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Penn State University Libraries


The purpose of the Libraries Colloquia Committee is to organize an annual series of lectures or seminars on topics that encourage dialogue about the issues, trends, and developments in librarianship and higher education.  Topics are within or related to the Library and Information Science profession or the Libraries' services and collections.

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The Committee, which reports to the Associate Dean for University Park Libraries, includes members of the Libraries faculty and staff.  The Committee members serve a two-year staggered term, and may be appointed to one successive term.


Kevin Clair
Amy Deuink
Linda Friend
Michael Furlough
Doris Malkmus
Amy Paster
Lisa German, chair

We welcome suggestions for speakers.  Please email any committee member with your suggestion.

Previous Events

"Transforming Traditional Organizations"
Jeffrey Trzeciak, the University Librarian at McMaster University

April 8, 2011, 1:00 p.m. Foster Auditorium

Universities today are facing unprecedented pressures fuelled in part by technological advances, transformations in scholarly communications, evolving student expectations, increased calls for accountability, and greater competition. Simultaneously, we are experiencing uncertainty in financial support owing to declines in public and private funding partnered with ever-increasing costs. The global financial crisis of 2008 has further compounded our challenges and has added a sense of urgency to the calls for transformation of our institutions. Never before have the challenges we face been as great or the opportunities as exciting. As E. Gordon Gee, president of Ohio State University, has stated, our choice is simple: "it's reinvention or extinction."

As an integral component in teaching, learning, and research on our campuses, libraries are at the heart of these changes. Our challenges are similar to those faced by our parent institutions and "reinvention or extinction" could be our call to arms as well. In an increasingly complex, information-rich world, how do we assure that we remain relevant? Perhaps more important, how do we establish ourselves and our libraries as change agents on our campuses? This time of uncertainty may be a window of opportunity that may close as quickly as it has opened. How do we prepare ourselves to take advantage of what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?  Jeff's presentation will highlight the transformations that are taking place at McMaster focusing on space, collections and staffing.

Jeff has more than twenty years’ experience working in academic and public libraries. He held positions including Associate Dean at Wayne State University Library System in Detroit, Michigan and Head of Systems at Wright State University Libraries in Dayton, Ohio. In 2004 Jeff was recognized for his innovation by Library Journal in their “Movers and Shakers” edition. He has spoken internationally on a variety of topics including digital library initiatives, web 2.0, organizational change, and library innovation.


"Academic Libraries by Design: Librarians Designing the Way to Better Libraries"
Steven J. Bell and John D. Shank

October 20, 2010 10 a.m., in Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library

Academic librarians have made tremendous strides in integrating the library into the teaching and learning process. They have established themselves as campus leaders in harnessing technology for information access and control. A revolution in scholarly communications owes much to the efforts of academic librarians to create change. Yet the tumultuous information landscape before us challenges our ability to further transform our libraries. Are academic librarians exploiting old, obsolete ideas when they need to explore new frontiers for service delivery, education, as well as, provide evidence for how well they meet and exceed institutional priorities and goals? Bell and Shank will examine the role of design thinking in academic library transformation, educational technology, and the evolution of blended librarianship.

Bell is associate university librarian for Research and Instructional Services at Temple University. Previously he was director of the Library at Philadelphia University. He holds the Ed.D in higher education administration. Bell writes and speaks about academic librarianship, learning technologies, library management, design thinking and user experience and participates in several blogs, including The Kept-Up Academic Librarian, ACRLog and Designing Better Libraries. He authors the weekly "From the Bell Tower" column for Library Journal Academic Newswire, and he is a co-founder of the Blended Librarian's Online Learning Community on the Learning Times Network and a regular virtual presenter. He is co-author of the book "Academic Librarianship by Design." Additional information about Bell and links to his projects can be viewed at

Shank is the associate instructional design librarian and director of the Center for Learning and Teaching at Penn State Berks. Prior to his appointment in July 2001, he held positions at Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Montgomery County Community College. He was selected by "Library Journal" in 2005, as a "Mover and Shaker." Shank’s responsibilities include teaching, administration, research and service. His research interests include the role, use, and impact of instructional technologies in higher education and academic libraries. He has given hundreds of presentations at conferences, meetings, and workshops. Additionally, he has authored and coauthored a book, book chapters, and articles that focus on library and CMS/LMS integration, learning objects (digital learning materials) and the development of instructional design librarian positions. Currently, he serves on the editorial review board for "Internet Reference Services Quarterly" and is the co-founder and advisory board co-chair of the Blended Librarian Online Community.


"MAD" magazine's Joe Raiola
"The Joy of Censorship"
 Friday October 2, 2009, 1:30 p.m., in Foster Auditorium, 101 Pattee Library.

This critically acclaimed lecture program on the first amendment seen at countless libraries, colleges and professional conferences, is also broadcast nationally on C-SPAN’s American Perspectives.
Since 1979 as a young comedian in the Theatre Within Workshop in New York, Raiola has had a flourishing career as a solo performer, comedy writer, producer, director and speaker on first amendment issues. In 2006 he established the workshop as a not-for-profit organization with the mission of “promoting artistic expression as a public service.”
As a comedy writer, Raiola began his career in 1984 when he teamed up with "National Lampoon" alumni for a series of classic magazine spoofs, including "Cosmoparody" and "Like A Rolling Stone." The following year, with his long-time writing partner, Charlie Kadau, he joined “the Usual Gang of Idiots” at "MAD" magazine, quickly becoming one of their most prized contributors, churning out irreverent satire, ad parodies and inspired silliness. He is currently MAD Senior Editor, a title he insists “means nothing since I work at the only place in America where if you mature, you get fired.”

Susan Campbell Bartoletti

“A Willingness to Disturb the Universe: The Responsibility of Truth in Narrative Nonfiction for Young Readers”

3:00-4:00 p.m., Monday, April 27, 2009, Foster Auditorium, 101 Pattee Library

“And indeed there will be timeTo wonder, Do I dare? and, Do I dare? Do I dare Disturb the universe?”

Like J. Alfred Prufrock, we long for meaningful lives. One way that we make meaning is through the telling of stories. Stories feed us. They help us to make sense out of our world. They give us the courage to stand up, to claim ourselves, for today and for a lifetime. But these things are risky, because they dare to disturb our universe, to change our lives forever. I’ll look at the pentimento perplex that the writer faces and its implications on the constructions of memory and childhood as she dares to disturb the universe.

Susan Campbell Bartoletti chairs the Advisory Board of the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, affiliated with the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, and sponsored in Pennsylvania by Penn State University Libraries. Dr. Bartoletti’s awards and honors include the National Council of Teachers of English Orbis Pictus Award for Nonfiction, the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction, and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. Her book, Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850, won the Robert F. Sibert Medal in 2002 as the most distinguished informational book published for children in the preceding year. Hitler Youth: Growing up in Hitler’s Shadow (2005) was named a Sibert Honor award winner in 2006 and also received the Newbery Honor Medal from the American Library Association. Bartoletti’s latest book is The Boy Who Dared (2008), which examines the true story of Helmuth Hübener, the heroic German youth who stood up to the Nazis.


Stanley N. Katz
Lecturer with rank of Professor
Director, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, Woodrow Wilson School, Princetion University

Why There's No "Free Lunch" in Cyperpublishing: Take Two

March 19, 2009
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Foster Auditorium, 101 Pattee Library

Stanley Katz is President Emeritus of the American Council of Learned Societies, the leading organization in humanistic scholarship and education in the United States.  Mr. Katz graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1955 with a major in English History and Literature.  He received his M.A, from Harvard in American History in 1959 and his Ph.D. in the same field from Harvard in 1961.  He attended Harvard Law School in 1969-70.  His recent research focuses upon the relationship of civil society and constitutionalism to democracy, and upon the relationship of the United States to the international human rights regime.  Formerly Class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor of the History of American Law and Liberty at Princeton University, Mr. Katz is a leading expert of American legal and constitutional history, and on philanthropy and non-profit institutions.  The author and editor of numerous books and articles, Mr. Katz has served as President of the Organization of American Historians and the American Society for Legal History and as Vice President of the Research Division of the American Historical Association.  He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Newberry Library, the Social Science Research Council, the Copyright Clearance Center and numerous other institutions.  He also currently serves as Chair of the American Council of Learned Societies/Social Science Research Council Working Group on Cuba.  Katz is a member of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, the American Antiquarian Society, the American Philosophical Society; a Fellow of the American Society for Legal History, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Society of American Historians; and a Corresponding Member of the Massachusetts Historical Society.  He has honorary degrees from several universities.