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Sarah Zinn Selected Student Employee of the Month

Sarah Zinn is Falvey Memorial Library’s current Student Employee of the Month.

Sarah, a senior English major from Cleveland, Ohio, has minors in philosophy and German. She has worked in Falvey since enrolling at Villanova University. Sarah says, “[I]t’ll always feel a bit like home to me … It’s been a good run, and I’m happy to have been here.”

She works at Circulation and helps with all aspects of interlibrary loan (ILL). Sarah receives the incoming ILL book requests, processes articles for delivery, and prepares returned ILL books to be shipped back to loaning libraries.

Phylis Wright, manager of access desk services, says, “Sarah … always comes to work with a smile on her face. She has never missed a shift and often flexes it to accommodate the workload of ILL.” Jesse Flavin, interlibrary loan specialist, says, “She consistently provides conscientious and precise work for our ILL team.”

Her interests are varied: getting caught in the rain, dogs, silly movies, good books, music, the Oxford comma, embarrassing her friends by dancing and singing in public, and the Game of Thrones television series. Sarah also enjoys hot tea and adds, “There are no words in the English language passionate enough to describe my feelings for Nutella.”

After graduation, Sarah plans to attend law school.

The University Staff Council at Falvey selects a Student Employee of the Month based upon nominations from the department supervisors of student employees.

Article and photograph by Alice Bampton


The Madonna on the Third Floor: A Gift from Alumnus Alan Fischer

by Alice Bampton

Have you noticed the small statue of a woman, her hands held together in prayer, standing inconspicuously in a niche on the third floor of Falvey? Who is she and why is she in the Library? Is she a patron saint of students or libraries? She is the only statue in Falvey; she must be important.

A closer look at the figure shows a plaque on the base of the sculpture: “Dedicated May 16, 1968, in honor of Mr. & [sic] Mrs. Albert K. Fischer on the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary. For those I love so much in a place I love. Alan ‘68”   This tells us the first name of the person who donated the statue and the occasion, but there is more to discover.

With the help of the Alumni Office, this writer was able to contact Alan Fischer ’68, who generously shared the following information: “I have always had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother and a deep love for my parents. Consequently I saved for four years at Villanova to purchase the statue as a way to thank them all for the help I received to get through Villanova.” Fischer’s graduation from Villanova University coincided with his parents’ 25th wedding anniversary, and they are the Mr. and Mrs. Albert K. Fischer named on the plaque at the base of the figure.



Confessions of a Self-Check-Out Addict

Self Check

By Laura Hutelmyer

Intrigued by an article that appeared in the October 2008 Rolling Stone Magazine by David Lipsky about the life of the novelist David Foster Wallace, I decided to check out one of Wallace’s books. I was looking forward to having some extra reading time over the long Thanksgiving weekend, and Lipsky’s description of Wallace’s life, works and early death were enticing.

I was late leaving work that Tuesday night but made a quick trip to Falvey’s fourth floor to retrieve Wallace’s The Broom of the System (PS3573 .A425635 B7) and, on a whim, Girl with Curious Hair (PS3573 .A425635 G5).  I was especially interested in reading The Broom of the System (named after a saying from Wallace’s grandmother about the benefits of eating an apple) because Wallace had written it in 1984 to fulfill a thesis requirement for graduation from Amherst College, and it was good enough to be published as a novel in 1987. I also knew Wallace had written this following a period of depression that had caused him to withdraw from school to be institutionalized for a while.

I took the books to the first floor circulation counter, hoping not to have to wait since I was already late for a scheduled appointment. There were seven people ahead of me, doing things like checking out laptops, requesting study rooms, asking for help with microfilm and even checking out books needed to complete assignments over the long holiday weekend. I almost put my books on the counter, prepared to leave empty handed, when I spotted the Self-Check machine. Wildcard in hand, I proceeded to the machine to see if I could save some time. (more…)


Sarah Gross, Student Employee, Receives Accolades

By Alice Bampton

Sarah Gross is Falvey Memorial Library’s student employee of the month for February 2012.

Sarah, a junior nursing major from Rockville, Md., is executive vice president of the campus Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP-Villanova). As part of her activities with SNAP, Sarah chaired the on-campus Dream for Eileen event. The Dream for Eileen 5k Run/Walk commemorates nursing student, Eileen Shea Lupton ’03 CON, who died before she could begin her first job after graduation. Dream for Eileen raises money for nursing student scholarships.


Phylis Wright, manager of access desk services and Sarah’s supervisor, says, “As a nursing major, Sarah’s time is precious. Her time management skills are amazing. Last month alone she covered ten additional shifts for others. No small feat considering mid-terms and the intensity of the nursing program. Sarah Gross is a sweet addition to the Access staff.”

Sarah also worked with the Andy Tally Bone Marrow Donor Drive, and coordinates SNAP-Villanova’s vision screenings at the McDaniel Elementary School in Philadelphia.

In addition to her SNAP-Villanova activities, Sarah plays the bassoon in the Villanova University Orchestra.

Last summer Sarah worked on an oncology floor at Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C., and this summer she will work there on a pediatric transplant floor.

Sarah says, “I love working at Falvey Library because I love helping people. I learn something new every day!”

(Photo by Alice Bampton)



Video Contest: Spaces & Places

In honor of National Library Week, Falvey is running a video contest! Submit a short video highlighting your favorite physical or virtual space in Falvey Memorial Library and why it is your favorite place. Do you see the library as a temple? A gaming location? Is it the first place you run to when looking for online resources? Or do you just love that new “Speakers’ Corner” on the first floor?

The winning video will be featured on our website. The submitter(s) of the overall best video will win fabulous prizes!

For the full set of guidelines, go to the Falvey Memorial Library Video Contest web page.


The Learning Commons: A Space Dedicated to Research, Learning, Mathematics and Writing

By Luisa Cywinski

The Learning Commons in Falvey was officially dedicated on Feb. 17 when library and University planners, architects, designers, faculty, staff, students and visitors gathered to celebrate the new home of the Falvey Research Center, Learning Support Services (LSS), the Math Learning Resource Center (MLRC), and the  Writing Center.

Upon his arrival, University President, the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 A&S, toured the Learning Commons, greeting each center’s director and asking about the new student lounge space, event rooms and special collections. Distinguished guests, including academic deans and administrators, were invited to the event. There were also lively reunions between current and former library staff, some of whom had retired or moved away.

Joe Lucia, University Librarian

University Librarian Joe Lucia opened the ceremony by expressing his pleasure at welcoming guests to celebrate the “realization of our dream.” The Rev. Dennis Gallagher, OSA, PhD, offered a blessing and prayer for our “academic community and all who will use this transformed space.” The Rev. Kail Ellis, OSA, PhD, complimented the aesthetics and remarked on the ease of access to offices in the commons.

Recounting the long process of inspiration that led to the learning commons project, Father Donohue remembered his first visits to the original locations of the Writing Center, the MLRC and the LSS, and described them as being in “places where no one else would want to go.” (more…)


Personalized Research Portfolios? We’ve Got That!

You’ve just spent a half-hour or more creating and perfecting a search strategy in one of the library’s specialized databases. After trying out different keywords and perhaps even consulting the database thesaurus, your results are now right on target. If this is a topic you intend to pursue over time, why not save that search strategy so that you don’t have to go hunting for keywords all over again? Many of Falvey’s subject-specific databases provide a customizable online portfolio where you can store search strategies and results and even create automated search alerts.

Here’s an example of My EBSCOhost, the valuable, time-saving portfolio available for databases such as America: History & Life, Catholic Periodical & Literature Index, CINAHL with Full Text, Communication & Mass Media Complete and Historical Abstracts. Access all of these databases at the Falvey homepage under Databases A-Z.

I consulted the CINAHL thesaurus to find precise keywords for my nursing topic: how to manage the diet of patients with type 2 diabetes. Then I limited my results to English-language articles from peer-reviewed journals.



Italian immigrant women and artistic creativity: Cultural window display reflects Mannella lecture theme

Complementing the recent Mannella Distinguished Lecture focusing on the relationship between the creativity of handiwork and Italian immigrant women, the November cultural window exhibit features two exquisite crocheted pieces, a bedspread and a vanity cover, made by Maria Pullino Calla (1889-1918) who immigrated to the United States from Cinquefrondi, Calabria, Italy.

Her grandson, Richard Calla, loaned the items to Falvey for the display and wrote the commentary, “In Memory of My Grandmother.” Those words play a prominent role in the exhibit that explains how and when Signora Calla created the pieces.

In addition to being the proud grandson of Signora Calla, Richard Calla is the president of Il Circolo Italiano, a Main Line organization dedicated to the preservation and sharing of Italian culture. His daughter, Cynthia Calla Christenson, PhD, received both her bachelor’s degree (1987) and master’s degree (1989) from Villanova University.

This exhibit corresponds to the third annual Alfred F. Mannella and Rose T. Lauria-Mannella Distinguished Speakers Series lecture by Joan L. Saverino, PhD, on November 16. Dr. Saverino’s lecture addressed needlework, albeit embroidery, made by an immigrant from Calabria, the same area from which Signora Calla emigrated.

Detailed photo of bedspread

In 1996 Alfred S. Mannella, a 1958 graduate of the Villanova School of Business, established two endowed funds focusing on scholarship about Italian-American history, culture, and the immigrant experience as a memorial to family members. Originally, these funds were used to purchase books and other research materials. One of the funds now supports a lecture series which honors Alfred S. Mannella’s parents, Alfred F. Mannella and Rose T. Lauria-Mannell

This first floor display, mounted by Joanne Quinn, design specialist, also includes banners of Italian flags and photographs of vintage luggage which reflect the immigrants’ travels. Regina McFadden, library events and program coordinator, helped arrange the loan of the two pieces of needlework.

The display will be on view through November.

Contributed by Alice  Bampton and Gerald Dierkes; photography by Alice Bampton



Tent occupies first floor of Falvey

Why is there a tent in Falvey? A camp site? A new study space? No, this tent was erected by Nova 99%, a group of Villanovans who sympathize with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The Occupy Wall Street and other Occupy locales represent people“discontented with a corporate run America, growing inequality, destruction of the middle class, and the unregulated, avaricious financial gambling that brought on the world-wide recession,” according to one handout.

Ward Barnes staffing the Nova99% table in the Library.

Nova99% evolved from a message posted on the University student newswire by Karyn Hollis, PhD, and William (Will) Stehl. Dr. Hollis is a member of the English department. Stehl is the associate director of Campus Ministry-Center for Peace and Justice Education.

Luisa Cywinski, team leader of Access Services, Falvey Memorial Library, attended the meeting called to gather support for the Occupy Wall Street movement. On behalf of Nova 99%, Cywinski obtained permission from Joe Lucia, library director, to set up the tent in Falvey where it serves as a symbol for the movement. Cywinski noted that the tent will remain “as long as there is a need  to support Occupy Wall Street.”

Nova99% members hope that others will post comments on the tent. Cywinski also said that Paul Sheldon, PhD, a member of the Psychology department, who, along with Dr. Hollis, is an advisor for Villanovans for Peace, has been an “amazing resource.” Dr. Sheldon, manning the information table in Falvey one afternoon, commented that he has been protesting a long time, since the Vietnam War era.

Join the national conversation. Add your thoughts below.

Article and photograph by Alice Bampton


Renovation Review: The Big Picture

By Alice Bampton

Have you heard the mysterious noises emanating from the second floor? Are you wondering what the second floor will look like when the renovations are complete?

Joanne Quinn, design specialist, and Kristyna Carroll, research librarian, created and mounted a large double-sided display that can answer your questions about what is happening on the second floor.

The windows facing the first floor welcome Falvey’s new residents to the Learning Commons, which will include the Writing Center, Mathematics Learning Resource Center and Learning Support Services. There are panels with descriptions of the services offered by each area of the Learning Commons; these panels include QR codes. Use your smart phone to read the QR codes and to find out more about their services.

A floor plan shows how the second floor of Falvey Memorial Library will house the Learning Commons, presentation rooms, study areas, academic integration (librarian) offices and offices for the library director and his staff. Across the bottom of the window are photographs of the second floor under construction, linked by bright yellow caution tape.

Tentative plans for the second floor of Old Falvey include space for Library resource management, outreach and communication office space.

A cross-sectional drawing of the two buildings, Falvey Hall and Falvey Memorial Library, reveals how they could eventually be linked by an atrium. This phase of construction will be dependent on a capital campaign.

In the window facing Holy Grounds is a large Project Timeline that reflects which projects are finished, those in progress and the ones still to come. There is also a “Falvey has Big Planzz” sign and a free-standing cardboard easel showing two seated construction workers whose faces are cut out; they can be used for photo opportunities.

If you keep an eye on the timeline, it will keep you informed of the progress being made in this important renovation project. You can also get a project overview on our Renovation News webpage and by watching our news blog for updates.

Also contributing: Luisa Cywinski


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Last Modified: October 5, 2011