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POWER Library Webinars

October 26, 2020

This week, the Hosting Solutions and Library Consulting (HSLC) will be hosting three training webinars focused on constructive ways of incorporating the many electronic resources of the POWER Library into our profession. While the POWER Library tends to be more heavily used by public libraries and schools, I believe it is a solid commodity which should not be overlooked by academic libraries. Of particular interest for me, working at a small, semi-rural community college in an area which has an extremely rich culture and history, the webinar on accessing historical and cultural collections with Pennsylvania pictures and documents is intriguing. Those of you working in preservation or archiving might find this webinar informative. I would like to also know more about the digital services which the POWER Library provides. My community college enrolls high school students for dual enrollment, so the webinar on using the POWER Library and OER for instruction during this pandemic and beyond is also worth attending. Please see the information below from HSLC:

Join us this fall for a series of online training webinars focusing on ways to use POWER Library resources to complement public library digital services, assist K-12 remote instruction with the OER Hub, and find out what is new with PA Photos and Documents digital collections.

Each session will be one hour in length and attending the live session qualifies attendees for continuing education and Act 48 credits. The same session will be repeated on different days.

Plan to join us during one of these session times:

Tuesday, October 27 

  • 10:00am Building Digital Services with POWER Library
  • 1:00pm Virtual Access to Historical and Cultural Collections with PA Photos and Documents
  • 4:00pm Using POWER Library and OER for Pandemic Instruction and Beyond

Wednesday, October 28 

  • 9:00am Virtual Access to Historical and Cultural Collections with PA Photos and Documents
  • 12:00pm Using POWER Library and OER for Pandemic Instruction and Beyond
  • 4:00pm Building Digital Services with POWER Library

Thursday, October 29 

  • 9:00am Using POWER Library and OER for Pandemic Instruction and Beyond
  • 1:00pm Building Digital Services with POWER Library
  • 4:00pm Virtual Access to Historical and Cultural Collections with PA Photos and Documents

Recordings: A recorded version of each session will be made available on the POWER Library – For Librarians for those who are unable to attend the live webinars, however, continuing education and Act 48 credits will only be awarded to those attending the live sessions.

Accessibility: Please contact us at if you have any accessibility requirements in order to participate in the webinars. Please note that Go To Training will be the webinar platform.

Fee: There is no fee to participate in training webinars for staff of POWER Library participants and all staff of POWER Library/Access Pennsylvania participating institutions are welcome to participate.

Handouts: Handouts will be made available during the presentations.


Building Your Digital Services with POWER Library

The importance of building digital library services has never been more relevant than during this unprecedented year.  This session will showcase how to use POWER Library to reach your patrons with digital offerings such as E-Resources, Chat with a Librarian, PA Photos & Docs and more.  Participants will find online programming ideas, identify unique local collections for digitization consideration, how to connect your patrons with help 24/7 and where to find supportive materials under POWER Library – For Librarians.  

As a result of attending this session, you will:

  • Examine ways to use E-Resources within POWER Library to develop online programming ideas
  • Identify steps to determine unique local collections for digitization and how to participate in PA Photos and Documents
  • Understand how Chat with a Librarian services works and how to connect your patrons to help 24/7
  • Navigate the For Librarians area of POWER Library to find outreach materials, training, statistics, support and more.  

Register for this session:

Using POWER Library and OER for Pandemic Instruction and Beyond 

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned K-12 education upside-down. Join us as we cover the new POWER Library OER hub, linking shared lesson plans with POWER Library resources. Learn how, through creating and supporting community, we can help each other navigate through a new, uncharted model of learning, whether in the classroom, in a virtual setting, or a combination of both. Share, collaborate on, or download and remix lessons for your students, engaging them through the electronic resources available. Join us as we share some e-resource tips and tricks, new and updated primary documents in PA Photos and Documents, and the ins and outs of the POWER Library OER Hub. 

As a result of attending this session, you will:

  • Identify ways to use E-Resources within POWER Library to develop lesson plans for the K-12 environment
  • Understand how to share and collaborate on lesson plans in the OER Commons environment
  • Navigate the new iteration of PA Photos and Documents
  • Understand how the POWER Library Chat with a Librarian service can assist with student support in a virtual learning environment

Register for this session:

Virtual Access to Historical and Cultural Collections with PA Photos and Documents

How can I engage users with my historical and cultural collections in a virtual environment? This presentation will cover PA Photos and Documents, which provides access and storage of digitized collections. We will cover the new PA Photos and Documents interface and preview some of the features available to you. The session will also discuss topics such as how to promote usage of primary source materials, linking to the site, how to contribute collections, metadata basics, and understanding rights restrictions.

As a result of attending this session, you will:

  • Understand the capabilities of PA Photos and Documents in providing access and storage of digitized collections
  • Learn about the features of the new PA Photos and Documents interface
  • Know how to contribute your library’s collections and link to the site
  • Learn the basics of metadata, understanding rights restrictions, and how to promote primary source materials from within the collections

Register for this session:

If you have any questions about the Fall Training webinar series, please contact

Newspapers, Magazines, & Journals… Oh my!

October 22, 2020

In my last blog post, I shared a tutorial I was creating for a PSY 101 course to complete. Since this was the first time I created a tutorial for students I’ve been really scrutinizing the student’s answers to see if I can determine any way to improve any future tutorials I created.

One of the sections in my tutorial was focused on introducing the concept of popular and scholarly sources. There’s a YouTube video from the John M. Pfau Library at Cal State San Bernardino that I often use to introduce this concept: One of the questions I asked was, “Put the following sources in the order they would be produced after an event occurs: Books, Journal articles, social media posts, magazine articles, newspaper articles”. I expected this question would garner a high percentage of correct responses, however my expectations were wrong!

A high percentage of student got the opposite ends of the spectrum correct: placing social media posts first and then books last. However, there seemed to be almost no rhyme or reason to how they ranked the 3 types of articles. Thinking more about this result I thought about how frequently I ask students in synchronous classrooms if they have ever subscribed to or seen print newspapers or magazines. I’m always somewhat surprised at how few can answer yes to this question.

I can’t decide what to do with this realization. Do I spend more time trying to explain the difference between these types of publications if students don’t have any idea of what they are or what they look like. Or do I spend more time hammering home how to evaluate your article, no matter what publication it comes from? I’m leaning towards the second option. If a student can make a case for why an article from the New York Times is a credible and relevant source for their research do I really care if they know the New York Times is a newspaper?

I also see value in them understanding the purpose of each type of source which you cannot use as a criteria for evaluating if you don’t know what type of source something is.

I’m torn. Has anyone else been grappling with this concept? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Working with Faculty on Extracurricular Projects

October 16, 2020

Engaging with faculty to develop and incorporate projects in conjunction with the library is a great way to engage with students. Librarians can use these projects as opportunities to help students work on valuable information literacy skills in an interactive, student-driven activity that is closely aligned with the work they’re doing in class.

However, the process of recruiting faculty and developing the project is not always easy and there are several things to keep in mind as you begin these conversations:

  • At the beginning of the project, be sure to set clear goals and objectives for the students to achieve. This will help you explain the value of the project to faculty, as well as the students, and it will help you stay on task as the project inevitably evolves and changes as students begin working on it.
  • Start communication with faculty early. Most projects, even relatively small ones like a book display, will take a lot of coordination between the library and the instructor. At the very least, you should contact them the semester before you would like the project to take place so faculty can see how it fits into their syllabi.
  • One of the reasons you want to start early with faculty is to allow them to build in enough time for you to visit (or virtually visit) the class to explain the project. For many projects, you will have to essentially embed yourself in the class, requiring multiple visits or meetings outside of class time to lay out the details and provide students with instructions. This will take a big chunk of class time so coordinating the schedule with faculty is important.
  • Allow your project to be scalable. While some instructors may be happy to incorporate the project into the course as a required assignment, others may be more willing to offer it as extra credit. Depending on how it is offered to students, you may get a full class worth or simply a handful. Allowing your project to be flexible regarding the number of participants ensures that students can still develop their necessary skills while also ensuring the project meets its core objectives.
  • When you do meet with students about your project, be sure to be very throughout in describing the project, especially if there are unique tools or submission requirements. Even relatively simple or common tools, such as GSuite, may require some familiarization on the part of the student. Including activities and incremental assignments to help students become familiar with the appropriate tools and techniques will provide students with specific instructions on how they can complete the project.
  • If working on this project with students and faculty remotely, students will be even more difficult to communicate with. Be understanding that not everyone may be able to attend specific meetings. Consider creating multiple office hour times for students to meet with you or record and share your Zoom meetings. At the same time, they must understand that they are still responsible for putting in the work. If it is an extra credit project outside of the class, set strict expectations for participation in meetings and require students to attend one of your sessions or view the recordings to remain active in the project.
  • Do not forget to include a way to share your project when it is done! Whether it is through an article, a student research presentation, or simply a social media post, you and the students created something that is worth sharing and showing off to others. It may also create opportunities for collaborations with other students and faculty on future projects!

C&CS “Is the Framework a teaching tool?” now available

October 16, 2020

Thank you to Jen and Rachel for presenting and sharing their research, and to Amy for moderating.

Virtual Professional Development for Real Professionals

October 5, 2020

Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library is pleased to announce Falvey Forum 2020 on Wednesday, October 21st and Thursday October 22nd from 11 am to 3 pm.

This two day, six session FULLY VIRTUAL event will provide new and exciting information on research methods, tools, and pedagogies for researchers of all levels.

Registration is free and open to all!

Please visit the conference homepage for more details and to register for individual sessions:

Virtual Conference Workshops


11:00-12:00   Citation Wrangling  — Presenter: Sarah Hughes

Serious research projects call for no-nonsense tools for taming citations. Learn how to use Zotero to save, organize, and share references.

12:15-1:30     Data Visualization with Tableau — Presenter: Erica Hayes

This session will provide a gentle introduction to how to use Tableau Desktop Public, a free software that allows individuals to publish interactive data visualizations and graphs on the web.

1:45-3:00       Copyright and Publishing 101 — Presenter: Sarah Wipperman

Academia is full of copyright and publishing questions that are often difficult to answer: Can I use this image in my work? What can I do with my work once it’s published? What does that agreement I signed actually say? Can I post my work on a certain website?


11:00-12:00  Beyond the Archive — Presenter: Beaudry Allen

The archive is not a passive, neutral institution, but an active ever-evolving site where social power and memory is negotiated, challenged, and confirmed. This session will explore the history of diversity and social justice on Villanova’s campus through material from the University Archives and illustrate how archival practices and bias shape memory.  It’s is also an opportunity to learn how to do research in an archive.

12:15-1:30    Storytelling and GIS — Presenter: Erica Hayes

While maps have been around for centuries, the digital age has given them new meaning. GIS software offers users the potential to visualize, analyze, and tell spatial stories. In this session, you will learn more about ArcGIS Online and Esri Story Maps, a web mapping application that allows you to combine GIS maps, text, images, and video to tell your own geographic story.

1:45- 3:00     Sharing Your Work: Academic Social Networking Sites and Beyond — Presenters: Sarah Wipperman & Dr. Janice Bially Mattern

Social media sites like Twitter and other online platforms make sharing your work, networking, and raising your visibility easier than ever. But which sites and platforms are most effective? Is it worth the effort? Where should you start? Join Scholarly Communications Librarian, Sarah Wipperman, and Director of Villanova Institute for Research and Scholarship, Dr. Janice Bially Mattern, to learn the techniques and social norms of using these platforms to increase your visibility.

But Wait, There’s More…

The Digital Scholarship and Scholarly Communication programs at Falvey Memorial Library provide a number of services and offerings to support research, teaching, and other scholarly activities. The Digital Scholarship Program helps faculty, students, and staff interested in applying digital methods and tools to their research and teaching. For more information contact Villanova’s Digital Scholarship Librarian, Erica Hayes. Scholarly communication supports faculty in the creation, publication, dissemination, and reuse of scholarly works and the management of scholarly identity. For more information contact Villanova’s Scholarly Communications Librarian, Sarah Wipperman.

Digital Research & Scholarly Publishing: Demos & Discussions

Throughout the Fall semester, Falvey Memorial Library’s Digital Scholarship and Scholarly Communication Librarians are hosting community conversations on digital scholarship tools as well as scholarly research and publishing topics every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. These informal virtual meetups are designed to facilitate collaborative learning and connection across all disciplines and departments at Villanova University. View the schedule and more information.

All are welcome!