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Foto Friday: The Singing Librarian

Taras Ortynsky, description services librarian, and the Villanova Singers

Taras Ortynsky, description services librarian, was serenaded by the Villanova Singers on Thursday, Feb. 14. The singing valentine, part of the Villanova Singers annual fundraiser, was arranged by Falvey Memorial Library staff to celebrate Ortynsky’s upcoming retirement. Ortynsky, a singer, dancer, and all around entertainer, enjoyed the singers’ rendition of Plain White T’s “1234” and the Valentine’s Day treats.


The Curious ‘Cat: Literary Sweethearts

Happy Valentine’s Day, Wildcats! This week, the Curious ‘Cat asked Falvey Memorial Library staff,

Who is your literary crush?

Caroline Sippo, Access and Collections Coordinator:

“Nick Carraway in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.”

Rob LeBlanc, First Year Experience Librarian:

“Galadriel in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.”

Luisa Cywinski, Director of Access Services:

“Edward Rochester in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.”

Darren Poley, Theology, Classics and Humanities Librarian:

“Hero, from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.”

Laura Bang, Distinctive Collections Librarian/Archivist:

“Captain Frederick Wentworth in Jane Austen’s Persuasion.”


#TBT: Valentine’s Day

  • Posted by: Nathaniel Haeberle-gosweiler
  • Posted Date: February 14, 2019
  • Filed Under: Library News

On this day back in 1967, Aretha Franklin recorded “Respect”, giving her the #1 spot for Billboard Song of the Year. This Valentine’s Day, celebrate with lots of love, respect, and of course singing with those around you. Please enjoy this clip of the Villanova Singers Singing Valentine (just click the photo)!

Photo credited to the Villanova Singers

Africana Studies’ Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Distinguished Speaker Series

Chiji Akoma, PhD, associate professor, Department of Global Interdisciplinary Studies, discussed the oral performance aesthetic that defines Igbo drama and the challenges of transposing that into literary and written drama during an Africana Studies Tuesday Talk on Nov. 27, 2018

The Africana Studies Program in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences continues its 25th anniversary celebration this semester with a distinguished speaker series. Save the date for the Africana Studies Program Distinguished Speaker Series Spring 2019 lineup:

Jasmine Cobb, PhD on “New Growth: The Art and Texture of Black Hair after Emancipation”
Monday, Feb. 25 at 4:30 p.m. in the Idea Accelerator, Falvey Memorial Library

Jasmine Cobb, PhD, Department of Africana Studies, Duke University, will give a talk titled “New Growth: The Art and Texture of Black Hair after Emancipation.” This event is co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Program, Falvey Memorial Library, the Waterhouse Foundation, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Tuesday Talk: Rory Kramer, PhD on “The Impossibility of Integration”
Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 4:30 p.m. in Speakers’ Corner of Falvey Memorial Library

Rory Kramer, PhD, Department of Sociology, Villanova University, will give a talk titled “The Impossibility of Integration.” This event is co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Program, Falvey Memorial Library, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Tuesday Talk: Crystal Lucky, PhD on “Relentless Hearts: A Journey of Time, Love and Perseverance”
Tuesday, March 12 at 4:30 p.m. in Speakers’ Corner of Falvey Memorial Library

Crystal Lucky, PhD, Department of English, Villanova University, will give a talk titled “Relentless Hearts: A Journey of Time, Love and Perseverance.” In June 2018, Debbie Africa was released from prison after serving a 40-year sentence related to an incident involving MOVE in 1978. Four months later, Michael Africa, Sr. (VU ’05), a second member of the MOVE 9, returned home and was reunited with his wife and their son, Michael Africa, Jr. Their story of love, unity and separation speaks to the strength of family, the power of forgiveness and the will to move forward. Join Dr. Lucky as she moderates a panel discussion with the Africa family on their new book project. This event is co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Program, Falvey Memorial Library, the Center for Peace and Justice Education, the Department of History, Campus Ministry, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Annual Senghor-Damas-Césaire Lecture featuring Patrick Manning, PhD on “Africana Studies in Africa and North America: Knowledge of Past and Present”
Thursday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the Alumni Events Room of Garey Hall

Patrick Manning, PhD, Department of History, University of Pittsburgh, will give a talk titled “Africana Studies in Africa and North America: Knowledge of Past and Present.” This event is co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Program, Falvey Memorial Library, the Department of History, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

All events are free and open to the public. All events have been ACS approved.

Vanderbilt Television News Archive Database Trial

For the past fifty years, the Vanderbilt Television News Archive has recorded and indexed news coverage so that it can be studied and analyzed. The collection indexes and describes segments of evening news broadcasts from ABC, CBS, and NBC from 1968- present, along with one hour per day from CNN (1995- present) and Fox News (2004- present,) as well as selected clips from other networks. The segments from NBC and CNN are available to watch as streaming video. See contemporary news coverage of the moon landing, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the movement to divest from apartheid South Africa, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s swearing in as a justice of the Supreme Court, Barack Obama’s election to the presidency, and much more.

You can search the collection by keyword, date, television network, reporter or anchor, and segment type. Villanova has trial access to this resource through March 9, 2019. Please contact Deborah Bishov ( if you’d like to recommend this database for purchase by the library.

Article by Deborah Bishov, Social Sciences and Instructional Design Librarian
Room 225, 610-519-5207, Email:

Ross Gay Delights; Kicks Off the 21st Annual Villanova University Literary Festival

Ross Gay reads from his collection of essays, The Book of Delights

Ross Gay kicked off the 21st Annual Villanova University Literary Festival on Tuesday, Feb. 5 in Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner. Gay, a National Book Critics Circle Award and Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award winner, read excepts from his new collection of essays, The Book of Delights.

Mark your calendars for the 2019 Literary Festival lineup. All readings begin at 7:00 p.m., are free, and are followed by a reception and book signing.

Lauren Grodstein: Thursday, February 21st; Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner
Grodstein is the author of four novels, including the New York Times bestseller A Friend of the Family and the Washington Post Book of the Year The Explanation for Everything. Her latest novel, Our Short History was published by Algonquin Books in March, 2017. She directs the MFA Program at Rutgers University-Camden and lives in New Jersey with her husband, children and dog.

Mike McCormack: Thursday, March 21; Presidents’ Lounge, Connelly Center
McCormack has published two collections of stories, Getting it in the Head, which won the Rooney Prize for Irish fiction, and Forensic Songs. He is also the author of three novels, most recently, Solar Bones, which won the 2016 Goldsmith’s Prize and the 2018 International Dublin literary award. He is currently in residency at Villanova University as the 2019 Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies.

Claudia Rankine: Thursday, April, 4; Connelly Center Cinema
Rankine is founder of the Racial Imaginary Institute and the author of two plays, Provenance of Beauty andThe White Card, and five poetry collections including Don’t Let Me Be Lonely and Citizen, which received awards from the LA Times, the NAACP, the National Book Critic’s Circle and PENN. Recipient of a 2016 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” grant, she teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry.

Julia Kasdorf: Thursday, April, 25; Dougherty Hall, East Lounge
Kasdorf is the author of four books of poetry, including Sleeping Preacher, which won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, as well as the Great Lakes College Award and the Conference of Christianity and Literature Book of the Year. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is professor of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Penn State University.

The 21st Annual Villanova University Literary Festival is co-sponsored by the English Department, the Creative Writing Program, the Honors Program, Africana Studies, Global Interdisciplinary Studies, The Writing Center, Gender and Women’s Studies, and Falvey Memorial Library.


Peek at the Week: February 11th – February 15th

  • Posted by: Nathaniel Haeberle-gosweiler
  • Posted Date: February 11, 2019
  • Filed Under: Library News

This week in the library


Digital Seeds Event Planning Meeting, Room 214, 1:30p – 2:30p

Global Smackdown Series, Speakers’ Corner, 2:00p – 2:23p

The Learners’ Studio, Room 301, 4:00p – 9:00p

*Cancelled, To Be Rescheduled* Jasmine Cobb, PhD, on “New Growth: The Art and Texture of Black Hair after Emancipation”, Speakers’ Corner, 4:30p – 6:00p

Digital Humanities with Lauren Shohet / Bob Beck, Room 214, 4:30p – 7:00p


The Learners’ Studio, Room 301, 11:30a – 2:30p & 4:00p – 9:00p

Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority Fundraising Table, First Floor Lounge, 4:00p – 6:00p

General Biology Study Group, Room 205, 7:00p – 9:00p


CASA Restorative Conference, Room 206, 10:30a – 12:30p

University Staff Council Meeting, Room 205, 2:00p – 3:30p

The Learners’ Studio, Room 301, 4:00p – 9:00p

Anatomy and Physiology Study Group, Room 205, 7:00p – 9:00p


Scholarly Communication Librarian, Room 205, 9:00a – 11:30a, 2:00p – 2:30p; Room 214, 12:30p – 1:30p

Engineering Entrepreneurship Summer Institute Table, First Floor Lounge, 12:00p – 2:00p

The Learners’ Studio, Room 301, 4:00p – 9:00p


Negotiate Your Next Salary, Room 205, 1:00p – 2:30p

Villanova Electronic Enthusiasts, Speakers’ Corner, 2:30p – 4:30p

Unitas Weekend Planning, Room 206, 2:30p – 3:30p

Villanova Theatre’s “Youth” will challenge you

  • Posted by: Daniella Snyder
  • Posted Date: February 8, 2019
  • Filed Under: Library News


This week, Villanova’s Vasey Theatre welcomes Youth to the stage: a fresh, coming of age play written by Villanova professor and Barrymore, Whiting and Terrence McNally Award-winning playwright James Ijames.

Youth tells the story of a church youth group as a mysterious young man starts attending the weekly gatherings. “Wyatt, a self-proclaimed non-believer, arrives and miracles start to occur. Youth pastor Dave and his flock of young congregants must grapple with the meaning behind these remarkable events, even as they wrestle with their own issues of identity, sexuality and faith” (production website).

The cast speaks highly of Ijames’ play and emphasizes the thematic value of the script as well as the impact the show can have on an audience.

Cast member Harry Dietrich (Reggie) describes Youth as a “show that weighs faith and sexuality and where that line is blurred…or if that line can be blurred.”

Jay V. (Wyatt) adds to Dietrich’s description, remarking that “Youth is an exploration of the intersectionality between faith and sexuality, they way we navigate those things, and how we mature through those things.”

In further explaining the play, V. expresses a few of the questions one might have after watching Youth: “Do we ever find the answers we’re looking for? Do we find the place we’re comfortable? Can we find a home and a community while we’re trying to find these answers about ourselves? It [Youth] is really beautiful.”

Like V., the cast and crew predicts that audience members will leave the theater with questions “about themselves, about their own personal faith, about how faith affects your life, and how you adjust to it,” according to dramaturg Adrena Williams.

Jerald Bennett (Pastor Dave) differentiates the results based on the viewer’s religious beliefs. For those who identify as Christian, they might ask themselves, “Am I judgmental? Am I a believer? Am I a real believer? What has this done to my faith?”

“For the non-believer, it will challenge them as well. Youth might make them try again to believe, or to make another choice that I can’t even name,” Bennett says.

The questions most likely result from the timeliness and relevance of the show. Williams explains, “I do think this is the most ‘right now’ sort of a script, and it’s about young people. It’s much more in line with the experiences of students here.”

The “right now” aspect and the relatable quality to the characters inject the show with a captivating kind of realness.

Dietrich predicts that viewers will experience “something unapologetically real,” but almost magical in nature. Dietrich laughs, admitting, “It’s contradictory but true.”

Mary Lyon  (Leila) agrees with Dietrich’s sentiments. “Each character is so unique and so human,” Lyon observes, and she hopes that audience members fall in love with each character.

However, while the cast expects audience members to have a transformative experience in watching Youth, they have had their own transformative experiences while performing it.

Dietrich divulges, “The play has awakened a spiritual side to everybody.”

Bennett agrees, sharing anecdotes from rehearsal. “There were moments [during rehearsal] where people have actually been moved. Some broke out in tears.”

“It made me wonder…is what we’re doing having an effect on us?” Bennet confesses.

Another consistency arises across the entire cast: excitement. Aside from typical performance jitters and anxiety, every cast member acknowledges the importance of the work they’re doing as part of the original cast of this production.

Lyon likens Youth‘s script to a human being. “We’re working with a live script. It’s breathing, constantly changing,” she observes. “We’re putting our own imprint on it.”

Bennet views their roles as ones of profound responsibility. “We as the actors are the originators of these roles. What we do will be used in the future,” he says with certainty.

Dietrich sees his experience with Youth as one of humility. “I’m extremely humbled that I’m able to be a part of the genesis of this play. I always go back to thinking that when this gets published it’s going to have the play in the front with the original cast and I’ll be on it,” he shares.

“My friends and I are immortalized in this cast, and thought is…ungraspable at this moment,” he concludes.

A pensive performance challenging our perceptions of love, faith, religion, sexuality, and coming of age, Youth will sit with you after you leave the theater. However, before you even walk into the doors, heed V.’s advice:

“Expect the challenge that James offers: the idea that maybe ‘God is Love’…and that holiness, religion, and relationships are greater pathways to the idea of love.”

Buy your tickets here.


by James Ijames
directed by Edward Sobel
Fri, Feb. 8, 8pm
Sat, Feb. 9, 8pm
Sun, Feb. 10, 2pm LIMITED TIX
Tue, Feb. 12, 8pm LIMITED TIX
Wed, Feb. 13, 8pm
Thur, Feb. 14, 8pm (Speaker’s)
Fri, Feb. 15, 8pm LIMITED TIX
Sat, Feb. 16, 8pm
Sun Feb. 17, 2pm (Closing)
TIX $21-25 with great discounts for students, seniors, theatre industry members & groups!


Foto Friday: S.W.A.K. SWAG


Borrow the romance, keep the swag! What better way to spend Valentine’s week than reading a romance novel? Falvey Memorial Library has a great collection of some of the greatest ones ever written. Borrow the book of your choice by taking it to the service desk. And when you do, you may keep the accompanying monogrammed gift bag, laptop sticker, and limited edition “How To Write A Love Letter” postcard. Happy Valentine’s Day from Falvey!

For the weekend: SOTU in Summary

  • Posted by: Daniella Snyder
  • Posted Date: February 8, 2019
  • Filed Under: Library News

 The Falvey Memorial Library is happy to announce the start of a new weekly blog series: Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen, and watch over the weekend. We’re scouring the internet to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you with knowledge for the upcoming week. Have a busy weekend? No problem. We’ve sorted our recommendations by length of time. That way, whether you have four minutes on the train or an entire day to tackle a novel, Falvey has something for you.

Each year, the U.S. President delivers a State of the Union address (sometimes abbreviated to SOTU) in order to offer their view of the nation, as well as their plans, hopes and goals for future legislation. Initially, the State of the Union address was delivered by way of a written report, but starting with Woodrow Wilson, the address was delivered in person since 1913, and has ever since.

Between a 35-day government shutdown and a handful of disagreements with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the SOTU “almost didn’t happen,” as USA Today put it.

However, this past Tuesday night (Feb. 5, 2019), Presidnet Trump delivered The State of the Union Address to a joint session of a divided United States Congress. If you haven’t done your research already, here’s a rundown of what to read, watch, and listen this weekend to know about the 2019 SOTU.


If you have 2 minutes:

The Guardian made a super short video that notes what they consider the highlights of Trump’s address.


If you have 10 minutes:

CNN condensed the entire address into 5 key takeaways.


If you have 25 minutes:

Listen to The Daily‘s Wednesday morning podcast. While discussing Trump’s SOTU address, they analyze the last three addresses delivered by presidents who lost their midterm elections: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.


If you have 45 minutes:

The New York Times annotated a transcript of Trump’s State of the Union address.


If you have 90 minutes:

Did you miss the State of the Union? No worries. The Washington Post published the entire address on Youtube:

Next Page »


Last Modified: February 8, 2019