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Foto Friday: New Bloom

Storm

There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted.

Henri Matisse

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


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Millicent Gaskell Begins as Villanova University Librarian and Director of Falvey Memorial Library

Millicent Gaskell Appointed Villanova University Librarian and Director of Falvey Memorial Library

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University has announced the appointment of Millicent Gaskell as University Librarian and Director of the Falvey Memorial Library, effective May 29, 2015. This key appointment, the result of an extensive national search, will enable Villanova to build upon Falvey Memorial Library’s impressive legacy as a cornerstone of learning at the University.

Millicent GaskellMs. Gaskell comes to Villanova with broad experience in both higher education and the private sector. For the past 10 years, she held a number of leadership roles at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Most recently, Ms. Gaskell served as Department Head of Collections Strategy and Management, with oversight of collection development, analysis, acquisitions and metadata and had responsibility for MIT’s $10M collections budget and a 36-member staff. She was honored twice at MIT for outstanding communication and collaboration, as well as for innovation and creativity.

“We are pleased to welcome Millicent Gaskell to Villanova University and to this important position at Falvey Memorial Library,” said the Rev. Kail C. Ellis, OSA, PhD, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Ms. Gaskell brings to Villanova a thorough knowledge of current and future technological trends impacting library and information services, as well as extensive experience in implementing digital content management initiatives.”

Falvey Memorial Library plays a central role in ensuring the interdependence of teaching, research and scholarship at Villanova. As University Librarian and Director of Falvey Memorial Library, Ms. Gaskell will oversee a facility that supports research and scholarly activities for faculty and students. Its collections include 1.68 million items with 551,236 stack items, 35,297 electronic journals, and 3,596 print journals.  In addition, its digital library initiative assembles, presents and preserves digital collections that support the teaching and research of the campus and the global community of scholars. Gaskell will oversee a staff of 50 employees at Falvey Memorial Library, including the University Archivist and software development programmers.

“The academic library of the future should be creative and agile as pedagogy continues to evolve,” said Gaskell. “The academic library needs to ensure the long-term preservation of scholarship. We should lead not only in preserving collections, but also in improving the discoverability of these collections. Libraries must engage with faculty, students, and administrators to ensure that the community has the information resources, services, spaces, and tools required in a rapidly changing educational environment.”

Prior to her tenure at MIT, Ms. Gaskell served as Librarian, Senior Librarian and then Manager of Information Services during a 10-year career at QVC. Previously, as Environmental Information Specialist at the South Jersey Environmental Information Center, she built the only public environmental collection and research service in New Jersey.  Gaskell earlier served as Paralibrarian for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP. Gaskell earned a Master’s of Science in Information Science and Technology from Drexel University and a Bachelor’s of Arts in English and Comparative Literature from Ursinus College.

“Ms. Gaskell’s unique background and expertise will allow Villanova to not only build upon the Library’s national recognition by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Award for Excellence 2013, but also to successfully position the institution for the future,” Fr. Ellis added.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University’s six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.


Article written by Jonathan Gust, Director of Media Relations.

Contact:
Jonathan Gust
Director of Media Relations
Villanova University
(610) 519-5152
jonathan.gust@villanova.edu

 


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Memorial Day – Then and Now

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A brief history of the Memorial Day holiday

Memorial Day or, more accurately, Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer. Memorial Day itself is now celebrated on the last Monday of May. However, this was not always true, so below is a bit of the history of this holiday.

A number of locations claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, Boalsburg, Pa., among them. Often called Decoration Day, it was established as a day to decorate with flowers the graves of those who lost their lives in the Civil War. Approximately 620,000 men lost their lives in the war so most families, North and South, had some personal relationship with the dead or injured.

alice-tombstoneOn May 5, 1868, Major General John Alexander Logan (1826-1886)  , an organization of Union veterans, declared that May 30 should be the day on which the graves of the war dead should be decorated with flowers. That year a large ceremony, presided over by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and various Washington, D.C., officials, was held at Arlington National Cemetery. Congressman James Garfield of Ohio was one of the speakers. At the conclusion of the speeches, members of the GAR and children from a nearby orphanage for children of Union veterans placed flowers on the graves of more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers while singing hymns and reciting prayers.

The back story for this: an anonymous writer had sent a letter to the GAR adjutant general, a letter in which the author told the adjutant general that in his native Germany it was a custom to place flowers on graves in the spring. alice-flagThe adjutant general, Norton P. Chipman, sent this information to Logan. Logan then expanded upon the idea, and sent an order to all GAR posts to observe May 30 as a day to honor the Civil War dead. This date, May 30, became the first nationally observed commemoration held in more than 200 locations, mostly in the North.

There are other claimants for the establishment of Memorial Day. In Richmond, Virginia, women formed the Hollywood Memorial Association of the Ladies of Richmond and they helped to establish the Oakwood Memorial Association; the purpose of these two groups was to decorate the graves, both those of Union and Confederate soldiers, in the Hollywood and Oakwood Cemeteries. The same year, 1865, Confederate veterans organized, but the decoration of graves remained women’s work.

From the 1870s on some observed the holiday as commemoration and others chose to enjoy themselves. By the 1890s May 30 had become more a popular holiday, less a memorial to the Civil War dead who had been forgotten by many. Congress declared Memorial Day a federal holiday in 1889.

Recent history

0142184e39c4a65c074e0437142edc22President Lyndon Johnson and Congress declared in 1966 that Waterloo, N.Y., was the birthplace of Memorial Day, based upon a ceremony held there on May 5, 1866, honoring area veterans of the Civil War. Other claimants are Boalsburg, Pa.; Macon and Columbus, Ga.; Carbondale, Ill; Columbus, Miss.; and others.In 1968 Congress changed the date of Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday of May. This change was strongly encouraged by the travel and resort industries; a three day weekend was an invitation to travel for many.

Since the late 1960s Memorial Day has become a major commercial activity. Originally many businesses closed, but this is no longer true. Now there are numerous Memorial Day sales – my email is filled with advertisements for these as are newspapers.

Congress passed a law, signed by the president, in December 2000, to honor the fallen of all wars, “The National Moment of Remembrance Act.” There are also Confederate Memorial Days still observed in many Southern States: Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Each of these states set its own date to honor their Confederate dead.

POPPIES

Picnics and memories

On a personal level, I grew up hearing Memorial Day referred to as Decoration Day, perhaps a regional or generational custom. I lived in western Maryland, south of the Mason Dixon Line, but an area more Northern than Southern in its history. I remember going with my family – grandparents, parents and younger sister – to visit a small, very rural hilltop cemetery where the adults spent the day clearing weeds and other debris from the graves and, when lunch time came, we had a picnic right there (Mom’s homemade meatloaf, kept warm by wrapping it in multiple layers of newspaper, and potato salad). Flowers, cut from my grandmother’s flowerbed, were placed in front of the tombstones. I knew an older widow who cut peonies from her garden to take to the cemetery to place on her husband’s grave. None of the graves in that old family cemetery belonged to Civil War soldiers nor was the widow’s husband a Civil War veteran. Even today I know family members who visit cemeteries to leave flowers on Memorial Day. Is this a local custom?

Many communities do have Memorial Day events with speeches honoring those who fell serving the United States, parades, picnics and other activities. How will you spend your Memorial Day?

Dig Deeper: Falvey resources

The National Memorial Day: A Record of Ceremonies Over the Graves of the Union Soldiers, May 29 and 30, 1869. 1870. E. F. M. Faehtz.
Memorial Lessons: A Sermon Preached at King’s Chapel, Boston, on Sunday, May 29, 1870, with a List of the Sons of the Church Who Entered the Service of the Country. 1870. Henry Wilder Foote.
Memorial Day, May 30, 1870, Oration by Gen. I. F. Shepard (Adjutant General of Missouri) at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Mo. 1870. I. F. Shepard.
 A History of Memorial Day: Unity, Discord and the Pursuit of Happiness. 2002. Richard P. Harmond.
Honoring the Civil War Dead: Commemoration and the Problem of Reconciliation. 2005. John R. Neff.
Celebrating America’s Freedoms. (Online) 2009. United States Dept of Veterans Affairs.


Cemetery photos and story by Alice Bampton. Waterloo, NY photo credit: Joseph Sohm/Visions of America/Corbis.


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Foto Friday: Higher Education

Higher-Ed

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


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Dig Deeper: Mad Men (What to Read Next)

MAD-MEN

Almost as much as the booze and mid-century decor, AMC’s Mad Men used books to define the sixties generation.

Characters were often seen perusing or reclining aside towering stacks of TBR paperback bestsellers on their night tables. Serious fans of the show would map plots of Don Draper’s reading materials onto his “real life” emotional state of mind, aware of creator Matt Weiner’s slavish and lavish attention to detail and propensity for seeding foreshadowing and plot just about anywhere. Not one frame of the 45 minute show was ever wasted.

I don’t think I’d be too off base to believe that readers of an academic library blog would be dedicated spine readers like me and would agree that part of the fun of watching Mad Men was keeping an eye out for the books. Also sharing our idea of geeky fun was the New York Public Library, which has maintained the “Mad Men Reading List”  since 2010. (Why didn’t we think of that!?)

But no need to travel to Manhattan to schlep some of Don or Sally Draper’s favorites to the beach this summer. Falvey has dozens on our shelves:

Meditations in an Emergency – Frank O’Hara (see “Table of Contents”)

Confessions of an Advertising Man – David Ogilvy

Babylon Revisited and Other Stories – F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Chrysanthemum and the Sword – Ruth Benedict

Exodus – Leon Uris

Ship of Fools – Katherine Ann Porter

Lady Chatterley’s Lover - D.H. Lawrence

The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner

Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand

The Agony and the Ecstasy – Irving Stone

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire – Edward Gibbon

Despite Sterling Cooper/McCann Erickson Chief Copywriter Peggy Olson admitting that she never knows whether it’s good or bad, this list is just the tip of the iceberg.  (In this case, it’s good, Peg.) Check NYPL for more books and our catalog for availability. And remember, now that you’re not watching so much television, you’ll have more time to read! Woo hoo!

Advertising resources

Mad Men also has celebrated and skewered the field of advertising. The bookend music of last night’s series ending episode: Paul Anka’s “The Times of Your Life” and the Hilltop Singers’ “I’d like to Teach The World To Sing” both were parts of iconic landmark ads that used some of our favorite human emotions to sell film and sugar water.

Usage of these songs exemplify tactics that Draper described in an very early episode, serving to bookend the entire series: “Advertising is based on one thing, happiness. And you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of the road that screams reassurance that whatever you are doing is okay. You are okay.”

The fanfare surrounding the end of Mad Men and unceasing growth of communication and business marketing majors speaks to how the field of advertising is perennially fascinating and attractive, with hundreds of new Villanovans entering the field yearly.

Dig Deeper

Business librarian Linda Hauck maintains a helpful and browser-friendly subject guide that highlights advertising resources that are fun to dip into even if you don’t have a paper due and would just like to trace the steps of real Mad Men (and Women) through the history of advertising.

Here are some curated links, and feel free to stop by or contact us if you’d like direction or ideas for further digging.

 



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Foto Friday: Farewell Advice

Graduates-2

Promise me you’ll always remember:

You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

A.A. Milne

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

 

 


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The Great, Good Place

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American author Henry James wrote a short story in 1900 in which protagonist George Dane, a successful author (and as most surmise, James’ alter ego), dreams of a ‘great good place’ far from the busy day to day trappings of reading, writing and responsibilities. AKA, what today’s generation would label #firstworldproblems! 

Sociologist Roy Oldenburg borrowed the term for the title of his influential book The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community, a treatise on the human need for third places for congregation and happiness. Oldenburg found communal bliss in places like pubs, cafes and libraries.

We hope that the Class of 2015 and all members of the Villanova community who come to Falvey Memorial Library have utilized and enjoyed our third place creature comforts (i.e. the comfy chairs, whiteboard art, Peet’s coffee and the close company of others in the same boat) as much as the academic trappings of reading, writing and responsibilities. As Pete Hamill wrote, (and Oldenburg included in his introduction),  “But aside from friends, there must also be a Place. I suppose that this is the Great Good Place that every man carries in his heart…”

Villanova University Class of 2015, we hope you remember Falvey as a great, good place. 


Photo by Joanne Quinn. Follow the library on Instagram @falveylibrary.


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Senior Week Special: Congrats and Farewell to Falvey’s Friendly Front Line

A whole new set of smiles will soon greet patrons visiting Falvey Memorial Library as our intrepid, friendly – and soon-to-be degreed seniors in Access Services go off to conquer the world. The University’s Commencement ceremonies begin this Friday, May 15. For full schedule and to sign up for Commencement text updates, click here.

Best wishes, smooth sailing – and know that you’ll always be remembered fondly here at the Library. #OnceaWildcatAlwaysaWildcat!

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Some of our smiling seniors (clockwise from top left): Marissa, Kristi, Jonathan, Vanessa, Kaitlyn and Liz.

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Some of our smiling seniors (clockwise from top left): Lily, Jane, Prathyusha, Jeff, Tri and Annemarie.


Photos by Luisa Cywinski, team leader for Access Services


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Happier Mary, the Mother of our Lord

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Mary, Our Mother of Good Counsel (Photo courtesy of Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish, Bryn Mawr. omgcparish.org

A sermon attributed to Saint Augustine says, “Happy Eve as the mother of people; happier Mary, the Mother of our Lord” (John E. Rotelle, OSA Mary’s Yes From Age to Age. London: Collins, 1989. 54).

Perhaps a homily attributed to Saint John Chrysostom can provide deeper insight: “Mary is a servant as the creature of him who was born of her; she is the Mother of God inasmuch as of her God was born in human flesh. She is a virgin because she did not conceive from the seed of man; she is a mother because she gave birth and became the mother of him who before all eternity was begotten of [God] the Father” (Ibid., 52).

A lesser known fifth-century saint, Basil of Seleucia exclaims, “O holy womb in which God was received, in which the record of our sins effaced, in which God became man while remaining God!” (Homily 39, Ibid., 60).


DarrenPoleyArticle by Darren G. Poley, outreach librarian, theology specialist, and curator of the Augustinian Historical Institute. The Augustinian Historical Institute of Villanova University serves as a resource center for the study of the history of the Augustinian Order. Besides maintaining an extensive collection of materials on the history of the Order, we publish scholarly books and articles on these topics along with some studies of St. Augustine. Mr. Poley was named curator of the AHI this spring.


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Foto Friday: Making a statement

Bottle-Brushes

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


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Last Modified: May 8, 2015