Data Learning Center offers drop-in hours, workshops

September 10, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Data Learning Center (DLC) in Penn State's University Libraries will hold drop-in hours this semester at the University Park campus for statistical, geospatial and data-related research questions. DLC drop-in hours — 10 a.m.-noon on Tuesdays and 3-5 p.m. on Wednesdays — are for students, faculty and staff seeking guidance on questions, information on services and to schedule more in-depth consultations.

The new drop-in service is offered in addition to DLC's scheduled consultation service, available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays in the center, 208 Paterno Library. To schedule an appointment, visit the Data Learning Center online or email

DLC will also offer a number of free training sessions this fall for students, faculty and staff. Sessions will be offered both in-class and online:

  • "Basic Statistics in Microsoft Excel" will be held 1-3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, in W211A Pattee Library and online. This session will be conducted by Stefanie Austin, statistical information specialist, and will highlight the various options available for performing basic statistical procedures in Excel. In addition, this session will explore and compare free add-ins available for statistical analysis. Participants will need a basic working knowledge of Excel (including how to enter data, sort and filter, and other commands) and an understanding of elementary statistics (such as descriptive statistics, probability distribution, and linear regression). Students should email to register for the session. Faculty and staff can register using the Learning Resource Network.
  • "Focus on ArcGIS Online: Web Mapping Tool for Interdisciplinary Applications" will be held 2-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, in W211A Pattee Library and online. This workshop provides an introduction to ArcGIS Online, a web mapping application that can be used to communicate many spatial research interests across the disciplines. Participants will explore applications created with ArcGIS Online and work with a sample dataset to learn the functionality of ArcGIS Online web maps and applications. Tara LaLonde, GIS specialist, will conduct this session. No registration is required.
  • "Mapping Applications: Getting to know SimplyMap, PolicyMap and Social Explorer" will be held 1-2:30 p.m., on Monday, Nov. 16, in 302 Paterno Library and online. These web-based mapping platforms, available through the University Libraries, enable the user to use, visualize and create map outputs in multiple formats. Each product has data unique to the platform and multiple display options. In this workshop, LaLonde will highlight key features, data sources and display capabilities of each mapping application. This hands-on session will offer participants the chance to create a map using each application. Participants are not expected to have prior experience with these applications. No registration is required.

Penn State encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact LaLonde at or 814-863-5753 in advance of your participation.

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Last Updated September 15, 2015