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Falvey’s VuFind Project is Recipient of Mellon Award

Villanova University recently received the prestigious Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration for the Project VuFind software. The VuFind team, based at Falvey Memorial Library, proudly accepted the $50,000 award on December 8 in Washington, D.C., at the Coalition for Networked Information Task Force meeting.

The VuFind team includes Joe Lucia, University Librarian and Library Director, Andrew Nagy, former Library Technology Development Specialist, and Christopher Barr, Interface and Design Specialist. Mellon Awards are granted to not-for-profit developers of open source software advancing scholarship in the arts and humanities.

VuFind, which operates the Falvey catalog, is distinctive because it incorporates such Web 2.0 features as book jacket images, browsing recommendations for similar books, book reviews, tagging personal favorites, MLA and APA style citations, and transmitting records for books via text message. It was designed with tech savvy Villanovans in mind.

For more about the VuFind project, contact Joe Lucia at 610-519-4290 or via e-mail at joseph.lucia@villanova.edu

(Read a recent Library Journal article about VuFind.)

Linda Hauck also contributed to this article.

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Behind the Scenes: Managing the Piles of Books Returned!

Clare sorting books

What happens to borrowed books after you return them to the circulation desk or drop them off in the book drop after library hours? These books somehow appear back on the shelves, waiting for the next person to check them out again.

Not surprisingly, there is a very methodical process for the discharging of books and how they get back to their respective places on the book shelves. The process is known as stacks management.

“There has always existed a stacks management operation, responsible for shelving returned books, shifting the stacks when it was needed and shelf-checking for out-of-place volumes,” says Falvey Stacks Manager Domenick Liberato. (more…)

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“Jesus for President”: Authors Call for Creativity, Faith and Activism

  • Posted by: Kiran Qureshi
  • Posted Date: December 8, 2008
  • Filed Under: Events & Exhibits

They called the lecture “Jesus for President, Unplugged, Librarian Style,” and while authors Chris Haw and Shane Claiborne discussed their book Jesus for President, the Psalter Singers injected the lecture with refugee-inspired songs.

The lecture, an adaptation of their lecture presented on tour in 21 cities last summer, focused on imagination, creativity and alternative ideas in everyday life. Drawing from their book, Claiborne explained how “Jesus was teaching not just a way of believing, but a way of living.” The authors reiterated the need for human beings themselves to be the answer for what they want in the world, and urged people to live out their opinions everyday. (more…)

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Marriage, Sex and Theology: Professor Examines Role of Sexual Difference in Marriage

  • Posted by: Kiran Qureshi
  • Posted Date: December 4, 2008
  • Filed Under: Events & Exhibits

Are there theological reasons why the two main characters in a marriage are traditionally a man and a woman? What is the role of sexual difference in a marriage?

These were some of the questions raised by Christopher C. Roberts, Ph.D., during the Nov. 18 discussion of his book, Creation and Covenant: The Significance of Sexual Difference in the Moral Theology of Marriage. (more…)

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Christianity Before Christ: Simone Weil’s Interpretations of Greek Literature

  • Posted by: Kiran Qureshi
  • Posted Date: December 3, 2008
  • Filed Under: Events & Exhibits

In 1938, agnostic philosopher and political activist, Simone Weil experienced a mystical encounter with Christ. While the experience revealed the realm of the supernatural to her, it also offered her a new understanding on reality and on Greek literature in particular. Weil, a deep and intense thinker, now started seeing Greek classics as the embodiment of an authentic Christian spirit.

On Nov. 13, Marie Cabaud Meaney, D.Phil., offered an insight into these various Christian perspectives on Greek literature. Drawing from various publications that look at the work of Weil, Dr. Meaney presented Weil’s Christological readings of the Iliad and Sophocles’ “Antigone.”    (more…)

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So What Happened? Wrapping Up the Long Campaign

The final installment of the U.S. Presidential Election lecture series

Reflecting the intense interest in the Nov. 4 election, a full house packed the library first floor lounge on Nov. 20 as Matthew Kerbel, Ph.D., political science department, analyzed the results and exit polls of the presidential and congressional elections, followed by responses by the three preceding speakers of the series, Dr. Lara Brown, Dr. Catherine Wilson and Dr. David Barrett.

Regarding the presidential race, Dr. Kerbel stated that the opinion polls prior to the election were largely correct. Significant numbers of young and new voters did vote, and white voters did not say they supported Barack Obama but then switch to John McCain, negating the so-called Bradley effect.

Obama’s successful campaign came about through building a new coalition, expanding the Democratic base geographically and demographically. McCain’s supporters were a less diverse coalition of mainly older people and those clustered around the Appalachians. A major problem for the McCain campaign was that attempts to appeal to social conservatives, such as the selection of Governor Sarah Palin as a running mate, drove away independent voters. (more…)

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Last Modified: December 3, 2008