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Space Invaders Take Aim: Welcome, Class of 2015!

By Alice Bampton

“Incoming!” Space Invaders populate the large cultural windows near Falvey’s first floor entrance.

“May our Force be with you.” The display features University Librarian Joe Lucia, the research consultation librarians, subject librarians, resource management librarians and the University archivist, who, with other librarians and staff members, make Falvey a rich and powerful resource for students.

Design Specialist Joanne Quinn used icons derived from the classic Space Invaders arcade game and adapted the well-known expression, “May the force be with you,” from Star Wars films to create a colorful science-fiction-themed window.

Bright blue star-studded balloons and a blue net base contrast with the eye-catching yellow “2015” and space invaders, background hangings and the large Welcome Class of 2015 banner to create a forceful introduction to this year’s first year students.

Welcome to the Class of 2015 from Falvey Memorial Library!

Graphic Design by Joanne Quinn



New Communication Books!

A new school year is beginning!  Get started with the fresh new communication books that arrived over the summer.  Check out the highlights below or review the full list of new communication books.

The Perfect Response The perfect response: studies of the rhetorical personality
by Gary C. Woodward
Lexington Books

A pathognomy of performance
by Simon Bayly
Palgrave Macmillan

How to be South Asian in America: narratives of ambivalence and belonging
by Anupama Jain
Temple University Press

Framing class: media representations of wealth and poverty in America
by Diana Elizabeth Kendall
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

The five percent: finding solutions to seemingly impossible conflicts
by Peter T. Coleman

edited by Lauri S. Freidman
Greenhaven Press

Your suggestions for new book selections are always welcome.  Email Kristyna.



Renovation Review: Phase One Construction

On Monday, Aug. 22, surveyors and contractors began working on the second floor “Learning Commons in Falvey” project, which will eventually bring together academic research librarians and staff from the mathematics lab, learning support and writing center into one unified space.

The book collections that were once housed on that floor have been moved to Falvey West, a section of Old Falvey Hall that was refurbished over the summer. The entrance to Falvey West is on the first floor of Falvey Library and can be freely accessed by patrons who wish to browse and retrieve books in the A – DX call number ranges.

“The first day or two of work involved site assessment and the development of a project sequencing plan by the contractors themselves,” according to Joe Lucia, University librarian. Demolition and infrastructure work will take place over the next few weeks with louder work taking place between midnight and 6:00 a.m. “Scheduling work this way will minimize the impact of construction noise on the library study and work environment,” said Lucia. (Watch a video of the marble slab removal below.)

The Special Collections room will be sealed off from the rest of the second floor in order to protect the valuable collections from dust.  The elevator and stairwells will be blocked off at the second floor to prevent unauthorized entrance and to protect library patrons.

As always, library staff can be called upon for assistance and information. Our aim is to provide a comfortable and accessible work and study space throughout construction.

(Previous blog posts about the renovations can be found here.)

Photo by Alice Bampton – Video by Joe Lucia


Gina McFadden Selected Library Events and Program Coordinator

Regina (Gina) McFadden was recently promoted to the newly created position of Library Events and Program Coordinator on the Programming and Outreach team. She is now responsible for scheduling and planning events in the Library, guest relations, supervising student employees and other duties as assigned on behalf of the Outreach team. She also continues to work at the Information Desk, providing patrons with general research assistance and help in gaining access to print and media materials.

McFadden began working in Falvey Memorial Library in August 2007 in Access Services as an Access and Information Specialist. As a secondary team assignment, McFadden worked as an event scheduler with the Outreach team led by Darren Poley. In this position she interacted with faculty, departments, and student groups across the Villanova campus community. She also worked at the Information Desk.

McFadden graduated from the Pennsylvania State University’s Brandywine campus in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in English.


Hidden treasures in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set and American State Papers

The U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817-1994 and American State Papers, 1789-1838 are two important databases recently added to Falvey’s resources.

See Laura Bang’s blog post for more complete information.

These two databases, U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817 – 1994 and  American State Papers, 1789-1838, provide fascinating and informative texts and images. The databases can be searched by bill, resolution number, congress number, subject, type of publication and much more. The user can export information to RefWorks and create a personal collection.

~Alice Bampton


The unexpected delights of old letters

I always love looking through the various letters that we’ve digitized because I always find something interesting and/or exciting about these snapshots of life in a time gone by. Today’s historical encounter: Nellie Bly. She was a late-19th/early-20th-century reporter, best known for going undercover to expose the awful conditions of insane asylums and travelling around the world to recreate Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days and attempt to beat Phileas Fogg’s 80-day record.

So when I found a reference to Nellie Bly in a letter while researching a separate blog post, I was quite excited. In the snippet of letter posted below, Ellie Sherman Thackara writes to her father: “Too bad about Miss Bisland’s being beaten, but Nellie Bly’s friends are rejoicing.” (In Nellie’s around-the-world adventure, she was actually competing against another reporter, Elizabeth Bisland.)

This one-line snippet is the only mention of Bly in the letter—just a quick remark on current events that Ellie included in a letter to her father. And that’s another interesting thing: this really was a current event, hot off the presses. Ellie’s letter is dated only Jan. 25th, no year, but an archivist later added an uncertain “[1890?]” at the top of the letter. In fact, this casual mention of Nellie Bly beating “Miss Bisland” gives a remarkably specific timeframe for the letter: Nellie Bly returned to Hoboken, NJ (her original point-of-departure) on January 25, 1890 at 3:51pm. The very same day that Ellie’s letter is dated! From this, we can imagine that Ellie read the news in an evening paper and was still thinking of it while composing a letter to her father later that same evening.

This letter is part of the Sherman-Thackara Collection. You can find more letters throughout our Digital Library Collections—and do let us know if you find anything exciting!


Introducing the Social Sciences Blog

The Communication Reference Blog has been expanded to create the new Social Sciences Blog.  Although the blog will include all the same great posts about new books, featured resources, and library news, it will include topics of particular interest to Communication, Psychology, Sociology, Education, and Gender/Women’s Studies students and faculty.  Students and faculty in these departments will be able to discover new library resources in interdisciplinary areas of interest, in addition to monitoring only those posts related to their own discipline.

Either follow the Social Sciences Blog, or check in with a particular feed:


Please feel free to suggest topics to be covered in this blog!


Renovation Review: Falvey West – Open for Browsing & Borrowing

At long last, the Falvey West stacks, which contain circulating books in the A – DX call number ranges, are now open for patron browsing and borrowing. Our new collection space can be accessed from the former bound periodical entrance (Falvey Library, first floor) adjacent to the print center. Signs are posted inside the new stacks directing patrons to call number ranges. The center stairwell in Falvey West connects the three lower floors, ground through second.

The Falvey West upper floors (third & fourth) are restricted and contain special collections, microfilm, videotapes and other miscellaneous materials.

As always, staff at the front service desk are available for assistance. Please stop by or call us at 610-519-4270 with any questions you may have. We’re here to help!

Photo by Laura Hutelmyer


The Villanovan from 1944 marks 10,000th item for Digital Library

In May the Digital Library added its 10,000th item, an April 4, 1944 edition of  The Villanovan, the University student newspaper. This issue featured numerous articles related to World War II.

Laura Bang, special and digital collections curatorial assistant, says that “[W]e have been steadily working on adding the individual issues to our Digital Library.”

The full story about the 10,000th item is in the Blue Electrode, the digital library blog.

Work is ongoing: see the current count for digitized works in the DL.

The Blue Electrode blog began July 16, 2007. Michael Foight, special collections and digital library coordinator, says, “The objective of the Blue Electrode column is to showcase an item or items recently digitized  and displayed in the Villanova University Digital Library.”

Blue Electrode articles are written by members of the digital library team.

Contributed by Alice Bampton


Special Collections Reading Room Closed June 24 to Nov. 1

The Special Collections Reading Room will be closed from June 24 to Nov. 1 while the renovation of the library second floor is taking place. Please feel free to contact us by email (bente.polites@villanova.edu or michael.foight@villanova.edu), or phone (610-519-5271) if you would like to consult items from Special Collections during this period. We will attempt to make individual arrangements for consultation in another area of the Library.


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Last Modified: August 12, 2011