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Renovation Review: Bids and Books

The renovation construction project has been put out to bid and once we have a contractor selected, as early as the first week of August, it could get quite noisy in the library. They will be using jack hammers to create passages for new pipe work and to reroute plumbing for sprinkler systems. The Special Collections room and its contents will be protected by sealing off the entire area with plastic sheeting.

The Old Falvey reading room is almost ready for its new occupants – Director, Business & Administration, Outreach, and Communications staff. The photo at right shows the original floor in that room, which will be temporarily carpeted as an office space.


Facebook, Twitter, Live Chat

We’ve got a presence on social media sites and offer a live chat option on our web site.

Our Facebook page, Falvey Memorial Library, and our Twitter account, FalveyLibrary, offer timely updates on events, exhibits, digital projects, resources, services, and renovations.

We also have YouTube and Flickr accounts where you can find images and videos. Check out the Villanova University Digital Library collections too.

Our live chat can be accessed on the library homepage whenever the “Ask A Librarian” button appears in the lower right hand corner.

Feel free to chat anytime, retweet one of our posts, comment on our Facebook page with questions, post kudos or just “Like” us whenever the mood strikes you!


Renovation Review: Office Space

By the end of July, the Old Falvey Reading Room, where our VHS and microfilm collection was previously housed, will become a temporary office area for Business & Administration, Outreach, Communication, and Director’s Office staff. Old furniture, curtains, and shelving will be removed and new temporary carpeting will be laid and data and phone lines added. After the Reading Room space is clean, office staff will relocate so that their former offices on the second floor of Falvey Library can be dismantled.

It could get very noisy in the library over the next few weeks, but we hope library patrons and staff will be happy when they see the end result.

(A search on our web site for “Renovation Review” will result in previous articles about the renovation.)


Navigating Falvey’s Services: SEAcrets of Success

Trying to get your “sea legs” when using Falvey this summer? Gaze through the portholes for the help you need.

The first floor cultural window exhibit has a nautical theme: portholes, a ship’s steering wheel, silhouettes of sea life, a large lifesaver ring and seashells. Joanne Quinn, the graphic artist who designed and mounted the exhibit, has anchored these to important library services—subject librarians, document delivery, outreach events, the Information Desk (one-stop-shopping for library information and VuFind assistance), all of which can contribute to your successful library voyage.

Referring to the library renovation project, an octopus comments, “… hope you don’t mind the noise. We’re building a better library for Villanova’s future.”

“Navigating Falvey’s Services: SEAcrets of Success” will be on exhibit until mid-August.

Article and photographs by Alice Bampton


Friday Film Review: It's Kind of a Funny Story

by Raamaan McBride

The last few reviews have been about films I recommend you watch. You don’t have to watch this one. For a film that tries to be a drama and a comedy, It’s Kind of a Funny Story (based on a novel) is actually a group of characters who tell one bad, awkward joke after another. Other reviewers have compared this film to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, perhaps because it takes place in a mental ward, but I refuse to allow the film I’m reviewing to share the same sentence with an Oscar winner.

The movie starts off with Craig (Keir Gilchrist), a troubled teen who contemplates suicide and who faces problems that all teens face. He decides to check himself into a mental ward. Due to construction he has to stay in the adult section. This is where Craig meets fellow patient, Bobby (Zach Galifianakis), who gives him fatherly advice that he never got at home. Quick note on Zach, I don’t think there’s been an actor in history who made one hit movie and who then went on to make only horrible ones. Because of a weird rule, Craig has to stay in the psychiatric ward for five days (even though the only thing I see wrong with him is that he has crappy friends). Love interests, moral stories and real friends may have framed the film, but the result was disappointing.

The real problem with this film, aside from it not being funny, is that it miraculously takes place over the course of five days. This kid manages to get over his problems, find a girlfriend, reconcile the relationship with his parents, make life long friends and completely change the lives of the patients in the ward! The plot holes and bad acting make it easy for me to suggest you skip this movie and watch One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest instead.

(You may not necessarily want to borrow this film, but our other videotapes & DVDs circulate to Villanova faculty, staff and students for a period of 7 days.)


New DVDs

I hope everyone is enjoying summer break!  Check out the new DVDs and spend some time relaxing, even if you aren’t getting much of a break this summer.

The King’s Speech
2010 Academy Award Winner – Best Picture, Best Actor
The story of King George VI of Britain, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

Exit Through the Gift ShopExit through the Gift Shop
2010 Academy Award Nominee
An eccentric French shopkeeper turned documentary maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results. Banksy is a graffiti artist with a global reputation whose work can be seen on walls from post-hurricane New Orleans to the Palestinian segregation wall in the West Bank. Fiercely guarding his anonymity to avoid prosecution, Banksy has so far resisted all attempts to be captured on film.

Inside Islam: What 1 Billion Muslims Really Think
Documentary Film (2010)
Explores the expertly gathered opinions of Muslims around the globe as revealed in the world’s first major opinion poll, conducted by Gallup, the preeminent polling organization. The poll, a window into the hearts and minds of the world’s more than 1.3 billion Muslims in more than 35 predominantly Muslim countries, the US and Europe, provides a way to understand what ordinary Muslims think and why.  Like the research, the film highlights a shared relationship between Muslims and the West that is based on facts.

Paper Heart
Documentary-Style Film (2009)
A young woman, disillusioned by the fairytale description of love, decides to make a documentary to find out exactly what the word and feelings surrounding it mean to others. Along the way she meets the boy of her dreams and wonders if she will lose the one thing she never believed in.

Fridays at the Farm
Documentary filmed locally, in suburban Philadelphia (2009)
Feeling disconnected from their food, a filmmaker and his family decide to join a   community-supported organic farm. As he photographs the growing process, the filmmaker moves from passive observer to active participant in the planting and harvesting of vegetables. Featuring time-lapse and macro photography sequences compiled from nearly 20,000 still images, this personal essay is a father’s meditation on his blossoming family and community.


Renovation Review: Nuts and Bolts

The moving and storage crew has dismantled the second floor shelving in preparation for more drastic renovations. They’re taking it down to the nuts and bolts, stripping away the old carpeting and ceiling tiles, and calculating how many additional electrical and phone lines will be needed. We look forward to sharing the new space with our new residents (Writing Center, Math Lab, & Learning Support Services). During construction, second floor staff  — Outreach, Digital Projects, Director’s Office, Business & Administration — will temporarily relocate to other office areas in the building.

For safety reasons, we can’t let anyone into the construction area, but we will post photographs so you can watch our progress.

Call our service desk at 610-519-4270 to request retrieval of main stacks books in the A – DX call number range.


Discovery Tools and Journal Impact Factors are Topics of LVJ Institute

How can libraries match the search experience of Google, to help their users tap into worthwhile resources through a single inquiry? One commercial product that seeks to accomplish this is Summon, by Serials Solutions. Librarians from three area university libraries met at Falvey on June 14 to explore and evaluate their experiences with this new discovery tool.

The LVJ Institute, an annual gathering, includes librarians and staff members from La Salle University, Villanova University and Saint Joseph’s University.

Villanova University Librarian Joe Lucia opened the day’s session with the observation that users now believe, based on their day-to-day searching experiences, that “they should be able to discover what they want” through library web pages. Libraries typically provide proprietary information through structured databases not available on the open web: Overcoming that barrier is the goal of these products.

According to the product web site, “the Summon™ web-scale discovery service” aims to overcome traditional search barriers by providing  “a familiar web-searching experience of the full breadth of content found in library collections—from books and videos to e-articles.” (more…)


Friday Film Review: The Boys of Baraka

by Raamaan McBride

As evidenced by the two previous reviews I’ve written (Waiting for Superman and Frontrunners), one of my many passions is education in America and how it can be improved. In keeping with the trend, the The Boys of Baraka tries to solve the so called “education gap” with a very drastic solution of its own.

Prefaced with the statistic, “75% of African-American males in Baltimore don’t graduate High School,” the film follows the lives of troubled Baltimore youths in an experimental Kenyan boarding school named Baraka.

At first this concept rubbed me the wrong way; the best country in the world has a school system in shambles so it needs to send these boys to a third world country that lacks current technology. This feeling quickly subsides after the film shows the school as a place for young boys to be just that, young boys. Moreover, it gives them a chance to escape their troubled environment.

The school identifies each of the kids’ problems (academic, disciplinary, etc.) and finds interesting remedies for each. After the first year, of a 2 year commitment, the school has security issues and the program is compromised. I was struck by one parent who made the comment that it was safer to send their kids to this school in Kenya than sending them to school in Baltimore. The film, through the lives of four boys, tries to convey the message that every kid has the ability to do great things if they are put in the right situation.

Is this film perfect? No, it isn’t. The ending needed more resolution, there should have been more back story with the program itself and there were too may plot holes that needed to be explained. Be that as it may, this film pulls at your heart and doesn’t let go. To see the parental problems (or lack thereof) is sad, and to watch a kid with so much potential lose hope is rough. I dare you to watch this film and not have feelings for the kids, to see an eighth grader “passed over” by the system so many times that he can only read at second grade level.

(DVDs and videotapes in the library collection can be borrowed by faculty, staff, and students for a period of 7 days.)


Renovation Review: Lighting and Sound

All of the books from Falvey’s second floor have been successfully relocated to Old Falvey with room to spare. The next phase involves the electrical upgrades in Old Falvey that are required for the installation of a public address system, doors that release automatically when the fire alarm system is triggered, and new light fixtures that respond to movement. We don’t yet have a firm completion date for this work.

Book stacks, now completely empty, are being disassembled on the second floor of Falvey Library and heavier construction is due to begin in the next week or two. We will keep you informed of our progress on that front.

Library staff will continue to page main stacks materials in the A – DZ call number ranges from the Old Falvey Annex. Please contact us at the service desk for assistance at 610-519-4270 or by sending an email to circ@villanova.edu. As always, patrons can also place a hold in the catalog for a particular title, prompting staff to retrieve it and hold it at the front desk.


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Last Modified: July 6, 2011