.

PaLRaP continuously accepts submissions on a rolling basis, but keep your eyes on your email and the CRD blog for an official call for submissions for the fall 2014 issue. Until then, check out the latest issue of PaLRaP, volume 2 issue 1, here.

Introducing the CRD Twitter

September 5, 2014

As the CRD’s newly appointed social media coordinator, I’m proud to announce that the CRD now has its own official Twitter account!


Follow us: @crdpala

Tag us: #crdpala


If you’re not using Twitter yet, I encourage you to start. Although social media is notorious for connecting us, it’s also one of the most powerful ways to store, manage, use, and share information. When I think about Twitter (and its concept of hashtags in particular), I often picture a card catalog–yes, the old-school kind that is now used more commonly as a quirky, vintage dresser than as a search tool:

I imagine that the subject terms are hashtags and that each card is like a tweet containing its own valuable information–not in the form of library records of course, but in the form of conversations, thoughts, questions, songs, photos, videos–pieces of life, really. In this way, anyone who uses hashtags becomes a sort of cataloger for his/her own life. And it’s kind of neat to think that so many people get a small taste of what it’s like to be a librarian, even if they don’t realize it.

So to me, the connection between Twitter and libraries is too obvious to ignore and too strong not to appreciate. I hope you’ll accompany me in celebrating this connection by joining the Twitter world (if you haven’t already) and tweeting along with us!


Election Results

August 27, 2014

Thank you kindly to all of our members that voted this year.

I’m pleased to announce the results of the election of officers for the 2015 CRD Board:

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect – Christina Steffy, Librarian, Joseph F. McCloskey School of Nursing

Secretary – Beth Transue, Librarian/Collection Development Coordinator, Messiah College

Congratulations to Christina and Beth!

PaLA West Branch “Chapter Chatter” Event

August 8, 2014
West Branch Chapter invites you to a "Chapter Chatter" event!

West Branch Chapter invites you to a “Chapter Chatter” event!

Please join the West Branch Chapter of PaLA on Friday, August 15, at Mansfield University, for discussion and dessert.  This meeting is open to PaLA members and non-members – please share this with all of your library colleagues!

Parking at Mansfield University is available in any legal spot except the Alumni Hall lot.

RSVP to Barbara McGary by Thursday, August 14,    Hope to see you there!

Alison Gregory, Director of Library Services, Lycoming College

Connect & Communicate Series Discussions Resume in Fall

July 17, 2014

The Connect & Communicate Series discussions scheduled for the summer months have been postponed. Information about upcoming events will be posted in mid-August.

In the mean time, we’d like to hear from you!

What should Pennsylvania’s academic librarians be talking about?
Have you done something in your library that you think others should try?
Are you looking for an opportunity to present?

Talk to us! Take our brief survey to let us know what’s on your mind.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 120 other followers