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Find editions of the Bible or biblical commentary: Some helpful tips

kingjamesDesigned with students in mind, a new Bible Research Guide has been added to the library web site. Although finding a copy of the Bible may seem like an easy task in a Catholic university library, it can be confusing. There are many places on the Internet where one can find the text of the Bible in English. There are even a few good web sites for finding a passage if you have the Bible reference with book, chapter and verse.

Here are some quick tips as you start looking for a Bible or Bible commentary. Your teacher may recommend a certain translation. Refer to the Bible Research Guide for a brief overview of different versions.

Looking for books that will help you uncover the significance or meaning of a biblical passage? This section of the research guide, Finding Books about the Bible, will lead you to commentaries in Falvey.

The word canon in relationship to sacred scriptures means the official or most accepted body of writings considered normative for any given religion. The Christian Bible has two principal parts: the Old Testament, part of which is the sacred scripture for Judaism, and the New Testament. Sometimes books or parts of the Bible are published in translation (since the original languages of the Bible are Hebrew and Greek), and very often a commentary is written for only a segment of the biblical canon. Be aware, there are also many extra-biblical religious writings which often read like scripture even though they are not canonical.

Let us know if you find this topic guide useful, or if you need more help.

By Darren Poley


Banned Books: Lord of the Rings, Babar & The Rights of Man

Many people stopped by the library desk in October to ask for information about the Falvey Banned Books display. Here are the books’ stories, accompanied by the names of the library staff members who selected these titles.

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

Selected by Bill Greene

William Greene

William Greene

In 2004, challenged but retained in the South Texas Independent School District in Mercedes, Texas. Parents objected to the adult themes, sexuality, drugs and suicide, found in the 1962 Hugo Award-winning novel being used in a summer science academy curriculum. (Source: Banned Book Week, Marshall University )

by Toni Morrison

Selected by Judy Olsen

Challenged at the St. Johns County Schools in St. Augustine, Fla. (1995). Retained on the Round Rock, Texas Independent High School reading list (1996) after a challenge that the book was too violent. Challenged by a member of the Madawaska, Maine School Committee (1997) because of the book’s language. Challenged in the Sarasota County, Fla. schools (1998) because of sexual material. (Source: 2007 Banned Books Resource Guide by Robert P. Doyle.)



Noteworthy: Sue Ottignon, Merrill Stein, Alice Bampton and Joanne Quinn

Librarians Susan Ottignon and Merrill Stein participated in the 38th annual conference of the Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies, “Asia Beyond Borders,” held at Villanova University Oct. 30 – Nov. 1.

Susan Ottignon, a research support librarian and a member of the languages and literatures library liaison team, was a co-presenter, with Masako Hamada, Ph.D., coordinator of  Japanese studies and a member of the Institute for Global Interdisciplinary Studies, on the panel, “Teaching Asia Beyond Asia,” chaired by Hank Glassman, Ph.D., of Haverford College. They presented “Instructional Uses of the Web for Academic Courses.”

Merrill Stein, librarian liaison to political science, chaired the session “Texts and Contexts.” Participants in this session came from the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University and the University of Hong Kong.

The Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies is “dedicated to improving understanding between Asia and America.” It is “a scholarly, non-political, non-profit professional association open to all persons interested in Asia” with more than 7,000 members in the international Association for Asian Studies.

Alice Bampton, visual resources librarian, recently attended The Image of War seminar sponsored by the Center for Civil War Photography. The seminar was held in Charleston (S.C.) and focused on Civil War photography there. In addition to illustrated lectures by noted Civil War historians such as Edwin C. Bearss, the group participated in walking tours of Civil War Charleston and Fort Sumter and had a group photograph taken with authentic 19th century equipment. Following the seminar, there was a private visit to the H. L. Hunley, a Confederate submarine recently recovered from the waters near Charleston and currently undergoing conservation.

The Center for Civil War Photography is a non-profit organization founded to “educate the public about Civil War photography, its role in the conflict, and its rich variety of forms; to digitally secure original images and preserve vintage prints; to enhance the accessibility of photographs to the public; and to present interpretative programs that use stereoscopic and standard images to their fullest potential.” The CCWP has held its Image of War seminars annually since 2001.

Joanne Quinn, designer of cultural displays and special projects for Falvey’s Programming and Outreach team, attended the Event Design Summit in Los Angeles in September. For those who conceive and design events and exhibits, this annual event provides information and inspiration needed to renew their creative strategies and to turn their ideas into reality. Over thirty world-class designers, professors, authors and artists shared their expertise and presented material on the latest trends and processes. This year’s event focused on the precarious economy and how designers must learn to do more with fewer resources.

The take away, Joanne said, was that “perceived limitations can actually be the mother of invention and the key to a creative break through.”

By Alice Bampton and Joanne Quinn


Feedback Friday: Are games needed at the library?

chess_piece_-_white_queen1A professor recently asked the library to place her chess set on reserve so that she and her students could use it while in the library. After processing her request, we pondered the need for more board games at the library. We’ve decided to ask you, our patrons. Taking a break from studying or computing to play a board game may help the brain function better and can relieve stress. Studies have been conducted. Articles have been written.

What do you think? Tell us in the Comments!


“Window Shopping”: Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Features Stark Display

Unlike Falvey’s typically colorful first floor window displays, this month’s display has a somber tone, appropriate to its subject matter, Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (HHAW). The display was designed and mounted by Victoria Stork and Alyson Malick, two Villanova seniors, who spent very little money, using recycled materials whenever possible.

HHAW was founded in 1975 by the late Rev. Ray Jackson, O.S.A., and some committed Villanova students. Now more than 500 campuses and communities participate in the event: Its purpose is to “raise awareness in the Villanova community about hunger and homelessness within the United States and around the world” … [t]hrough education, service, and advocacy…  . Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is motivated by the belief in the inherent dignity of all people and our responsibility to uphold the common good of society.”

At the top center of Falvey’s display is a large banner, “Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week,” designed by Joanne Quinn, a member of the Programming and Outreach team. In this case, the banner as well as the two panels to its left and right, one telling about Father Jackson and the other explaining “Our Mission,” were created for last year’s exhibit and reused again this year. (more…)


Introducing Our Student Workers: Jeffrey Eisenberg and Clare Oven

Falvey Memorial Library employs dedicated and hardworking students to provide assistance and direction to its patrons. Among these students are seniors Jeffrey Eisenberg and Clare Oven who assist the Access Services staff by helping patrons, by checking in/out books, videos and laptop computers and by assigning study rooms. Both students also shelve books: Clare on a regular basis and Jeffrey during high-volume times.

Jeffrey Eisenberg is a New Jersey native majoring in communication with a business minor and an honorsjeffrey-eisenberg2-ndt concentration. He has worked at Falvey since September 2006.  Jeffrey says he enjoys being at a job where he can interact with students, faculty and staff rather than sitting in a quiet office on campus. He also appreciates the opportunity to study during quiet times.

According to Jeffrey, he enjoys working with “a great staff” and with other students at the circulation desk. Even though it gets hectic during midterms and finals, Jeffrey still loves his job. “The library is a comfortable and friendly place to work with a very helpful staff,” Jeffrey notes.  About the library staff members, Jeffrey says he considers “them friends more than employers.”

Jeffrey is president of Thundercats, a student-led organization that provides cheap-to-free activities for Villanova students on Friday and Saturday nights. He is also a tour guide with the Blue Key Society and a retreat leader for Campus Ministry. He was in two shows with the Villanova Student Theatre and went on a Habitat for Humanity service trip in 2008.

Clare Oven is a mechanical engineering major from San Diego. She has worked at Falvey since her freshman year,clare-oven6-ndt1 2006. Clare has always had a passion for reading, and naturally wanted to work in the library. Clare says, “Working at Falvey has been a convenient campus job. It is an easy place to get to, and I have been able to set a good work schedule for myself.” She also adds that everyone who works in the library is very friendly, nice and helpful, which fosters a great working environment.

Clare enjoys being able to help students get started navigating through all the different ways of information acquisition at Falvey. Her duties also include shelving books where she takes pleasure in spending time in a quiet atmosphere and seeing all the different types of books available. Overall, Clare has enjoyed her experience at Falvey and is truly going to miss working here when she graduates.

Clare is a member of Villanovans for Life and serves on the Engineering Student Council.

Reflecting Falvey’s mission of service to the University, this work experience equips students with practical knowledge in patron service and circulation duties, and the students who work at Falvey find this to be true.

By Akua K. Adoo, Publications & Communication intern; photographs by Natalie Tomasco


Celebrating Native American Heritage

Paul C. Rosier, Ph.D., an associate professor in history, will discuss his book, Serving Their Country: American Indian Politics and Patriotism in the Twentieth Century, to commemorate Native American Heritage Month on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 4:30 p.m. in Falvey Memorial Library’s first floor lounge.

Native American Heritage Month celebrates both the distinctive elements of Native culture and the contributions that Native people have made in shaping America. This event will feature Frank L. Henninger, director of the Villanova University Shop, playing a Native American flute.

Dr. Rosier’s talk will focus on the ways in which Native activists and politicians used the material legacy of 19th century conquest in the American West, the hundreds of  international treaties the U.S. government signed with Indian nations, to further the moral reputation of America as it assumed a prominent role in shaping world affairs in the 20th century.

He also considers how the frontier narrative of the 19th century continues to define 21st century events, such as the U.S.–Iraq war. (more…)


Better by the Numbers – What Statistics Say About Our Service

bythenumbers-small3Are you interested in what numbers can tell us? Here at the library we use statistics to help us make decisions about what our patrons want to read or what services they find most useful. For instance, after installing a Self-Check-Out station near the first floor elevator, we saw that about 10% of our total circulation had taken place at that station.

Many of our users prefer online databases and electronic journals, which explains why we have about 275 databases and over 11,000 e-journals available for remote access by Villanova students, staff and faculty. Many of these items are not available to the general public, even through Google Scholar or other powerful search engines and commercial databases. These services are provided free of charge to Villanova students, staff and faculty. If any given article from a commercial provider were to cost $10 each (a conservative estimate) and 7700 patrons requested those articles (we received over 7700 Interlibrary Loan requests for articles this year), those articles would have cost library patrons $77,000.00.

Our public printers were used to print almost 2 million pages over the course of one year, more than any other public printing location on campus. Fortunately, students have print allotments that defray the cost of printing.

Not only do we count the number of times resources are used in Falvey Library, we listen to your feedback about them. If you have information that could help us improve the library, tell us in the Comments section below.

By Luisa Cywinski and Gerald Dierkes


“The Weight is Over,” a New Documentary by Leonard Shyles, Ph.D.

lenshylesDr. Shyles, an associate professor in the communication department,  shared his ideas on the impact of the American diet on individual health and on the soaring cost of health care. A presentation of the documentary and discussion took place on Tuesday, Nov. 10 in Falvey Memorial Library’s first floor lounge.

His latest video, “The Weight is Over,” presents the personal story of Debra Weinstein, a 35-year veteran health professional, who discovered the advantages of a pre-agricultural diet on her health. The video also illustrates the power of television to educate citizens about how they may improve their quality of life by offering a solution to a severe and widespread life-threatening problem.

“The Weight is Over” introduces the idea that controlling our general health through proper diet will reduce the financial pressure on our health care system. Dr. Shyles proposes that the money saved on health problems caused by a poor diet, such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes, can then be used for medical research on other chronic diseases.

It is hoped that this program will spark conversation and deepen perspectives about the current national health care debate, the bills before Congress, the soaring costs of health care insurance and the economic implications of passing proposed legislation for reform.

Dr Shyles, author of the books The Art of Video Production and Deciphering Cyberspace, has taught at Villanova University for 20 years. He teaches Media and Technology and Theories of Mass Communications, as well as being an advisor for the Senior Project capstone course.

By Akua K. Adoo, Publications & Communication intern


General Biology: Some Research Tips

frog-blogStruggling with a research project in Biology?

The General Biology Research Guide contains links to a huge variety of biology-related databases as well as online reference books and other materials.

The Guide now also contains video tutorials for PubMed and Biological Abstracts.

There are also many other Research Guides in Biology including Human Anatomy and Graduate Biology pages.

See them all at the Course and Topic Guides page, which contains course guides covering a range of subject areas.

For more help in Biology contact the Biology librarian Robin Bowles or 610-519-8129. You can also use this form to make a personal research appointment with Robin.

For Biology updates, please refer to the SweetPea blog.

For help at any time, on any subject, contact the information desk (610.519.4270) or  ask a research librarian.

By Robin Bowles


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Last Modified: November 8, 2009