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Update: Database Access Problems Resolved

Off campus users should now be able to log in to our databases. Again, we apologize for the inconvenience this caused our users. Your patience was greatly appreciated.


Video Contest 2012: Spaces & Places


Today is the day! In honor of National Library Week, Falvey is running a video contest! And today, April 1st is the deadline! Submit a short video highlighting your favorite physical or virtual space in Falvey Memorial Library and why it is your favorite place. Do you see the library as a temple? A gaming location? Is it the first place you run to when looking for online resources? Or do you just love that new “Speakers’ Corner” on the first floor?

The winning video will be featured on our website. The submitter(s) of the overall best video will win fabulous prizes!

For the full set of guidelines, go to the Falvey Memorial Library Video Contest web page.


Confessions of a Self-Check-Out Addict

Self Check

By Laura Hutelmyer

Intrigued by an article that appeared in the October 2008 Rolling Stone Magazine by David Lipsky about the life of the novelist David Foster Wallace, I decided to check out one of Wallace’s books. I was looking forward to having some extra reading time over the long Thanksgiving weekend, and Lipsky’s description of Wallace’s life, works and early death were enticing.

I was late leaving work that Tuesday night but made a quick trip to Falvey’s fourth floor to retrieve Wallace’s The Broom of the System (PS3573 .A425635 B7) and, on a whim, Girl with Curious Hair (PS3573 .A425635 G5).  I was especially interested in reading The Broom of the System (named after a saying from Wallace’s grandmother about the benefits of eating an apple) because Wallace had written it in 1984 to fulfill a thesis requirement for graduation from Amherst College, and it was good enough to be published as a novel in 1987. I also knew Wallace had written this following a period of depression that had caused him to withdraw from school to be institutionalized for a while.

I took the books to the first floor circulation counter, hoping not to have to wait since I was already late for a scheduled appointment. There were seven people ahead of me, doing things like checking out laptops, requesting study rooms, asking for help with microfilm and even checking out books needed to complete assignments over the long holiday weekend. I almost put my books on the counter, prepared to leave empty handed, when I spotted the Self-Check machine. Wildcard in hand, I proceeded to the machine to see if I could save some time. (more…)


Lent and the Wisdom of Pope John Paul II

Falvey Memorial Library is pleased to announce this year’s Pope John Paul II Legacy Lecture. Join us on Monday, April 2 at 1:00 pm in Falvey Room 204 as John Kruse, PhD, presents a talk entitled “John Paul II: Companion on Our Lenten Journey.”

“The lecture,” Dr. Kruse explains, “will look to the inspiring writings of Pope John Paul II to lead to deeper reflection on life and faith this Lenten season.”

Dr. Kruse is an assistant professor in the Theological Studies Department at Neumann University. His lecture, which will be taking place during Holy Week, will focus on his book, Lent and Easter Wisdom from Pope John Paul II. The book features the late Pope’s thought-provoking words, leading readers through a journey of conversion throughout the season.

This event is free and open to the public. Copies of Dr. Kruse’s book will be available for sale.

About the Pope John Paul II Legacy Lecture:

Karol Wojtyla served as the supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church from October of 1978 until his death in April of 2005. After his death, Villanova University’s Office for Mission and Ministry held a panel discussion on the legacy of Pope John Paul II’s papacy. In subsequent years Falvey Memorial Library has invited a speaker to campus each spring to discuss some aspect of the impact of the second-longest documented pontificate. The event, held in the Library at the heart of Villanova University’s campus, is called the Pope John Paul II Legacy Lecture.


Irish Music Collection Now Part of the Digital Library

“The Villanova Digital Library’s partnership with the Philadelphia Ceili Group is a fantastic boon for Irish Studies scholars and Irish music enthusiasts alike. Piloting the inclusion of audio collections in the Digital Library with these unique resources makes perfect sense for a special collections department already so rich in Irish Studies materials. Falvey and the Irish Studies Program on campus celebrated this milestone together on March 22 in the library Speakers’ Corner with a festive commemoration ceremony featuring live music and dancing, poetry and song, lectures, refreshments and general gaiety.” The Digital Library’s Blue Electrode blog explains this new connection.


Library staff promote homegrown technology at PLA 2012

Laura Bang, Digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant, and Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator, (pictured) organized Villanova University’s recent table presence at the Public Library Association (PLA) 2012 Conference held in Philadelphia, Pa. The biennial PLA Conference is the largest conference devoted to public library professionals in the United States.

The University’s table in the exhibitor’s hall promoted two open-source software projects developed at Falvey Memorial Library: VuFind, a library resource portal, and VuDL, a digital library content management system. Bang and Foight were joined by Diane Biunno, David Burke, Alexandra Edwards, Chris Hallberg, Demian Katz, David Lacy, Brian McDonald, and David Uspal. The team shared information on VuFind and VuDL, including our recent partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia, with the more than 8,700 conference attendees.

Photo by Chris Hallberg


Life Stories: Biographical Research Made Easy

Need Help?  Research Consultation Librarian Jutta Seibert is here to answer your questions.


Where can I find reputable information about the life of Richard Allen, the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and famous Philadelphian?


The Library’s biographies topic guide is a good starting point. It lists biographical dictionaries available here at Falvey, online and in print. Read the resource descriptions carefully in order to identify the dictionaries which cover U.S. subjects from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Richard Allen, shown in a lithograph by Peter S. Duval c.1840

Both the American National Biography Online (ANBO) and the African American Studies Center (AASC) are good choices for biographical information on Allen. The excellent bibliographies of ANBO biographies cite secondary and primary sources and list relevant archives with unpublished primary source materials. ANBO has nearly six times as many total biographies as AASC, but,  regarding African American biographies, AASC is the more comprehensive resource. AASC includes the African American National Biography.

Allen is covered in both resources because of his historical importance. AASC  also includes more topical entries, such as the essay on the African Methodist Episcopal Church, than ANBO, and only AASC includes primary sources, such as the full text of two of Allen’s sermons.


How can I find book-length biographies of Richard Allen?


Both ANBO and AASC have bibliographies which cite book-length biographies. The library catalog is another good source for monographic biographies: Start with a simple keyword search, but remember that both “Richard” and “Allen” are fairly common names. Try Richard Allen Methodist. Notice that all the results are right on target.

Use the subject link in one of the relevant results to further narrow your search results if you retrieve too many irrelevant titles. The subject link for Allen is  Allen, Richard, 1760-1931.

Use WorldCat, a union catalog of libraries worldwide, to find biographies which are not available here at Villanova and request them via interlibrary loan.


How do I find books, letters or sermons written by Richard Allen?


Both ANBO and AASC biographies cite selected primary sources. The same is true for the monographic biographies available in the library’s collections. Use the author search option in the library catalog and click on the author link with Allen’s birth and death dates.

Most of Allen’s works are available in Falvey’s digital collections. The Christian Recorder, a publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, is part of the African American Newspapers collection. The Recorder includes a number of articles contributed by Allen.

Contact me if you would like to find more of Allen’s works.


Are there any other materials on Allen which I should consider?


Yes, there is much more to discover. The library catalog lists fifty-six works about the African Methodist Episcopal Church. All of these books discuss Allen’s life to a certain degree even though Allen’s name is not part of the book’s catalog record. Remember, a catalog search is not a full text search.

Use the Google Preview links in the catalog to determine the amount of content dedicated to Allen or to link to available online editions of books.

Use America: History & Life (AHL) to locate journal articles about Allen. AHL indexes scholarly journals such as Pennsylvania History and Methodist History.

(Richard Allen lithograph from the Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895: From the Colonial Period to the Age of Frederick Douglass, republished in the African American Studies Center Online.)



Sarah Gross, Student Employee, Receives Accolades

By Alice Bampton

Sarah Gross is Falvey Memorial Library’s student employee of the month for February 2012.

Sarah, a junior nursing major from Rockville, Md., is executive vice president of the campus Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP-Villanova). As part of her activities with SNAP, Sarah chaired the on-campus Dream for Eileen event. The Dream for Eileen 5k Run/Walk commemorates nursing student, Eileen Shea Lupton ’03 CON, who died before she could begin her first job after graduation. Dream for Eileen raises money for nursing student scholarships.


Phylis Wright, manager of access desk services and Sarah’s supervisor, says, “As a nursing major, Sarah’s time is precious. Her time management skills are amazing. Last month alone she covered ten additional shifts for others. No small feat considering mid-terms and the intensity of the nursing program. Sarah Gross is a sweet addition to the Access staff.”

Sarah also worked with the Andy Tally Bone Marrow Donor Drive, and coordinates SNAP-Villanova’s vision screenings at the McDaniel Elementary School in Philadelphia.

In addition to her SNAP-Villanova activities, Sarah plays the bassoon in the Villanova University Orchestra.

Last summer Sarah worked on an oncology floor at Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C., and this summer she will work there on a pediatric transplant floor.

Sarah says, “I love working at Falvey Library because I love helping people. I learn something new every day!”

(Photo by Alice Bampton)



Matthew Ainslie – Research Center Intern

by Alice Bampton

Matthew (Matt) Ainslie recently joined Falvey in a newly created position, Research Center intern. He reports to Jutta Seibert, coordinator for Academic Integration.

Seibert says, “Matt will work with the Academic Integration and Information & Research Assistance teams during his time here at Falvey. He will work on a variety of projects, which will give him valuable experience in research support, instructional design and collection development.”

Matt will provide additional coverage in these areas until Kristyna Carroll, coordinator of the Communication, Education, Psychology and Sociology liaison team returns at the end of the summer.

Matt grew up in nearby Swarthmore and currently lives in Philadelphia. He is enrolled in Drexel University’s Master of Library and Information Science program, which he will complete this year. Matt has a bachelor’s degree in archaeology from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

He completed an internship at the Marple Campus library, Delaware County Community College, and was an assistant librarian at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He is interested in history, antiques and reading.

Photograph by Alice Bampton


How beautiful is your data set? Incorporating graphs, maps and charts

Do you miss the days when the most important part of your book report was the cover? As a child you instinctively knew that beautifully designed illustrations enhance the audience’s appreciation. But college-level papers and reports generally do not include graphic covers. You can, however, still remain devoted to beautiful visualizations that strengthen your readers’ understanding by incorporating well designed graphs, maps and charts into your work.

Read Linda Hauck’s business blog on the power of data visualization.



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Last Modified: March 19, 2012