The Library is Changing!

Circulation and Reference are not the only library offices that help to make the library run successfully. Every library has an office for processing everything that the library has to offer, from books, periodicals, databases, and so much more. That office is Technical Services, not to be confused with Technology Services which hasn’t been around nearly as long as the library’s Technical Services.  Though it may not have been called Technical Services at the time, the functions of that department started as far back as the 1600s. Philadelphia has one of the first libraries, The Library Company of Philadelphia, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1731, and with that first book order, Technical Services was born.

When Gabriele Library opened in 1993 Technical Services occupied quite a large space on the main floor. Around 2001 to make room for the ever-expanding Technology on campus, part of the office was divided by a wall which then became a separate office which has housed several different offices over the years. Today it is the home of the Writing Center and since it is centrally located, students can easily find the office whenever they need assistance. Over the summer Technical Services relocated to the terrace level of the library to make room for the Career and Development Office, which is now directly next to the Writing Center where Technical Services used to be on the main floor of the library.

Ironically Technical Services is one of the best kept secrets of a library. Today if you ask anyone if they know what Technical Services does in a library, 9 out of 10 will not know what the office does and if you ask any student on campus where we are located, again 9 out of 10 will be at a loss. So if you are interested and need to find any of the office and services that the library provides as well as the other offices that are based within the library, we have a map for just that purpose, you can find the revised map here as a printable PDF file or take a look below for the newest version.

Review of No Escape (2015) starring Owen Wilson and Lake Bell

Owen Wilson tries again to play a character in a dire situation (remember “Behind Enemy Lines”) and he conveys this fear and desperation extremely well.  As Jack Dwyer, an engineer who has joined a multinational corporation after his own company failed, and is moving his family to an unnamed Southeast Asian country. As brave a front as he and his wife, Annie (Lake Bell), put up for their two young daughters, Lucy and Beaze (Sterling Jerins and Clare Geare), they know the situation is bad. Of course, it’s about to get much worse.

As “No Escape” begins, the Dwyers are landing, befriended on their flight by Hammond (Pierce Brosnan), a seatmate with the rough beard, fresh scars and randy cheer of an old post-colonial hand.  A typical mysterious Brit who helps out from time to time through out the movie. When Jack takes a walk out of their luxury hotel the next morning, he’s caught in a clash between the police and mobs, then scrambles back minutes before anti-Western revolutionaries go room to room, slaughtering foreigners. From that point, the film is a series of fight-or-flight set pieces of the panicked family trying to stay alive. At every turn the family is in the militants cross-hairs, yet somehow manage to escape.

Though the plot is pretty thin, and somehow Hammond seems to turn up just when the script requires and improbable rescue, the movie zips along at a fairly fast pace and offers up plenty of scenes that have you laughing just from the implausibility of it all, yet you never really understand why these knife-wielding locals are so hell bent on revenge. All-in-all the movie was enjoyable for what it was, that is as long as you don’t read too much into it and just want to watch an escape by a hairs breath type of movie.


Review of The Revenant (2015)

revenant A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. Inspired by true events, THE REVENANT is an immersive and cinematic experience that captures one mans epic adventure and extraordinary power of the human spirit. This movie is not for the faint of heart, there are some gruesome, bloody scenes that caused me to grimace along with the legendary explorer Hugh Glass played exceptionally well by Leonardo DiCaprio. Glass endures unimaginable grief and betrayal and sets out for revenge, but encounters danger and help along the way. I can certainly see why DiCaprio won an Oscar for best actor, even though his character spoke fewer than 15 lines of dialogue in English since his performance was largely physical. DiCaprio’s depiction of Hugh Glass was so riveting that you could almost feel his pain.

A vegetarian, DiCaprio was so committed to the role that he ate genuine raw meat in a scene that depicts Glass surviving off a wild bison’s liver. According to the actor, “I certainly don’t eat raw bison liver on a regular basis. When you see the movie, you’ll see my reaction to it (he vomits). It says it all. It was an instinctive reaction.”

Review of The Martian 2015

the martianThe Martian (PG-13) is an epic tale of an American astronaut who, like a modern day Robinson Crusoe, learns to survive on a deserted planet (Mars).  As Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon), while on a manned mission to Mars is presumed dead and ultimately left alone on this vast planet, with only a meager supply of food and other essentials.  Mark must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal Earth that he is still alive. My favorite quote as he stands contemplating his fate and what he needs to do, he matter-of-fact says, “I’m going to need to science the s*** out of  this” and that is exactly what he does. It is thrilling to watch him struggle at making food grow on the hostile planet. The plot thickens as his crew is finally made aware that their team member Mark is still alive and that every attempt NASA has made to send help or rescue him has failed.  So the team decides to return to Mars amidst insurmountable obstacles to save their team mate and friend.  The Martian is an enjoyable movie that touches on the fears, triumphs and vastness of just what a mission to Mars might be like and Matt Damon is funny, witty and believable as an intellectual astronaut left alone yet against-the-odds isdetermined to survive his plight. Run time is 2 hours 14 minutes.