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Goodbye and Hello


The history/sociology liaison team lost one of its original members – David Burke, who will devote more time to resource management and the creation and organization of metadata in Falvey’s growing digital library.

Laura Bang, a recent graduate of the University of Maryland’s library science school, replaces David on the liaison team. Laura joined Falvey this past spring as a curatorial assistant in Special and Digital Collections. Originally from Santa Barbara (Ca.),  Laura received her bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Bryn Mawr College. Last summer, while in graduate school, Laura worked at the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany. Laura noted that the IYL is located in a fifteenth-century castle and that her work there was her “favorite experience in library school.”

Jutta Seibert, coordinator of Academic Integration, continues as team coordinator and Alice Bampton, Visual Resources librarian, remains on the team.


200 years of U.S. History and Politics in Congressional Documents

serialset1Are you interested in U.S. history and politics? Have you worked with the Serial Set before or did you always shy away from using it because of the time and effort involved in tracking down documents included in this series?

Villanova faculty and students will have access to the full text of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set and the American States Papers on a trial basis until October 11. The Library is evaluating the purchase of this valuable resource and we would like to include your opinions into the evaluation process.

The Serial Set goes back to the 15th Congress (1817). The online version currently on trial includes the years 1817 to 1994. It contains House and Senate documents as well as House and Senate reports. The documents cover a wide variety of topics and include reports of independent organizations, reports of special investigations made for Congress, and annual reports of non-governmental organizations.
The American State Papers, 1789-1838 are part of the trial access.
Take a look, evaluate its value for faculty and student research projects and email your feedback to Jutta Seibert.


Criminal Justice Abstracts Now on EBSCOhost

cjaEBSCO has acquired the Criminal Justice Abstracts index from Sage earlier this year and over the summer Falvey’s subscription switched from Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (CSA) to the EBSCO interface.  I was not very enthusiastic about this change, because it meant that Villanova faculty and students lost the ability to cross-search Criminal Justice Abstracts with Sociological Abstracts, which remains on the CSA interface. The library is currently investigating whether it will be possible to switch Sociological Abstracts to EBSCO in the near future.

On the positive side you will notice that the EBSCO interface is in no way inferior to the familiar CSA interface. I encourage you to give the new Criminal Justice Abstracts a try. One of the first things that I noticed when I tested the new interface, was a larger and more focused number of results. As it turns out, Criminal Justice Abstracts contains now more than 235,000 records compared to 103,600 on the old platform. The additional records come from criminal justice core journals according to a recent EBSCO press release. Please note also that cited references can now be searched via a separate tab at the top of the search screen (see illustration), but only 130 of the 270 indexed journals are indexed with cited references. Social Sciences Citation Index is still the most comprehensive source in terms of cited reference searching.

Falvey also lost its free access to NCJRS Abstracts through the CSA interface. EBSCO stepped up and offered us free access to NCJRS Abstracts, which means faculty and students can continue to cross search it together with Criminal Justice Abstracts by selecting both databases after clicking on Chooses Databases (see illustration) at the top of the search screen. Please note that the links to the free government full text in NCJRS Abstracts are buried on the record level. The library’s FindIt button will not link to this content.

Go ahead and check out the new content on Criminal Justice Abstracts. Feel free to contact me with any feedback and comments that you may have.



You asked for it: Region free universal DVD player now available at Falvey

dvdregionsFaculty and students in modern languages, history, and global studies occasionally need to watch DVDs coded for different regions and systems. While the Library has always endeavored to buy the requested films in a format that can be played on its public viewing stations, many of the titles are not produced for the mass market and not available for Region 1, the U.S.A. and Canada only. (Please click here for more information on DVD formats and region codes.)

Since faculty requested multi-region, multi-system DVD players for use in the Library in the recent faculty library survey, the Library recently outfitted one of its public viewing stations with such a DVD player.

Drop in and enjoy your movies. Headsets will be provided but popcorn is strictly B.Y.O.P. The viewing stations are located on the first floor.

The Library’s liaison librarians are ready to assist you with the purchase of foreign films for your classroom needs.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments that you may have.


Living Behind the Walls: Looking Back at U.S. Penology

easternAmong the many DVD’s acquired by the Library this year is one stand-out, Eastern State: Living behind the Walls. This documentary, written and directed by Tony Alosi, gives a brief history of Eastern State Penitentiary, followed by a description of life in the prison during its final decades.
When it opened in 1829, Eastern State was viewed throughout the western world as a major innovation in penology, bringing visitors from around the world (including Charles Dickens in 1842). Through the nineteenth century, it emphasized personal reflection within solitary confinement as a key component of rehabilitation, a philosophy finally dropped when too many prisoners developed insanity. The video also gives some details to Al Capone’s incarceration (who continued to run the Chicago mob from his cell) and the prison’s one successful jailbreak carried out by Clarence Klinedinst and Willie Sutton. The penitentiary closed in 1972.
The film gives an honest look at life within Eastern State as detailed through interviews with former staff and inmates. They provide some frank descriptions of the violence and rape the prisoners regularly endured, both from each other and from the guards. Former inmates describe how they turned their individual lives around. The film ends with scenes from a reunion of inmates and staff thirty years after the prison closed. Interspersed throughout the film are shots of the decayed prison as it appears today.
Of course, if you find the film interesting you can visit the prison itself in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia. The program director is a Villanova Alumnus—Sean Kelley (class of 1991).
David Burke

Watch the film trailer on YouTube or read B. Belbot’s short article on Eastern State Penitentiary from the Encyclopedia of Prisons & Correctional Facilities.
Film website

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments that you may have.


Wait, Wait, Don’t Torture Me….

Stanley Milgram’s infamous experiment, which tested the limits of obedience is back with a modern twist: Participants were made to believe that they were contestants in a TV game show playing “The Game of Death (Le jeu de la mort).” Christophe Nick, the producer of the documentary, and some of the duped contestants claim that the power of media contributed greatly to the unexpectedly high compliance rate of 80%, considerably higher than Milgram’s compliance rate. Read Robert Mackey’s article on the New York Times blog to find out more.

milgramFalvey has Obedience, the documentary of Migram’s original experiment as well as his book Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View. You may also be interested in a recent biography:  The man who shocked the world: the life and legacy of Stanley Milgram. We now have a new chapter to add to his biography.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments that you may have.

Watch the French original, LaZoneXtreme on YouTube.


Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology Now Available Online!

blackwellencofsocThe Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology (2007) edited by G. Ritzer, one of the standards reference works in sociology, is now available online. This new edition replaces the second edition of the Encyclopedia of Sociology (2000), a set of five volumes with 397 entries edited by E. F. Borgatta and R. J. V. Montgomery. The new edition is over twice the size with 11 volumes and 1,786 entries. It covers a number of new and expanding fields such as the “sociology of consumption and sport” and “body and cultural sociology.” Starbucks and Whole Foods Market are represented as well. Updates are added at least twice a year. Among recent updates were entries on macrosociology, consumer society, gun control and online social networking.

The online Encyclopedia includes a time-line that lists “over 700 of the most influential events, figures, and publications to have made an impact on the field.”  Essays on Theory and Methods are helpful overviews for new students in the field. All key thinkers and concepts are included. More detailed essays can be found in the Blackwell Companions to Sociology, which are also available online.

Bookmark the Encyclopedia for daily use or access it via the Library’s web site. Links can be found in the online catalog as well as on the sociology subject guide.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments that you may have.


Selected Blackwell Companions now available online!

blackwellFalvey recently acquired a number of online Blackwell Companions to Sociology. The essays published in this series are suitable introductory reading for students. Each chapter includes a detailed list of references. The e-format (pdf)  facilitates the integration of specific chapters into online syllabi and/or WebCT course modules. All links to individual chapters are routed through a library server, which will prompt students and faculty alike to authenticate themselves, thus avoiding any potential copyright issues. Multiple students can consult each companion simultaneously.

For a complete lists of all Blackwell Companions to Sociology available at Falvey, print as well as online, click here.
Links to the online Blackwell Companions to Sociology can be found in the catalog, on the Library’s subject guides for sociology and criminal justice as well as under E-reference – Sociology.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments that you may have.


Faculty Library Survey, May 2009: The results are in!

falvey_doorwayThe overall feedback from the survey on questions relating to library services and collections was remarkably positive, but faculty respondents made many critical comments about the library facilities.

Nearly a third of Villanova’s full-time faculty participated in the survey. According to over 90% of survey respondents, library resources and services are ‘more important’ or ‘as important’ today as they were five years ago. Books (85%) and e-journals (86%) ranked at the top as ‘essential’ or ‘very important’ library resources.

An impressive 80% of survey respondents know one or more of the librarians on “their” library liaison team and the overwhelming majority of them is satisfied with the services provided by the liaison librarians. Library liaison teams, librarians, the Library’s website and colleagues are the leading sources for information about new library resources, services and events.

Faculty members are frequent visitors of Falvey’s website, but use the physical space far less frequently than undergraduate students do. Faculty would like to visit the physical building more often, but find it a very uninviting environment that does little to stimulate their intellectual endeavors. One survey respondent noted that “the place desperately needs a renovation; it’s grim, dated space, when it should be a centerpiece celebrating our teaching and research mission.”

Read a short summary of the results online. The Library will conduct follow-up focus groups with faculty during the spring semester and is still looking for interested faculty volunteers. Please contact Jutta Seibert (ext. 9-7876) if you would like to participate.


Spring ’10 Library Research Workshops


Are you interested in a library research workshop for one or more of your classes in the upcoming spring semester? If yes, then please contact me as soon as possible to schedule the workshop(s). The Library has only one classroom and it tends to get booked up quickly at the beginning of each semester. Workshops later in the semester may be more beneficial for your students who can use their new research skills for their assigned papers.

Maybe you do not have the time for a library workshop, but you feel that your students could use some extra help? A research course guide is a practical alternative. Please take a look at some of the online course guides from previous semesters: art history, criminal justice, history, and sociology. Upon request I can set up a customized online research guide for your course. In the past I have also combined research workshops with online course guides in lieu of handouts.

Last but not least, remember to order books and videos early, so that they will be available in the Library when you or your students need them.

Here is my contact information:
E-mail: jutta.seibert@villanova.edu
Phone: 610-519-7876
Office: 1st floor, Falvey Library

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Last Modified: December 21, 2009