You are exploring: VU > Library > Blogs > Falvey Memorial Library Blog

The Dugan Polk Family Reading Room – An Artful Study Space with More Outlets Than Seats

A colorful balloon arch invites visitors to the opening

A colorful balloon arch invites visitors to the opening

The Dugan Polk Family Reading Room in Old Falvey officially opened on Monday, Oct. 17, at eleven a.m. Visitors were welcomed by Library Director Millicent Gaskell, library staff and librarians. Gaskell invited students to test the new wingback chairs and they did, commenting on how comfortable the chairs are and how much they appreciate the outlets and USB ports available there. Librarians and staff were available to answer visitors’ questions.

Visitors were treated to cupcakes and pretzels and invited to take selfies and add comments to include in a book which will be given to the donors. They were asked to sign a guest book and to fill out tickets for door prizes which include Villanova memorabilia. Will D Cat visited and invited people to pose with him for photographs.

Two rows of large tables, each with six comfortable chairs provide study space in the well-lighted room and seating for 72 students. Each table has outlets and USB ports at one end and the lamps, yet to arrive, will also have outlets. Wing back chairs are placed around three walls; each pair of chairs has outlets and USB ports.

The room is ADA accessible (during the hours the Library is open) by a ramp from the second floor Learning Commons. The Dugan Polk Family Reading Room is a twenty four hour quiet study space; students can enter using their Wildcard through Old Falvey’s newly renovated lobby after hours.

Overlooking the room is the large painting by Pietro da Cortona, “The Triumph of David.” The painting received a thorough two year-long professional conservation which brought back its rich colors and dramatic three dimensional spaces and once again hangs in the room where it first hung in the 1950s.

Students were already studying in this signature space while the opening reception was underway. And as seen on a brief visit today, students are taking full advantage of this newly renovated signature space, the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room.

Students were already studying in the room during the opening reception

Students were already studying in the room during the opening reception


Will D Cat shows off his sharp pearly whites

Will D Cat shows off his sharp pearly whites


Student adding her selfie to donor's gift book

Student adding her selfie to donor’s gift book


Photographs by Alice Bampton, Communications and Marketing Dept.


1 People Like This Post

Harry Potter Halloween Festivities at Falvey

Official Scavenger Hunt rules available here: https://blog.library.villanova.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/ScavengerHunt-Final.pdf


We cannot speak of 21st-century cultural phenomenon without talking about J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Everyone knows the story of the boy who lived, his heroic friendships made at Hogwarts, and his ultimate sacrifice to conquer You Know Who. The casual reader, however, may not be aware of the importance of the Halloween season to the stories’ narrative precision.

Rowling reserves Halloween as a date for several important plot details. A troll appears in the dungeon on Halloween in The Sorcerer’s Stone; we learn that Nearly-Headless Nick died on Halloween, and Ginny enters the Chamber, in The Chamber of Secrets; the Fat Lady’s portrait is slashed by Sirius Black in The Prisoner of Azkaban on Halloween; the Goblet of Fire drawing is on Halloween.

And last, but certainly not least, as the Falvey Memorial Library’s English and Theatre Librarian Sarah Wingo reminds us, “The attack at Godric’s Hollow took place on 31 October 1981. This is the night Voldemort killed Harry’s parents and Harry got his scar; it is the night that started everything, and the night that Harry became ‘the boy who lived.’ That is the original major significance of Halloween to the series, but generally the series is about wizards, witches, and many other things often associated with Halloween.”

"Locked In" an illustration from Rowling's and Warner Brothers' Pottermore.

“Locked In,” an illustration from Rowling’s and Warner Brothers’ Pottermore website.

These nuances of the Harry Potter series make the Halloween season the perfect time to bring out your inner Harry Potter fan for some fun at the Falvey. Now you may be asking, “But what makes this Halloween so important?”

This Halloween marks the first time since 2007 (the release of the book-version Deathly Hallows) that we’ve had a fresh, new book-length Potterverse narrative to celebrate. Today, Oct. 24, and next Monday, Oct. 30, the Falvey Memorial Library will offer you the chance to celebrate the release of Rowling’s new story with two live readings of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Sarah Wingo thinks that The Cursed Child:

relies strongly on nostalgia for past people, places, and things, and, while in many ways this is its weakness, it is also a strength because it gives Harry Potter fans a chance to return to the world that they love so well and to spend time with characters that feel like old friends. The other thing to note is that by all accounts the actual stage play is supposed to be spectacular. Normally I wouldn’t have much interest in seeing a play with what I found to be a weak script, but I desperately want to see this play; the experience of seeing how they pull off all of the magic and effects live on stage must be breathtaking, and I sincerely hope it makes its way to New York so that I have a chance to be swept away in the magic myself.”

Of course, we wouldn’t invite you all here simply to hear us read a play that relies heavily on nostalgia. Wingo continues,

“So what we’re trying to do with staged readings of parts of The Cursed Child is to take people one step closer to actually seeing the play, certainly a very small step, but an important one nonetheless.”

The Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child banner from Pottermore website.

The first reading will feature a post-reading discussion (pizza provided), and the kickoff of a Harry Potter themed Scavenger Hunt! The second reading will also feature a discussion, but you should also show up in your best Harry Potter costume for a costume contest followed by the announcing of awards for the scavenger hunt. Prizes will include: handcrafted wands, movie theatre gift cards and Insomnia Cookie gift cards as well.

While The Cursed Child gives us Potter-heads a fresh narrative to discuss, Rowling has also added to the Harry Potter Halloween cannon through her famous Pottermore website. In a post about famous Potterverse singer Celestine Warbeck, Rowling mentions that the singer spoke out against the Ministry of Magic’s attempts to limit the celebration of Halloween. This gives fans two narratives to consider: why limit Halloween? And why speak out against its limitation?

Questions such as these make Harry Potter such an interesting cultural piece. Rowling’s writings have seemingly taken on a life of their own. The series’ Internet fandom has created podcasts, alternate storylines and even wickedly intricate theories about the novels’ true meanings. In many ways, the Harry Potter fandom has helped bring the series to the heights of literary acclaim; each reader in the fandom brings a unique reading to the texts that highlights subtle details that particular fans view as important, opening up various readings and an ever-expanding fictional universe.

Winning the Cup

An artist’s rendition of you and your friends winning the scavenger hunt, curiously resembling the Quiddich Cup. (Courtesy of Pottermore website)

As my own contribution I’d like to say that the cool part about Halloween in Harry Potter books is that Halloween provides our favorite characters with a chance to be heroic. Without the loss of his parents, Harry’s quest would not have been possible; without the troll, Ron and Harry could not have proved themselves against a tough adversary. To continue this magical Potter tradition, come invent your own magical heroic adventure with a few friends, Sarah Wingo and the rest of the Falvey staff today (Oct. 24) at 4 pm and Monday, Oct. 31 (also at 4 pm) here at the Falvey Memorial Library.


Peek at the Week: Oct. 24-28

  • Posted by: Hunter Houtzer
  • Posted Date: October 24, 2016
  • Filed Under: Library News

PEEK graphic2

Quote of the Week:

“It is a mistake to think that the practice of my art has become easy to me. I assure you, dear friend, no one has given so much care to the study of composition as I. There is scarcely a famous master in music whose works I have not frequently and diligently studied.” -Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

(I keep this in mind as I write and rewrite and research and reread my literature reviews, essays and discussion posts. Some things, well, they just take diligent study of how others made it work before you can make it work.)


Mozart and I would have similar rooms, I’d imagine (Photo from Pixabay.com)

This week at the library:
Monday, October 24th:
-Harry Potter Halloween Week, Day One, Speaker’s Corner, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 25th:
-Theology & Religious Studies: Faith & Culture Lecture Series (#2), Room 204, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
-English Department: Poetry Reading, Room 205, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 26th:
-Food For Thought Discussion-VITAL, Room 206, 11:30-12:45 p.m.
-2016 US Presidential Election Series Lecture: Dr. John R. Johannes on “What Might this Election Mean? —Thoughts about Consequences.”, Speaker’s Corner, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
-RASCON Meet and Greet, Room 205, 4:00-6:00
-Latin American Studies Program Event, Room 204, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Thursday, October 27th:
-Food For Thought Discussion-VITAL, Room 206, 11:30-12:45 p.m.
-OUS: Pre-Law Advising Workshop, Room 204, 11:05-12:15 p.m.
-Talk & Book Signing with Author Dr. Crystal J. Lucky: “Rev. Charlotte Riley and the Image of Black Women’s Piety”, Speaker’s Corner, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Friday, October 28th:
-Villanova Electronic Enthusiasts Club: Regular Group Meeting, First Floor Lounge, 2:30-4:30 p.m.


This week I rejected any course work which was not the (absolute) bare minimum, choosing instead to extend my own Fall Break.  For the record: I would not recommend this strategy to others.
So, if you’re like me and looking for a way to enter back into the world of academia (which remains both terrifying and compelling), go for a walk. It’s (finally) Fall and everything is turning yellow and red and that brown color of deer. Organize your thoughts while in motion to once again enter the world as a student who does their homework regularly (which is a state of being I would recommend).

See? This color brown. It's a very particular shade. (Photo from Pixabay.com)

See? This color. It’s a very particular brown. (Photo from Pixabay.com)

Save the Date:
Friday, October 28th

-CAT Films: Scare-a-thon

To the wizarding world of Villanova:
Tonight in the library, from 4:00-6:00 p.m., there will be a dramatic reading of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which will serve to kickoff the WEEK LONG HARRY POTTER SCAVENGER HUNT. After assembling a #squad, you and your fellow seekers will collect points to be counted the following Monday, October, 31st (Halloween!), at YET ANOTHER HARRY POTTER EVENT IN THE LIBRARY.
As for tonight (one step at a time, folks), there will be pizza and butterbeer and trivia and at least one ravenclaw in attendance (hint: it’s me). Follow NovaSeekers on instagram to keep up to date and also for cute pictures of owls. Happy hunting!

How could you say no to such a thing? (Photo from Pixabay.com)

How could you say no to such a thing? (Photo from Pixabay.com)

#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 an MA in Communication at Villanova University, and also on watching every episode of The Office. Send your thoughts/suggestions to Hunter at #falveypeek. See you next Monday for more!

1 People Like This Post

Don’t forget your Wildcard! Card swipe access to the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room begins Monday

  • Posted by: Joanne Quinn
  • Posted Date: October 21, 2016
  • Filed Under: Library News
Will D. Cat checks out the Old Falvey lobby entrance to the Reading Room.

Get out your Wildcard, Will!


Dugan Polk Family Reading Room Card Swipe Access begins Monday, October 24

Falvey Memorial Library is sharing in the excitement with Villanova students about the campus’ newest quiet study space, the stunning Dugan Polk Family Reading Room, which opened this week. Visitors have marveled over the renewed space, with its beautiful aesthetics, brilliant lighting and technological conveniences.

WILDCARD WILLBeginning Monday, October 24, note that entrance into the Reading Room will be accessible via WILDCARD card swipe only via its two entrances: through the Old Falvey lobby and through its ADA-accessible entrance off the Learning Commons on the second floor of Main Falvey, which is open during regular Library hours. Villanovans are reminded to bring their Wildcard to gain access to the new space.

Contact Luisa Cywinski, head of Access Services, for questions regarding access to the room.

Photo by Joanne Quinn. Thanks to Will D. Cat and Villanova Athletics for helping us spread the word of the campus’ fantastic new quiet study space!



1 People Like This Post

Foto Friday: One ‘Cat – Two Outlets!

Dugan Polk Reading Room Opening

Good guy Will D. Cat was kind enough to drop by the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room Open House on Monday to help us demonstrate how there are more outlets than seats in the campus’ newest study space!

Anyone who’s ever raced against a depleting battery icon to get something done on a device should appreciate the outpouring of outlets and ports installed here! And, just a reminder – you’ll need your Wildcard to swipe in the Reading Room starting Monday!


Photo by Alice Bampton. And thanks to Will for being so darn pawe-some!

1 People Like This Post

Awaken your mind & fill your soul by celebrating the Humanities on Friday afternoon!



Studying the Humanities at Villanova will fill your life with meaning and purpose; it’ll awaken your mind and fill your soul.  But did you also know that a degree in the Humanities — we’re talking Theology, Philosophy, Humanities, English, History, and Language — is coveted by our nation’s top employers? The skills you cultivate by studying the humanities – critical thinking and analysis, communication, writing, presenting, etc. – are sought after by our nation’s premier employers.

At this fun and informative event, you’ll learn about Villanova’s degree programs in the Humanities; talk to wonderful students, faculty, and staff in those disciplines; eat great food; laugh and smile; and learn many new things! Join us on Friday, October 21, from 1 to 4 PM, for an afternoon of excellent conversation and fun! Learn more about the Humanities and how earning a degree can help you build a meaningful, fulfilling life.

Nik-Fogle-crNikolaus Fogle, PhD. is the Philosophy librarian and Philosophy, Theology and Humanities team coordinator. Don’t miss his presentation on “The Library of the Future” at 3:30 during the Humanities Day presentations.



Have questions about copyright? Recognized authority Peggy Hoon presents at Falvey

Are you unsure (as many are) about the role of copyright plays in online learning environments?
This image was not under copyright, and is from Pixabay.com

This image was not under copyright, and is from Pixabay.com

hoon_peggy_lsu7821Today Peggy Hoon will be speaking in Falvey Library’s Room 204 about the in’s and out’s of copyright within the online landscape.
As the Louisiana State University Director of Copyright Policy and Education and a nationally recognized authority on copyright and scholarly communication, Hoon will share her knowledge with all who stop by.
The event runs from 2:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. and is sponsored by us at the library! Stop by to learn about your about your rights and the rights of others in today’s technological space. This event is sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, the Center for Instructional Technologies, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and the Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning.


The Curious ‘Cat: “New space, new look!”

Curious 'Cat - imageThis week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanovans, “What do you like best about the newly restored Dugan Polk Family Reading Room?”

Caitlyn Dittmeier – I feel like I’m in a museum. It’s beautiful.









Natalie Medina – I love the light here. And there are enough outlets! I used to have everything charged before I came to the library.







Samantha Rodgers – I like the huge windows. The lighting is spot on.









Kevin Lee – Everyone has their own individual space. It’s just a bigger room, it’s more open and independent. It just looks nice.







Chris Hallberg – When I walked in and saw all the new furniture in there, I was immediately drawn to the new, big, dome couches that surround you on the back wall. When I go up there to use it, I’ll be using those for sure.




Matthew Cincotta – The best part is the addition of tables that have both outlets and USB ports. In the old reading room students were limited by outlet location.





‘Cat in the Stacks: Introducing the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room


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


The pace of twenty-first century development and innovation necessitates the constant reinvention of oneself. The Falvey Memorial Library did just that – reinvent itself – with the opening of the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room this past Monday. The library staff hosted an open house for students to talk and ask questions before the room was officially open for quiet study.

The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive and stands as a testament to the great work of the planners here at the library, the construction personnel who made the plan a reality, and the donors who financed the project. Here are just a few of the positive remarks we received:

“It’s beautiful, super spacious and very bright.” – Maggie Cavanaugh, Senior

“It takes my breath away. I came in here a lot over the last two years, looking at what they said was going to be done. It’s really cool to see the final product.” – Nkemka Obineche, Junior

“I’d do group projects here because there are so many chairs and tables.” – Connor Larkin, Freshman

“I was shocked at how many tables and chairs there were and how much space there is to study. Then I was really excited because it’s such a comfortable space that’s also so beautiful and eloquent.” – Gabriella Berman, Senior

The opening of the reading room itself could not have come at a more appropriate time during the semester than it did. The couple weeks after fall break mark the period during which the pace of the semester picks up, and we start quickly moving toward those busy and hectic, yet rewarding and fulfilling final weeks.

A Panoramic View of the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room

A Panoramic View of the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room

In dramatic terms, we’ve reached the period of falling action. This means that our goals are now affirmed or realigned and the semester’s story is heading toward its moments of last suspense. The opening of the reading room, in addition to offering a space for students’ final push for the end of the semester, reinvents the library’s offerings and demonstrates our commitment to the goal of providing cutting-edge resources for Villanova students.

In addition to leaving their positive comments about the new space, some people talked about the struggles of the old reading room, including: having to leave because there were no three-pronged outlets, contorting to the sunlight to get enough light to read, and peaking through a fence to see an old piece of art.

The Dugan Polk Family Reading Room solved all of these issues and many more. In addition to three-pronged outlets, each outlet in our new space has two USB chargers (eliminating the need to bring two adapters to charge your phone at the library!). You can also leave those extension cords at home as well, as each desk has built-in power strips, and wall outlets can be found nearby each and every seating area.

The new reading room features cozy armchairs and places to charge your phones, tablets, phablets, cameras, Nintendo DS, etc.

The new reading room features cozy armchairs and places to charge your phones, tablets, phablets, cameras, Nintendo DS, etc.

I can best describe the lighting in the room as immaculate. Instead of the dangling ceiling lamps of the old reading room, the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room now features LED lighting that adjusts to the brightness of the room. The “Triumph of David” painting benefits immensely from this lighting. Even people walking outside of the reading room during the evening and night will be able to see the spectacular baroque piece from the Falvey walkway.

The "Triumph of David" spectacularly lit.

The “Triumph of David” spectacularly lit.

These are some of the technical features of the room, but the breathtaking gestalt of sitting down in such an aesthetic space offers the recognition that the library staff understands the needs and experiences of the students. At a time in the semester when it’s time to buckle down and get the work done, we (along with our donors) have provided this new reading room for you to focus in and get the work done.

Enjoy your new space, Wildcats. As you prepare to tackle those term projects, remember that just as much as you want to succeed, we, here at the library, would love to see you prepare to flourish utilizing our continuously reinvented resources and spaces.

Website photo 2

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.


1 People Like This Post

Dugan Polk Family Reading Room Open House Celebration Today!

It’s happening!  Falvey Memorial Library is having an Open House today, Monday, Oct. 17, from 11:00 to 4:00 to celebrate the grand opening of the stunning Dugan Polk Family Reading Room featuring the newly-restored Pietro da Cortona painting, “The Triumph of David.” The Villanova community and guests are invited to visit the Reading Room, share their excitement about the renewed space and restored painting, and enjoy light refreshments.

The Dugan Polk Family Reading Room is a newly renovated 24-hour quiet study space located in Falvey Memorial Library. The renovation highlights include a new coffered ceiling; huge new windows; new furniture, carpeting, and lighting; power outlets at every seat; and a new ADA-accessible entrance off the Learning Commons on the second floor of Main Falvey which is open during regular Library hours. The Reading Room can be accessed twenty four hours a day from the entrance off the second floor of Old Falvey. The room will officially open for quiet study on Oct. 18, 2016.

The Dugan Polk Family Reading Room was made possible by generous contributions received during the University’s current $600 million campaign – For the Greater Great:  the Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change. More than $1.5 million in gifts was secured to make the renovations possible, most of which came from parents of current students, including a lead gift by Trisha and Michael Polk.

Pietro da Cortona’s “The Triumph of David,” which is a focal point in the room as it was in the 1950s when it was originally hung, underwent a two year long conservation which brought the huge (12 by 19 feet) painting back to its original rich colors and dramatic three-dimensional spaces. Kristin de Ghetaldi, a conservator from the University of Delaware, led the team who carefully studied the painting, cleaned it, in-painted areas where original pigments were missing, and varnished it to protect it for years to come. De Ghetaldi commented, “There are not a lot of oil paintings associated with Pietro’s circle in the U.S. and the sheer size of the painting makes it unique.”

New chairs along side walls

New chairs along side walls


Pietro da Cortona's "Triumph of David" is again hanging in the Reading Room

Pietro da Cortona’s “Triumph of David” is again hanging in the Reading Room


Photographs by Alice Bampton, Communications and Marketing Dept.

1 People Like This Post

Next Page »


Last Modified: October 17, 2016