Donor Spotlight: Tom and Ann Pfingsten

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During Tom Pfingsten’s 23 years as director of Portland State University Library, the collection doubled, the building was expanded and renovated twice, and technological advances provided more convenient access to materials. Now Tom and his wife have established the Tom and Ann Pfingsten Endowed Library Fund to support the library’s greatest needs and create a legacy for library excellence.

Tom and Ann Pfingsten

“The diversity of the student body, the dedication of faculty and staff, and the opportunities afforded by a research university in an urban setting have caused us to extend our commitment beyond retirement,” says Tom.

The library’s role has expanded with electronic resources and investing in that change is investing in the future of Portland State, he says.

University Library Dean Marilyn Moody is grateful for the Pfingstens’ generosity and foresight. “Tom and Ann’s decision to establish an endowed library fund demonstrates their commitment, not only to the library, but also to intellectual vitality and innovative thinking at Portland State University,” she says.

For more about supporting the University Library, please contact Lauren Clark, Development Officer at 503-725-2675 or

Workshop: Organizing Your Information

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Learn how to efficiently review and manage information of all types. Led by librarian Michael Bowman, this workshop covers software such as RSS readers, read later programs, note taking and storing applications, and citation management software.

Tuesday, February 10
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Library, Room 220J (2nd floor, Northeast Corner)

PSU students, faculty, and staff are welcome.

Open Position: Library Circulation Technician

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This job posting is now closed.

Come work at PSU, recognized for excellence in sustainability and community engagement. Our campus is in downtown Portland next to the Park Blocks greenway. Buses, MAX, and the street car stop at our door.
The University Library is seeking a full-time Circulation Technician to join our Access Services staff. This position includes working at the Circulation Desk, implementing all library policies and procedures, and providing service to all patrons of the library. The position also coordinates the work of up to 15 student employees.

The starting salary rate for this position will be $14.10 with an excellent benefits package including 95% premium paid healthcare; a generous retirement and vacation package; and reduced tuition rates for employee, spouse, or dependent at any of the Oregon Public Universities. Portland State University is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity institution and welcomes applications from diverse candidates and candidates who support diversity.

If this sounds like an exciting opportunity for you, please see the full job announcement including qualifications and apply online.

Questions may be directed to Search Coordinator Stephanie Doig.

Martin Luther King at Portland State in 1961

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On Wednesday, November 8, 1961, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke for an hour in Old Main — now Lincoln Hall — at Portland State College to an enthusiastic and receptive crowd. King’s trip to Portland was sponsored by the Urban League, and he spoke at Portland State as part of the College’s commemoration of the centennial of the Civil War.

Vanguard story and Viking yearbook photo, via PSU Library University Archives.
Vanguard story and Viking yearbook photo, via PSU Library University Archives.

Dr. King’s speech was “The Future of Integration.” Vanguard staff writer Georgia Wettland quoted Dr. King in her Vanguard report:

“We have come a long way toward making integration a reality, but we still have a long way to go.

“If democracy is to live, segregation must die. Segregation is a cancer in the body of democracy that must be removed if the health of the nation is to survive.”

The story continued, “At 11 a.m. classes were dismissed so students could attend the convocation, and the auditorium was filled to overflowing. King received an enthusiastic reception from the students, who gave him a standing ovation at the conclusion of his speech.”

Staff in PSU Library Special Collections and University Archives scanned and shared the Vanguard story as well as a photo of Dr. King from the Viking yearbook.

This week, Portland State University pays tribute to Dr. King in a series of events. Dr. Angela Davis, a world-renowned author, educator, and activist, delivers a keynote address tonight. Her many books are available to PSU students, faculty, and staff through PSU and Summit Libraries. 

You can also find many of Dr. King’s writings on the Library shelves.


Summit Borrowing Made Easier

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As a student, faculty, or staff at Portland State University, you may borrow books from PSU Library as well as from our 36 partner libraries in the Orbis Cascade Alliance, also known as Summit libraries.

Starting on Tuesday, January 20, borrowing books from Summit libraries will be even easier: you will be able to request Summit items from within the main PSU Library catalog (rather than navigating to a different system through WorldCat).

Here’s how it will work:

When you search the library catalog, the results have a green, yellow, or red dot. Green dot items are those available at PSU Library. Yellow dot items are usually materials available at a Summit library.


To request an item with a yellow dot, click “Find & Request.”


If the item is available through Summit, you’ll see a link to request the item. Click that link, and then fill out the request form and click “Submit.”

Note! If your request is for an item, volume, or part of a multi-part item, please indicate this in the “Volume” field. For example: “Volume 37,” or “CD.” Place one request for each item, volume, or part that you need.

In about five days, you will receive an email notifying you that your requested item is ready for pickup at the Library Circulation Desk. If your request cannot be filled, you will receive an email update notifying you that your Summit request was cancelled. (When this happens, it is usually because all available copies are checked out or do not circulate.)


You can always check your Summit requests through My Accounts.

This change to Summit borrowing is a result of our transition to a catalog shared by all of the 37 libraries in the Orbis Cascade Alliance. If you have questions, please ask a librarian for help.

Do you have feedback for us about our new catalog and Summit borrowing? Please use this feedback form.

Many thanks to library staff in Resource Sharing, Access Services, and Library Technologies who have been working hard to make this transition happen. Thanks also to University of Washington University Libraries for sharing their information about the transition with us so we could better educate PSU Library users.

We Love Dark Horse Comics!

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January 12, 2015 – May 1, 2015
First Floor, Elevator Lobby

Dark Horse Comics was founded by Portland State alumnus Mike Richardson in 1986 and has grown to become the third-largest comics publisher in the United States, with mutual ties to the film and television industries. In 1998, the company originated the Dark Horse Deluxe brand of merchandise, which includes models, toys, and collectibles from Dark Horse and other lines. Dark Horse also has developed a strong manga program through collaboration with Japanese manga creators since the 1980s.
Domo figurines from Dark Horse Comics
The Portland State University Library Dark Horse Comic Collection contains a browsing collection of all Dark Horse publications as well as a research collection of print materials and realia. The exhibit from PSU Library Special Collections presents just a few examples from the wide variety of genres and formats represented in the complete Dark Horse Comics catalog, including original comic series, licensed projects, manga, and collectibles.

View the exhibit on the Library’s first floor, and then check out your favorite Dark Horse titles from the browsing collections on the Library’s third, fourth, and fifth floors.

Learn more:
Dark Horse Comic Collection at PSU Library
PSU Library Special Collections
Dark Horse Comics


Display Highlights

Above: “Dark Horse, working with Big Tent Entertainment and the NHK broadcasting corporation, brought Domo-kun, a popular Japanese cult-icon character, to the United States, with a series of products ranging from Qee figurines to journals and stationery sets. Dark Horse now sells over thirty-five different Domo-themed products” (via Dark Horse Company History).

Buffy2Above: In 2007, in conjunction with series creator Joss Whedon, Dark Horse launched Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8, which continued the story from the television series. Merchandise included Buffy mugs, pint glasses, a “Conversations with Dead People” Board (also known as a ouija board), a vial of “holy water,” and a cross necklace for fending off vampires.

Caspar2Dark Horse has released collectible lines for Tim Burton’s Tragic Toys for Girls and Boys and The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy; Roman Dirge’s Lenore; Rob Reger’s Emily the Strange; and classic comic strips including Charles Schulz’s Peanuts, Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy, and Harvey Comics Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Above: Dark Horse launched Star Wars comics in 1990. “While licensed projects had been around for decades, most publishers devoted few resources to titles they did not own. Dark Horse took a different tack by plotting stories and using top talent to create comics series that were essentially sequels to popular films” (Dark Horse Company History).

The exhibit will be on display through May 1, 2015. The research collection, which contains one copy of every Dark Horse comic book, graphic novel, collected edition, book, print, poster, statue, figure, and all other products, is available by appointment in PSU Library Special Collections for scholarly use.

Tips for Textbook Savings

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We know textbooks can be expensive, and we want to help you save money this term. Here are some tips for finding less expensive or even free course materials:

At PSU Library

Sometimes the Library owns a copy of a textbook but your instructor hasn’t placed it on reserve. Sometimes an instructor might have an additional copy as well. Consider asking your instructor to place a copy of the course readings on reserve.

Note: unfortunately, you may not borrow required course readings through Interlibrary Loan, and not all Summit libraries will loan textbooks. 

For Sale