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Nova Fèis – Celebrate Irish Studies

By Alice Bampton

Irish Studies at Villanova and the upcoming “Nova Fèis” is now featured in a display as you enter the library. A fèis is a Gaelic festival, especially an Irish dance competition.

This display, designed and mounted by Joanne Quinn, library design specialist, provides both a feast for the eyes (dance costume, photographs, traditional Celtic interlace designs, musical instruments), QR codes so that viewers can sample Irish music, and full information about the University’s Irish Studies program, one of the University’s first interdisciplinary offerings.

The display is mounted in connection with the  Nova Fèis event on Thursday, Mar. 22, at 4:00 p.m.  in Speakers’ Corner. The event will feature music by the Philadelphia Ceili Group, dancing by the Villanova Irish Step Dancers and poetry readings and songs by Villanova University faculty.

The most eye-catching object in the window is a bright orange and blue Irish dance costume belonging to Meghan Connolly, a University student, who wore it in Irish dance competitions. See the placard, “The Lowdown on Irish Dancing Competitions by Meghan Connolly.” Several of her trophies are also on exhibit.

Irish musical instruments – a fiddle, a bodhrán (a type of drum) and a wooden flute – are only a part of the musical aspects of the exhibit. If you have a smart phone, the presentation’s QR codes will connect you to songs that represent the range of Irish music.

Stephen Spatz, assistant outreach librarian, researched and scanned the music from the Digital Library’s collection of the Philadelphia Ceili Group. A placard in the lower left window provides information about this group and its connection with the Digital Library.

There is full information about the Irish Studies program including an overview; a course list; facts about the Charles A. Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies; the partnership with the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, Ireland; and the Semester in Ireland and Summer in Ireland programs, which include snapshots taken by their participants.

Joseph Lennon, PhD, serves as director of Irish Studies.


Video Contest: Spaces & Places

In honor of National Library Week, Falvey is running a video contest! 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.


Alert: “Find It” link for full-text articles not working on Saturday evening, 3/24

Due to software maintenance, our link resolver software may be unavailable between 8 and 9 P.M. this Saturday.

This means that you may be unable to access full-text articles through the findit  button  in library databases until the maintenance is complete.

We apologize for any inconvenience. If you encounter problems after the maintenance period ends, please contact library staff at circ@villanova.edu. We will respond as quickly as possible.

Demian Katz




“The Voice of the Student Body”: We Celebrate over 100 Years of The Villanovan, Now Available Online

by David Burke

1944 issue of the Villanovan

Falvey Memorial Library recently completed a major digitization project to make available online all 1,713 issues of the campus newspaper, The Villanovan, published between 1893 and 1995. On Feb. 23, the Library hosted a program to celebrate this accomplishment. The celebration was dedicated to the memory of longtime Villanovan faculty adviser, June Lytel-Murphy.

The program began with introductory remarks by University Librarian Joseph Lucia and University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA., PhD, ’75 A&S, who characterized the project as a history of “the voice of the student body.” Special Collections and Digital Library Coordinator Michael Foight, Library Technology Development Specialist Demian Katz and Research Support Librarian Susan Ottignon each addressed various aspects of the project.

Prior to 2011, The Villanovan was available only through bound volumes of issues or microfilm—neither providing an especially pleasurable experience for casual perusal. The scanning was performed by Internet Archive, a non-profit foundation creating an online library of all sorts of public domain documents. However, the returned files had some technical problems requiring some attention from staff here, especially regarding the OCR (optical character recognition—an important prerequisite for full text searching). Ottignon also provided subject access for each issue, adding that the project gave a great opportunity to see the social side of the University.

Kendra Davis

Next to speak was Kendra Davis, a current co-editor in chief of the newspaper, who remarked she had already used the digitized Villanovan in two class assignments. She described the current process for assembling the paper, from the initial meeting to determine the size of each section for a particular issue to the three rounds of editing an issue undergoes before it is sent to the printer. (more…)


Women’s History Month lecture and library resources

Dr. Tracey Hucks

Africana Studies and Falvey Memorial Library invite you to celebrate Women’s History Month with a lecture by Tracey Hucks, PhD, associate professor of Religious Studies at Haverford College. Dr. Hucks will speak on her new forthcoming book, Poaching the African God: Yoruba Traditions and African-American Religious Nationalism, on Thursday, Mar. 15, at 4:30 p.m. in Speakers’ Corner.

Dr. Hucks will discuss women and religion in the African Diaspora. She has previously published an article on the topic, entitled “’I smoothed the way, I opened doors’: Women in the Yoruba-Orisha Tradition of Trinidad,” in Women and Religion in the African Diaspora: Knowledge, Power, and Performance (Johns Hopkins, 2006).

Other resources:

For more Women’s History Month resources, try the library catalog’s “Search by Subject” feature.  Subjects of interest could include “women and religion,” “women in Christianity,” or even simply “women and history.”


Here are some recent books and suggestions for further reading to help commemorate Women’s History Month:


The Learning Commons: A Space Dedicated to Research, Learning, Mathematics and Writing

By Luisa Cywinski

The Learning Commons in Falvey was officially dedicated on Feb. 17 when library and University planners, architects, designers, faculty, staff, students and visitors gathered to celebrate the new home of the Falvey Research Center, Learning Support Services (LSS), the Math Learning Resource Center (MLRC), and the  Writing Center.

Upon his arrival, University President, the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 A&S, toured the Learning Commons, greeting each center’s director and asking about the new student lounge space, event rooms and special collections. Distinguished guests, including academic deans and administrators, were invited to the event. There were also lively reunions between current and former library staff, some of whom had retired or moved away.

Joe Lucia, University Librarian

University Librarian Joe Lucia opened the ceremony by expressing his pleasure at welcoming guests to celebrate the “realization of our dream.” The Rev. Dennis Gallagher, OSA, PhD, offered a blessing and prayer for our “academic community and all who will use this transformed space.” The Rev. Kail Ellis, OSA, PhD, complimented the aesthetics and remarked on the ease of access to offices in the commons.

Recounting the long process of inspiration that led to the learning commons project, Father Donohue remembered his first visits to the original locations of the Writing Center, the MLRC and the LSS, and described them as being in “places where no one else would want to go.” (more…)


Brian McDonald Holds Digital Library Internship

Brian McDonald, currently enrolled in the “FastTrack” Master of Library and Information Science program at the University of Pittsburgh, is the Digital Library intern for the spring semester.

He is enrolled in the Archives, Preservation and Records Management (APRM)  specialization. Brian holds a doctorate in English literature from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He has a master’s degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. Brian earned his honors bachelor’s degree from the University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Brian’s hobbies are reading and running (but not at the same time). He is a native of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Blog & photograph by Alice Bampton


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Last Modified: March 5, 2012