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Open: Scan Lab and Special Collections

With the exciting Falvey renovation project continuing, the 2nd floor of Falvey has morphed into the new Learning Commons. The existing facilities that remained on this floor – the Scan Lab / Slide Library and Special Collections Rare Book Room – are once again open for public access. Rare paper treasures are transformed into digital files used by scholars across the globe and researchers will once again pore over manuscripts!

Please feel free to stop and look at the grand new surroundings.

Open hours are posted for the semester!


One Book Author Signs in New Speakers' Corner

With the recent opening of the second floor Learning Commons, the Library is pleased to announce a new event space on the first floor.  This space, the newly cleared back corner of the first floor, has been christened Speakers’ Corner.

To inaugurate the new space, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet author Jamie Ford will sign books in Speakers’ Corner on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 1:00 p.m. The signing is part of Ford’s official One Book Villanova campus visit.

Ford’s visit also includes other events around campus. Click here for more details.


Oh, the books you’ll find and the things you can do! – When you take full advantage of the library’s catalog!

Do you know that you can quickly find keywords in the library’s print books via the Google Preview link in the catalog?  Google Preview will take you deeper into a book than the best index.

Have you set up annotated reading or movie lists in the catalog and shared them with students and colleagues?  Read the Add to Favorites section of my blog post Falvey Favorites, Tags, and Lists for more information.



Use the Text this icon to text records and call numbers to yourself or others.  Cite this will generate instant citations in MLA and APA styles.  Need Chicago style?  Use Export Record to export references to RefWorks and EndNote.



Curious about new books and movies in the library’s collection?  Go to the New Items search.  Results can be narrowed with the now familiar facets in the catalog.  Options include format, classification, language, genre, publication year and era.  Click here to link to a list of new movies in the library’s collection.



Last but not least, if you switch over from Books & more to Combined Results, you will notice that your search results include journal articles, book reviews, and dissertations besides the traditional catalog fare of books, DVDs and journal records.  Falvey’s familiar blue FindIt button will link you to online journal articles or generate an interlibrary loan form.

Falvey’s technology team is continuously improving the online catalog and the fame of the little catalog that could is spreading around the globe.  I still remember when it all started as a home-grown open-source experiment here at Falvey Library back in 2006.  Vufind, as the catalog is known outside Villanova, is the brainchild of Joe Lucia, whose vision of a next generation catalog was recognized with the prestigious Mellon Award for Technology Cooperation in 2008.  Librarians at Villanova, initially nervous and cautious, had to overcome many roadblocks on the path to catalog bliss.  The funny things is, when things run smoothly, we take them for granted. Sometime last year, however, it dawned on me how much our little catalog was doing for me.  Others had noticed the catalogs capabilities too: A number of large and small, public and academic libraries nationally and internationally have adopted Villanova’s homegrown catalog.  Among them are the National Library of Ireland, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the library system at Yale University, the National Library of Australia and joining them soon, the Free Library of Philadelphia.

I cannot pinpoint the exact moment when I stopped complaining about software bugs to the technology team here at Falvey.  However, when I learned about the new Google Preview feature I was instantly excited.  Somehow I had always accepted that a catalog search is limited to authors, titles and subjects.  The addition of table of contents to the catalog was an enormous progress.  Who would have thought that a few years later it would be possible to search the full text of books in Falvey’s collection.  Google Preview is rapidly turning into a gateway to many a book on Falvey’s shelves.  A simple click on the icon will take you to Google Books where you can search the full text of the book for a reference, a name or any other keyword.  Text snippets reveal the page and context in which your keywords appear.   To read the entire book you still need to come to the library to check it out unless it is one of the library’s increasingly popular e-books.
The Google Preview plug-in was developed by a programmer at the National Library of Ireland who shared his code with the Vufind community.

Isn’t it time you took a fresh look at the library’s catalog?  Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments that you may have.


Recent DVD Arrivals

The library has received many DVDs across the social sciences recently.  Ease into the new semester with some new documentaries or movies.  As always, see a few highlights below, or browse the full list.

SoLa: Louisiana Water Stories
Documentary Film (2010)
Investigates how the exploitation of Southern Louisiana’s abundant natural resources compromised the resiliency of its ecology and culture, thus multiplying the effects of the BP oil spill and Hurricane Katrina.

Waiting for “Superman”
Documentary Film (2011)
Provides an engaging and inspiring look at public education in the United States. [This documentary] has helped launch a movement to achieve a real and lasting change through the compelling stories of five unforgettable students such as Emily, a Silicon Valley eighth-grader who is afraid of being labeled as unfit for college, and Francisco, a Bronx first-grader whose mom will do anything to give him a shot at a better life.

Academy Award Nominee (2010)
Uxbal is a man on the wrong side of the law who struggles to provide for his children on the dangerous streets of Barcelona. As fate encircles him, Uxbal learns to accept the realities of life, whether bright, bad, or biutiful.


Not Just a Game
Documentary (2010)
We’ve been told again and again that sports and politics don’t mix. In this documentary, Dave Zirin, sports editor of The Nation magazine, takes viewers on a tour of the good, the bad, and the ugly of American sports culture — showing how sports have helped both to stabilize and to disrupt the political status quo throughout history. Explores how American sports, at their worst, have reinforced repressive political ideas and institutions by glamorizing things like militarism, racism, sexism, and homophobia, as well as looking at a history of rebel athletes who dared to fight for social justice beyond the field of play.

Feature Film (2011)
Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor (Star Wars I, II, III), Academy Award® nominee Christopher Plummer (Inside Man), and Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) star in Beginners, an uplifting comedy about how funny and transformative life can be. When graphic designer Oliver (McGregor) meets free-spirited Anna (Laurent) shortly after his father (Plummer) has passed away, Oliver realizes just how much of a beginner he is when it comes to long-lasting romantic love. Memories of his father, who, following the death of his wife of 45 years, came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energized, and wonderfully tumultuous gay life, encourage Oliver to open himself up to the potential of a true relationship. Inspired by writer/director Mike Mills’ own father. (Amazon.com product description)






August 12th-30th, Ohrid, Macedonia

Full info here

The Summer Institute for Sexuality, Culture and Politics is a new permanent project initiated by the Department for Gender Studies at the Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities “Euro-Balkan”, Skopje, Macedonia.

The general aim of the Institute is to gather young post-graduate students, activists, scholars and teaching staff from both Eastern and Western Europe and promote a shared platform for research and trans-disciplinary theoretical reflection on the complex modes of interweaving sexuality, culture and politics, and consequently of exchanging and questioning geopolitically determined discourses in the research of sexualities, gender studies, and queer theory. Our idea is to provide students, scholars and teachers with the opportunity to question, decenter and democratize these areas by way of deferring the notion of theoretical and geopolitical privilege which is often implied by these research areas, and thus to introduce new models of rethinking context-specific phenomena related to sexualities and, vice versa, to enrich theoretical paradigms with context specific phenomena and research. In this way, the Institute’s long-term goal is to:

  1. strategically stimulate the particularization and application of key ideas and theories in sexuality research locally and to
  2. universalize and popularize crucial and underprivileged positions and ideas on the European level, regardless of the  ast/West divide which is still central to the development of queer theory and sexuality research.

Our endeavor is not to relativize the embeddedness and situatedness of knowledges about sexualities, but to recognize and disrupt the existing invisible borders that obstruct the free dissemination of ideas as they are being determined by various hegemonic forces – political, educational, economic – in both Eastern and Western contexts of doing academic and artistic work related with our desires, bodies, and sexualities.

Please find the full descritpion and information about the Summer Institute. We would also kindly ask you to forward and publicize this information to other interested institutions and individuals.

For any further questions and information, please contact the Summer Institute coordinators:

Slavco Dimitrov, slavco.euba@gmail.com
Stanimir Panayotov, spanayotov@gmail.com

Department of Gender Studies
“Euro-Balkan” Institute
No. 63, “Partizanski odredi” Blvd
Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
tel/fax: +389 2 3075570
e-mail: genderstudiesskopje@gmail.com



Mobile Access to Library Resources

by Robin Bowles

Is the shine on that new iPhone 4S dulling a little? Is the initial thrill of opening that Android phone wearing off? Well, they can do more than check Facebook, photoblog your lunch and dismember virtual fruit. Your mobile device can be used to access many of the same research sources and databases you already use. Here’s a brief overview of the mobile versions of many well-loved library resources.

Mobile access to these tools comes in two basic forms: applications (apps) and web access.

Apps are specialized for the kind of device you have and can be downloaded from the device’s app store or market. iOS apps run on Apple devices like the iPhone or iPod, and Android apps run on devices made by many other companies. If you open the below links on your device, they should take you directly to the page in the store or market where they can be installed.

The web access links can be used on any smartphone with a web browser, including Windows phones and Blackberrys, as well as iOS and Android devices.

These tools will work best when you are on campus using the University’s WiFi network. Since they will use lots of network data, we recommend you only use them over WiFi unless you have an unlimited data plan. If you are unsure about the details of your plan or your device, please contact the retailer or cell phone service. The Library cannot assist with technical issues related to your mobile device.

Click here to see the list of mobile tools.

If you have questions about mobile access to library databases, contact Robin Bowles at 610-519-8129 or robin.bowles@villanova.edu.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons.


ICPSR Undergraduate Summer Internship

The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the world’s largest archive of digital social science data, is now accepting applications for its annual summer internship program. ICPSR is a unit within the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. ICPSR’s data are the foundation for thousands of research articles, reports, and books. Findings from these data are put to use by scholars, policy analysts, policy makers, the media, and the public.

Interns spend ten weeks from June 4 – August 10, 2012, at ICPSR (Ann Arbor, Michigan), during which they will:

  • Work in small groups and with faculty mentors to complete research projects resulting in conference-ready posters
  • Gain experience using statistical programs such as SAS, SPSS, and Stata to check data, working in both UNIX and Windows environments
  • Attend courses in the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research
  • Participate in a weekly Lunch and Lecture series that covers topics related to social science research and professional development.

$3,000 – $5000* stipend, room and partial-board in university housing, and a scholarship covering the cost of fees, texts, and materials for coursework in the ICPSR Summer Program.


Researching School Vouchers in Pennsylvania

By Kristyna Carroll

School vouchers are a hot topic in Pennsylvania right now. Not sure where you stand on this issue? Library resources can help you find your way.

According to School Choices, “school vouchers, also known as scholarships, redirect the flow of education funding, channeling it directly to individual families rather than to school districts. This allows families to select the public or private schools of their choice and have all or part of the tuition paid.”

Start by reviewing two sides of the issue with Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Next, get an overview of the empirical evidence supporting school vouchers by reading “Voucher Programs are Key to Improving Public Schools.” Take a more in-depth look at the history and politics of school vouchers in the article, “School Vouchers Fail to Improve Education.”  Another article, “Tuition Vouchers Are a Good Alternative to Failing Public Education,” can provide you with the opposing viewpoint. Explore this Gale resource for even more opinions and ideas about vouchers, education and other hot button issues.

Do you wonder where other voters and taxpayers stand on the issue of school vouchers? Polling the Nations is a database of public opinion polls. A simple search for school vouchers results in several recent polls. An August 2011 poll by the Economist/YouGov reveals a split among respondents with 40% approving and 47% disapproving of school vouchers in their own community.

If you are ready to take your research to the next level, investigate the Library’s books regarding educational vouchers in the United States. Or, try searching some of our premier databases. ERIC is a great resource for education articles; Worldwide Political Science (WPSA) is the place to go for political science research and Social Sciences Full Text covers a broader perspective.

Photo: Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context


Learning Commons in Falvey

Learning Commons lounge area

The second floor Learning Commons in Falvey Memorial Library is now home to the research-support librarians, Learning Support Services, the Math Learning Resource Center (MLRC) and the Writing Center.

The reference collection primarily resides on the second floor with only a small section remaining on the first. Main-stacks books previously shelved on the second floor can be found in the Falvey West stacks.


Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Germany

Call for Applications – Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Germany Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München will award up to 10 Research Fellowships to excellent junior academics in 2012. The “LMU Research Fellowships” are an integral part of the “LMU Academic Career Program”, aimed at recruiting excellent early-career postdocs. Candidates from all fields of research who have completed their doctoral studies with outstanding results within the last three years may apply. The fellowships are tenable for two years.

Deadline for applications is February 5, 2012.

For eligibility requirements and further details, please visit: www.graduatecenter-lmu.de/researchfellows/


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Last Modified: January 13, 2012