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Have no fear: there’s a podcast out there for you! (Part 1)

podgirlSummer is drawing to an end but we still have time for trips to the beach, and while beach reads might be the first thing we think of when we think of summer travel, podcasts are my essential travel companion. Sure I’ll always have a book in my bag, but whether it is a long drive or a flight I love a good podcast.

The term “podcast” is thought to originate from Ben Hammersley 2004 Guardian article titled “Audio Revolution,”1 which you can read in full here. Richard Berry cites Hammersley’s piece and attempts to further interrogate this subject in his 2006 article “Will the iPod Kill the Radio Star? Profiling Podcasting as Radio.” 2 In his abstract Berry states,

“Podcasting” allows anyone with a PC to create a “radio” programme [sic] and distribute it freely, through the internet to the portable MP3 players of subscribers around the world. Podcasting not only removes global barriers to reception but, at a stroke, removes key factors impeding the growth of internet radio: its portability, its intimacy and its accessibility. This is a scenario where audiences are producers, where the technology we already have assumes new roles and where audiences, cut off from traditional media, rediscover their voices.

More than anything, these two pieces highlight how less than a decade ago a medium with which we are now all so familiar was still fairly new.

One of my favorite things about podcasts is that there is always something new to discover—whether you’re interested in film, television, news, fiction, cooking, learning a new language or just about any other genre or sub-genre—there is probably a podcast out there for you.


The original iPod, introduced by Apple Computer in October, 2001

This blog post was born out of my own recent quest to add more podcasts to my personal listening menu. I recently put out the call on Facebook asking friends to share their favorite podcasts with me. I also added the caveat that I’d be particularly interested in podcasts that have at least one female host.

FURY ROADI had just listened to a film review podcast discussing Mad Max: Fury Road. The podcast itself was engaging and well informed but sort of glossed over some of the film’s elements that interested me the most: its feminism. I didn’t need a full-on feminist critique, but I realized that I missed a female voice being part of the conversation. This lack of a female voice was perhaps highlighted by a podcast that I was introduced to this year, which became a weekly staple for me and features a male and female host. The podcast A Cast of Kings features a spoiler-free weekly recap of new Game of Thrones episodes, with hosts David Chen who has never read any of the books and Joanna Robinson who has read all of the books in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (Robinson also has a spoiler-laden podcast for book readers Storm of Spoilers). After this past season of GoT ended and I moved on to listening to other TV and movie related podcasts, I noticed that many of them lacked a female perspective, something I hadn’t noticed before and something I realized is important to me especially when it comes to popular culture.

I received a ton of great feedback from my friend’s suggestions—a wide variety of podcasts that I know will keep me entertained for quite some time. So I thought it would be fun to reach out to my co-workers with a similar request and share the wealth with you, our readers. I asked my colleagues in an email if they would be willing to share with me 1-3 of their favorite podcasts, some information about those podcasts and how they came to discover them, and finally how and where they listen to these podcasts. During this week we will highlight several Falvey staff members’ responses. I will get things started today with a small sampling of my personal/current favorite podcasts (I’m going to cheat and list more than 3).

Sarah’s Podcast Picks:

cokI’ve already mentioned A Cast of Kings, but I’m going to plug it again because I just love it that much. Also in a bonus recap and news podcast released 7/22/15 they announced that they will be doing a “re-watch” of season 1 and recording episodes for it, since the podcast started with season two of the show, and never covered season 1. With almost a whole year before we get any new episodes, this might be the perfect time to plan a re-watch or even a first time viewing of Game of Thrones with this podcast as your viewing companion.

imgresSimilarly if you’re into discussions of current TV shows, Joanna Robinson of A Cast of Kings along with Dustin Rowles and Josh Kurp do a podcast called The Station Agents where they do a weekly roundup of current television series.

imgres-1A recent discovery of mine that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with is You Must Remember This, which is hosted and produced by Karina Longworth and explores “the secret and/or forgotten histories of 20th Century Hollywood.” Longworth who writes, narrates, records and edits each episode is fantastic and carefully researches all of her subjects. In addition to her meticulous behind the scenes work, Longworth is a joy to listen to: she’s smart and funny, and the style of the show through her voice and editing is evocative of old Hollywood glamour.

imgres-3If you’re looking for something a bit more academic, I have always enjoyed both The British Library’s podcasts and The National Archives Podcast Series. Always full of interesting and in depth information about British history and artifacts, both of these podcasts are highly stimulating.

imgres-2For more Anglophile fun but with a great deal more snark, check out John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman’s The Bugle, where they discuss politics, popular culture and other odds and ends.

Honorable Mentions:

Bard Times, a fledgling podcast about Early Modern Theatre; The Moth, live storytelling; Welcome to Night Vale, serialized broadcasts from a surreal fictional town; Girl on Geek, comic books, movies, video games, geeky news etc.; and I will have to stop myself there because there are so, so many more.

SHAKES-IPODWe’re nearly done with this week’s post, but it likely hasn’t escaped your notice that although I am a librarian and this is a library blog post I haven’t actually mentioned any podcasts about books or literature. I’m hesitant to recommend specific book related podcasts because there are simply so many, and which ones you’re drawn to will vary greatly based on what you like to read and what you want out of a podcast dealing with books. So instead I will share a link to the Andrea Reads America blog and a post entitled 8 Great Literary, Book Nerd, and Storytelling Podcasts.” This certainly isn’t a comprehensive list of book and storytelling podcasts, but I personally like it because I think it provides a good range of podcasts (some of which I listen to myself) without being overwhelming.

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for our next staff member’s podcast picks, and a spotlight on podcasts produced by Falvey Memorial Library.

Finally we’d love to hear from you in the comments section about what your favorite podcasts are whatever the subject, and how you like to listen!

1 Hammersley, Ben. “Audio Revolution.” the Guardian. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 July 2015.

2 Berry, Richard. “Will the iPod Kill the Radio Star? Profiling Podcasting as Radio.” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 12.2 (2006): 143–162. con.sagepub.com. Web. 8 July 2015.

SarahArticle by Sarah Wingo, team leader- Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.


‘Caturday: Philadelphia ‘Cat Food

We had a Philly theme on the library blog this week so, hey, let’s continue the trend and kick off August with a Philly ‘Caturday. I’ve listed a few cafes in the area that feature cats in one way or another.

A Philadelphia first, Kawaii Kitty Cafe, a kitty cafe that houses adoptable cats, is coming soon to the Old City section. Check out their Facebook page to track their progress toward opening day! (You can help them along by kicking in some cash on IndieGogo.)

Contact PAWS or wait for the Kawaii Kitty Cafe to open if you're interested in adopting a cat!

Contact PAWS (Pennsylvania Animal Welfare Society) or wait for the Kawaii Kitty Cafe to open if you’re interested in adopting a cat!

According to the Rocket Cat Cafe‘s Facebook page, they feature “delicious locally roasted fair trade and organic coffee and espresso drinks, local vegan and non-vegan leisure foods, and a wide variety of real food- made on site, to order.” They also post cute photos of kitties and have cool cat-themed artwork in the cafe. (Mayor Nutter drank coffee here!)

rocket cats






If you’re looking for a place with more food offerings, try the Blue Cat, a Latin inspired kitchen. It’s located in the Fairmount/Art Museum neighborhood. They explain on their website that the “eponymous “BlueCat” is our very own Kitty, a domestic grey foundling who thinks he is a Russian Blue. The BlackCat is his sweet little brother, Lovie. We found him too.”

blue cat





The Black Cat Cafe is about 20 miles west of Philadelphia, on the Main Line, but its mission, to turn “out some of the best sandwiches, salads and desserts around, while helping countless abandoned and homeless animals find new homes” fits right in with our theme.

Contact PALS (The Pet Adoption and Lifecare Society), a nonprofit 501c3 organization dedicated to rescuing pets, or visit the Black Cat Cafe to help rescue pets from the streets or from euthanasia at a high-kill shelter.

Contact PALS (The Pet Adoption and Lifecare Society), a nonprofit 501c3 organization dedicated to rescuing pets, or visit the Black Cat Cafe to help rescue pets from the streets or from euthanasia at a high-kill shelter.


We have excellent resources on animal ethics, but you can also contact the Ethics subject librarian, Rob LeBlanc, or the Philosophy subject librarian, Nikolaus Fogle.

And whether you visit a cat cafe, research animal rights, or consume a latte with a cat on your lap, we hope you and the pets you care about have a Happy ‘Caturday!

cat latte

Blog post by Luisa Cywinski, editorial coordinator on the Communication & Service Promotion team and team leader of the Access Services team.


Foto Friday: In the Lobby, 4th and Walnut, Philadelphia

Mailbox ed

The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity. 

~Walt Whitman

Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Service Promotion team and special acquisitions coordinator in Resource Management

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Philadelphia Researching Tips

Even though Philadelphia is only 13 miles away, navigating the city may seem like another world in some sense. With world class institutions, museums, and parks, coupled with a rich history running throughout the city, it is no wonder people can feel overwhelmed when visiting Philadelphia. Luckily Falvey has access to many resources to help navigate and research any topic on Philadelphia. Whether the resource is in print or online, the Library can help resolve any confusion when it comes to researching the City of Brotherly Love.


Falvey has a vast collection of books on Philadelphia; where that collection is located in the Library depends on your subject of research. Start with “Philadelphia” in the subject line to narrow your results.



Use the facets on the right to filter the results down to your area of interest:



In this example, the results are filtered down into books about Philadelphia politics. The picture below displays that books on this subject can be found in the F 158 call number section of the library.



Online Resources

Jutta Seibert, History Librarian and Academic Integration Team Leader, suggests the following free resources readily available online:

Historical Images of Philadelphia – 20,000 historical images of the city dating back to 1841 courtesy of the Free Library.

Library Company of Philadelphia – The Library Company was founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin and remains to this day an independent cultural institution. Its rare books, manuscripts, broadsides, ephemera, prints, photographs, and works of art are worth a visit to its Locust Street location. The Library Company currently hosts “Fashioning Philadelphia – the Style of the City, 1720-1940.” Selected exhibits such as the “Black Founders: The Free Black Community in the Early Republic” are available online.

Digital Maps of Philadelphia – Digital access to city maps ranging from 1834 to 1962 courtesy of the Free Library.


This is a short, starting point for researching tips on Philadelphia. Remember to always contact your subject librarian for a more in depth search.

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The Highlighter: How do I find schedules for support services in the Library and also the Library itself?


Did you know that in addition to the Research Support Center, the Library also houses the Learning Support Center, the Mathematical Learning Resource Center and the Writing Center? All of their schedules can be found by clicking just one link on Falvey’s homepage. This video shows how to find that link and the schedules for support services as well as the Library itself. (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing):

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.

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Philly Geek Awards Nominates Familiar Faces

The annual Philadelphia Geek Awards are coming up, and you might recognize one of the groups being nominated this year. Dirty Diamonds Comics has been nominated for 2015 best comic, and back in the fall semester Dirty Diamonds headlined a graphic novel event in the Library. Villanova community members learned from co-founders, Claire Folkman and Kelly Phillips, about the logistics of making a comic book, navigating the publishing world, and what it means to be a woman comic creator.

Dirty Diamonds is an all-female creation, which directly leads to the type of content they want to create. The goal of these comics is to give a platform for other women comic creators, which is exactly what they have done. Their first published book, Comics, smashed a Kickstarter goal of $8,000. This is a collection of work collected from 32 women from 6 different countries discussing their love of comics. 

Philly Geek Awards

The Philadelphia Geek Awards is an annual celebration of all things geek culture and is hosted by Geekadelphia and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Originally established in 2011, the categories for the awards this year are:

Web Project of the Year…………..Scientist of the Year

Visual Artist of the Year…………..IRL Project of the Year

Streaming Media of the Year……..Game of the Year

Feature Length Indie Film of the YearStory of the Year

Startup of the Year………………….Event of the Year

Social Media Project of the Year….Comic Creator of the Year

Dirty Diamonds is up for Comic Creator of the Year. Other nominees in this category include local comic creator Ian Sampson and the people behind Locust Moon Comics. The awards will be held on August 15; find out more information at phillygeekawards.com. Learn more about Dirty Diamonds at dirtydiamonds.net. Feel free to satisfy that geek craving by reading some of Falvey’s graphic novel collection.


Life as the Sister of the Liberty Bell

This post was originally posted on December 10, 2009.

A recently digitized title from the Villanova Digital Collection, The Liberty Bell’s Sister by the Rev. Louis A. Rongione, OSA, provides a history and overview of the companion to the Liberty Bell that once rested in Falvey Memorial Library and now resides in the Augustinian Heritage Room of the Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery.


The history of the bell started on October 16, 1751 when the Pennsylvania Assembly voted that a bell weighing 2000 pounds costing between 100 and 150 pounds (sources disagree on the specific cost – ed.) should be purchased from Whitechapel Bell Foundry in  London and then be provided for use in the new State House that was later called Independence Hall.

That historic bell cracked upon its first testing. It was felt by that same governing body that because of the need to recast twice after cracking, and the bells poor tone quality, a replacement should be purchased.

A bell of the same weight and cost was then ordered.

In the summer of 1754 the Liberty Bell’s sister arrived in Philadelphia.

On August 13, 1754, however, the Pennsylvania Assembly voted not to replace but to keep both bells as the populace who once found the Liberty Bells’ tone annoying had grown accustomed to it.

The original bell was hung in Independence Hall and the Sister Bell was hung on a special cupola in front of her, attached to the State House Clock, to toll the hours. She performed this task from 1754 to 1830, except for a brief period of time during the Revolutionary War.

Both bells rang for special occasions. One such occasion was the reading of the Declaration of Independence, July 8, 1776.

The Sister Bell is no stranger to political intrigue. On September 14, 1777 British forces were threatening invasion and then occupied Philadelphia. The bells were smuggled to secret location in Allentown to prevent the enemy from melting them down and using them for ammunition.

The British left Philadelphia June 27, 1778 and the sisters were returned to their home.

In 1830 the City of Philadelphia kept the original bell and sold the Sister Bell and Stretch Clock to Reverend Michael Hurley, O.S.A., Pastor of Saint Augustine’s Church, 4th and Vine Streets, Philadelphia.

On May 8th 1844 St. Augustine’s Church was burned to the ground by members of the Native American Party. The clock, library, paintings were totally destroyed and the bell cracked into pieces in the fire. Her fragments were gathered and given to Joseph Bernhard of Philadelphia for recasting.

In 1847 the Sister Bell was recast but she was greatly reduced in size. She was sent to Villanova College founded in 1842 by the same Augustinian Fathers who served St. Augustine’s Church.

From 1847- 1917 the Sister Bell hung in a locust tree and was used to call the students to class, chapel and their meals. In 1917 she was sent to Jamaica Long Island and was used in the steeple of St. Nicholas of Tolentine Augustinian Church, but on September 20, 1942 she returned home to Villanova for the inauguration of the Centennial year 1942-1943.

Currently the Sister Bell has found a home in the Augustinian Heritage Room. She may be seen by appointment by calling the Rev. Martin L. Smith, OSA: 610-864-1590.


See more at: http://blog.library.villanova.edu/digitallibrary/2009/12/10/life-as-the-sister-of-the-liberty-bell/#sthash.veyLsTWz.dpuf


‘Caturday: Following Thomas


This beautiful Spanish plaza can be found in Villanueva de los Infantes, which is near the village in which St. Thomas of Villanova was raised.

According to the Villanova University website, the “University is named for a Spanish Augustinian, Thomas García (1486-1555), the son of a miller who was born in Fuenllana, a village near Villanova de los Infantes, Castile, Spain. Thomas studied at the University of Alcalá where he received his master’s degree in 1509, and the insignia marking him as a doctor shortly thereafter. In 1512, he became a professor of philosophy at the University of Alcalá where his lectures were received enthusiastically for their clarity and conviction. In addition, Thomas was praised by his students and colleagues for always being friendly and helpful.”

I like to think Falvey’s subject librarians emulate St. Thomas as they assist faculty, staff, students and visitors with their research needs.

On a lighter and only slightly related note, you might want to check out this cool summer book for kids featuring Thomas the Cat (or Tomas el Gato). It’s written in both English and Spanish!

thomas the cat










‘Caturday post by Luisa Cywinski, editorial coordinator on the Communication & Service Promotion team and team leader of the Access Services team.

Photo of Plaza Major used with permission from Carlos Barraquete and the Asociacion de Amigos del Campo de Montiel, whose website is a Tribute to Campo de Montiel.


Foto Friday: Ingenuity

I think we need a bike rack!

Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Service Promotion team and special acquisitions coordinator in Resource Management


Pluto—the Second of Two Dwarf Planets Seen at Close Range in 2015

Before New Horizons captured the first-ever detailed images of Pluto this month, it had traveled for nine-and-a-half years to reach the edge of our Solar System. When that spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. on January 19, 2006, Pluto was still classified as a planet.


Pluto discovered—Clyde Tombaugh, working at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona, discovered Pluto February 18, 1930. But the first such object, albiet smaller than Pluto, had been discovered more than a century earlier.

Ceres discovered—A Catholic priest, Giuseppe Piazzi, who held a PhD in mathematics, was also an astronomer. His catalog of almost 7,000 stars earned him the L’Institut de France prize for “best astronomical work published in 1803″ (Barr). On January 1, 1801, while working on his catalog, he discovered an object whose changes in position were more like those of a planet than a star. “Piazzi had found the first [and the largest] of many thousands of ‘asteroids’ or ‘minor planets’ whose orbits lie mainly in a belt between Mars and Jupiter” (Barr).

Eris discovered—The next such discovery, after that of Pluto, came more than two centuries later, on October 21, 2003.


This sphere, at the Solar System’s limit and orbiting the Sun, was larger than Pluto and had its own moon (Pluto has five known moons). This find begged the question: If Pluto is a planet, how could this larger globe, Eris, not also be considered a planet?

Haumea discovered—Its discovery was officially announced in 2005.

Makemake discovered—The International Astronomical Union officially recognized Makemake as a dwarf planet in 2008.

More dwarf planets?—Scientists have estimated that “dozens or even more than 100 dwarf planets” may be awaiting discovery. The likelihood of additional yet-to-be-discovered globes has left astronomers asking, “Just what constitutes a planet?”

 “Planet” (re)defined— At the International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly in Prague, 2006, astronomers “debated vigorously” over the definition of “planet.” They established a definition that would classify Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Makemake and Haumea as “dwarf planets,” leaving our Solar System with eight planets.


Why, then, is Pluto the second dwarf planet to be seen at close range in 2015?

Dawn makes history—Earlier this year, another space probe reached another dwarf planet, capturing detailed images and, this time, discovering a mystery. NASA’s Dawn space-probe entered into orbit around Ceres March 6, 2015, becoming “the first mission to achieve orbit around a dwarf planet.” Dawn’s photos revealed “a cluster of mysterious bright spots” on Ceres’ surface, which have intrigued scientists.

Ceres' spots

Father Giuseppe Piazzi would undoubtedly be pleased that his discovery has generated such interest more than two centuries after he identified it.

Works Cited

Barr, Stephen, and Dermott Mullan. “Planets, Priests and a
……..Persistent Myth.” Wall Street Journal, Eastern edition ed.
……..May 22 2015. ProQuest. Web. 15 July 2015. Gerald Dierkes

Check out these Villanova resources for additional information:

The Library’s Astronomy and Astrophysics subject page

Falvey resources on dwarf planets

The Villanova Astronomical Society

The Villanova Public Observatory


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Last Modified: July 23, 2015