Tag Archives: Penn Libraries

Top 10 Free Travel Apps for Winter Break & Beyond


This week, I’ve  personally put together 10  free travel apps that I think will help ease the hustle and bustle of traveling this holiday season. Planning a trip is a  great way to take a break from studying for finals. Whether flying or driving, these apps will help you focus on being there, not getting there. Continue reading Top 10 Free Travel Apps for Winter Break & Beyond

Planning better study spaces at Penn

Student at WhiteboardWhen it’s time to get work done, the right kind of space can make a real impact on your productivity.   We want to know what you think makes a good study space – both for individual and group work.  Where do you currently go to study?  What works well, and what could be improved?

Penn Libraries, College House Computing and SAS Computing are hosting a series of focus groups for students so we can hear your opinions. Your input will help guide the development of new study spaces and improve existing facilities.

Please register by clicking on the link next to a session below. These sessions are designed for undergraduates and we plan to record audio of the discussions.

All sessions include the same content and refreshments will be provided. Please join us in the WIC Seminar Room, Weigle Information Commons, First floor, west side in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center.

Socializing with Social Media

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#techtools fun with Instagram!

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(From left: Pam Harris of Swarthmore College Libraries, and Illene Rubin and Mallika Sircar of Penn Libraries)

Back in June at PhillyDH@Penn, I presented a workshop called “Social Media Tech Tools,” which provided a show-and-tell of six different social media tools that we use here at WIC and some tips about using social media to engage our audiences. The workshop took place in Van Pelt Library’s new Collaborative Classroom, which encourages flipped classroom and active learning methods via the room setup and technology. The room is also conducive to socializing as folks are collaborating and moving around the room, making it an ideal space to discuss social media.

Continue reading Socializing with Social Media

Flipping the Classroom: A WIC Year in Review

Each year, Penn Libraries holds a Pecha Kucha event as the culmination of the year’s Public Services Forum meetings.  The event provides librarians a chance to share research, past projects, or new ideas for the upcoming year.  This year, I decided to do my 20×20 presentation on my experiences with video tools for flipping the classroom over the past year at WIC.  In particular, I focused on our work with educators at the Penn Language Center (PLC) in conjunction with their Certificate in Instructional Technologies and Online Learning.  After working with PLC language educators over the past year, we also enjoyed viewing the outcomes of their projects in May at the PLC Annual Teaching and Showcase Award Program.

Such projects have inspired us to host new events, like Scholarship, De-Printed, and offer new workshops on flipped classroom and other audio/video tools for showcasing online teaching and research.  It’s also tempted us to look back on the various video projects we have participated in with language classes and document these in a publication that we’re working on for the CALICO Book Series.

Please take a look at my presentation above to see our adventures this past year in flipped classroom tools at WIC (spoiler alert – my Prezi recording goes over the strict 5 minutes for Pecha Kucha!).

Above and Beyoncé

a still from the video "Pretty Hurts"
a still from the video “Pretty Hurts”

I was half asleep scrolling through news updates when Beyoncé upset the entire pop music game with her surprise self-titled studio album. I checked a few forms of social media (ok, I nearly broke my thumb scrolling through tumblr) to see the general response and eventually found myself so overwhelmed with GIFs that around 3 AM I gave up on sleep and got out of bed to see for myself what this was all about.

Then I watched the whole visual album two and a half times. The sleep deprivation was well worth it.

Beyoncé’s 14 song, 17 video album is her greatest artistic effort yet and is, in my opinion, the slickest release of the modern era. While we could say that she released the album without any warning, promotion, singles, or other traditional marketing practices of the pop world, we’d be wrong. Let’s be honest: 2013 was the Year of Beyoncé. From inaugurations to Superbowls to world wide tours and Pepsi ads, Beyoncé has spent the entire year marketing Beyoncé; releasing the album at the end of it was part of a sensibly elaborate marketing plan. However, even with that in mind, releasing an album along with seventeen gorgeous music videos is still a jaw-droppingly large feat. Not to mention that this release surely sent the blogosphere running back to amend their premature “Best of 2013” listicles.
My personal favorite is the vivid, exciting, bokeh heavy “XO” video, directed by Terry Richardson. The run-and-gun cinematography perfectly encapsulates the feeling of the crowds at Coney Island (especially Coney Island when Beyoncé and her crew of pretty supermodel friends visit). It manages to lend a collective air to a song that is very much about a message from one person to another. It’s as though we are all in love with Beyoncé, and she is in love with all of us.

I’d love to talk more about the videos and the choices made! If you’d like to do the same, come to the WIC Seminar Room (first floor of Van Pelt Library) on Thursday, January 16 at 3:00 PM, where we’ll be showing some of the videos and chatting about our Beyoncé feelings. Sign up here, or just come by!

ps: here’s “XO”:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xUfCUFPL-8]