Friday, March 16, 2012

Civil engineering and history professor to give book arts lecture

Henry Petroski, the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of history at Duke University, will present The 2012 Charles W. Mann Jr. Lecture in the Book Arts -- "Telling My Books by Their Covers: What's Behind the Dust Jackets?" at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, in the Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, on the University Park campus.

Petroski is the author of more than a dozen books, including a number of titles detailing the industrial design of common, everyday objects, such as pencils, paper clips and toothpicks. His most recent book is "An Engineer’s Alphabet: Gleanings from the Softer Side of a Profession" (2011). In "The Book on the Book Shelf" (1999), he turned his attention to the long and complex evolution of books as we know them. Petroski will speak from first-hand knowledge about the production of his own books, including his working relationships with different publishers, editors and designers. An engaging storyteller, Petroski will recount these experiences to illustrate the complexities, tensions and joys that can be involved in book production.

A reception and book signing will follow in the Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, and a number of Petroski's books will be offered for sale.

The Charles W. Mann Jr. Lecture in the Book Arts is funded by the Mary Louise Krumrine Endowment.

The Pennsylvania State University encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you have question about physical access or special accommodations needed, please contact Shirley Davis at or 814-863-5449 in advance of your participation or visit.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Now Open Sundays!

Procrastinators rejoice! Ever had one of those weekends where your realize the assignment your professor gave you is due on Monday and the one item you need to make it perfect is in the Special Collections Library? And once you get there you discover we aren't open until 8:00 a.m. on Monday? Staring on Sunday, March 11 until the end of classes your problem is solved. The Special Collections Library will be open Sundays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on a trial basis until April 29th offering nearly our full range of services. Reference staff will be available as will all onsite collections except our vault collections. Use of vault collections and collections stored offsite on Sundays will require advance notice (deadline of the Friday morning before to request). All other materials can be retrieved on demand for use in our reading room.

Just like our regular weekday hours anyone with a photo ID, whether you are affiliated with Penn State or not, is welcome to use the Special Collections Library. We hope you will take advantage of our new hours and we welcome feedback on their usefulness as we plan our hours for the fall 2012 semester.