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Friday Film Review: The Town

by Raamaan McBride

Ben Affleck directed and starred in this film, which I expected would result in a bad film. Not since the days of Dogma has Affleck been in anything relevant and we’ve had to muddle through the likes of Pearl Harbor, Daredevil and Gigli. The Town opens with a tag line of “one blue-collar Boston neighborhood has produced more bank robbers and armored car thieves than anywhere in the world.” It then cuts to a high pace action scene and never really let’s you down from there.

Filmed in Affleck’s home town, the cinematography makes Boston seem like a character in the film. Affleck plays a dropout NHL player with anger issues who turns smart aleck bank robber. He and his gang take a hostage from the bank (Rebecca Hall) whom Affleck later falls for. Their relationship is the main arc of this film; Affleck trying to dodge the police and get out of the “game” while Hall tries to cope with the stress of being kidnapped.

The film really shines most through the supporting cast. Jeremy Renner is great in his crazy but loyal gangster friend to Affleck.  Blake Lively, Affleck’s sister in the film, also gives a top notch performance. The emotional scenes are genuine and have more than enough weight to carry you through the amazing action sequences. The film could have done without the cheesy ending but overall the film falls into a definite “must see” category.

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Friday Film Review: Frontrunners

by Raamaan McBride

What happens when you get the richest, smartest kids in the country to run for their high school’s student union? Directed by Caroline Suh, Frontrunners follows the students of Stuyvesant High School in New York where only the top 3% of students get in and where the measuring stick isn’t if you go to college but what Ivy League school you attend. The film follows four candidates that are vying for the coveted Stuyvesant Student Union President (who controls a $40,000 budget).

It’s actually more engaging than it sounds mainly because of the affluent nature of the high school (televised debates!) and the pompous personalities. The film does raise some interesting questions about society and education. Is this event educational or does it further perpetuate our problems with the political system by breeding this type of behavior? (In the film there are political teams, newspaper endorsements and a primary.)

I found myself asking “does this even belong in a high school?” Even with all of the contention the film overall feels flat. You may find yourself asking “why do I even care?” The film fails to really connect with its audience, which is unfortunate because we have all gone through this in our school days. Ultimately this film is worth a look if you have nothing else to watch or you’re interested in education.

 

 

Film poster courtesy of Google Images

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Raamaan McBride Joins Access Services and Information Teams

Raamaan McBride, a new member of the Access Services team who is also staffing the Information Desk, graduated in 2010 from Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Management with a bachelor’s degree in marketing.

While a student, he worked in the Samuel L. Paley Library for three years, first in Media Services and then in Access Services as the laptop loan coordinator.

Luisa Cywinski, Access Services team leader, said, “As a Temple graduate and former Paley Library employee, Raamaan brings a strong base of public technology experience to Villanova.”

Raamaan is originally from Bridgeport, Conn., and has lived in Philadelphia since 2006.

His hobbies include watching sports, going to the latest movies, cooking and visiting new restaurants and bars in the city. He is open to suggestions for new places to visit. He said, “I’m a huge UCONN and Yankees fan, so I would love to talk sports with anyone.”

Raamaan plans on pursuing a master’s degree in business or communication.

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Catholic Research Resources Alliance Conference at Falvey Memorial Library

by Darren Poley

On March 29, 2011, members of the Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA), library directors, university librarians, archivists and technologists from across the United States and Canada met in Falvey Memorial Library to hear about several major developments and contributions Villanova University is making to the landscape on which the Catholic Portal of the CRRA has established itself.

Bente Polites talks with Noel McFerran from St. Michael's College Library, University of Toronto

Beginning with a blessing by University Archivist, the Rev. Dennis Gallagher, O.S.A., Ph.D and following welcoming remarks by University Librarian Joseph P. Lucia, M.A., M.L.S., which set the stage, attendees were offered a series of brief talks by Falvey professionals from the special collections and digital library team, which includes members of the Library’s technology development team and scholarly outreach team. The impetus for this session was a one day conference on the intersection of scholarship and technology at Villanova University’s library, VuStuff I, offered in the fall to academic librarians from the Philadelphia region interested in scholarly communication and digital initiatives.

Mr. Lucia answered his own question of  “why are librarians building technology?” with a clarion call to promote an open source, resource sharing approach that favors technical-skill development, which is in keeping with the tradition of the academic library as a resource for aiding scholars in accomplishing and sharing their work. According to Lucia, openness—whether it comes to book stacks, data, or engineering information-sharing solutions—is something for which the academic library community ought to have a missionary zeal.

(more…)

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Jesse Flavin Joins Interlibrary Loan Services

Jesse Flavin recently joined Falvey’s Access Services team as an interlibrary loan technician.

Originally from Glenelg, Md., Jesse graduated from West Chester University with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. He then moved to Athens, Ga., where he worked in the interlibrary loan department at the University of Georgia Libraries. Jesse hopes to obtain a master of library and information science degree in the near future.

His interests include a wide variety of music, film and food (both cooking and sampling new cuisine). One of his favorite dining spots is the Helmand, an Afghani restaurant in Baltimore, Md. Jesse began playing guitar at age eight and has played in many bands over the years – “some loud, some quiet.”

Jesse currently lives in Wynnewood with his wife and their two-year-old daughter and is looking forward to reconnecting with the Pennsylvania area.

Luisa Cywinski, Access Services team leader, commented that “Jesse comes to us with thirteen years of interlibrary loan experience that will lend itself to our operations.”

Article and photograph by Alice Bampton

 

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Poetry Enthusiasts Gather for Open Mic Event

( l. to r.) Jackie Coleman, Christina Hansen, Kathleen Pierce

Hidden talents were revealed at the English department and Falvey Memorial Library’s sixth annual Open Mic Poetry Reading. Lisa Sewell, Ph.D., an associate professor of English, served as this year’s master of ceremonies and welcomed students, faculty, staff and special guests to the event, held on Wednesday, April 27, in the library first floor lounge.

Dr. Sewell introduced Christina Hansen, editor in chief of Arthologyone of Villanova University’s student literary-art magazines.  The magazine’s release party coincided with the Open Mic event, and copies of the magazine were available to all present. Arthology contributors read their work, beginning with Christina and her poem, “Earshot.”

Kevin Speirs, 2011 Senior Class Poet Honorable Mention, contributed “Homes,” which has appeared on a poster displayed on Falvey’s first floor. Seniors seeking to become Senior Class Poet have one of their poems made into a poster. To celebrate National Poetry Month, fourteen Senior Class Poet contestants had their poems on display in the Library during April.

Brittany Walker

Brittany Walker stepped up to the microphone next and offered “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” Mike Mo shared “Another Drive.” And Alexandra Edwards read “Because a Girl Is Not a Tree,” which has been published in Arthology.

Moya Cannon, an Irish poet who holds the Irish studies program’s Heimbold Chair for the spring 2011 semester, presented “Hands.” Derek Santos, class of 2011 Senior Class Poet, came forward to read “The Rotten Core.” Then the Director of Irish Studies, Joseph Lennon, Ph.D., delivered “Santa Maria del Boschetto.”

Emily Brady, 2011 Senior Class Poet Runner Up, contributed “Chi Sarà” and “Sestina.” Alexander Lundy, Senior Class Poet contestant, offered “An Inconvenient Haiku,” “Letter to a Young Hipster,” “Fortis Fortuna Juvat,” and “The Gamble.” Ron Ballouz, Senior Class Poet contestant and Falvey Scholar (Astronomy and Astrophysics), read “F___ Camus.”

Catherine Staples delivered “Dwelling.” Derek Stump presented “That’s the Thing about Adolph.” Jackie Coleman,Senior Class Poet contestant and Arthology assistant editor, read “A History of Want, or (Paperweights).” And Bareeq Albarqawi contributed “Burn.”

Special thanks go to Regina McFadden and the staff of the Library’s Programming & Outreach team for providing the chairs, tables for refreshments and for Arthology, and the microphone.

Contributed by Gerald Dierkes; photographs by Laura Hutelmyer

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Congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2011!

As we watch the newly graduated students go forth into the world, the Falvey Staff wishes to convey heartfelt congratulations to all who toiled over term papers, crammed for exams, and otherwise succeeded in navigating the many challenges of a college career. We enjoyed helping you and supporting you as you balanced your scholarly endeavors with part-time jobs, participated in campus events & activities and connected with classmates and professors. The library spaces, staff, catalog, databases, and books were at your disposal along the way and we invite you to continue using the library. Apply for an alumni courtesy card free of charge and stay connected to Falvey after you graduate.

Do you have words of wisdom, advice, or greetings you’d like to share with everyone? Leave a comment for the class!

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Band of Librarians Make Merry at National Conference

by Stephen Spatz

We all know that librarians are resourceful, intelligent and helpful, but on Thursday, March 31, the second night of the biennial Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Conference in Philadelphia, a group of librarians billing themselves as “Marc Fields and Bad Data” demonstrated that they can also be musical and even theatrical—in short, that it is indeed the case that “librarians rock!”

In the course of three 45 minute sets, Marc Fields and Bad Data led a packed ballroom of colleagues and friends on a musical journey through styles ranging from folk and bluegrass to sixties rock and electric jazz, on a diverse collection of instruments including—in addition to the drums, bass, guitars, and keyboard of a typical rock band lineup—viola, harmonica, tenor sax, banjos and concertina.

Of particular interest were a handful of library-themed original songs, composed by band members especially for the event. These songs, covering topics of interest in the library world such as the demise of MARC cataloging, printer malfunction, and the authoring of open-source library applications, were crowd favorites and exemplified the tone of camaraderie and revelry in librarianship felt overall at the ACRL Conference.

The group formed in response to a call for librarian musicians by Falvey Memorial Library Director Joe Lucia. Lucia’s concept was a unique pairing of music and librarianship with few precedents in the history of the American Library Association, and certainly none as elaborate or successful, thanks to Lucia’s vision as well as to the generous sponsorship of the event by library membership organization Lyrasis. (more…)

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Welcome to Rebecca Whidden

Rebecca (Becky) Whidden joined Falvey’s Access Services in April. She works as supervisor on duty, with course reserves and at the information desk.

With a bachelor’s degree in English from Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., and a master’s degree in elementary education from Lesley University, Cambridge, Mass., Becky worked in the book industry for nearly twenty years. Before coming to Falvey, she worked in the technical services department of the Radnor Memorial Library in Wayne, Pa.

Phylis Wright, Manager of Access Desk Services, said, “Becky Whidden comes to us from Radnor Memorial Library where she worked part-time processing serials and assisting in circulation when needed. Her public library experience gives her an added dimension that will contribute to our library as we strive to enhance our own services here in Falvey.”

Her first passion is children’s literature, having worked for a decade in a children’s only bookstore outside of Boston. Even now she continues to write book reviews for the children’s literature review publication, The Horn Book Guide.

True life adventure tales, realistic fiction and anything written by Daniel Pinkwater are her favorite genres of literature. But, although she loves to read (and read and read), Becky grew up in Maine and subsequently enjoys the outdoors as well, swimming at the beach or hiking in the woods. Lately, she has developed an interest in yoga and in running, occasionally participating in races.

Becky resides with her family in Wayne, but has lived in Boston, Mass.; Providence, R.I.; and Colombia, Mo. She has also enjoyed summers in Maine and France. Travel is another favorite activity, and Becky hopes to make it to India, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan one day.

Photograph: Alice Bampton

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Update on the Temperature in Falvey

  • Posted by: Judith Olsen
  • Posted Date: May 4, 2011
  • Filed Under: General News

Regarding the cool temperatures in Falvey:

The library administrative office has contacted Facilities about this. Unfortunately, because there is a systemic flaw in the current heating, ventilation and cooling infrastructure in the building, the temperature will not be adjusted at this time.

We appreciate your comments and concerns. The plans for the library building renovation include an update of these systems.

 

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Last Modified: May 4, 2011