Arts and Entertainment

Penn State Libraries, Short Edition partner for first university collaboration

Agreement aims to encourage public’s interaction with Penn State’s arts and humanities community

Penn State University Libraries has entered an innovative agreement with Short Edition of Grenoble, France, to install its first short story dispensers at any university worldwide, and to create a custom website for all Penn State students, faculty and staff, who soon will be able to upload their original short works of creative writing. The dispensers — four now at Penn State Libraries locations at University Park and one at Schlow Centre Region Library in downtown State College — will deliver Penn Staters' writing to readers, and readers will be encouraged to visit the website to share their responses, facilitating creative-writing conversations between readers and authors.  Credit: Penn State University Libraries / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State has become the first educational institution in the world, and the second location in North or South America, to partner with Short Edition of Grenoble, France. The innovative agreement developed by the Penn State University Libraries will deliver short, original pieces of Penn State creative writing into the public’s hands, encouraging direct community engagement with and conversation about writing by Penn State faculty, staff and students.

“This partnership is an experiment in connecting Penn State’s literary creators one-on-one with individuals visiting several of University Park’s busy portals, and the University Libraries is excited to be the conduit supporting this new means of conversation about the arts and humanities in our community,” Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, said. “We see the partnership with Short Edition as the first step toward a growing number of thoughtful and creative exchanges, beginning with the installation of Short Edition dispensers around the University Park campus and the development of the online content management platform.”

Penn State University Libraries’ agreement with Short Edition has enabled the development of a custom website. Soon, Penn State authors of short pieces of creative writing — faculty, staff and students at all campuses — will be able to upload their short-length content for delivery through the Libraries’ short story dispensers. Readers then can visit the site to offer a response, encouraging community engagement and conversation about writing.

Short Edition’s short story dispenser prints text based on length of reading time — one minute, three minutes or five minutes. The reader presses a button based on the desired read-time length and receives a narrow printout similar to a shopping receipt.

Five Short Edition story dispensers have been installed: four on the University Park campus and one in downtown State College. Initially, two will be installed on the first floor of Pattee Library and Paterno Library, near the Commons Services desk and the Curtin Road entrance, and one each at two branch library locations: the Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library, 111 Stuckeman Building, and the Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library, 201 Davey Lab. In addition, one Short Edition story dispenser has been placed in Schlow Centre Region Library, a public library serving the greater State College community located at 211 S. Allen St. in downtown State College.

After reading the story, the reader is encouraged to visit the Short Edition website at the bottom of the printout to search for and send the author a response to the story, fostering a dialogue between writer and reader.

The University Libraries’ agreement with Short Edition has enabled the company’s development of an English-language version of its website and also a custom University online content management platform soon to be completed. Through that site, Penn State authors — including faculty, staff and students who have written short stories, poems, excerpts of dialogue for plays, and more — soon will be able to upload their short-length content for editorial review. Once accepted, the content will be distributed through these dispensers and will also be available for online reading, sorted by genre. Dispensers are designed to be placed in locations convenient to readers where they likely may be waiting in lines and have a few minutes to read a short story.

The University Libraries’ Short Edition story dispenser installation at Schlow Centre Region Library marks the latest in an increasing partnership between the neighboring libraries.

Preliminarily, dispensed story content will include stories submitted by other Short Edition users, including some stories translated from French. This summer, the custom online content management platform will be rolled out for the Penn State community’s use to upload content from all campuses, for stories’ delivery via short story dispensers, with plans to incorporate the platform into curricular use for the spring 2018 semester.

Penn State faculty interested in learning more about using the University’s Short Edition platform in their courses are encouraged to reach out to William Brockman, Paterno Family Librarian for Literature, at or 814-865-9718.

Barbara I. Dewey, Penn State’s dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, receives one of the first short stories dispensed from a Short Edition short story dispenser at a university anywhere in the world, in Pattee Library and Paterno Library, May 2017.  Credit: Nathan Valchar, Penn State University LibrariesAll Rights Reserved.

Last Updated May 18, 2017