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Falvey’s VuFind Project is Recipient of Mellon Award

Villanova University recently received the prestigious Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration for the Project VuFind software. The VuFind team, based at Falvey Memorial Library, proudly accepted the $50,000 award on December 8 in Washington, D.C., at the Coalition for Networked Information Task Force meeting.

The VuFind team includes Joe Lucia, University Librarian and Library Director, Andrew Nagy, former Library Technology Development Specialist, and Christopher Barr, Interface and Design Specialist. Mellon Awards are granted to not-for-profit developers of open source software advancing scholarship in the arts and humanities.

VuFind, which operates the Falvey catalog, is distinctive because it incorporates such Web 2.0 features as book jacket images, browsing recommendations for similar books, book reviews, tagging personal favorites, MLA and APA style citations, and transmitting records for books via text message. It was designed with tech savvy Villanovans in mind.

For more about the VuFind project, contact Joe Lucia at 610-519-4290 or via e-mail at joseph.lucia@villanova.edu

(Read a recent Library Journal article about VuFind.)

Linda Hauck also contributed to this article.


Closed for the Holidays

Bartley Business Information Center will be closed until January 5th.  If you need help with research, don’t hesitate to contact Linda Hauck 484-686-6759, linda.hauck@villanovan.edu or call Falvey Memorial Library 610-519-4270 .  Merry Christmas and Peace to all.


Behind the Scenes: Managing the Piles of Books Returned!

Clare sorting books

What happens to borrowed books after you return them to the circulation desk or drop them off in the book drop after library hours? These books somehow appear back on the shelves, waiting for the next person to check them out again.

Not surprisingly, there is a very methodical process for the discharging of books and how they get back to their respective places on the book shelves. The process is known as stacks management.

“There has always existed a stacks management operation, responsible for shelving returned books, shifting the stacks when it was needed and shelf-checking for out-of-place volumes,” says Falvey Stacks Manager Domenick Liberato. (more…)


Villanova boys … grow fat (PALINET Mass Digitization Collaborative)


I am pleased to announce the completion of Villanova University’s participation in the pilot phase of the PALINET Mass Digitization Collaborative (MDC). For more information on the program itself, please see the pages on the PALINET website at:

In the pilot project, staff members from various institutions worked with Internet Archive and PALINET representatives to develop digitization policies and procedures for the broader membership. Villanova’s participation included testing the functionality of digitization of microfilm materials scanned at the main San Francisco scanning center of the Internet Archive. The titles scanned and now available on the Internet Archive site in perpetuity are two Villanova student newspapers: first, The Villanova Monthly, from Jan 1893 to Jan 1897, and second, The Villanovan, from November 1916 to June 1926. These are currently available in 3 volumes based on the original microfilm reel at the Villanova University page on the Internet Archive at: http://www.archive.org/details/villanova_university The page images have also been OCRed (Optical Character Recognition), so the pdf file format for each volume can be searched for keywords; this is machine OCR and so not all words will have been accurately recognized.


Links to the individual volumes :




Villanova University has committed to support these collaborative digitization efforts, assisted in part by grant support from the Sloan Foundation to PALINET. As part of that commitment in the non-pilot phase of the program, Villanova University will continue to grow the available issues of The Villanovan over the coming year, with the goal of making the entire run available. In addition to the remote access provided by hosting materials on the Internet Archive site, Villanova’s Digital Library will be harvesting the images and OCRed text of these works to eventually create locally hosted copies, organized in the more easily readable and browsable format of individual issues.

These student newspaper provide a unique view of the history and community life of Villanova University. Not only are the early volumes filled with interesting articles, alumni notes, and photographs of campus, students, events, and athletic competitions, but they also include a wealth of poetry and local Main Line advertisements.

One advertisement from 1916 reads:

Villanova Boys
Wanklin’s Candy
and grow fat

Here are two poems from 1921:


Richest season of the year
Bringing men abundant cheer,
Soothing heart and eye and ear-

Glad Autumn!

Following fast on Summer’s train,
Filling fields with golden grain,
Purpling vineyards on the plain-

Ripe Autumn!

Trees their royal garments spread
Purple, crimson, scarlet, red;
Golden glories crown their head

In Autumn.

Birds returning paint the sky
Rainbow hues of various dye
Watch the vagrant migrants fly

With Autumn!

Halcyon day and skies serene,
Climes that keep the golden mean,
Tepid airs and frosts not keen.

Gives Autumn!

Rarest ripeness bursts its molds!
Winter’s snows and icy colds
Dormant lie within the folds

Of Autumn!

Francis A. Rafferty


Over the snow-white hills of Judea
A gleaming star shed its beckoning light,
Gliding three kings from the red land of morning
Who traveled on through the darkness of night.

They followed the star over the hills and through valleys
Rich treasures and spices and incense they bore;
And they watched it move ever steadfast and silent
Till it rested o’er Bethlehem and wandered no more.

Behold there a stable of rude planks erected
To shelter the sheep from the winds and the sleet,
And there in a crib lay the world’s Infant Saviour
While Mary and Joseph bent low at His feet.

Angelic choirs sang His praise and His glory,
From the hills the poor shepherds had come to adore;
The beasts with mute eyes paid reverence and homage,
While their warm breast gave comfort. They could give no more.

Then from the far-distant rim of the East Land
The sun slowly rose o’er the whole world so still.
And a day so long prayed for was born with this message,
“All peace on earth, to men of good-will!”

William J. Meter

vm4.jpg vm5.jpg

(Photos are one of the San Fransisco Internet Archive microfilm scanning stations and the Villanova microfilm awaiting digitization. – Photos courtesy of Laurie Gemmill).


"Jesus for President": Authors Call for Creativity, Faith and Activism

They called the lecture “Jesus for President, Unplugged, Librarian Style,” and while authors Chris Haw and Shane Claiborne discussed their book Jesus for President, the Psalter Singers injected the lecture with refugee-inspired songs.

The lecture, an adaptation of their lecture presented on tour in 21 cities last summer, focused on imagination, creativity and alternative ideas in everyday life. Drawing from their book, Claiborne explained how “Jesus was teaching not just a way of believing, but a way of living.” The authors reiterated the need for human beings themselves to be the answer for what they want in the world, and urged people to live out their opinions everyday. (more…)


Marriage, Sex and Theology: Professor Examines Role of Sexual Difference in Marriage

Are there theological reasons why the two main characters in a marriage are traditionally a man and a woman? What is the role of sexual difference in a marriage?

These were some of the questions raised by Christopher C. Roberts, Ph.D., during the Nov. 18 discussion of his book, Creation and Covenant: The Significance of Sexual Difference in the Moral Theology of Marriage. (more…)


Christianity Before Christ: Simone Weil’s Interpretations of Greek Literature

In 1938, agnostic philosopher and political activist, Simone Weil experienced a mystical encounter with Christ. While the experience revealed the realm of the supernatural to her, it also offered her a new understanding on reality and on Greek literature in particular. Weil, a deep and intense thinker, now started seeing Greek classics as the embodiment of an authentic Christian spirit.

On Nov. 13, Marie Cabaud Meaney, D.Phil., offered an insight into these various Christian perspectives on Greek literature. Drawing from various publications that look at the work of Weil, Dr. Meaney presented Weil’s Christological readings of the Iliad and Sophocles’ “Antigone.”    (more…)


So What Happened? Wrapping Up the Long Campaign

The final installment of the U.S. Presidential Election lecture series

Reflecting the intense interest in the Nov. 4 election, a full house packed the library first floor lounge on Nov. 20 as Matthew Kerbel, Ph.D., political science department, analyzed the results and exit polls of the presidential and congressional elections, followed by responses by the three preceding speakers of the series, Dr. Lara Brown, Dr. Catherine Wilson and Dr. David Barrett.

Regarding the presidential race, Dr. Kerbel stated that the opinion polls prior to the election were largely correct. Significant numbers of young and new voters did vote, and white voters did not say they supported Barack Obama but then switch to John McCain, negating the so-called Bradley effect.

Obama’s successful campaign came about through building a new coalition, expanding the Democratic base geographically and demographically. McCain’s supporters were a less diverse coalition of mainly older people and those clustered around the Appalachians. A major problem for the McCain campaign was that attempts to appeal to social conservatives, such as the selection of Governor Sarah Palin as a running mate, drove away independent voters. (more…)



Last Modified: December 3, 2008