Help Marywood Cast a Vote for The Great American Read

Sponsored by PBS, the Public Broadcasting System, the Great American Reads (GAR) is an 8-part video series celebrating the power and joy of reading.  One hundred (100) books were selected from thousands of books, to reveal our nation’s diversity and our shared human experience.

The launch of GAR occurred with the premier broadcast on May 22nd and starting September 11, will continue each Tuesday night until October 23rd. Each broadcast will showcase a theme such as “Who am I?” “Other Worlds,” and “the Grand Finale,” when America’s favorite novel is revealed.

The top 100 books were chosen by conducting a demographically and statistically representative survey asking people to name their most-loved book.  Some criteria for these 100 books included: the book must be a fiction book, each author was limited to just one title, and books were published in English.  The list is broad with books as far back as the 1600s and as recent as 2016. Lots of choices rose to the surface including: young adult, science fiction/fantasy, romance, historic fiction, and the classics.

Libraries throughout the nation are conducting programs to celebrate Great American Reads and Marywood is one of many.  The local Scranton Public Library is having a Trivia Contest while many libraries are having ongoing book discussions.

We invite you to vote for Marywood’s most loved novel.

Since nation-wide voting has been ongoing since the May launch, the list we are going with is the updated PBS list of the top 40 titles. Click on each title to learn more about it.

To cast a vote on behalf of Marywood, submit your vote before October, 22nd. and watch the Library & Learning Commons’ Facebook page for our final vote. PBS will announce the nationwide winner on Tuesday, Oct 23rd.

To see the entire 100 Books list, learn more about this event, and vote for your personal favorites (you can vote once a day!) visit the PBS site. You can vote for and root for your favorite books on your social media accounts with their book hashtags list!

…So, how many of America’s favorite books have you read? Let us know!

Download a printable Checklist. 

The Great American Reads airs Tuesdays on PBS @7pm.

Thanks for participating!


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BY Michelle Sitko

If anyone wonders why they may no longer have access to, Marywood is still active!

Reminder: Once expired, faculty and staff will need to re-register and activate another pass after 364 days to continue and Apps entitlement.

Students only need to supply anticipated graduation date once.

Visit and enter “Marywood” in the search window. *You’ll be directed to the page as seen in the attachment below.

Students and faculty must use their email address. Faculty and staff may use or  Students use

  • If you have ever used your campus email to register on, you may use “Log in here”.  If the password has been lost, use “Forgot your password?” to reset.
  • Use “Create Account” if your email was never used to register on A verification email will be sent to confirm. If not received, please check spam and/or other filtered tabs.

*****   If you have any further questions, please call the Reference Desk 961-4714 or ext. 4714 if on campus.


NY Times Access

New York Times Online Is Here!

In these uncertain times, we are often left wondering if the articles we read every day through social media are promoting real or fabricated news. Thankfully, some websites promise the facts alongside balanced, informed, and educated opinions on current events. Great, you are probably thinking, where can I find this place? Search no further! Say hello to the New York Times Online, a new collaboration between Marywood University and the New York Times, thanks to the Learning Commons’ own Michelle Sitko, Head of Continuing Digital Resources. You may have read articles from the New York Times before, but now you can access virtually everything has to offer for free with your Marywood email. Read on to find out how!

On February 8, 2017, Sitko sent an email to the Marywood campus about New York Times Online. In the email she explained that all Marywood students, staff, and faculty could sign up at with their Marywood email to receive free and complete access to the New York Times. Whereas before readers of the Times were required to pay after a certain amount of free online articles, anyone in the Marywood community is allowed to access the New York Times and its expansive archive online at no cost.

In addition to free articles and archives, New York

Image result for ny times

courtesy of

Times Online allows educators on campus to access the New York Times in Education site. To utilize this feature, navigate to and provide your Marywood email address. According to Sitko’s email, “this site includes faculty-developed, AASCU aligned learning outcomes, [and] general instruction strategies to promote student achievement.” Included in
the website is a number of activities for learning development and all are free to Marywood users.

Other notable features include the New York Times large and diverse collection of videos, TimesTopics, and mobile apps to integrate the New York Times into your busy life. To access the apps, go to

But wait, there’s more! With this new and exciting partnership comes the introduction of virtual reality to your mobile device. With the New York Times and your iPhone or Android device, you can activate virtual reality to experience videos and stories in 360-degree immersive video format. Try it out today by visiting the Knowledge Bar in the Learning Commons!

If you have any questions about the New York Times Online, you can contact Michelle Sitko at or contact the Learning Commons Circulation Desk at (570) 961-4707.

The LC Presents: I Read a Latté!

Think of your favorite pairings: silver and gold, black and white, hats and scarves. When you think of one, the other follows! The same goes for books and coffee. What better beverage to transport yourself into another world than a steaming cup of coffee?

In the spirit of pairs and warm drinks, the Marywood University Learning Commons presents:



Nothing pairs better than a cozy mystery and a nice cup of coffee. We invite you to buy a coffee, take a seat, and settle into a new book. You’ll find authors from all across the genre spectrum. Immerse yourself into the worlds of amateur detectives, action-packed adventures, nostalgic childhood memories, and magical lands. With famous authors like David Baldacci, Debbie Macomber, and James Patterson, you’ll experience a great story within minutes. You’ll never know what you’ll find, but with a book in one hand and a coffee in the other, you’re bound to enjoy the ride.

Visit the display on the first floor of the Learning Commons across from the computers. To check out a book, bring your selection to the Knowledge Bar.

LC Fall Film Series: “Politics in Film” Begins Sept 7 @ 7pm

This fall the library will host a series of film screenings for students and faculty throughout the semester. This year’s theme will focus on Politics in Film, with possible showings of full-length movies, documentaries and more on a variety of timely current cultural and political issues, courtesy of our Kanopy streaming database. (If you have not yet checked out this awesome resource–be sure to do so soon). And, if you have a suggestion for a film you’d like to see–let us know! 

We might even poll screening participants to vote on the next film. 

wed September 7th @ 7pm, 1st floor lc: group study area

First up is “The Immigration Paradox” (2013), a documentary directed by Lourdes Lee Vasquez, that takes “a critical and in depth look at one of the most divisive issues in human global history–immigration.”

You can read a full description here:

And…a film screening wouldn’t be complete without SNACKS. For our first feature we’re hosting a BYO Cereal Mashup.  Bring your favorite box of cereal to share or mix, we’ll have a couple on hand. We’ll also provide diary, almond and coconut milk, bowls and spoons. 

Cereal and movies...mmmm.

Cereal and movies…mmmm.

So, come out and support the film series, bring a friend, or encourage your class to attend. Guaranteed to be thought and discussion promoting.

See you there!

Fall Election Political Display

In the Marketplace: Politics on Display

by Maura O’Neill & Margaret Mary Makowski, Library Circulation

fall 2016 marketplace political resources display

Courtesy of library work study students Margaret Makowski (left) and Maura O’Neill (right).

The 2016 presidential campaign has been rife with controversy, as both candidates have been the subject and cause of intense vitriol from all ends of the political spectrum. Donald Trump, a businessman and ex-reality TV star turned strongly opinionated politician, and Hillary Clinton, a controversial yet historic woman candidate with a background in politics, have been clashing on nearly every key issue this election. When two candidates have opinions that are such polar opposites, it can be difficult for impartial voters to decide where they stand on certain issues and which candidate they support. To make this decision easier, we created a display of politically themed books, CDs, and DVDs that will give unsure voters the tools they need to make an informed decision this November.


The first category will give readers a general background in American politics, with books such as Primary Politics by Elaine C. Kamarck that describe how the U.S election system actually works. Once you’ve got a decent background in politics, you can begin to understand some of our nation’s past presidents and elections by reading historical political books such as Franklin D. Roosevelt: The War Years 1939-1945 by Roger Daniels and The Stronghold by Thomas F. Schaller.

After reading about political history, you can move on to learning about some of the struggles for human rights that have been an integral part of our nation’s history. Books such as Give Us the Ballot by Ari Berman, Forcing the Spring by Jo Becker, and After Roe by Mary Ziegler will give you insight into a wide array of human rights struggles.

Next, you can read books like Controlling the Message by Victoria A. Farrar-Myers and Justin S. Vaughn to learn how the media influences political elections, and you can read books like Prop Art by Gary Yanker to understand what messages political art is able to convey.

One of the biggest issues in recent U.S. politics has been health care reform; you can read books such as Health Care Policy and Practice by Cynthia Moniz and Stephen Gorin to get informed on this topic.

If you’re reading this blog as a student or faculty member, you are probably interested in the topic of education. Check out Degrees of Inequality by Suzanne Mettler about the political and economic factors that influence the education system.

Another one of the biggest issues this election has been immigration and racism. A Nation of Nations by Tom Gjelten and The Criminalization of Immigration by Samantha Hauptman explain immigration and its controversies, while race issues in America are explored in Who We Be by Jeff Chang. Intertwined with racial issues is the debate on America’s prison system and the mass incarceration of minorities in private prisons, which is explored in books like A Country Called Prison by Mary D. Looman and John D. Carl.

With the rise of terrorist groups like ISIS, religion has been an issue at the forefront of this election. You can read American Islam by Paul M. Barrett, Beyond Religious Freedom by Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, and other books to learn more about religious issues in America. The debate about religion has been catalyzed by increasing global violence. We chose books like What Changed When Everything Changed by Joseph Margulies and Citizen-Protectors by Jennifer Carlson to help readers explore violence, war, and gun control.

Another major issue in contemporary politics is our treatment of the environment, which is described in books such as Corporate America and Environmental Policy by Sheldon Kamieniecki.

Now that you’ve read up on politics, history, and the major issues the candidates are debating, you can finally begin to research the candidates themselves. Read up on both Trump and Hillary with The Art of the Deal by the Donald himself, A Woman in Charge by Carl Bernstein, and other books in the display.

Once you learn who the candidates are, you can follow their progress and opinions using some of the electronic resources listed below, which will give you up to date information on the 2016 presidential election.

so, what essential election reading would you recommend? visit us on facebook and LET US KNOW!

TechKnows: How to Take Out a Book

Hello again! This is Riley from the Help Desk, located at the Knowledge Bar. It’s been some time since the last TechKnows post, but this academic year is full of new additions and fun surprises. I’m here to help you understand just how the Learning Commons has changed to accommodate you!


I don’t look like a bookshelf, but I am your friend! xoxo

First on the docket: taking out a book using the new KOHA CATALOG.

  1. Take out your phone, turn on your tablet, power up your laptop, or sit at a computer. You can request books from any device that connects to the Internet! That’s right, including your home computer.
  2. Navigate to the Marywood University home page. This page is the gateway to so many applications and helpful tidbits of information. Know it well!
  3. Click on Library at the bottom of the page. Easy enough!
  4. Locate Library Catalog / My Account and click. You’ll be transported directly to the Koha catalog!
  5. Once you’re in the catalog, the *first thing* to do is Log in to your account or use the quick login fields and use your MarywoodYou Portal login.  That pesky barcode number is no longer needed!
  6. Search for the book you need using the search bar. Once you find the terrific tome(s) you were looking for, click Place hold (you can also put multiple books in your Cart and request them all at once).
  7. Items will be ready to pick up (depending on specified location) at the Knowledge Bar, Architecture Library, or Curriculum Lab! Just ask anyone at the respective locations and have your Marywood ID ready.

In just a few simple steps, an near infinite amount of books can be in your hands. You can take out movies the same way; just search and follow the instructions above. As for books that are in the Marketplace, you can find them on the shelves located next to the computers and take them to the main desk to check out.


Really, I’m quite simple to use! Give me a try 🙂

Fun Fact: If you can’t find a book in the Koha catalog, use the PALCI/E-ZBorrow link while logged into the catalog. You will be automatically logged in, so you can immediately begin searching and request books through interlibrary loan!

As always, if you have any further questions, visit the friendly techs and clerks at the Knowledge Bar! We’re always happy to help.

This is Riley, signing off!

Do you have any suggestions for future TechKnows posts? Leave a comment below!



10 Ways to Use the Learning Commons

The Learning Commons isn’t just a library; it’s a combination of space, information, and yes, food.

by Zach Johnson-Medland

  1. Study with friends (or not). Pick a room to study in, or if friends are too much of a distraction, build yourself a private starship chair fortress in a secluded corner complete with laptop stand, bean bag chair and any other movable furniture you can co-opt.

2. People-watch. Drinking coffee and watching people may sound creepy, but whatever…it’s fun!

3. Have an event, meet-up or get-together. Get some friends to host a coffeehouse, and check with the Student Activities so you can hang up signs.

4. Recover from a workout. After that hard jog around the creepy graveyard, grab a green smoothie to recover.

5. Pull an all-nighter. Usually the Learning Commons is open until around 2 am, and the service desk until 12 am, hours can be found here. You can stay up and study if you need too, but try to get some sleep!

6. Use the Seed Library! Tucked into the nook around the corner from the first-floor bathrooms, the Seed Library looks like some mysterious old cabinet from your grandparents, but really its filled with tons of donated seeds that are free and at your disposal! (Just take what you’ll plant). There’s something for everyone to grow, even in your windowsill.

7. Settle in with a book. It’s still a library at heart, despite the emphasis on digital technology, so grab that paper book from the New Books section, find a big blue chair, and flip through it.

8. Watch the automatic book retrieval system. While you’re waiting for your book you can run up and down the aisles watching the retrieval system do its work.

9. Browse the magazines. Or, while waiting, you could just go to the Magazines Section in the back of the Learning Commons first floor, and flip through all the magazines. It’s much easier, and less exhausting than chasing an automated robot.

10. Use a locker. Need to run out, but don’t want to lug your stuff with you? Ask a librarian how to use one of the lockers (its really easy) and charge your devices inside it–just remember to take your stuff out at the end of the day! And try to give commuters first dibs, they don’t have dorms to keep their stuff close by.

These ideas of what to do in the Learning Commons are just the tip of the iceberg–what are yours?

Zach is studying for a BFA in Graphic Design with a minor in English. He’s been writing and drawing since he could hold a crayon. Zach constantly seeks to combine his aesthetic creativity with linguistic logicality through art, poems, and stories.

writer pausing to think

2016 Barbara Hoffman English 160 Award Winners

If you’ve already read librarian Annette Fisher’s post on the late Barbara Hoffman, you’ll know why winning this award is such an honor. This year, we awarded four awards (with a third-place tie) to students demonstrating writing excellence combined with library research, echoing Barbara’s perennial spirit of curiosity, inquiry, and literary pizzazz.

1st Place: Michael Smith

Michael Smith ('19), 2016 Barbara Hoffman Award Winner

Michael Smith (’19), 2016 Barbara Hoffman Award Winner

Michael’s winning paper is titled: “A Different Game: How Popular News Sources Addressed Violence in Video Games After the Sandy Hook Shooting”

Congratulations to Michael and his advising English 160 Professor: Helen Bittel.

2nd Place: Kimberley Hagan

3rd Place: Hannah Docalovich and Althea Mae Fabi

3rd Place Winner: Hannah Docalovich

3rd Place Winner: Hannah Docalovich