I. The Pennsylvania State University

Academic and Research Support Units

University Libraries

The University Libraries constitute a major resource for students and researchers in all fields of study. The Libraries rank among the top ten research libraries in North America by the Association of Research Libraries and contain more than 5.4 million volumes, more than 3.5 million microforms, more than 109,000 serial subscriptions, plus 565 databases and 125,000 e-books.

The Libraries include a central facility and five other libraries at University Park campus, plus libraries at 22 Penn State locations throughout the state, including the Dickinson School of Law and Penn State Hershey, the George T. Harrell Health Sciences Library. At University Park, the Arts and Humanities, Business, Education and Behavioral Sciences, Social Sciences, Maps, Life Sciences, Special Collections, and News and Microforms libraries are maintained in Pattee Library and Paterno Library. Other Libraries at University Park include the Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library, Earth and Mineral Sciences, Engineering, Law, and Physical and Mathematical Sciences libraries.

In addition, Pattee Library houses Course Reserves Services, the Extended Hours Study Area, and Library Services for Persons with Disabilities. The Special Collections Library in Paterno Library includes Historical Collections and Labor Archives, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and the Penn State University Archives.

Among special collections of national importance are those on Arnold Bennett, Kenneth Burke, Jean Giraudoux, Edward Gorey, John O’Hara, Vance Packard, Joseph Priestley, Conrad Richter; the Allison-Shelley collection of Anglo-Americana-Germanica; and materials on Utopian literature and on Australia. The Historical Collections and Labor Archives contain a wide variety of documentary sources, including the papers of Pennsylvania leaders and businesses and records of labor unions. The most notable of these documents are those of Richard Schweiker, William Scranton, the United Steelworkers of America, and the United Mine Workers of America. The Penn State University Archives houses an extensive collection of materials about the University and the surrounding community.

Faculty members may recommend books and other library material purchases by contacting the Libraries directly at https://secureapps.libraries.psu.edu/questions/ask.cfm or through the faculty member in their department who serves as the library representative. Libraries subject specialists are listed on the Web at www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/colldev/selectorsinfo.html. Faculty at locations other than University Park can also contact their head librarian.

Access to holdings is obtained through The CAT, a computerized catalog available on the Web at www.libraries.psu.edu.The CAT is a dynamic, integrated information system that provides electronic access to a great variety of materials in many subject areas. LionSearch, available on the Libraries' homepage, offers a single search box function for library resources, including books, articles, newspapers, databases and more.

The Libraries maintain a comprehensive program of general and specialized reference and instructional services. The Libraries' faculty teach credit courses as part of the Library Studies Program and offer a variety of topical seminars. Introductory sessions, offered by Library Learning Services, are scheduled on a regular basis to familiarize faculty, students, and other library users with library resources. Class sessions designed for specific courses can be arranged in the library to help students learn how to find, use, and evaluate relevant books, articles, Web sites, and other information resources. Assistance is available to help design assignments that use library resources to enhance student research skills and critical thinking. Library instruction rooms (hands-on labs or traditional classrooms) can be reserved for on-site instruction in the use of library resources. For information, go to: www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/lls.html.

Penn State holds membership in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Research Libraries Group, the Committee for Institutional Cooperation (CIC), and the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). Participation in these organizations provides faculty and students with access to the collections of more than 2,500 libraries across the United States and internationally, including major research libraries. Penn State’s Libraries are the largest research library in Pennsylvania and one of four resource libraries that provide service and collections to all other libraries and citizens of the Commonwealth.

The publication, Guide to the University Libraries, offers additional information on services and programs and is available at Libraries service desks and by calling 814-863-4240. More information is also available at www.libraries.psu.edu.

Media and Instructional Support

Media and Technology Support Services (MediaTech), a division of the University Libraries, has a collection of more than 24,000 films and videotapes and more than 5,000 pieces of technology and audio-visual equipment available to faculty, staff, and students. Titles in the Media Tech collection are listed in The CAT, the Libraries' online catalog and in the MediaTech database.

Services include:

Consultation for purchase of technology or audiovisual equipment: 814-863-0665

Equipment scheduling: 814-865-5400, 26 Willard Building and 7 Wagner Annex; e-mail mtsseq@psulias.psu.edu

Preview facilities: 814-863-3202, 26 Wagner Annex

Program scheduling: University Park, 814-865-5400 or e-mail to mtssmed@psulias.psu.edu

MediaTech Repair and Installation Services: 814-863-4389.

Another important service of MediaTech is the MediaTech Info Line. This audio information service includes current weather forecasts as provided by the Campus Weather Service, open house schedules for the Department of Astronomy, and construction barriers on or around the University Park campus. This service may be accessed from any touch-tone telephone at 814-863-1234.

For more information about services available from MediaTech, e-mail mtssmed@psulias.psu.edu or visit www.libraries.psu.edu/mtss.

Information Technology Services

Information Technology Services (ITS) ensures that faculty, students, and staff have the information technology tools and infrastructure necessary to carry out the University's mission. ITS is working to achieve five broad goals: help faculty improve the way education is delivered; provide students with resources to enrich their educational experience; create and sustain an environment that enables leading-edge research; help to improve productivity; and establish the information technology infrastructure necessary to maintain Penn State's prominence in integrating high-quality programs in teaching, research, and outreach. For additional information, see its.psu.edu on the Web.

Statistical Consulting Center

The Statistical Consulting Center (SCC) is a team of faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students in Statistics. We provide advice, project management and statistical analysis for research projects in collaboration with the University and industry communities. Service consists of long-term, contract-based consulting with faculty and external constituents, short-term consulting services for Penn State graduate students, and Stat-on-Call (one hour) consulting services. Penn State graduate students are entitled to two short-term visits and one hour of Stat-on-Call free of charge. However, the SCC does not consult on class assignments.

A Request for Consulting Form can be obtained by any of these methods:

  1. Access our online request form at www.stat.psu.edu/~scc/request_for_consulting.htm;
  2. E-mail us at SCC@stat.psu.edu and request a copy of our request form;
  3. Call our office at 814-863-0281 and request a fax copy of our request form;
  4. Stop in our office at 323 Thomas Building and fill out a request form in person.

University Arts Services

Each of the units of University Arts Services is an educational and artistic resource for the University and the Commonwealth. The Center for the Performing Arts presents a diverse series of professional arts programming and a full spectrum of professional arts management services to other University producing and programming agencies. The Palmer Museum of Art has the special responsibility for developing and preserving a permanent collection of works of art that demonstrate the broad sweep of art history from ancient civilizations through contemporary times. Temporary exhibitions reinforce the strength of the collection and support instructional programs. Pennsylvania Centre Stage is the professional arm of the School of Theatre. Each summer, students, faculty, and staff from Penn State work alongside guest artists to create and present first-class professional productions, including musicals, comedies, mysteries, and modern classics. These productions augment the extensive production season presented by the School of Theatre during the fall/spring academic year. The School of Music offers a wealth of concerts and special events featuring faculty and guest artists, as well as student soloists and ensembles. Bringing superior performance of music at low or no cost to campus audiences, School of Music concerts are held throughout the year in Esber Recital Hall and other campus locations.

University Office of Global Programs

The University Office of Global Programs (UOGP) provides support and oversight for all of Penn State's international engagements. The office oversees education abroad programs; hosts international students, scholars, and international visitors; and provides support for the University's international partnerships and collaborations around the world.

The Directorate of Education Abroad offers a diverse array of international academic opportunities for Penn State undergraduates interested in studying abroad which attract more than 2,500 students annually traveling to more than 45 countries. EA Programs are available in every region of the world, including Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Latin America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.  EA assists faculty in planning new programs abroad by providing logistical, budgetary and emergency preparedness advice.  

The Directorate of International Student Advising  provides advice for the 5,000-plus international students and approximately 1,000 visiting scholars who are currently a part of the Penn State community. DISA works with international students throughout their academic careers, from admission to graduation, by providing pre-arrival, immigration, social and cultural advising.

The Directorate of Global Relations supports global citizenship at the university through coordinating global public relations, providing cross-cultural education, planning intercultural events and social activities, advocating for international student interests and acting as liaison with student-sponsoring organizations. DGR also coordinates with colleges and campuses on issues related to hosting of international students and visitors.

The Directorate of General Administration and Planning develops strategic resources to support increased global engagement, including coordination of Faculty Travel Grants, development of the Global Reach Portal, international risk analysis, global operations policy development, international agreements coordination and coordination of faculty engagement.

Advisory Groups and Boards

Advisory groups exist in every academic and research unit of the University. These groups review programs, make recommendations, and provide valuable guidance and input to help the unit reach its goals.

The advisory boards at the Commonwealth Campuses, established under policies and procedures set forth by the University's Board of Trustees, make recommendations concerning matters of financing, programming, and public relations affecting their respective campuses. They organize support for capital financing of the campus and participate in the control of the program of acquisition, construction, or repair of physical facilities as available funding permits. The advisory boards make recommendations through the chancellors to the vice president for Commonwealth Campuses concerning matters of importance to the local community.




Penn State Faculty Handbook



Executive Vice President and Provost
201 Old Main, University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 865-2505
Fax: (814) 863-8583

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Questions regarding web issues, please contact Brenda Hameister, bgh1@psu.edu

Web page last modified September 30, 2011