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How Scholarly Outreach Engages the Community: Darren Poley on Falvey’s Initiatives

Outreach by academic libraries can take on nearly as many meanings as there are libraries. Outreach Librarian Darren G. Poley addressed the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Association of Colleges and Research Libraries (ACRL-DVC) spring meeting at the Goodstay Center of the University of Delaware in Wilmington, Del., on April 20, 2012.

He talked about the path Falvey Memorial Library chose in its effort to navigate what it means to do outreach in the university setting.

Poley discussed the varied scholarly communication-related projects Falvey’s Outreach team works on, and how, at the same time, the team serves both the Library and Villanova University by reaching out to the scholarly community. Some of the team’s activities include developing academic and social event programs, mounting regular cultural displays, hosting online journals and encouraging digital publishing, and maintaining the institutional bibliography as it relates to both recording faculty publications and documenting University-wide intellectual contributions. (more…)


Help Us Test a New Scanner

A new high-end scanner on the first floor has been installed on a trial basis.  We invite students, staff, faculty and visitors to help us test it out. The large flatbed (book edge) scanner and accompanying PC with touch screen interface are easy to use.  The software can even convert text to audio. You’ll find the trial scanner near the public print station on the first floor of the Library. Feedback forms are available. Give it a try and tell us what you think!


Lisa Kruczek, Summer Digital Library Intern

By Alice Bampton

Lisa Kruczek, currently enrolled in Drexel University’s Master of Library and Information Science program, is a Digital Library intern for the summer. She is specializing in archival studies, one of Drexel’s six optional concentrations, but is considering adding digital libraries for a double concentration.

Kruczek says that her internship, which is “structured in such a way that it is a meaningful experience,” providing experience in scanning, metadata and other aspects of digital librarianship, will aid in making her decision.

Kruczek, a resident of Merchantville, N.J., has a bachelor’s degree in media arts from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pa. She worked as a video editor and as a graphic artist before reevaluating her career. She has always been interested in history, media and computers, and these interests led her to enroll in Drexel’s Library and Information Science program. “In a perfect world I’d work in a moving image archive,” says Kruczek.

Her research interests are music (its different types and its history) and film, noting that in her first career she worked with film. Her hobbies include movies, books and music. She is currently reading Snow Crash, a “light contemporary science fiction adventure,” by Neal Stephenson.

Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator, says, “After a period of intensive training and practical experience consisting of a set of modules including management of digital libraries, selection for digitization, social media, online exhibits, copyright, metadata, cataloguing, rare materials handling and scanner training, each intern selects, in conjunction with the needs and priorities of the digital library enterprise, a project that highlights one of these content area modules and produces a representative work project” about four weeks into his or her internship.



Join Our Online Reading Group

Last fall we established an online reading group for fans and friends of Falvey Memorial Library. “Falvey Reads” can be found on the Goodreads website. Register now and start sharing your reading with other Villanovans and see what other readers recommend. For instance, this summer library staff are reading The Googlization of Everything by Siva Vaidhyanathan. Members can share titles they have read, plan to read, or are currently reading.

It’s easy and it’s free. If you don’t have a Goodreads account, you can sign up for one for free.  It’ll just take a few seconds–all you need is an email address and password! Alternatively, you can sign in with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account instead.

Once you’ve registered, a couple of survey prompts will appear, which you may skip. After you get past the prompts, click on Home at the top of the display and then click on Explore to search for groups. Search for Falvey Reads and join the group!

Only two rules apply: be respectful and have fun! (If you have questions, contact Laura Bang at laura.bang@villanova.edu.)


VuFind Developer’s Article Features Ways to Help Users Discover Content

Demian Katz, technology development specialist, has co-authored “Content Integration: Creating a Scalable Common Platform for Information Resources,” published in the March 2012 issue of Computers in Libraries. The other author, Max Berenstein, is a product manager at Elsevier, a publisher of scientific, technical and medical information.

In their article, Berenstein and Katz discuss solutions, such as SciVerse Applications, developed at Elsevier, and VuFind, developed at Villanova University, which can be used “to help institutions better aggregate, manage, and expose licensed and in-house content.”

A sidebar, “Application Development: A Collaborative Process,” features Katz highlighting his interaction with Berenstein “to create the VuFind template application, a scalable and inexpensive new way to expose library resources within the OpenSocial universe .”

VuFind is open source library software developed at Falvey. Katz is the current lead developer, but he says, “I’m certainly not solely responsible for its content – a lot of people around the world have contributed code; I just take all the contributions and put them together into the finished product.” VuFind replaced the traditional OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) used to search a library’s holdings.

Falvey’s Technology Development team—Katz, David Lacy and David Uspal—develops “major features for the … Library web site.”

Also contributing: Gerald Dierkes


Historic Catholic Parish Partners with Digital Library

By Alice Bampton

Reverend Edward Brady, St. Anne Parish

On June 19 the Reverend Edward Brady, pastor of St. Anne Parish, Phila., signed an agreement with Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library to digitize and add to its Digital Library historical items including a cemetery register, a photograph album and two parish histories. University Librarian Joe Lucia signed for the Library. This agreement became the Digital Library’s 15th institutional partnership.

Russell W. Wylie, Thomas J. Lyons II and Louis N. Ferraro of the St. Anne Historical Committee attended the signing, as did Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator, and Scholarly Outreach Librarian Darren G. Poley, a member of the Digital Library team. Poley was instrumental in arranging the partnership and the signing of the agreement, commenting that this is part of his “role as outreach librarian for Falvey.”

Founded in Kensington/Port Richmond in 1845, the parish is one of the oldest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The cornerstone of the original church was laid on July 4, 1845. That church was replaced in 1870. Two cemeteries are adjacent to the church, which stands at the intersection of East Lehigh Avenue and Memphis Street. Two church histories to be digitized are A History of St. Anne’s Church, Philadelphia and St. Anne’s Church Philadelphia: One Hundred Years 1845 – 1945. (more…)


Digital Library Intern to Create Exhibit on Dante

Diane Biunno, a graduate student in Drexel University’s Master of Science in Library and Information Science program, is the Digital Library intern for the summer semester. Biunno says that the internship will enable her to learn how a digital library functions, perhaps promoting her decision to enroll in the Drexel’s Digital Libraries concentration.

As part of her internship Biunno will create an online exhibit about Dante, “an illustrated journey,” using materials from Falvey’s Special Collections. Her own research interests focus on Dante and medieval literature.

Biunno decided to become a librarian after working in education, teaching Italian at the secondary and university levels. Her library science degree, she notes, will continue the track.

She has a bachelor’s degree and a PhD from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J. Her undergraduate degree is in Italian; for her doctorate she specialized in Dante. She is a native of Brick, N.J.

Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator, says, “After a period of intensive training and practical experience consisting of a set of modules including management of digital libraries, selection for digitization, social media, online exhibits, copyright, metadata, cataloging, rare materials handling and scanner training, each intern selects, in conjunction with the needs and priorities of the digital library enterprise, a project that highlights one of these content area modules and produces a representative work project.”

Usually interns choose their projects about four weeks into their internships, but given Biunno’s dissertation on Dante, she chose her online exhibit topic at the beginning of her internship.

Her hobby is 1930s and 1940s style dancing. She is currently reading “a whole bunch of stuff for school,” and for fun she just started reading Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, the book from which the musical “Wicked” is derived.

Article and photo by Alice Bampton



Cabinets of Curiosities: Highlights from Special Collections

What do an empty whiskey bottle, a portable typewriter with luggage tags and a large package of sewing needles have in common? The short answer is that they are part of the Special Collections “Cabinets of Curiosity” exhibit, the initial one in the new vitrines, or display cases, on the first floor.

In her “Curator’s Welcome,” Laura Bang, Digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant, explains, “A cabinet of curiosities was a collection of artifacts deemed unusual or interesting largely because they represented areas where modern knowledge was limited or unknown. … These ‘cabinets’ [originally rooms] … were especially popular in Renaissance Europe. … This exhibit follows in the spirit of these historical collections by gathering together items of interest from Falvey Memorial Library’s Special Collections. In addition to representing a broad array of subjects, many of these objects are rarely displayed because they do not fall into the scope of our regular themed exhibits.”

In the tradition of such cabinets, this exhibit offers a wide variety of objects: books, a large botanical print, a Sumerian clay tablet from circa 2000 B.C., a collection of 1927 John Player and Sons cigarette cards with illustrations by Jack Butler Yeats, and a membership book for the Communist Party of the United States of America, in addition to the various items mentioned above.

Iroha-biki Monchō

The books in this exhibit cover numerous topics. A small book, Iroha-biki Monchō by Kikuo Tanaka, published in Tokyo, 1881, is opened to show line drawings of Japanese house and family crests. The Portrait Gallery of Pugilists of America and Their Contemporaries: From James J. Corbett to Tom Hyer by Billy Edwards, published in Philadelphia in 1894, displays a large photograph of George Godfrey, a heavy weight champion with ties to the city.

“Portraits, Memoirs, and Characters,[sic] of Remarkable Persons: From the Revolution in 1688 to the End of the Reign of George II,” collected by James Caulfield and published in London, 1819, has an interesting history. Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator, says that this book once belonged to Queen Victoria and was deaccessioned from Windsor Castle’s collections.

Two children’s books, Little Pollys Pomes by T.A. Daly, published in 1914, and Pepito the Monkey, written by H.M. and illustrated by Alfred Panepinto, Philadelphia, 1940,  show appealing images. (more…)


Summer Reading—books recommended by library staff members

You may have seen summer reading ideas on other web sites, but these books come highly recommended by library staff members. Some of them are in our collection.

From Laura Hutelmyer

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

Walking Across Egypt by Clyde Egerton

The Lost Saints of Tennessee by Amy Franklin-Willis


From Joanne Quinn

Now that summer is finally here, I’m excited to have finally dipped into Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith’s Van Gogh: The Life, the massive, meticulously researched volume on the painter’s life released last fall. Ten years in the making, the authors, who previously won a Pulitzer for their biography of Jackson Pollack, had unprecedented access to Van Gogh family letters and materials previously unavailable to the public. Vincent was as much an eloquent writer as painter, and the new material is considered by experts to be more revelatory than ever of his inner demons and restlessness. The authors also offer new details of circumstances surrounding his death that contradict long-held beliefs of what transpired. And if 860+ pages aren’t enough for you, the book is accompanied by a website, http://vangoghbiography.com, that allows readers to view much of this new material themselves and provides an extensive bibliography for the authors’ groundbreaking assertions. The book also has its own Facebook and Twitter feeds, so as to continue the conversation with other readers, creating a true 21st century reading experience. It may take this summer and part of next for me to plow through it all, but so far, it’s a highly absorbing read.

From Gerald Dierkes

In The Way I See It, Temple Grandin shares her unique and memorable perspective on autism.

This year’s Teaching and Learning Strategies at Villanova workshops included an uncommon session: “On the Spectrum and in College… Asperger’s on Campus – Overview of Asperger’s Syndrome …” Asperger’s Syndrome is a part of the autism spectrum, and autism has certainly been in the news lately.  An ever increasing percentage of our population is being diagnosed as having elements of autism.  For those of us who work with students, this means we will and do encounter students who live with autistic traits.

We may have gleaned some understanding of autism watching Rain Man or reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, for instance. With those stories, talented writers used their imaginations to show us what it’s like to live with autism. But in her book, The Way I See It, Temple Grandin, PhD, writes from the perspective of someone who is autistic. Growing up in the 1950s, Dr. Grandin did not speak words until four years of age and appeared destined to live her life in institutions. Her determination to either use her autistic challenges to her benefit or learn to compensate for them will provide readers insights and inspiration.

If these titles are not available in Falvey, try E-ZBorrow or interlibrary loan.

Compiled by Gerald Dierkes



Last Modified: July 2, 2012