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Forums Explore Ways to Make Villanova University Scholarship More Accessible

nsf1The National Science Foundation has extended its “where discoveries begin” initiative to include not just  principal investigators but anyone interested in perusing publically funded data through the promulgation of rules requiring funding recipients to have data management plans in place. Instead of researchers seeing this request as another chore in an unending to-do list, data management plans (DMP) can be considered a beneficial and valuable impetus to organize and archive resources with potential for enhancing a researcher’s profile. As Alfonso Ortega, PhD, associate vice president for research and graduate programs and the James R. Birle professor of energy technology in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, says “DMP’s are not just about fulfilling regulations but also about making your good work available.”

Intermim Director Darren Poley

Interim Director Darren Poley

The imperative to make Villanova University scholarship more accessible drove Falvey Memorial Library Interim Library Director Darren Poley to organize a series of forums with Dr. Ortega on three emerging developments in scholarly communication: data management plans (Sept. 16), open access journals (Oct. 21st) and institutional repositories (Nov. 11). All forums will take place in Connelly Center cinema from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Both Dr. Ortega and Mr. Poley recognize that a “build it and they will come” philosophy can lead to costly missteps and that faculty input is critical to success. With this guiding principle in mind, the forums are designed to facilitate conversations about these trends and generate ideas about how they ought to be tackled at Villanova.

At the first forum on data management plans, Dr. Ortega introduced the topic by commenting on the challenges researchers face in the day to day management and storage of data of all stripes (big, proprietary, and sensitive), the dilemmas researchers face about pressure to archive and share data, and the importance of clearly articulating how solutions to data management will advance the University Strategic Plan and are essential for them to be resourced sustainably. Poley spoke about how libraries are natural partners in the scholarly enterprise with deep expertise in organizing and archiving resources that ought to be extended to research data.  Linda Hauck, business librarian, surveyed how data management services are progressing at other higher-education institutions.

Ortega and Hauck

Ortega and Hauck

The highlight of the program was talks by Assistant Professor Melissa O’Connor, PhD, MBA, RN, COS-C (College of Nursing) and Professor Amy S. Fleischer, PhD, (College of Engineering) and the discussion they generated. Dr. Fleischer described the National Science Foundation’s data-management-plan requirement from the inside out. Dr. O’Connor illuminated the technical and physical security safeguards that need to be in place when using Medicare data and National Institutes of Health funding as well as the costs associated with data extraction. Comments and questions were volleyed about how to balance intellectual property rights with public access and scholarly reputations, whether Villanova has a research data policy, who should curate and provide stewardship of data a Villanova, and what secure methods for data back-up are available at Villanova.

Clockwise from top left, Spiro, Fogle, Hoskins and Bauer.

Clockwise from top left, Spiro, Fogle, Hoskins and Bauer.

At the second forum, held Oct. 21st on open access journals, Nikolaus Fogle, PhD, subject librarian for philosophy, provided an overview of the open access journal publishing movement including quality issues, tenure and promotion dilemmas, faculty initiated open access policies, and sustainability challenges.  He detailed how the traditional journal-publishing-business model employed by for-profit, non-profit and association publishers alike are straining library budgets. Next up was Professor Aaron M. Bauer, Gerald M. Lemole endowed chair in integrative biology, presenting the researcher point of view, noted that publication fees for high quality open access journals range from $1350 to $3000 per paper and that those fees cannot reasonably be recouped for externally funded research given the volume of papers some projects spawn (one such project alone lead by Dr. Bauer generated 68 papers!). He observed that publication fee discounts are among the benefits of institutional membership in open access publishing organizations, such as PLoS (Public Library of Science) and Biomed Central, and many of our peer institutions have made the commitment. Finally, he commented that the transition to open access will not be simple or quick as pressure to publish in high impact and h-index journals is a fact of life for academics establishing careers and striving to advance professionally. Dr. Bauer implored Villanova academic departments, Colleges and the Library to commit to finding sustainable solutions to the National Science Foundation’s impending mandates for open access publishing. Interim Library Director Darren Poley discussed library supported journals. Gregory D. Hoskins, PhD, Lawrence C. Gallen fellow in the humanities, took attendees for a deep dive into how Concept has become a professional-looking online journal powered by graduate student editors and reviewers. Finally Professor John-Paul Spiro shared the joys and difficulties that came with starting up the online journal, Expositions: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities, including managing subscriptions and submissions to cultivate readership.

Faculty Forum #2 panel

Faculty Forum #2 panel

Contribute to the ongoing conversation by attending the final forums on institutional repositories (Monday, Nov. 11, 3:30-5 p.m., Connelly Center Cinema).

Linda Hauck, MS, MBA, is a business librarian. Photographs by Alice Bampton. 


Dig Deeper – Behind the Mask: What are the Origins of Halloween?

Many of us are probably gearing up for this Thursday, Oct. 31st. Whether you’re buying candy bars in bulk to satiate the impending hordes of trick-or-treaters, dusting off an old fog machine to give your haunted house that final touch of creepy or still struggling to find the right makeup to perfect your zombie/walker costume, we know that Halloween has come. But what is the meaning behind the holiday we’ve grown up with?

Halloween is believed to have been influenced by a pre-Christian harvest festival called Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”), which marked the end of the summer and the beginning of the winter season for the Celtic peoples. As the Celts used a lunar calendar and divided the year into these two seasons, Samhain was the first day of the Celtic new year and was celebrated from sunset on Oct. 31st to sunset on Nov. 1st. During this time, it was believed that the souls of the dead, as well as other supernatural entities, were restlessly roaming the earth because the barrier between worlds, or the time between the old and new years, was temporarily broken. Sacrifices, as well as offerings of food and drink, were made to appease these spirits and ensure the Celtic people’s survival throughout the winter. To avoid being recognized by wandering spirits, celebrants would disguise themselves in feathers and fur, a tradition that we still carry on today, albeit primarily in polyester.

Halloween Party (1942), by Philip Guston (1913-1980)

Although Samhain remained popular among the Celtic people throughout the Christianization of Great Britain, the British church may have added a Christian celebration to the calendar on the same date in order to lessen the impact of these pagan customs. As a result, Halloween is also known as Allhallows Eve because it precedes All Hallows, or All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1st). This feast is a solemnity that is held in honor of all the saints, both known and unknown. All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2nd) completes the Christian Triduum of All Hallows, also known as Hallowmas, which is a time to remember departed saints, martyrs and Christians.

Dig Deeper

For more information on Halloween and other festivals, check out the resources available at Falvey Memorial Library:

- Trick of Treat: A History of Halloween is a recently published book that traces Halloween from its Celtic origins through popular culture today.

 - Check out Holy Holidays!: The Catholic Origins of Celebration for a fresh new look  at the religious roots of secular holidays like Halloween, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s.

 - Search for holidays, festivals and other celebrations in Gale’s Encyclopedia of Religion.

- Browse our print Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary

Want to learn about the origins of the jack o’ lantern? Check out these two brief articles from History.com:

- “History of the Jack o’ Lantern”

- “The Halloween Pumpkin: An American History”

Still curious about Halloween or other days of celebration? Leave a question or post a comment below.

RS6126_Alex-Williams-work-stationAlexander Williams, ’11 MA, is the temporary librarian liaison to the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and a research librarian on the Academic Integration and the Information and Research Assistance teams. He is currently pursuing an MS in Library and Information Science at Drexel University’s iSchool.



Ever Wonder Where to Get Good Zombie Literature in Your Discipline?

ZOMBIESTUDENTZombie literature abounds. There’s even a rumor that Jules Verne authored the first zombie book ever written. That’s not really true, though. We only have a small amount of zombie-related literature. Yet, at this time of the year, some people ask, “Where can I get good zombie literature in my discipline?” (I said some people.)

Well for starters, the business bestseller rack holds, Zombie Banks: How Broken Banks and Debtor Nations are Crippling the Global Economy. Folklore or literature more your style?  Try Better off Dead: the Evolution of the Zombie as Post-Human, the excellent Zone One: a Novel, Feed and Cinema of George A. Romero: Knight of the Living Dead. There are even those that associate zombies and politics. Check out Theories of International Politics and Zombies. The Library has graphic novels too, like the ever popular The Walking Dead series. And remember the ever more popular Shaun of the Dead film and recent creations like I Am Legend and ParaNorman.

backpack iconBack pack full? Try an e-book: Zombie Economics How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us or Preparedness 101 Zombie Pandemic (see also Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Even grad students can learn to survive a zombie apocalypse, as evidenced in The Chronicle of Higher Education articles, “Dawn of the Grad: Rules for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse and Your First Year at Grad School” and “The Zombie List.”

Of course we always hear about the limits of science, as in Man, Beast, and Zombie: What Science Can and Cannot Tell Us About Human Nature. However, no need to lose sleep over the idea of zombies. They can’t really exist. At least that’s the premise in Zombies and Consciousness, arguing against the possibility of zombies’ existence.

Actually, there’s a symbolism going on here – as a search of “living dead” titles will attest to.  In fact, “It is probably no surprise, then, that much of the imagery of zombie movies is borrowed, consciously or unconsciously, from Dante’s Inferno … who eerily resemble the description of the damned that Dante gives as he begins his descent into hell: they are ‘the suffering race of souls who lost the good of intellect.’” – (Gospel of the Living Dead, Paffenroth, p. 22).

And the idea of personal, zombie librarians is just a myth also. Of course, since it’s also a crunch time of year for research, real librarians can meet with you in person or assist you via chat or the online question form. pumpkin zombie

Happy Halloween and happy researching, from your frighteningly good academic library.


SteinMerrill Stein is team leader of the Assessment team and liaison to the Department of Political Science.




Dig Deeper: Mercedes Julia, PhD, on Juan Ramón Jiménez

Photo Oct 13, 9 56 32 PMThis Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 1:30 p.m., Mercedes Juliá, PhD, professor of modern and contemporary literature and cultural studies, chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, will deliver a Scholarship@Villanova lecture in honor of Hispanic Cultural Heritage Month. Dr. Juliá’s subject is Juan Ramón Jiménez, the Spanish poet and Nobel Prize laureate. Dr. Juliá served as editor on a forthcoming edition of  Jiménez’s autobiography, entitled Life: An Unfinished Project by Juan Ramón Jiménez. The lecture will be in English, and held in room 205 of the Library. In the tradition of all Scholarship@Villanova events, this event is free, open to the public, and available for ACS credit.

Since 2005, Falvey Memorial Library has presented programming in collaboration with other academic divisions and student organizations to honor Hispanic Cultural Heritage Month. Supported by our regular partners, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Latin American studies program, the Spanish Club, and the University’s student cultural organization, the Hispanic Society, Falvey sponsors intellectual events, social occasions, and cultural displays in the Library at the heart of Villanova University’s campus. Hispanic Cultural Heritage Month runs annually from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

For this week’s Dig Deeper post we welcome Sue Ottignon, the library’s research support librarian for languages and literatures, who has prepared several links to supplement Wednesday’s lecture.

Dig Deeper:

To find more information about Juan Ramón Jiménez, look for the Biography section of the Romance Languages and Literatures subject guide and search the database Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online (Gale), where you’ll find authoritative biographical and critical essays on Jiménez.

dig deeper jimenez images



jimenez 2



Each essay provides a list of the author’s works as well as references to other sources about the author.

If you are looking for criticism on Jiménez’s influence or on his works, try searching the databases found in the Articles section of the subject guide. One of the many databases available is MLA International Bibliography (ProQuest). This database provides criticism in a variety of source types like peer-reviewed articles, books, book chapters and dissertations, and can be limited by language, too. Discover what the critics say about his famous works by performing a subject search on Jiménez.

jiminez 4jiminez 3




Falvey’s catalog is a great tool for locating Juan Ramón Jiménez’s works and works providing critical analysis of the author’s impact on literature and culture, too.

jiminez 5



Also, while you are searching the catalog, don’t forget to check for books by Dr. Mercedes Juliá about Juan Ramón Jiménez!

jiminez 6



Article by Corey Waite Arnold, writer and intern on the Communication and Service Promotion team. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

Research links provided by Susan Ottignon, research support librarian and liaison, Romance Languages and Literatures. She is also the Good Places to Start librarian!


Reading for October: The Short Fiction of Joe Hill

20th-century-ghostsJoe Hill’s weird and fascinating stories started appearing in literary journals around 2001 when he quickly found a following among aficionados of the horror/fantasy genre. In 2005 he released 20th Century Ghosts, his first and only collection of short fiction thus far. Two years later he published a novel, Heart Shaped Box, about an aging rock-star who buys a ghost on e-bay.

I conjure up Hill’s early career to insist that he’d established a strong voice in the horror/fantasy genre long before the news broke that he’s got a famous father: the one and only Stephen King. In fact, Hill intentionally obscured his given name (Joseph Hillstrom King) in order to avoid the long shadow cast by his father’s startling and prodigious writing career. Writing aside, it couldn’t have been easy being the son to whom The Shining was dedicated. I imagine Hill endured a few too many dinner-party conversations about whether King had ever chased him through a hedge maze or chopped through his door with a croquet mallet, and eventually decided to light out on his own.

But the name-obfuscation may have been unnecessary—Hill’s writing separates itself well enough. It’s difficult to convey how deliciously strange these stories can be without placing the book in your hands. His best piece, “Pop Art,” is a heartfelt recollection of a long-lost childhood friend named Arthur Roth, a young man unique for many reasons, least among them being the fact that he is inflatable. Importantly he is also deflatable, but in any case he’s plastic and filled with air. Arthur can’t speak, really, but he can write messages on a pad hung from his neck, so all his “dialogue” in the story appears as text scrawled in crayon (the narrator stresses that any writing utensil with a sharper point could mean curtains for his poor bullied friend). From this bizarre premise Hill builds a story about the fragility of the artistic temperament as it develops during childhood, the transience of adolescent male friendship, and the powerful impact early experiences of loss have on one’s adult identity.

Joe HillBut this is October, after all, and I can’t leave this book without recommending one of its bloodier stories. The best of the shockers also opens the collection: a story entitled “Best New Horror.” In it we encounter Eddie Carroll, editor of a yearly horror-story compilation who’s lost the thrill of his job. “He tried to struggle through Lovecraft pastiches,” Hill writes of Carroll “but at the first painfully serious reference to the Elder Gods, he felt some important part of him going numb inside, the way a foot or a hand will go to sleep when the circulation is cut off. He feared the part of him being numbed was his soul.” But when Carroll receives a disturbing manuscript entitled “Buttonboy: A Love Story,” written by a university groundskeeper Peter Kilrue, he’s re-energized about the possibilities of the genre, and becomes obsessively compelled to meet this strange man and publish his story.  From there Hill takes the reader on an insider’s tour of the horror/fantasy publishing world, a place full of fascinating and largely unsavory characters.



Discover Literature Criticism Online for scholarly commentary on your favorite books & plays

Want to know what people thought of Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea” a month after its release? Need to know what 18th century critics thought of Shakespeare’s play “As You Like It” a hundred years after its first performance? Then Gale’s Literature Criticism Online is the perfect starting point for your research.

HemingwayGale best sums up the utility of its resource:

“Gale literary references, taken together as print, could fill 230 feet of shelf space! But now, hundreds of volumes are digitized and ready to read with Literature Criticism Online.

“The net result is tens of thousands of hard-to-find essays at your fingertips. It’s all designed to raise the level of research while providing the around-the-clock remote access that today’s researchers demand.

“For students, researchers, history buffs and literature lovers, there’s no better source than Literature Criticism Online to discover commentary on their favorite books and plays by the scholars of the day. How did the politics, religion and mores of centuries past influence literary critique? Draw comparisons and see how classic works have fared over the centuries via this resource’s easy-searching capabilities.”

This summer, Falvey Memorial Library switched from the print to the online versions of this huge reference series. Encompassing hundreds of volumes, the Gale series is broken down into many sub-collections. The Library now has online access to—

·     Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC) – 324 Volumes

·     Classical & Medieval Literature Criticism (CMLC) – 155 Volumes

·     Drama Criticism (DC) – 45 Volumes

·     Literature Criticism from 1400-1800 (LC) – 191 Volumes

·     Nineteenth-century Literature Criticism (NCLC) – 225 Volumes

·     Poetry Criticism (PC) – 138 Volumes

·     Shakespearean Criticism (SC) – 128 Volumes

·     Short Story Criticism (SSC) – 185 Volumes

·     Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (TCLC) – 269 Volumes

The online version is a scanned database of all the print pages and utilizes a modern, comprehensive search engine to find every mention of a particular author, title/work or keyword. (more…)


Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Writers, Survivors

breast cancer awareness ribbonFrom time to time stories circulate about famous writers or actors who survived breast cancer. In October, during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, they become even more prevalent. Whether photographs appear in a tabloid on the newsstand or in the corner of your computer screen while you surf the internet, they get our attention. Of course, celebrities are no more important than everyday citizens who battle breast cancer and who live and work around us, but fame can draw attention to the need for ongoing breast cancer research.

Breast cancer is blind to financial status, religion, race, talent or politics. It affects men and women, young and old. Those diagnosed with breast cancer, and their family and friends, may encounter physical, mental, emotional and spiritual distress and often turn to the written word as a source of hope and inspiration.

Writers, in particular, are well placed to convey in words what breast cancer patients may encounter as they contend with treatment. We have noted a few names and suggested titles below.

brightsidedBarbara Ehrenreich is an American feminist, activist, writer and self-described “myth buster” who wrote, among other works, Bright-Sided: how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America. Her report for Harper’s Magazine, “Welcome to Cancerland,” focuses on the breast cancer experience.

Edward Brooke, a former senator and the first African American man popularly elected to the Senate, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. He took on the role of raising awareness of male breast cancer and wrote the autobiography, Bridging the Divide: My Life.

Judy Blume is an author of children and young adult novels which include Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Tiger Eyes. Blume is known for tackling difficult “coming of age” topics in her books. Blume talks about her diagnosis and breast cancer treatment on her blog.

enormous changesGrace Paley (1922 – 2007) was a writer and poet. Her volumes of short stories and poetry include Enormous changes at the last minute; stories and Begin again : collected poems. Although she never wrote specifically about the breast cancer that took her life, she was quoted in The New York Times as saying “I’m not writing a history of famous people,” she said. “I am interested in a history of everyday life.”

(Because things can change very quickly in life, I would be remiss if I didn’t advise everyone reading this to perform regular breast self-examinations and to get regular mammograms. Early detection is key.)

Article by Luisa Cywinski, team leader of Access Services and editorial coordinator on the Communication and Service Promotion team.


George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion” Marks Its Centennial

One hundred years after the first performance of George Bernard Shaw‘s “Pygmalion,” theaters still perform it, evincing the enduring popularity of Shaw’s influential play.

Pygmalion and GalateaThe story originates from ancient mythology: Pygmalion, a sculptor, chisels his ideal woman, Galatea, out of stone and subsequently falls in love with his creation. Incidentally, the notion of an artist sculpting a statue of his ideal woman and then falling in love with it formed the plot of a 1987 film titled “Mannequin.”

Shaw’s play, with a professor (Henry Higgins) instead of a sculptor and a live person (Eliza Doolittle) instead of a block of stone, also includes the notion of a man creating his ideal woman. Rather than focus on appearances, Henry Higgins uses language as the means to transform Eliza. Shaw’s “Pygmalion” inspired a motion picture with the same title and a musical, “My Fair Lady,” that also became a film.

Shaw’s play was even spoofed in the 1983 film “Trading Places,” which replaces Eliza Doolittle with a street hustling Billy Ray Valentine, memorably portrayed by Eddie Murphy. Seven years later, the “Pygmalion” motif would emerge in another motion picture, this time a love story: “Pretty Woman.”

Do you know of other stories that use the “Pygmalion” motif? Tell us in our “comments” section.

GeraldDierkes  borderGerald Dierkes is an information services specialist for the Information and Research Assistance team, senior copyeditor for the Communication and Service Promotion team, and a liaison to the Department of Theater.


One Million Plus

That’s how many people visited the Falvey home page in one year—1,295,841, a 77% increase over the previous year! There were 3,832,623 page views and 2,767,839 catalog page views. All Falvey web traffic, except to the Databases A-Z and course guides, increased dramatically, ranging between 44% and 116%. Traffic to the databases (99,134 visits) decreased by 19% and to the course guides (163,470 visits) by 5%. Nevertheless, these are still impressive numbers. – See more at: http://blog.library.villanova.edu/news/2013/09/09/one-million-plus/#sthash.ClmlZoYK.dpuf


During the same period (May 2012-May 2013) Research Support librarians were busy answering questions and offering research workshops: 3,411 questions answered and 255 library research workshops held for 5,412 students. Villanova students preferred electronic contact with librarians. The most popular form of contact was through “Ask a Librarian: Live Chat”; it is available by clicking the labeled gray rectangle at the bottom of the Falvey home page. Fifty percent of students asked their research questions this way. Other ways that students contacted librarians were by walk-up (637 students), email (1,280 students), research appointments (407) and telephone (192 students).

Melanie Wood, Academic Integration technical specialist, provided the statistics for this blog.

Photograph of student Erin Sheerin at the turnstile by Alice Bampton.


Wearing White after Labor Day: Faux Pas or Fashion Statement?

Planning to wear white after Labor Day? Go right ahead, but keep in mind that donning your summer whites after the first Monday in September wasn’t always appropriate.

White clothing emerged as approved summer attire in the early to mid-twentieth century, but the reasons have been debated. Some say this custom was born out of the need to stay cool in the hot (New York) city. Others cite social status as a reason for dressing down. Those who could afford to go to the country for the summer would shed their dark clothing for sportier, summer whites. Dark suits signified work; white clothing signified play. Of course, there were those who always bucked this fashion trend. Even as early as the 1920s Coco Chanel, for one, wore white year round.


Twain-2Some of our favorite writers also deferred to solid white clothing. Mark Twain took a stance on his fashion favorites when he told New York Times reporters in Washington on December 7, 1906 that he chose to wear all white because, at 71 years old, “the continual sight of dark clothing [was] likely to have a depressing effect upon him.” He felt that white clothing lifted the spirit and that he had earned the right to wear whatever he chose.


Wolfe2Tom Wolfe, author of The Right Stuff, A Man in Full and Bonfire of the Vanities,  to name a few, also prefers white suits. According to a book review in USA Today, Wolfe’s trend started in 1962 while he worked in New York as a reporter for the New York Herald Tribune. Having ordered a white silk twill suit that was too hot for the summer months, he wore it in the winter instead. Wolfe so loved the stir this fashion faux pas created that he adopted his “ice cream white suits” as his trademark.






Photo: Jerome Liebling, Mt. Holyoke Art Museum

Photo: Jerome Liebling, Mt. Holyoke Art Museum

Sometimes it’s not what you wear every day but what you leave behind that defines you. Mabel Loomis Todd said of Emily Dickinson, “She dresses wholly in white, & her mind is said to be perfectly wonderful” (Richard B. Sewall, The Life of Emily Dickinson). But even though Todd made this observation, Dickinson never mentions wearing white and seemed to favor calicoes as her fabric of choice. Regardless, it is the delicate hand- and machine-stitched white cotton dress with mother of pearl buttons that remains a symbol of Dickinson’s unique character.

Regardless of the stance you take on post Labor Day whites, rest assured that Emily Post’s Etiquette gives permission for us to wear white after Labor Day.


Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Publications Team and Special Acquisitions Coordinator in Resource Management


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Last Modified: September 2, 2013