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Dr. Richard Alba on Immigration and the Italian-American Experience, This Year's Mannella Distinguished Speaker

On Thursday, Oct. 25, at 2:00 p.m., Richard Alba, PhD, will deliver a lecture as part of the Alfred F. Mannella and Rose T. Lauria-Mannella Distinguished Speaker Series. Dr.  Alba is a professor of sociology at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center. His lecture, entitled “Why Italian Americans Matter for Today’s Immigration,” will describe how the United States is once again in an era of mass immigration, wherein many Americans are worried about the impact of new groups on American society.

Dr. Alba will also discuss his ideas about how the Italian-American experience can provide a valuable perspective for thinking about the future of the United States and how best to integrate the new waves of children from immigrant families.

The Mannella Lecture Series began in 1996 and is made possible by the generosity of Villanova University alumnus Alfred S. Mannella, who named the series after his parents. The events in the series focus on scholarship surrounding Italian-American history, culture and the immigrant experience. This year’s talk will be held in the Speakers’ Corner on the first floor of Falvey Memorial Library. Just as with past Mannella lectures, this event is free and open to everyone, including the general public.

About the Alfred F. Mannella and Rose T. Lauria-Mannella Distinguished Speakers Series:

The generosity of Villanova University alumnus Alfred S. Mannella ’58 VSB, has made it possible for Falvey Memorial Library to sponsor a series of annual events, focusing on scholarship about Italian-American history, culture and the immigrant experience. The endowed lecture series is named for his parents, Alfred F. and Rose T. Lauria-Mannella.

Mr. Mannella’s generous support also provides funds for the Library to acquire books on the Italian-American community and its heritage, a topic close to his heart. It is Mr. Mannella’s hope that his gifts will inspire other Villanova alumni to give to the development of library programming and collections.


Harry Potter Is Moving!

The Harry Potter marathon reading time slot, that is….

To better accommodate the schedules of our frequent readers and audience members, the weekly Harry Potter reading at Falvey Memorial Library will be moving to 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Please join us for our new, early hours!

A public reading of all seven Harry potter books is taking place every Wednesday this semester from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Join us this coming Wednesday, 10/24, as we continue our open-mic reading of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!

Also, please join us for the Harry Potter Costume Contest on Wednesday Oct. 31 Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 5 p.m! Library judges will award the guest with the best Harry Potter Themed Costume. The grand prize is a brand new iPod shuffle!!

For more information please contact Rob LeBlanc, First Year Experience & Ethics Librarian.


Wanted: Website Testing Volunteers

Would you like to improve your Library and at the same time receive a gift? We need students who would like to participate in website usability testing. Just 30 minutes of your time will help us improve the library’s website. Volunteers who participated in the usability testing this spring enjoyed the experience. You will receive a set of three mini clip-on flash drives with 4 GB of memory as a thank you gift. Please contact Melanie Wood if you are interested.



RefWorks in 30 minutes: Never type your references again!

Got 30 minutes? Learn how RefWorks can organize your references and then produce your bibliography in a snap – and in any of the major citation documentation styles.  Participants should bring their own laptops (PC or Mac).  Students, staff and faculty welcome. Sign up for any of the following 30-minute sessions.

BE SURE TO BRING YOUR LAPTOP! Sign-up contact: Barbara Quintiliano

Location:  Learning Commons, 2nd floor, Falvey

  • Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 4pm – Rm 204
  • Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 4pm –Rm 205 [Note room change]
  • Tuesday, November 6, 2012, 4pm – Rm 204
  • Wednesday, November  14, 2012, 4pm – Rm 204



10/23: Experts Offer Insight on What Really Matters for the Election

This Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 2:30 p.m., Falvey Memorial Library will host the first of two events centered on the 2012 US Presidential Election. Two Political Science professors from the University will cover the particulars of this year’s election along with some relevant trends from elections past.

The event will give students and community members a chance to consider some of the more nuanced characteristics of the 2012 race and to participate in a political discourse, which is especially important here in one of the most hotly contested regions of this year’s election.

Matt Kerbel, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science, will deliver the first lecture, entitled “Understanding the 2012 Election: What’s Likely to Happen in Two Weeks?” He will discuss how—after a long primary campaign, two national conventions and four debates—the 2012 presidential election is about to be decided as voters go to the polls and how control of the Senate and possibly the House of Representatives is also at stake.

Dr. Kerbel will examine how the race stands at the moment and describe what we can expect to happen on Election Day.

Immediately following, David Barrett, PhD, professor, Department of Political Science, will talk about “Some Lessons from Political Science about Presidential Elections.” He will provide insight on what political science can reveal about candidates, campaigns and elections, and will also elaborate on how many of the colorful details of campaigns are rather predictable and have minimal influence on the outcome.

Dr. Barrett’s talk will focus on instances in which particular debates or other events did seem to shape the outcome on Election Day in prior years and speculate on which events, if any, seem to have mattered so far in the current election cycle.

The event begins at 2:30 pm and will take place in Speakers’ Corner, on the library’s first floor.

Barrett photograph by Jen Cywinski ’10 A&S


A Library like an Elephant

By Nikolaus Fogle

HathiTrust Digital Library is an immense online repository of 10.5 million scanned volumes, 31 percent of which are in the public domain and accessible free of charge. Its name comes from the Hindi word for elephant, an animal renowned for its size, strength, and memory.

The site could be described as a nonprofit version of Google Books, and in fact much of its content was originally digitized by Google. But if Google represents quick and simple (and often unreliable) access to book content, then HathiTrust is a resource for the scholar. It also has loftier preservation goals than its corporate cousin. Its creators describe it as “a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future.”

Massive as it is, the collection takes in a bit of everything. There are fiction and nonfiction books in every language, as well as periodicals, government documents, genealogical records, Spanish books from the fifteenth century—and on and on. As with Google Books, you can search the full-text of the collection with the click of a button. But HathiTrust’s advanced full-text search far outstrips Google. Say you want to find personal narratives about the Napoleonic Wars. A subject search yields 166 results. Limit your search to titles in French, and you’ve still got more than seventy titles. The full-text search is also great for working with an individual text. Can’t remember exactly where it is that Proust’s narrator takes his famous bite from the madeleine? Just do a keyword search.

HathiTrust users can create and share their own collections, compiled out of materials found on the site. It’s sort of like a playlist for digital books. For example, the collection How to Be a Domestic Goddess, created by the user sooty at the University of Michigan, contains 147 titles about cooking, child-rearing, and housewifery, from the eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. Once you create a collection, you can search just that material.

For now, HathiTrust books are intended mainly for online reading. Limited page-by-page downloads are allowed, and full chapter downloading is coming soon, but only partner institutions may download full text. That said, even if the books you find are under copyright, HathiTrust is still a powerful means of discovering that they exist. Just click the “find a library” link on the book’s catalog page. You’ll be connected to the WorldCat catalog, where you can see if we have the book at Falvey, or else request it through Interlibrary Loan. The vast majority of public domain works in the HathiTrust catalog (those published before 1923) are also available for full-text download through Google Books.

The site also includes a few really arresting graphics, like this interactive pie chart that breaks down the collection by Library of Congress classifications. This is bit of a promotional gimmick, but it can also help you browse the site in a more focused way.

Best of all, a federal judge declared this week that HathiTrust’s services are legal, and not a violation of copyright.


Looking for an Ethics Topic?

By Robert LeBlanc

Gale’s Opposing Viewpoints Resources in Context is a great place to start your ethical research. The Opposing Viewpoints database provides a complete overview of both sides of numerous ethical issues through viewpoint articles, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, web site links, geographic maps, and full-text magazine and newspaper articles.

The comprehensive search box allows users to search for specific resource types or conduct a keyword search on a wide variety of current social issues. Additionally, users can browse issues which are divided into broad subcategories, such as Law and Politics, Energy and Environmentalism or Health and Medicine, each featuring a long list of discipline-specific topics.

Each topic’s subject page features article links, website lists and “viewpoints,” which are themselves comprehensive, well-referenced resources written by authorities in their field. Additional information about each ethical topic can be cross-referenced in the comprehensive Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics.

The biggest strength of Gale’s Opposing Viewpoints is context: nearly every ethical topic covered in the database is placed in a modern, current context allowing users to integrate their own understanding and experience with the issues they are researching. Current issues such as Fracking, Biofuels and the Arab Spring Movement are all covered in depth and include fresh commentary on these new social controversies. Whether you already have a topic in mind or need a fresh new idea for an academic project, Opposing Viewpoints in Context is a great place to start your ethics paper research.

To navigate to the Opposing Viewpoints in Context database, go to the Databases A-Z link located in the lower left corner of the Falvey Memorial Library homepage, click databases beginning with “O”, and select the Opposing Viewpoints link.

More ethics-related resources can be found at the library’s Ethics Subject Guide (located under the “Guides” tab at the top of the library homepage). If you would like to know more about this resource contact, Rob LeBlanc, First Year Experience and Ethics Liaison Librarian at robert.leblanc@villanova.edu or 610-51 9-7778.


The Complete Schottenstein Talmud in English Translation now at Falvey

By Darren Poley

As the Torah is the written law of Judaism, the Talmud is the oral law of Judaism, written down. Talmud Bavli, commonly called the Babylonian Talmud, is a monument of rabbinic literature from around 70 A.D. until the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land at the beginning of the seventh century. Falvey has added to its print collection Talmud Bavli; the Schottenstein daf yomi edition. This edition of Talmud Bavli is located in the Falvey West stacks, call number: BM499.5 .E5 2000.

The Encyclopaedia Judaica (2007) identifies the publisher, ArtScroll, as having “embarked on large-scale translation projects that have had little precedent (and not much success) among other English-language Judaica publishers, such as the case of their widely acclaimed, 73-volume Schottenstein Talmud (completed in 2005), which involved a remarkable array of sponsors, translators, and talmudic authorities from both within and outside the ḥaredi [that is the ultra-Orthodox Jewish] world” (Stolow, Jeremy. “Artscroll.” Encyclopaedia Judaica. Ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. 534-535. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 4 Sep. 2012.).


Librarian of St. Catherine Monastery in Mt Sinai, Egypt, to speak at Villanova

Father Justin Sinaites, librarian of St. Catherine’s Monastery, Mt. Sinai, Egypt, the world’s oldest continually operating monastery (some 1,700 years), will speak at Villanova University Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7 p.m. Father Justin oversees what is considered to be the second most valuable collection of religious manuscripts in the world, the Vatican’s being the first.

One of Father Justin’s major undertakings has been to photograph and post on the Internet the collection’s 4,500 manuscripts (many illuminated), 7,000 early printed books, and some of the world’s oldest Bibles.

His lecture, “The Beauty and Significance of Icons” is one of the lectures associated with the Villanova Art Gallery exhibit. ICON: The Way to the Kingdom will take place in the Connelly Center, Villanova Room. The lecture is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Rev. Richard Cannuli, OSA, or call 610-519-4612.



Making an Informed Decision for Election 2012

By Merrill Stein and Corey Waite Arnold

With the Presidential Election less than a month away, there’s no shortage of media coverage. Despite the chatter, it can be difficult to make a well informed and closely researched decision about whom to vote for. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a brief list of election resources. Behind each link you’ll find valuable information to help you strengthen your perspective and inform your vote when you finally hit the booths this November.


While the big two parties dominate the airwaves, don’t forget that a wide range of political perspectives are represented by plenty of candidates running for president in this year’s election. Here’s a list of a few major political parties in America along with their platform positions:

Thomas Nast's political cartoon, 1870 (courtesy of The Library of Congress)

The Democratic Party

The Republican Party

The Tea Party

The Green Party

The Libertarian Party

The Reform Party

The Democratic Socialists of America

The Constitution Party



Political polls are an invaluable resource during election season, both for political players and the average voter looking to follow the status of a given candidate.

George Gallup, inventor of the Gallup Poll


Roper Center Public Opinion Archives

Gallup Polls: Election 2012

Politico Election Polling

ANES Guide to Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior





Given this year’s contentious political atmosphere and the extraordinary speed of the contemporary news cycle, fact checking has emerged as a major media force in this year’s election. Check out some of the more reputable fact checking organizations after debates, and make sure to keep your candidate honest:






International news sources provide a valuable perspective on an election that doesn’t just affect the United States, but instead impacts the world at large.  Reading outside news sources can truly expand your thinking during this and other important elections.

Image courtesy of BBC News


The Guardian UK





Be aware that as a member of the Villanova University community you have unique access to a variety of library resources. Here are just a few relevant books from our collection:

The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign by Brendan J. Doherty

Exit Polls:  Surveying the American Electorate by Samuel J. Best and Brian S. Krueger

Who’s Counting? : How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk by John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky



And finally, the following databases include article search engines to help you find information on a specific election topic:

ProQuest Newspapers, Ethnic NewsWatch, Lexis Nexis Academic, ABI/INFORM Global, Vital Statistics on American Politics, CQ Press Voting and Elections Collection, CQ Weekly,  America: History and Life, JSTOR, Historical New York Times.

Go to the Ignite Change, Go Vote blog post for information about voter registration.

Links and resources contributed by Merrill Stein, History/Political Science Liaison Team


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Last Modified: October 10, 2012