Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians: a Musical Legacy

The newest exhibit in the Diversity Studies Room is one that's near and dear to me, so it will get its own post!

Fred Waring is one of those forgotten pieces of U.S. history.  Ask you grandmother or grandfather who Fred is and they'll get this warm look in their eyes from the music running in their heads.  And since many of you have never heard of Fred, I feel an incredible need to educate you just enough to go check him out yourselves!

Fred was the big name in the Bid Band Era.  He even had cartoons about him and in tribute to him!

Before Tiger Woods, we had Fred leading the Golfing world.

He published heavily and championed music education.

He gave us... the blender?  Indeed!  A friend showed him a crude emulsifying machine and Fred, being a tinkerer, played with it, sunk money into it, and advertised it.  You have Fred to thank for your smoothies!

Fred was involved in radio, film, and television.

Frank Davis was the first African American to appear on Fred's show.  Penn State released a DVD called God's Trombones featuring Frank Davis and his spirituals. 

Here's some of Fred's Music:

Here's some of Fred on TV with his Pennsylvanians:

That's Fred directing in the back.

While Fred has passed, the remaining Pennsylvanians get together once a year at Penn State to play and relive the glory days. This was, for a long time, a mostly private affair with some Penn State locals getting advance notice and showing up. Two years ago, they started advertising. Imagine their surprise when the room was filled to standing room only!

You can check out the exhibit in the Diversity Studies Room March 22nd to August 1st. But you can stop by anytime to see Fred Waring's America on the 3rd floor of West Pattee Library.

Of course, if you want something a little more unusual, you can stay at Fred's summer home in the Poconos. It's now a B&B.

New Dean!

It's official!  We have a new Dean of the Libraries and Scholarly Communications at Penn State!

Our new Dean is Barbara Dewey, Dean of Libraries and professor at the University of Tennessee!

She has an impressive amount of digital experience and papers to back her up and we can use an extra dose of Library 2.0 with the new Knowledge Commons.  Here's her vita, which, I might add, is fantastic.

Welcome and Good Luck!


Libraries and Carpeting

The latest big thing for libraries (and by latest, I mean within the last five years - library time move slowly) is tiled carpeting.  The up side of such carpeting is that when it wears out, you only need to replace the 'tiles' that are worn and not the whole carpet.  It saves a lot of time and money.

The down side is that it tends to be ugly.  Note that these pictures are taken in areas where the carpet is NOT showing a lot of wear and tear (just so you get the full effect).  It actually looks nicer after foot traffic has killed some of the color.

Here's the carpeting in Course Reserves.

Here's the carpeting in Maps.  Eek!

Here's the carpeting in the lab.

Meh.  At least the carpet will keep you awake when you're studying!

Let's end this one on something that isn't an eyesore.  Here's the linoleum tiling in the student lounge:

Pretty nifty!  It makes the room...  well, sunny!



Yeah.  It's time for some warm weather in State College.

This little guy agrees!

The first sign of Spring!

Foster Redux

An image of Phase Three:

I apologize for the blurriness.  Camera phones and all.

That brown box against the wall is the original control panel for the lights in the room.  You could control every light individually from that panel.  Of course, to get to the panel, you needed a flashlight because you had to walk across the room in the dark.  The key you sign out to use the room even included a bag with a flashlight.  *face palm*

The old fashioned look of the room will stay.  But new carpeting, seating, and shelving will go in for the Leisure Reading Collection.