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Dig Deeper: Remembering Maya Angelou


Whenever a public figure passes away, I can expect that for the next few days my social media will be abuzz with articles, remembrances and general mentions of said person. So it has come as no surprise that since Maya Angelou’s death on Thursday May 28 my Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr feeds, as well as many other websites and blogs that I frequent, have been brimming with content on the life, works and death of Angelou. However, as I have scrolled through the many posts and tweets in response to Angelou’s life and death over the past few days I have been struck by the genuine outpouring of emotions people are expressing. It felt somehow unique, somehow more personal than the usual “rest in peace” and “they will be missed” messages I usually see.

I was particularly moved by a Facebook post by a good friend of mine who teaches high school English who posted late in the day on the 28th long after all of the initial posts of surprise and sadness had flooded my news feed, she said:

“I spent some time today thinking about what I love so much about Maya Angelou, and I’ve decided it’s the fact that she made me feel powerful, in all the positive connotations of that word.”

Go to Angelou’s Wikipedia page or any site detailing her biography and you can learn that “she published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies and television shows spanning more than 50 years” (Wikipedia). And Angelou’s resume was as varied and interesting as her writing. In her lifetime she was a poet, civil rights activist, dancer, film producer, television producer, playwright, film director, author, actress and professor, just to name a few of the occupations she held in her 86 years of life.

But put all of that aside; remove the titles, labels, accomplishments and honors, and consider a simple sentence: “She made others feel powerful.”

It’s hard to think of a better epitaph for a woman who once said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Dig Deeper: Maya Angelou

If you’re interested in learning more about Maya Angelou, we have some resources to recommend:

Books in our catalog written by Maya Angelou

Books about Maya Angelou and critical companions to her works:


Maya Angelou’s official website (pretty bogged down right now, may not open due to heavy traffic)


Dictionary of Literary Biography (Available through Databases A-Z) has the following entry on Maya Angelou:

Maya Angelou (4 April 1928-). Lynn Z. Bloom

Afro-American Writers After 1955: Dramatists and Prose Writers. Ed. Thadious M. Davis and Trudier Harris-Lopez. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 38. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. p3-12.



Remembering Maya Angelou: a 1977 interview in The Black Scholar.



SarahArticle by Sarah Wingo, team leader- Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.

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


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.


Fun, free wallpaper for your laptop or smartphone

TOUGHLIB phone-to

When the going gets tough, the tough get a librarian! As a reminder of all the work you did (or the help you got) this semester, we’ve designed a fun graphic you can use for the background of your computer or smartphone screen!

Access the graphic for computer screen dimensions at this link.

Access the graphic for your smartphone screen at this link.

To change computer wallpaper, open the link and drag the graphic to your desktop, then open your monitor settings to switch wallpapers. To change your smartphone or tablet background, drag graphic to the desktop. Email or transfer it to your Camera Roll via Dropbox or your preferred method, and then open Settings to change Wallpaper/Brightness on your mobile devices. If these directions confuse you, ask a librarian to help.  (See what we did there?) ;-)


What Does Your Mother Read?

mother and child baby daughter reading magic book in dark
After reading Dr. Spock, Dr. Sears, Dr. Phil or Dr. Seuss, what does your mother read for herself? Does she peruse People, Woman’s World or Woman’s Health? Or does she prefer Erma Bombeck, Janet Evanovich or Anna Quindlen?

Falvey Memorial Library staff members offer their responses below. How about you? What does (or did) your mother read? Please contribute your mother’s favorite titles/authors in our comments section!

Rebecca Whidden, Reserve Technician:
My mother was a big Agatha Christie fan. She read most of her books multiple times.

Darren G. Poley, Interim Director: My mother was and is an avid perpetual reader. One of her favorite novels when I was a kid, Richard Adams’ Watership Down. Because of my interest in fantasy and sci fi, she encouraged me to read C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and the Perelandra series.

Rob LeBlanc, First Year Experience & Humanities Librarian: My mom read Frank Herbert’s Dune series again and again, got me to read it, and doomed me to being a life-long sci-fi fan.

Sarah Wingo, Subject Librarian for English Literature and Theatre: My mom read so many books to my sister and me while we were growing up I couldn’t even begin to count them. We read every night before bed, and she absolutely instilled a love of reading in me. Something I always looked forward to was going to the library to pick out new books or, as a special treat, going to Borders where my sister and I each got to pick out two books to buy. I also have vivid memories of us lying in bed, my mom reading to us, and a huge dictionary on the bedside table. If we didn’t know a word, she had us look it up. Reading drastically impacted the size of my vocabulary.
I don’t know what I’d say my mother’s favorite book would be, but since I’ve been an adult I’ve recommended a lot of books to her that I’ve read and enjoyed, and she in turn seems to enjoy them. In the last few years she has read and really enjoyed The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell, and Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides just to name a few.

Regina Duffy, Events Coordinator: My mom loves Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

Laura L. Hutelmyer, Electronic Resource & Special Acquisitions Coordinator:
Towards the end of her life my mother attempted to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. She got about ½ way through, but because her medication caused her to forget what she’d read, she had to start over. On her second attempt, she got about 2/3 of the way through before passing on. I have that paperback copy in a box, bloated and coffee stained, with the book mark still in place. One day I’ll read it for her.

Joanne Quinn, Team Leader, Communication & Service Promotion: There’s nothing my mom enjoys more than curling up with a cup of tea and a juicy Hollywood memoir. In fact, I just bought her a copy of Lady Blue Eyes: My Life With Frank by Barbara Sinatra to which she replied, “Oh, I already read it – but I’ll keep it anyway because I was sad when I had to return the copy I read to the library.”

Luisa Cywinski, Team Leader, Access Services: One of my mom’s favorites is Le Petit Prince. She also loves poetry (French and English).

TAMMIENicole Subik, Learning Support Services: I asked my mother about her favorite book, and in the spirit of a true book lover (which she truly is), she could not pick just one. Here are her two top choices in her own words:
2001, A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
remains one of my favorite novels. I love how he interweaves science and the evolution of mankind into a series of possibilities. The line “But he would think of something” surfaces twice in the story and has stuck with me as a mantra regarding how to proceed in life. Boy’s Life by Robert R. McCammon is my other favorite. This was the most amazing blend of story lines. He captures that magical feeling of childhood and then transports you into an adult world full of all the not so magical things that can be encountered when you leave that childhood sanctuary.
My mom is awesome. Her name is Tammie Subik. Although you did not ask for it, I also included a very recent selfie of the two of us. She really did encourage my love of reading and books!

Robin Bowles, Subject Librarian for Biology: Among many other things, my mother was a private pilot for many years. Her favorite book in those years was West With The Night.

Alice Bampton, Visual Resources Librarian: My mother loved historical fiction. Because we lived outside the city limits we could not use the public library so my maternal grandfather often borrowed books for Mom. She loved “Gone with the Wind,” reading it several times. She and her mother also saw the movie when it was first released in 1939. My parents instilled a love of reading in my sister and me; books were always an important part of our Christmas gifts.

Bill Greene, Document Delivery & Distance Learning Delivery: Attention Earthlings: at age 5 or so I was very interested in reading about wild animals. At 7 or 8, I was infected by the dinosaur bug. At age 12 I became interested in science fiction through the master, Ray Bradbury. Whenever the occasion required a gift, my mother would get me a book on these subjects. At Christmas there were many books! She is the reason, in large part, for the way I turned out. What a great mother!

Thanks to all library staff who contributed to this article! We’ll be featuring Dads’ favorites next month, so if you’d like to participate, send your book title/memory by June 11 to joanne.quinn@villanova.edu.

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Winner of “Finals Can Be Suite” contest announced!


So, how does this compare for a finals schedule: organic chemistry on Saturday, microbiology lab on Monday, ethics of adoption and contemplative tradition on Tuesday, statistics on Thursday and, the grand finale, microbiology on Friday. We don’t know about you, but we can’t help but think that it’s too bad professors don’t give credit per syllable!

Well, even though creativity or exigency did not count for our Finals Can Be Suite Contest, it seems like the right person won the usage of Conference Room 206 in the Learning Commons for Finals Week anyway! That’s the exam schedule of Elizabeth Prather, a junior Biology major, who was the lucky winner of the random drawing held from all the #falveypeeps photo entries uploaded to the library’s social media accounts over the last few weeks. Prather and her selected study group now have the exclusive opportunity to study in the room usually reserved only for library events and meetings.

Prather is very excited and confident that winning this contest will help greatly through her grueling finals schedule. “Having this study room honestly just gives me a leg up to know that every night when my study groups get together, we’ll have somewhere to go! Not to mention that now everyone wants to be my best friend to get in on it! I have told them I will take bribes and then choose accordingly,” she says with a wink (At least, we think it’s a wink! ;-) .)

Thanks to all who entered the contest, and good luck to all facing finals, which start tomorrow. Even if you didn’t win a private suite, remember that now through May 9, the Library has extended areas available for 24/7 study – including the first, second and ground floors of the main building. Finding quiet places to hunker down and hit the books uninterrupted should be easier than ever. Just remember your Wildcard to gain access to the building.


Foto Friday: A new leaf

A Blessed Easter and Happy Passover to all.


Continuum: Enhance What You Get Out of College and What You Do When You Get Out of College


Darren Poley, Interim Library Director

The Library is a natural place to conduct intellectual exploration. It has a labyrinth of book stacks; computer enabled areas and hotspots; audio, video, and even microform materials. It has noisy gathering spaces: some organized for co-curricular activity, such as ACS approved event programming, and others where students collaborate and discuss in an anarchic way. Falvey is not a shushing library, but it does offer spaces for quiet study. Falvey has places to nourish the mind, the body and, it is hoped, even the spirit.

Lent is a time for renewal and Easter a time for regeneration. And when the University community returns from the holiday weekend—which I hope is filled with both times for reflection as well as times for fellowship and fun—I hope folks know they are welcome to come to the Library to prepare for the end of the academic year.

Photo by Frank Klassner

Photo by Frank Klassner

For some it will be a time to prepare for being graduated and going into the world as alums holistically prepared by the Villanova educational experience. It has been said in various ways, and I think it holds true: Education is about more than learning to make a living. Rather, education should be about learning to make a life worth living. It is hoped that Falvey and library explorations have enriched the Villanova experience for students and the campus community by its support of the enterprise of a liberal education. That is, one distinguished by the freedom to be imaginative and curious as much as analytical and fact-driven. Such an education produces, in addition to a fulfilling vocation and career, great thinkers and presenters of ideas who pursue truth, goodness, and beauty.

For those returning after the long Easter weekend—whether you are graduating or will have yet more exploring to do next year—please keep in mind Falvey extends both electronic and human guides that are here to help you along your educational journey. Online, we have subject guides and more. These virtual guides enable you to more easily navigate databases and full-text collections. You may also want a human guide, either to help you use our online tools or to orient you to Falvey’s physical collections. For support, contact a librarian. If you need a specialist for subject-specific library research, make an appointment with a liaison librarian by reaching out to the subject-specific liaison team that matches your research needs.

Everyone at Falvey is dedicated to aiding our students’ intellectual explorations, and I hope you find the Library complements your Villanova educational experience.



How Suite it is! You and your ‘peeps’ can win private meeting-room usage during Finals Week!


Finding a quiet place to study on campus during Finals Week can be a challenge and the difference between an A and a, well, you know, blech. With our traditional Open Until 3am extended hours beginning, Monday, April 28, the Library is sensitive to students’ needs. But this year we are planning something extra special for one lucky group: a week’s use of an exclusive meeting room in our new Learning Commons – a venue usually reserved only for library events and meetings!

How to enter? Simply take a photograph of you and your ‘peeps’ and upload it to one of the library’s social media accounts: Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #falveypeeps. One lucky group will be selected randomly from all photographs submitted! That group (up to ten students) will be allowed access to Room 206 in the Learning Commons from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. each night from Sunday, May 4, through Thursday, May 8.  Peace, quiet, whiteboards and some sweet deliveries while you’re there (wink, wink!) – it doesn’t get any better than that!

Rules? Not a lot – just have fun! Creativity doesn’t count with this one – we know you’re super busy these days!! And who qualifies as your peeps? That’s totally up to you – but it is Easter time, and we do have a sweet tooth. Just sayin’.



Submit your photos, either in-person or at Falvey’s main service counter or electronically, by noon on Wednesday, April 30. Winners will be notified on Thursday, May 1 by email and will have their winning photo published on our blog! Submission of a photo grants use of the photo on library social media accounts and promotional displays and materials.


DA FINE PRINT: Contest is open to full- or part-time students enrolled in the spring 2014 semester at Villanova University. Limit of five entries per student. Photos submitted must be original to the entrant and have been legally created; must not not infringe the intellectual property, privacy, or publicity rights or any other legal or moral rights of any third party; and must be suitable for public viewing, i.e., not indecent or obscene. By submitting an entry, an entrant represents that he/she owns all rights to the photo. And other things, too, that we might not have thought of yet! :-)

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Foto Friday: And the award goes to …


Visit our DVD collection housed right inside the door to Falvey West Stacks. Check one out over the break!

Here is a list of this year’s Oscar nominees. What are your picks?

Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Service Promotion team and special acquisitions coordinator in Resource Management


Continuum: Welcome 2014


As classes get back into full swing for the spring semester, I hope students continue to see their Library as a welcoming and inviting place to interact and explore intellectually. My concern is that, because they grew up in a digital world, students may not recognize that the Library is significant and also relevant to current learning and study needs.

A good contemporary academic library, such as Falvey, functions as a setting for group study, a collaborative environment for interacting around computers, a place to connect with complex digital resources while receiving instructional assistance from a librarian, and a venue for a broad mix of cultural and intellectual events, in addition to providing access to learning resources in print and digital forms. Falvey strives to provide students with a lively and diverse learning environment.

We know students come to study in Falvey and Falvey Hall, both individually and in groups, often using the group-study rooms, Reading Room and similar study spaces we have available. They come for quick access to email; if they don’t have their laptop with them, they borrow one of our laptops; and they use the wireless network to sit comfortably and read, write, browse the Web, or perform similar tasks. They come to Falvey to print documents (we have the busiest printers on campus!) and for assistance with class assignments. They come to access services on the second-floor Learning Commons: the Writing Center, the Math Learning Resource Center, Learning Support Services, Library Research Support.

Our mission is to provide a positive supportive experience from the start, so our users will see the Library as a place to come when they need assistance and support with academic and co-curricular pursuits. We very much see Falvey Memorial Library as essential to the Villanova experience.



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Last Modified: January 21, 2014