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David Uspal Upholds Library Tradition – Receives the Latest Facultas Award

Uspal & Facultas AwardDavid Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications, received the Spring 2014 Facultas Award on May 20 at the annual University Faculty Staff Picnic. Uspal is the seventh Falvey Memorial Library employee to receive the Facultas Award. The late Therese Dougherty received the Fall 1996 Facultas Award, followed by Bente Polites, Special Collections and reference librarian, fall 2004; Phylis Wright, Interlibrary Loan Office, spring 2006; Domenick Liberato, Access and User Assistance, fall 2007; Barbara Quintiliano, Instructional Design Librarian, fall 2008; and Susan Ottignon, research librarian, spring 2012.

The Facultas Award is presented each fall and spring semester by the Faculty Congress to “acknowledge and honor the contributions of staff members of the Villanova community,” “focus attention on the vital, yet often unnoticed, services essential to the smooth and efficient functioning of the Villanova community, especially the academic faculty,” “recognize persons who would not be otherwise recognized …” and “reinforce among our fellow faculty the importance and diversity of staff support work in all areas of the University.” The Facultas Award constitutes a plaque and a Wildcard gift certificate.

This is Uspal’s second University award. The University Staff Council presented a Work Process Improvement (WPI) award to him in spring 2013 for the interactive map of Falvey Memorial Library that he developed.

Uspal says, “I want to thank Villanova University and Falvey Memorial Library for bringing me on board three years ago and the Technology Development team and the Digital Library team for being supportive of our efforts in the realm of Digital Humanities. A big thank you to all the students and faculty for helping us pilot our way through our initial Digital Humanities projects. Finally, a special thanks to Laura Bang, the Digital Scholarship Coordinator for the Aurelius Digital Scholarship initiative, who has masterminded Villanova’s push into the Digital Humanities universe and without whom this award would have been impossible.”

Interim Library Director Darren Poley comments, “David Uspal is a wonderful asset to Falvey. His blend of deep knowledge as an information technologist with an ever cheery disposition and excellent people skills is incredibly rare. We are indeed fortunate to have David in the Library where he works so well with both staff and the patrons we serve.”

Uspal relaxes by reading and playing board and video games/interactive fiction. His interest in interactive fiction is aptly shown by his involvement with VuPop 2, an annual conference which explores pop culture and mass media.

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VuPop 2: Interactive Fiction in Print and Online

VUPOP POSTCARD PRUF

VuPop 2: Interactive Fiction in Print and Online, a conference sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, takes place in the Library today. VuPop 2 is the second in the series of annual conferences exploring popular culture and mass media.

VuPop begins at 9:30 a.m. with registration and light refreshments and ends at 4:30 p.m. Attendees will be welcomed by David Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications, and Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator.

Demian Katz

Demian Katz

Demian Katz, library technology development specialist and an avid collector of gamebooks, is presenting “The History of Gamebooks.” His collection is featured in the exhibit, “Interactive Fiction: An exhibit where YOU are the hero,” adjacent to the Speaker’s Corner where the conference is meeting.

The exhibit, curated by Katz, displays six cases of his gamebooks (plus one loaned by Laura Bang, Digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant). Each case contains one or more informative placards. The gamebooks are divided into categories such as “Choose Your Own Adventure” which, among other works, has Cinderella’s Magic Adventure open to an illustration and text where the reader makes his or her choice of how to continue. The exhibit will remain on display through the summer.

Other cases show collections of “Infocom,” “Multiplayer Gamebooks,” “Fighting Fantasy” (a British game) and “Lone Wolf” which share a case, and “Oddities,” “Role-playing Games” featuring Dungeons & Dragons, and “Tie-Ins.”

VUPOP2-books-onlyIn the morning session, Rebecca Slitt, PhD, will discuss “Viking, Gunslinger and Madam Midshipwoman: Gender and History in Interactive Fiction.” Dr. Slitt, who taught medieval history at several universities, is now the managing editor at Choice of Games.

Laura Bang and Christopher Hallberg, library technology development specialist, are presenting an interactive reading of “Groom of the Tomb,” which will be followed by a catered lunch for conference attendees.

Afternoon speakers are Christopher Liu, Randy Cook, David Perlman, and Tom Rothamel. Christopher Liu’s topic is “On Writing, Interactively.” Liu is the founder of Adventure Cow, a recently created company which publishes interactive novels. Adventure Cow’s first work, Destiny Quest Infinite, will soon be released.

Randy Cook, whose first adventure game was published in the 1990s, still writes the Legendary Journeys Series and software. Cook’s topic is “Let There Be Light (or at least a simulated torch).”

David Perlman, PhD, the president and founder of E4-Eclipse Ethics Foundation, presents “Interactive Fiction: The Use of Two Forms of Pop Culture to Increase Public Bioethics Awareness.” Dr. Perlman is a visiting assistant professor at the University of the Sciences and a senior lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, both in Philadelphia.

Tom Rothamel, lead developer of the Ren’Py visual novel engine and the host of the largest English language forum dedicated to the creation of these works, has been involved with visual novels for over ten years. His topic is “Visual Novels and Ren’Py.”

The conference ends with a panel discussion and closing remarks followed by an “unofficial Game Night.”


Article by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team. Exhibit graphics by Joanne Quinn. Demian Katz photo by Alice Bampton .

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Curious about Interactive Fiction, CYOA Books or Gaming? Check out VuPop 2!

CAUTION!

THIS BLOG POSTING IS UNLIKE
any you’ve previously read.
Avoid reading this sequentially.
Rather, begin the first paragraph and continue
till you reach your first decision point.
Then skip to one of the paragraphs indicated,
and discover the result of your choice.
Each decision brings alternate possibilities.
Best wishes on your quest!

From 1979 to 1998, Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) books became so popular among young readers that more than 250 million copies were sold. Each of the series’ 185 titles features an innovative structure, enabling the reader to function as protagonist, choose that character’s actions and, ultimately, determine the story’s direction.

To learn about CYOA books’ influence on gaming, go to Influence on Gaming

To learn about CYOA books’ influence on education, go to Influence on Education

To learn how to receive a free CYOA book, go to Katz Interview—

VuPop—You, yes YOU alone, may decide VuPop 2’s destiny! Will this conference discuss gaming, scholarly applications of interactive fiction or something unexpected? To impact the fate of VuPop 2, you must be present—in FalveyMonday, June 9, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. and TuesdayJune 10, 2014, at 9:30 a.m.

To register for this free event, click here.

To learn more about this event, click here.

To learn more about VuPop, click here and/or here.

Katz Interview—Demian Katz, library technology development specialist and a VuPop 2 organizer, wishes people knew how much variety exists in role playing games and interactive fiction—from Dungeons and Dragons to Ace of Aces, a flight-simulation book set (see Demian’s Gamebook Web Page). Katz also says the Choose Your Own Adventure publisher is donating a case of books; each VuPop 2 attendee will receive one free CYOA book (while supplies last).

Go on to the next paragraph.

Katz explains that VuPop events attract “people from a variety of places.” This year’s event, for instance, will be shown to interactive-fiction enthusiasts in Great Britain via live video. It will also feature the developer of an open-source computer game engine for building interactive fiction (Ren’Py).

To learn more about this event, go to VuPop

Libraries’ Influence—“The series of interactive ‘game books’ initially had only so-so sales, until some genius in marketing had the idea to ‘seed’ 100,000 books in libraries across the country … Overnight, the books became hugely popular” (http://www.cyoa.com/pages/history-of-cyoa).

To learn how to receive a free CYOA book, go to Katz Interview—

To learn about VuPop, go to VuPop—

Influence on Gaming—Creators of video games and similar media credit the CYOA book’s structure, which offers the reader several opportunities to decide the story’s direction, as influential in the interactive design of their electronic games. In fact, “Japan’s popular Bishoujo video games, which combine narratives with gameplay, mark the beginning of ‘the trend in modern gaming toward using technology to allow players control over their stories … taking on characteristics of highly detailed Choose Your Own Adventure novels’” (http://www.cyoa.com/pages/history-of-cyoa).

To learn about CYOA books’ influence on education, go to Influence on Education

To learn how to receive a free CYOA book, go to Katz Interview—

To learn about VuPop, go to VuPop—

Influence on Education—Educators attribute CYOA books to engaging and motivating reluctant readers. The books’ interactive quality appeals to these novice readers. The books’ interactive design has also been “used specifically in technology lesson plans in elementary, high school and college curricula, as well as in professional development tools” (http://www.cyoa.com/pages/history-of-cyoa).

To learn about CYOA books’ influence on gaming, go to Influence on Gaming

To learn about libraries’ influence on CYOA books, go to Libraries’ Influence

To learn about VuPop, go to VuPop—

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And the winner of our Literary Bracketology contest is…

It was an intense battle last month but Gandalf proved to be too much for the rest of the competition.  This year’s battle proved to be extremely popular with over 300 submissions online and in paper. Thanks to everyone who voted and participated in the contest!

imgresShishav Parajuli was the lucky winner this year out of over 150 entries. As winner of the annual Bracketology showdown, he was awarded a book of his choice from the field of 64.  Shishav, a graduate student majoring in Political Science, decided on the book Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov. (If you’ll recall, Nabokov’s character Lolita lost in the second round!) See you next spring for more literary madness! Hope you play along!


Article by Raamaan McBride, writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team and specialist on the Access Services Team.

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Falvey Scholar program recognizes student accomplishments in research, innovation and creativity

DARREN-WITH-UPTON

Interim Library Director Darren G. Poley presents Jerisa Upton with her award.

The annual Falvey Scholars Award—established by Falvey Memorial Library in conjunction with the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships and the Honors Program—recognizes and celebrates the academic excellence of some of Villanova’s finest undergraduate scholars. This year’s event, held on Friday April 25, honored six Falvey Scholars under each of the following categories: business, engineering, liberal arts, science, nursing and our new category, social science, which was added given the overwhelming response and volume of excellent candidates in the liberal arts.

Each of the Falvey Scholars presented a 30-minute summary of their winning project and were each presented with the Falvey Scholars Award by our Interim Library Director, Darren Poley.

Falvey is delighted to announce the following undergraduates as the 2014 Falvey Scholars:

Aurora Vandewark (nursing); mentor: Michelle M. Kelly, PhD, CRNP; Project: “Evidence-Based Practices to Reduce Psychosocial Distress Among Parents of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Patients.”

Jerisa Upton (social science); mentor: Maghan Keita, PhD; Project: “Understanding Bureaucratic Politics and the Origins of the Great Leap Forward.”

Mark Bookman (liberal arts); mentors: Maghan Keita, PhD, and Edwin Goff, PhD; Project: “Re-imagining Discourse: Shingon Buddhism and Western Epistemologies.”

Clockwise, from top left: Vandewark, Upton, Bookman, McGrane, Ferguson and Shaik

Clockwise, from top left: Vandewark, Upton, Bookman, McGrane, Ferguson and Shaik

Noor F. Shaik (science); mentor: Dennis D. Wykoff, PhD; Project: “Using Fluorescent Markers in Cells and Flow Cytometry to Measure the Selective Pressures in Yeast.”

Olivia Ferguson (business); mentor: Peter Zaleski, PhD; Project: “Metropolitan Manufacturing Decline, 1980-2005, and Subsequent Effects on Residents.”

Robert McGrane (engineering); mentor: Noelle Comolli, PhD; Title: “Chitosan Thin-Films for Post-Surgical Drug Delivery.”

Falvey Scholars is just one of the many events that comprise the Undergraduate Research Exposition, or EXPO 14: a week-long series of programs that recognize the research undergraduates accomplish throughout the year. Villanova is proud to highlight the contributions of its undergraduate student community!


Article by Regina Duffy, writer for the Communication and Service Promotion team and library events and program coordinator for the Scholarly Outreach team. Photos by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team.

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DH in the Classroom: Aurelius Digital Humanities Launches Second Project

During the spring semester, the Aurelius Digital Humanities Initiative launched its second project, a digital edition of El Peru en sus tradiciones en su historia, en su arte. The project was commandeered by Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish Chad Leahy, PhD, who worked with his special-topics Spanish class to digitize and transcribe the text. Guidance was also provided by Laura Bang, digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant, and David Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications. Dr. Leahy explains that the materiality of text as object, the smell and feel of the item itself, has a story to tell us and digital humanities as a new technology has a way of opening this aspect of the text to the world.

chad-repl

  El Peru en sus tradiciones en su historia, en su arte is a 133 page multimedia scrapbook that contains postcards, newspaper clippings, drawings—more than 160 distinct visual objects in all. In many cases, these entries are copied without original sources, raising difficult questions regarding authorship, provenance and purpose. There is no way to prove authorship, but Dr. Leahy speculates that the text may have originated through the Augustinian missions in Peru and was probably a gift. The latest internal date, 1924, suggests that the scrapbook was produced in the latter half of the 1920s. In addition to studying the Peruvian text, Dr. Leahy’s class had the opportunity to develop hands-on digitizing skills while scanning the text Los dramas de la Guerra, a serialized account of the First World War published in Barcelona during the war years.

Phone

Participants loved the way the website reformatted for easy reading on hand held devices.

David Uspal wrapped up the event by explaining the development behind the website. Uspal said, “in addition to the transcription work by the undergraduate students, technical support for the project was provided by Falvey [Memorial] Library’s Technology Development Team, with a large contribution by technology graduate assistant Pragya Singhvi.  Pragya’s work on importing transcription documents and automatically producing TEI and HTML versions of these documents will both help reduce the work necessary on future translation projects (and thus, more likely to get more and varies projects approved) and allow these projects to adopt open standards which will allow for greater use in the academic community.”


Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Publications Team and special acquisitions coordinator in Resource Management

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Three Good Friends Ride the 5 Boro Bike Tour

ward barnes NYC bike ride

Left to right: Bob Wicks, Ralph Bohlin, Ward Barnes. In front of Bob’s apartment building on 90th St. in Manhattan prior to the 45-mile, five-borough tour, on which we were accompanied by 32,000 friends.

Not one to sit around, Ward Barnes keeps moving when he’s not working at the Falvey Memorial Library circulation desk or landscaping at his home nearby. In fact, on May 4, Barnes and two of his friends and fellow septuagenarians rode in a 45-mile Five Boro Bike Tour in New York City.

Barnes recounted his experience saying “I did the whole thing without stopping or resting, and on a breakfast of an English muffin and a bowl of Raisin Bran and a glass of water.  I didn’t eat anything the whole 4 hours, and drank only about about 8 ounces of water (which is really stupid).”

 

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Taking On the Broad Street Run

broad street run 2014

Congratulations to  Raamaan McBride and Becky Whidden, library staff who entered and finished the Broad Street Run! They both came through with very respectable times (1:35:59 and 1:36:42, respectively). The 10-mile race was held on May 4 and was sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. They each received a medal to recognize their participation. (Of course, they’re both winners every day at Falvey.) Who knows? Maybe we’ll see them in another race this summer!

 

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Wherefore were the “ShakesDucks?” These folks kneweth.

DUCKVAR

As some of our readers may have noticed, the Internet has been exploding with Shakespeare related content over the last few weeks in celebration of the bard’s 450th birthday. Falvey Memorial Library played its part in the celebrations by collaborating with the Department of English on a birthday party held in the Falvey Hall Reading Room. We also held a library-wide scavenger hunt; hunters could win a ShakesDuck by following research-oriented clues leading them to specific hiding places in the Library where they would find a glitter encrusted egg, which they could then present for their ShakesDuck.

We had a great range of interest with participants majoring in everything from English to chemistry and economics. So far, five of our clever hunters (four of them are pictured here) have shown up to claim their ShakesDucks. If you found an egg and haven’t yet had time to pick up your ShakesDuck, don’t forget to stop by English and Theatre Librarian Sarah Wingo’s office in Falvey (room 232) to claim your prize!

Several winners, pictured top to bottom: Jonathan Grecco, Katharine McLellan, Chris Tamaninie, Lisa Dixon.

 

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Dept. of English names Creative Writing Award winners

image

Mangano, Lister

The Department of English has announced the Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contest winners:

Poetry

winner—Mary Grace Mangano

runner up—Katie Wiseman

Fiction

winner—Mary Lister

runner up—Mary Grace Mangano

 

image

Event Master of Ceremonies, Gerald Dierkes

Several contestants shared their work at the University’s Open Mic event on April 23 in the Library. Also, posters featuring the contestants’ poems or fiction excerpts are displayed throughout the library’s first floor. Come and read for yourself the clever, memorable work of these students. I think you’ll agree: the contest judges had a difficult task.

 

 

 


Gerald info deskNational Poetry Month coverage by Gerald Dierkes, information services specialist for the Information and Research Assistance team, senior copy-editor for the Communication and Service Promotion team and a liaison to the Department of Theater.

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Last Modified: May 5, 2014