Your Donation at Work
"We enact our values through the decisions we make and the actions we take. The value of access, especially access to higher education and access to a public research library’s resources, motivates and energizes me as a library leader. It's clear that this value also motivates and energizes our supporters because of the actions they take. We celebrate their generous philanthropy as it enables Penn State Libraries to reach the highest levels of excellence in our services, collections, and personnel."
- Dean Faye A. Chadwell
DONOR COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS – LILY MCGOVERN
The inimitable Sue Paterno, ’62 Lib Arts, Vice-Chair of the University Libraries Development Board, recently spoke with fellow Libraries supporter Lily McGovern, ’71 Lib Arts, and learned they have more in common than a shared love of the University Libraries...
IMAGE: Lily with her mother Angelina Miller, who's always been a central figure in her life
S: Why did you choose Penn State?
L: It was within budget. There were three of us, and all of us were in college at the same time. The other reason was I fell in love with the campus. Growing up in a small town in central Pennsylvania, I wanted to go to a place with more different people. I wanted to get out and see more.
S: Why did you start going to the Library/working there?
L: I was in the Library Club in high school and the high school librarian was also the county librarian. She was part of a drive that actually instituted the first public library in Juniata County. So, as a Library Club member, I filed cards, did check-outs, shelved books and then I started working at the County Library when I turned 16 and could drive to get to work. I knew I wanted to be a librarian when I came to Penn State.
S: So you hit the jackpot when you came here (University Park)?
L: Oh yeah, I used the Library a lot and thank goodness for the reserve books, the things professors put on reserve. That’s one reason I’ve always earmarked my money for the undergraduate library. It saved me so much money when I was a student.
S: Where did you work at the Library?
L: I was behind the scenes. I think pulling ILL (inter-library loan) and other books from the stacks and doing photocopies of things being put on reserve. There was a strict limit on how many hours you could work as a student. I spent more time using the typewriters at the Library than actually working in Pattee. I didn’t own a typewriter and you needed to type your papers. I didn’t work there long because I needed to make more money. When my roommate started working at the Char Pit, I started there and could get as many hours as I needed.
S: Anything else you want to say?
L: I’m really glad to see that through all the changes and through the years, that the Library is still the heart of the learning experience. Even if you don’t have to physically come to the Library to get the writings, the thoughts, the data, the whatever it is you need, that the Library is there making it accessible, helping people make sense of it and use it, and using all the new technologies. The Library is the one place on campus that’s open hours that other things aren’t open. It’s the place you can go to and always get help. And that’s what has kept the Libraries at the center of everything. Libraries want to connect all that knowledge. They’re the storehouse of that knowledge in one form or another. They want to make it accessible and usable to everybody – and that has not changed over the centuries. I’m glad to see it continue. It’s a Library to be proud of and I believe in the Library.
"The University Libraries checked off an important item on its wish list thanks to a highly successful 2020 Giving Tuesday: The African Diaspora, 1860 - Present library database. This unique collection of digitized resources will support various disciplines at Penn State and the Center for Black Digital Research, a collaboration between the College of the Liberal Arts and the University Libraries." Diane Zabel, Interim Dean
The University Libraries’ #GivingTuesday campaign in 2020 was like no other, exceeding its goal to purchase the library database, “African Diaspora 1860 - Present.” It is the only non-U.S.-focused multimedia Black studies collection available and will support Penn State academic and research studies in African American studies, Africana studies, Latin American studies, the Africana Research Center, international studies and history disciplines, among others, as well as the University Libraries’ newest University partner, the Center for Black Digital Research.
The database contains content — including personal accounts — related to migrations, communities and ideologies of people of African descent, and includes never-before digitized content that will help the University Libraries address geographic gaps in its primary resource holdings. The purchase of more diverse collections like this one is essential to providing students access to more inclusive and complete research materials. To learn more and get involved, visit the Libraries Priorities page.
THE ART AND SCIENCE OF MENTORSHIP
"I'm so grateful for my wonderful supervisors who helped me realize my passion then - and who I'm lucky to still have as mentors - now." – Olivia Kuzio, Bednar Conservation Intern, 2015-2017
Olivia Kuzio, who earned her BS in chemistry in May 2017, was a Bednar Conservation Intern from 2015-2017. During her two years in the Preservation, Conservation, and Digitization (PCD) department, Olivia worked on materials research and her senior capstone project. During her internship, she utilized her disciplinary background in chemistry while learning how to carry out conservation for archival and special materials. Olivia discovered the field of conservation through an art history general education course during her first year at Penn State, which later led her to pursue a minor in art history.
A crucial part of Olivia’s internship experience was the mentorship she received from PCD’s Bill Minter, Diane Sawyer, and Sue Kellerman. Bill, Diane, and Sue helped Olivia understand the field of conservation, and provided opportunities for her to network. At the close of the first year of her internship, Olivia co-authored a poster with Bill that was presented at the American Institute for Conservation and Canadian Association for Conservation 2016 Joint Annual Conference. In addition, due to her background in chemistry, Olivia brought expertise and a new perspective to the internship that was valuable to not just Olivia, but to her mentors, too. Though Olivia has graduated and moved on, she still keeps in touch with her mentors on a regular basis.
Because of the generosity of the Bednar Internship Program (funded through an endowment by Donald Hamer and Marie Bednar), Olivia was able to have a hands-on experience that allowed her to not only build her skillset but informed her next step after Penn State. Olivia is just one of many students who benefitted from the 20-year existence of this important internship program. Like other students, Olivia was able to leverage her classroom knowledge in meaningful ways within the University Libraries, and her internship experience drove her to pursue an advanced degree and career that combines her passion for art and science.
Currently, Olivia is in her third year of a PhD program in Color Science at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) – a degree she decided to pursue as a result of her time with PCD. She is also a 2019-2020 Graduate Intern in Science at the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles.
FROM BEDNAR INTERN TO FUTURE LIBRARIAN
“During my time at the Penn State Libraries, I was able to collaborate meaningfully across the library and the University. By expanding my network of collaboration, I was able to plan successful events which fostered an environment of open sharing and collective knowledge creation.” – Lily Murray, Student Engagement and Outreach Bednar Intern, 2018-2020
Lily Murray, who earned her B.A. in May 2020 from the Schreyer Honors College, was the Student Engagement and Outreach Bednar Intern from 2018-2020. In this role, Lily organized and led many outreach events, leveraging her background and undergraduate studies in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies to inform how she approached planning her events. Throughout her internship, she focused on using her knowledge and connections to create meaningful experiences for participants to promote critical thinking around information creation and using library resources.
Lily hosted three Wikipedia Edit-a-thons, a Special Collections pop up exhibit displaying local queer history, led multiple book clubs with a student club, created engaging leisure reading displays, organized two zine workshops, becoming an active and vital participant within the University Libraries. In preparing for these events, Lily relied heavily on collaboration with other departments, which allowed her to gain a deep understanding of the University Libraries organizational structure.
Because of the generosity of the Bednar Internship Program (funded through an endowment by Donald Hamer and Marie Bednar), Lily was able to have a hands-on introduction to librarianship that allowed her to not only build her skillset, but inspired her decision to pursue a graduate degree. Lily is just one of many students who benefitted from the 20-year existence of this important internship program. Students like Lily have been able to leverage their classroom knowledge in meaningful ways within an academic library setting – and soar to new heights as a result. .
Currently, Lily is pursuing a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She hopes to work in an academic library once she finishes her degree.
Inspiration through Generosity
“Code for Her was so fun! The learning environment was relaxed and supportive, and our instructors, Joss and Katie, made it super easy to ask questions. Even though people were at different levels, we helped each other. I liked that the workshop was project-based; we got to create something WE wanted to make and were interested in. Working towards a final product made it easier to learn.” – Erica Fleming, spring 2019 Code for Her participant
Erica Fleming, an Instructional Designer with Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT), describes herself as a person that, “likes to know how stuff works.” In her previous role, she was involved in creating classes for the College of the Liberal Arts that involved using a programming language called Python. Erica began trying to learn Python on her own through various methods, but soon became frustrated knowing her learning style wasn’t simply, “her and her computer.” Erica craved the live interaction with an instructor and peers, and the ability to ask questions.
Fast-forward to the spring semester of 2019. Through word-of-mouth, Erica learned about a coding workshop series sponsored by the University Libraries called Code for Her. The nine-week workshop series was targeted to women and gender-diverse individuals, and specifically noted on the marketing materials, “No prior coding experience necessary!” Erica felt that because Code for Her was affiliated with the University Libraries, and not a specific college or department, she wouldn’t need a baseline knowledge of coding or feel as intimidated.
Erica’s Code for Her project was an e-portfolio which she displayed on her resume when applying for her current role in TLT. She was excited to showcase her ability to learn a new technology.
“I feel like I can walk into a room with people who do technical things and feel less lost. Code for Her provided me the opportunity to do something really great over the course of only nine weeks!”
Because of the generosity of the Sally W. Kalin Early Career Librarianship for Learning Innovations endowment, founder, developer, and leader of Code for Her, Carmen Cole, is able to realize her mission of providing a space to amplify the voices of traditionally underrepresented populations in information technology and computing fields. The Early Career Professorship is an endowment that makes it possible for librarians, in the first decade of their careers, to develop new resources and services for Penn State students and faculty. Potential and innovation are the core foundational elements that drive this endowment. The possibilities and opportunities are endless and inspirational – Erica’s experience is just one of many successful outcomes because of the generosity of donors.
Marion Mackinnon’s Gift Leads the Way for Students With Disabilities
"As an international student who is blind and pursuing a Ph.D. in Learning Design and Technology, I am deeply indebted to University Libraries’ Adaptive Technology & Services. All tactile graphs as well as alternative text materials required for my course work are always provided to me in a timely manner, making my academic experience very enjoyable. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to those who have supported me –giving me the strength to not give up but to keep moving forward." -Jooyoung Seo.
The University Libraries’ Marion MacKinnon Adaptive Technology and Services (ATS) facilitates inclusive access for differing students’ needs and disabilities. The private and quiet space gives students the opportunity to excel in their coursework with the technologies and assistance needed for them. The main goal of this service is to make textbooks, syllabi, and other materials for courses accessible and readable to all students.
Because of the kind generosity of Marion MacKinnon, ATS provides a unique space in Pattee Library comprised of private study rooms, extensive software, and adaptive resources – all overseen by a caring team of experts. Thanks to donor support, ATS is able to provide students with a wide range of software and hardware needed to succeed in the classroom. These services and resources allow students the independence and confidence to excel during their time at Penn State..
ATS also allows students to borrow different devices during the school year. There are graphic calculators that read aloud the numbers and solutions for visually impaired students. ATS provides a printer that prints tactile graphics and maps for visually impaired students when a visual is too hard to describe in words. This tactile graphic gives students the ability to feel the image in order to understand it better.
Jamilyn Houser, Alternative Text Specialist, assists in creating and distributing materials to students who use the services. She converts textbooks, exams, and other reading material into the appropriate forms for students.
The services support students who have registered with Student Disability Resources (SDR) in the office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity. These students have access to the space 24/7 with the use of their student ID cards. Staff makes it comfortable and welcoming for students to work in the space and ask questions.
Want to learn more? Please contact Jamilyn Houser, firstname.lastname@example.org.