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Sneek Peak: A New Look for the Falvey Hall/Old Falvey Lobby

As part of the extensive ongoing renovation of the Falvey Hall/Old Falvey Reading Room, the lobby leading into the room is also undergoing a transformation to provide an appropriate entrance. On August 1 the two doors leading into the Falvey Hall/Old Falvey lobby were removed as were the glass bricks surrounding the doors. There are now steel struts in the doorways and along the walls and numerous electrical outlets have been installed. Dry wall panels are being installed as of Aug. 18. Stay tuned for more updates!



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Photographs by Alice Bampton, Communications and Marketing Dept.



Renovating the Reading Room Around a Very Large Pietro da Cortona Painting

The Pietro da Cortona painting, “The Triumph of David,” at Villanova has been described as a “hidden treasure in plain view” on more than one occasion. Hung high on a wall, yet in a room closed to the public and used to store microfilm and other materials, the painting had deteriorated to the point where few could appreciate it.

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In 2013 professional art handlers removed the painting from the wall where it had hung since 1956

The Baroque masterpiece spent 2013 – 2015 undergoing professional conservation to revitalize its vivid blues and reds and rich depths. Conservators, led by Kristin deGhetaldi, also reattached flaking paint and stabilized the surfaces. The painting became the inspiration and centerpiece for what will be the campus’ latest signature destination – Falvey Memorial Library’s Reading Room.

This summer, however, the painting has once again become the “hidden treasure in plain view” as, because of its large size, it cannot be removed during the room’s renovation. Instead, the construction team, led by Michael P. O’Donnell, project superintendent for Adams-Bickel Associates, and Villanova personnel – University Librarian and Library Director, Millicent Gaskell; Margaret Duffy, Budget and Administrative Services specialist; and Project Manager, Jim Matthews  – had a unique situation: how to protect a huge masterpiece (12’ x 19’) and still proceed with the renovation of the Reading Room.

On June 3, 2016, “The Triumph of David” was placed in a custom-built crate and moved from behind the wire cage where it undergone public conservation by a team of professional art handlers from Crozier Fine Arts, New York City. And there it rests, carefully crated and packaged, including attached handles for moving should that become necessary, in the midst of a forest of scaffolding while the renovation of the Reading Room proceeds.

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“The Triumph of David,” where it was conserved. The painting has been replaced in its frame and the crate is being built around it.

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The crated painting surrounded by scaffolding.


“What is it like to work around this huge white box? I asked O’Donnell, project superintendent. He answered, “We are very conscious of it at all times.” Workmen often ask him, “What’s in the big box?” His answer is the conserved painting which is one of the stimuli for the renovation. O’Donnell said that he and the workmen are very aware of the historical value of the painting. He also mentioned that the scaffolding creates a protective framework for it. Occasionally, the crate must be moved; it takes six people to slide it, using the four handles attached to the base of the crate. O’Donnell says the crated painting weighs about 1,400 pounds!

When the renovation is completed this fall, “The Triumph of David” will hang once again near where it had been originally placed, but it will be in a bright new room with new insulated windows which will protect it from harmful ultraviolet rays. And students will enjoy a beautiful new Reading Room, an appropriate setting for a masterpiece.

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Architect’s rendition of the finished room with “The Triumph of David” hanging once more on the wall near its original location.  Image of renovated Reading Room courtesy of BLTa, the architects responsible for the design of this room and the second floor Learning Commons. Furniture arrangement indicated in rendering may change.

All photographs in this blog are the work of Alice Bampton, Communications and Marketing Dept.

 Joanne Quinn contributed to this article.


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Falvey and VITAL Welcome New Faculty

New faculty meeting with subject librarians

New faculty meeting with subject librarians

Approximately forty new faculty members attended a Library orientation arranged by Gabriele Bauer, PhD, director; Ramona Kuczewski, senior administrative assistant; both of VITAL (Villanova Institute for Teaching And Learning); and Jutta Seibert, Academic Integration coordinator. The event was held in Falvey’s Speakers Corner on Thursday morning, August 18, and included a continental breakfast.

Millicent Gaskell, Library Director, welcomed attendees. Faculty met with the subject librarians for their disciplines. The librarians explained the Library’s resources and services and gave tours of Falvey to those who were interested.

Regina Duffy, Library Events and Programs coordinator, and Kallie Stahl, graduate assistant, organized the continental breakfast and the seating arrangements.

Linda Hauck, business librarian, meeting with new business faculty

Linda Hauck, business librarian, meeting with new business faculty


New faculty meeting with science librarian, Alfred Fry

New faculty meeting with science librarian, Alfred Fry


New faculty meet with Rob LeBlanc, first year experience/humanities librarian

New faculty meet with Rob LeBlanc, first year experience/humanities librarian


Photographs by Alice Bampton, Communications and Marketing Dept.


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#FalveyPeek at the Week

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Quote of the Week:
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one,” –Mark Twain, who was pretty good at getting things done.


Pro tip: anyone with that mustache is very successful. (Photo from Pixabay.com)

This week in the library:
August 29th, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Arab and Islamic Studies Film Viewing (Room 204)
August 30th, 12:05 p.m., Pre-Law Advising Workshop (Room 204)
August 30th, 3:00 p.m., Getting Started with Zotero Workshop (Room 204)
August 31st, Hispanic Cultural Heritage Table Speaker’s Corner
August 31st, 12:00 p.m., Resume Review Day (Room 205)
August 31st, 1:00 p.m., Meet Browzine (Room 204)
September 1st, 12:00 p.m., Resume Review Day (Room 205)
September 1st, 5:00 p.m., Leadership Conference (Room 205)
September 1st, 5:15 p.m., Leadership Conference (Room 205)



Already stressed? Inhale to a count of four. Exhale to a count of four. It centers your breathing and gives you a minute to remember: you got this. You’re here.


Think of trees too? That’s always peaceful to me. (Photo from Pixabay.com)


Save the Date:
-Tuesday, August 30th, the last day to add/drop classes.
-Monday, September 5th, Labor Day (a.k.a. first mini-vacation of the semester).
-Saturday, September 10th, the first home football game (which is against Lehigh at 6 p.m.)


It’s Pumpkin Spice Season:   

The Pumpkin Spice latte (PSL, to those in the know) is soon to make its modern-day declaration of the true beginning of Fall. Starbucks claims to have generated over $80 million in revenue over the past eleven years, however they are now lagging to say when they will bring about the crowd-favorite (though personally I’m hoping for a secret-drop akin to Beyoncé’s Beyoncé album). Dunkin Donuts is not playing as coy with its release date on August 29th and McDonald’s falling close behind on August 31st.


Soon, everyone. Very soon. (Photo from Pixabay.com)


Books to Ease the Tension:

The beginning of the school year demands a little bit of awkwardness from its participants who are meeting their new friends, classmates, professors, and librarians (right?). These may help:
Level Up Your Social Life, Daniel Wendler
How to Talk to Anyone, Leil Lowndes
-And of course, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, says “actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, ‘I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.”



#FalveyPeek at the Week provided by Hunter Vay Houtzer, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. She is working toward a MA in Communication at Villanova University, and also on learning how to whistle (which she never quite got down as a kid). Send your thoughts/suggestions to Hunter at #falveypeek. See you next Monday for more!



Librarians Welcome International Graduate Students

Librarians Jutta Seibert and Alfred Fry welcomed Villanova University’s international graduate students at an orientation on Friday, August 19. The session is part of the events planned by the Office of International Student Services each fall. Approximately fifty new students attended; students come from all over the world, but this year’s majority is from Asia. Most of these students are pursuing degrees in engineering and sciences. Seibert and Fry introduced the students to the Library’s various resources and services.

Seibert is coordinator for Academic Integration and subject librarian for History, Art History, Irish Studies, Sociology and Criminology. Fry is the subject librarian for Engineering, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Chemistry, Computing Sciences, Mathematical Sciences and Physics.

For research help or appointments, students should call 610-519-4270 or text at 610-816-6222 or, if they know which librarian they wish to contact, they can go to the Staff Directory for the individual’s contact information. The Library’s help page contains a wealth of useful information: how to find a book in the library, how to find articles, citing and evaluating research, Interlibrary Loan services, and much more. Students may also visit librarians in their offices without making appointments – our librarians love to help!

Librarians Alfred Fry and Jutta Seibert introducing international graduate students to Falvey's resources

Librarians Alfred Fry and Jutta Seibert introducing international graduate students to Falvey’s resources


Jutta Seibert presenting Library resources

Jutta Seibert presenting Library resources


Photographs by Regina Duffy, Communication and Marketing Dept.

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Foto Friday: New Light on an Old Masterpiece

We’re renovating! The Falvey Hall Reading Room is being transformed into a new signature space with 24/7 ADA access and state of the art technology enhancements.  Villanova students will love the abundance of  power outlets, easy WiFi access and the relaxing wing-back chairs!

As part of the renovation of the Reading Room, new insulated and ultraviolet-filtering windows are being installed. All original windows have already been removed and, as of Aug. 26, all of the new windows have been installed and the last one is receiving its finishing touches. The ultraviolet filtering will help protect the recently conserved Pietro da Cortona painting, “The Triumph of David.”

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Second window being installed.

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Two new windows in place.


Photographs by Alice Bampton, Communications and Marketing Dept.

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The Curious ‘Cat: “School Year Resolutions?!”

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This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Falvey visitors, “What is your new school year’s resolution?”

Jay-Wright copyJay Wright – “To stay true to our core values and mission.”





Monet Jackson

Monet Jackson – “I would like to not procrastinate because then I will know: it’s done now, and I don’t have to worry about it later.”




Madeleine Messinger

Madeleine Messinger – “This is my senior year, so I’d like to make the most of it. I want to keep up on my readings and assignments.”




Chris Marrs

Chris Marrs – “To be more open about meeting new people. I want to get myself out there more than in high school.”




Andrew Bennet

Andrew Bernett – “To try my best in all my classes and stay on top of things.”





Charlotte Smith

Charlotte Smith – “My resolution is to get settled into life at Villanova because I’m a freshman. I want do well in all my classes and make new friends.”





Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


‘Cat in the Stacks: A Cup of Cat-feine


I’m William Repetto, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the “‘Cat in the Stacks” column. I’m your new ‘cat, stepping in for the very talented Michelle Callaghan. I’ll be posting about college life, about learning and growing here at Villanova, and, of course, about the Falvey Library’s role in all of this.

“Then we saw him step in on the mat!
We looked!
And we saw him!
The cat in the hat!”
– Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat

The morning alarm snatches all of us out of the deep recesses of blissful sleep. Our hours of rest interrupted by that dreaded sound. The next few minutes bring with them deep blinks and furrowed brows as the world slowly comes into focus along with the remembrance of various tasks that must be completed today.

Full school years begin this way as well. The rude academic calendar reminds us that, yes, the time has come to get back to work. Syllabus weeks begin with the coming into focus of the college friendships that may have been neglected over the summer in exchange for dreamlike reliving of high school’s camaraderie. Once we actually look at the college syllabus, though, we remember what needs to be done, what needs to be accomplished this year.

For freshmen, accomplishments may come in the form of joining new clubs and discovering new interests. The sophomores and juniors among us may be interested in building their résumés, while those lackadaisical seniors hide career woes and ambitions behind frivolous façades. No matter the character of the person or the loftiness of the goal, all of these goals deserve equal respect, and all of these goals come crashing back into consciousness this time of year.

The ‘Cat in the Stacks and all the other wonderful animals wandering around these bookshelves understand the importance of sharpening one’s focus this time of year. We know that waking up from the ‘cat-nap called summer vacation makes some of us want to curl back up on the perch and drift back off until the weather warms up again.

This year, however, features some big improvements here at the Falvey that require us to put our paws and floor and get moving, not least of those the opening of a new reading room, featuring the recently restored “Triumph of David.” Some of my fellow library ‘cats brought this painting back to its former sharpness just last year. To do so, they meticulously analyzed each piece of the painting and brought the picture back into focus brushstroke by brushstroke, sometimes even removing old attempts at restoration.

The Triumph of David

The simple fact is that personal initiatives (whether they be one thing or two) can be taken apart and looked at in the same way as the “Triumph of David.” Personal triumph does not often come in the form of broad strokes, guessing at the hidden picture behind the experience. Accomplishments mostly come through attention to detail and a keen aesthetic eye.

Fortunately for us Wildcats, our campus library has all the journals, books and resources we need for finding and thinking through those small details. Soon enough, we’ll have a gorgeous space garnished with a reminder that even the smallest people (David) can summit their largest challenges.

Within this new space, you will find the essence of what a library can be: a place where you can wake up to new information, a building that can help you get a clear picture of the meaning underlying your college experience, a community of scholars dedicated to helping you work off the morning fog of fall semester.

These converging focal points bring me back to the Dr. Seuss poem from which this blog takes its name. Just when Sally and her friend thought they ran out of options for getting through their rainy day, a certain something came wildly into focus. As the line breaks of the poem suggest, our protagonists did not instantly realize the exciting opportunities their guest provided, but after letting him come into focus, the boredom and lethargy and tedium of a rainy day rinsed away and fun could be had. Take your first few hard blinks, Wildcats, and we’ll put the coffee on here at the Falvey.


Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

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PRINT IT OUT! All-in-one Infographic for Your Library Questions

Welcome back, Wildcats!

Whether you’re fresh on the scene or coming back for more, here’s a quick guide for your library essentials. We at the library want everything to be as convenient and helpful for you as possible. Below you’ll find out how to contact the pros; one of our esteemed librarians will always have your back. Our website is on your side, too! Learn where to find your account information to easily renew books or organize your many searches of our many resources. Take a look! Just like that place where your Grandpop used to buy his flip phone, if you have a question, we have an answer! :-)




Double click image to zoom in!

Infographic by Joanne Quinn, Team Leader for Communication & Marketing.


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The Falvey Reading Room: If Walls Could Talk, This Room Could Speak Volumes

Did you hear!?  We’re renovating! The Falvey Hall Reading Room is being transformed into a new signature space with 24/7 ADA access and state of the art technology enhancements that will appeal to twenty-first century students – convenient power outlets, internet stations, WiFi access, convenient power charging stations and comfortable wing-back chairs.

Here’s a brief history of one of Villanova campus’ most storied places!

1949 – The Reading Room first opened in 1949 in what was then the Villanova College Library (renamed in 1963 in honor of the Rev. Daniel P. Falvey [1906-1962], OSA, MSLS). The large, two story high Reading Room was described in The Villanovan:  “The reading room, the largest room in the structure, occupies the entire two floors of the north wing.  Book racks line the walls at about shoulder level, and long blond-oak tables with matching chairs are arranged in the room. … Curtained windows, almost from the floor to the ceiling, filled this room with homey warmth.” (“A Century of Progress,” The Villanovan, Feb. 15, 1949, p.3)

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Reading Room, Oct. 29, 1964. Photograph courtesy of University Archives.

1968 – In order to serve the growing campus, a new larger building, Falvey Memorial Library, was built adjacent to Falvey in 1968. Falvey’s large reserve room on the ground floor served as the replacement for the Reading Room in Falvey Hall.

1970s – The Villanova University Library Science Department, which had been on the second floor of Falvey Hall, relocated to the first floor including the Reading Room. In the 1970s the Reading Room housed the Eastern Area Branch Library Examination Center (dedicated September 21, 1974). After the Examination Center closed, Library Science housed its professional collection of children’s literature and other materials in the Reading Room.

1980s – In the late 1980s the Reading Room housed collections of microfilms, films, slides, microfiches, VHS tapes and DVDs on utilitarian gray metal shelves filling the room. Through all the transitions, one constant remained – the large painting, “The Triumph of David,” by Pietro da Cortona, on the wall where it had been placed in 1956.

1990s – In the 1990s after the Library Science Department was discontinued, the Mathematics Learning Resource Center was given space in the Reading Room.

2010s – And so the Reading Room remained until the Library began the second floor renovations for its new Learning Commons in 2011. The entire second floor of main Falvey was closed, requiring Business & Administration, Outreach, Communication, and the Director’s Office to relocate into their newly created office spaces in the Reading Room. Prior to the offices relocating, the collections housed there were weeded and relocated, the shelves, old furniture and curtains were removed, and data and telephone lines added. The Learning Commons opened in early 2012 and the occupants of the temporary Reading Room offices moved to their new offices in Old Falvey/Falvey Hall.

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Photograph by Luisa Cywinski

2013 – Empty once again, the Reading Room was transformed into a twenty four hour quiet study space, opening on October 24, 2013. The public conservation of “The Triumph of David” was part of this new space. Conservation of the painting was completed in fall 2015 and the room remained open until June 2016.

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Photograph by Alice Bampton

2016 – In June, the room was closed once more – this time for a complete renovation which will transform the Reading Room into “a signature space.” Construction is ongoing with completion anticipated in late September or early October.

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Architect’s rendition of the renovated Reading Room with new ceiling, windows and ADA access from the second floor of Falvey. Image courtesy of BLTa, the firm who designed the renovation.


The Rev. Dennis Gallagher, University Archivist; Gerald Dierkes, and Luisa Cywinski contributed information for this blog. Joanne Quinn also contributed to the blog.

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Last Modified: August 22, 2016