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‘Cat in the Stacks: (Un)helpful Tips for Thanksgiving Break


I’m Michelle Callaghan, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is our new column, “‘Cat in the Stacks.” I’m the ‘cat. Falvey Memorial Library is the stacks. I’ll be posting about living that scholarly life, from research to study habits to embracing your inner-geek, and how the library community might aid you in all of it.


All of the mashed potatoes.

Thanksgiving is in exactly one week. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited. I, like you, have a ton to be thankful for this year, and as much as I’m tempted to make this a gooberfest of a grateful post, I’ll keep that to the Tweeter Tweety Twitter bird world (where you can hashtag #NovaSaysThanks and keep that feel-good thankfulness flowing throughout the week)!

So instead of sap, I give you:

Five Very Unhelpful* Strategies for Being Productive on Thanksgiving!

Look, everyone knows we have three weeks until finals. We’re trying to pretend it’s not true, but it is, and every cell of our sleep-deprived bodies are cringing with dread because projects and deadlines and exams are suddenly so scary and so giant and looming, and perhaps we can’t spare every hour of Thanksgiving for holiday activites. And maybe that’s okay, because you can…


read article PDFs on your phone! You’ll fit right in at the dinner table, because your Aunt Betty just got a new iPhone and has discovered how to send cat gifs in texts, and your cousin Brad is checking his Fantasy scores, and really, every one of your family members’ faces are glowing blue this year, so what’s the harm? It’s not like anyone is talking!

But if that doesn’t cut it, you can study by osmosis during your turkey coma!

Step 1: Face-plant on the nice, cool pages of your biology textbook.

Step 2: Line up your frontal lobe on top of the juicier paragraphs.

Step 3: ???

Step 4: Profit!

No naps allowed? Use family debates to test your theses. People love arguing about things they don’t know much about, right? Free consultations!

And, worst-case scenario: you’ve been tasked with cooking. Buy 25 sides of green beans from KFC, write papers instead. Flawless plan.

*Don’t take any of this advice. It is terrible advice.

Some actually helpful tips for Thanksgiving break:

How to access databases through Villanova at home:

Subject Guides:

Feel inefficient when using library resources? Check out our Highlighter blog posts:

Have fun, relax, and be grateful. Happy Thanksgiving, Wildcats!

Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.

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Moodboard: Kallie Stahl

Ever wonder how your favorite librarians and library staff soak up information in their everyday lives? Wonder no longer! Today, in the second of a series of link-laden, resource-ridden micro-interviews with a series of smart people, Programming and Outreach intern Kallie Stahl talks about the internet as a platform for fan communities. 

Kallie StahlWho are you?
I’m Kallie, the Programming and Outreach intern at Falvey Memorial Library, and a graduate student of communication,

Where do you get your news (current events and/or personal interests)?
I have the CNN World News app … the ESPN app for all my sports. If I’m up in the morning I’ll watch Headline News, cable news. I don’t sit down and actually watch the local news or world news. If I’m home on Fridays, which I’m usually not, I’ll watch On the Road with Steve Hartman. He does touching, uplifting news stories.  I’m old-school though – I’d rather read the newspaper.

So, your desk’s convenient proximity to my desk has given me the inside scoop on your geekier side. What was your undergraduate research project?
It was titled Frenzy of Fans: An Examination of the Current Television Fan. I studied in particular the Firefly fandom and how they went about getting Fox to make a feature film out of a canceled television program. I looked into how active they are, the power they hold.

FireflyAnd how would you define fandom?
I classify people in three levels: they’re a viewer, a fan, or a fanatic. These levels of analysis are based upon Lawrence Grossberg’s categories of investment. A viewer is someone whose pleasure of that artifact extends only through the medium, so they just watch a show on television. They don’t do anything else. A fan is someone who takes it the next step further. They’re the ones who watch TV every week, maybe check out spoilers, own paraphernalia – things that extend beyond the medium. They maybe follow the actor on Twitter or Facebook. A fanatic is the next step further, so they’re gonna watch the program every week, they’re going to create fansites. They’re the ones who are going to be writing fanfiction. Some fans might read, they might not write it, but the fanatic will write fanfiction. They’ll know lines by heart. They’ll know everything about that show as it extends beyond the medium. They’ll live their lives through that show. There are also different levels between each group.

How do you use the Internet in terms of fandom?
I am on tumblr a lot. I look at Reddit. I visit a lot of spoilers sites because I’m a spoiler junkie. I need to know what’s happening with my favorite shows, and I need to know it now. I’ll look on fansites.

Do you social media?
Yes, I do. I’m on Facebook, Instie (Instagram), Twitter, Pinterest.

Who do you follow?
Nathan Fillion, Stephen Colbert, Neil Patrick Harris.

Favorite TV shows right now, on or off the air?
Castle, Scandal, Nashville, Bones, CSI:, Firefly, House, Gilmore Girls, X-Files

Do you have a favorite app?
My most useful app is the PNC bank app. The SportsCenter app is on the list.

iOS, Android, or other?

Thanks, Kallie!

Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.

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Meet “Nova” and The Seeing Eye at the Special Olympics Fair


Article by Laura Matthews, library events and outreach specialist.

IMG_2217Four years ago, while at The Special Olympics, I found out about raising puppies for The Seeing Eye. I raised my first pup in 2012, a female yellow lab named Carey. She went on to become a breeder. Last fall, on October 28, 2013, the only female from Carey’s first litter of six pupsseven week old “Baby N”was delivered to our house.“Baby N” was named Nova! A complete, bizarre, and utter coincidence; especially because less than a year later I myself would become employed at Villanova. (I love it when life comes full circle!) Nova would spend 12-15 months with us learning and growing while being exposed to all sorts of new things. She spent at least one day of the week on Villanova’s campus with my father, who also works here.

Raising puppies to become guides for the blind is bittersweet, yes, but incredibly worth it.


The Seeing Eye called – it is Nova’s time to return for her formal harness training. She will more than likely become a guide, or as I like to say, a blind person’s new best friend or perhaps she will be a breeder like her mom. Regardless, I am excited to see what her future holds. The Seeing Eye knows how much I enjoy The Special Olympics and has allowed her to stay so she can make an appearance on Saturday November 8th. On Wednesday November 12th she will say her goodbyes to Villanova’s campus and return to The Seeing Eye in Morristown, New Jersey.

If you are interested in learning more about The Seeing Eye or perhaps you are thinking about raising a puppy (I highly suggest the latter, it is more rewarding than I can put into words) please visit The Seeing Eye’s website: http://www.seeingeye.org/ And you should probably click on “Raise a Puppy,” – just saying!


Come on out to the 2014 Special Olympics Fall Festival! The festival will be held November 7, 8, and 9, rain or shine.

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Tiger in the Stacks (and a really good earworm)


I’m Michelle Callaghan, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is our new column, “‘Cat in the Stacks.” I’m the ‘cat. Falvey Memorial Library is the stacks. I’ll be posting about living that scholarly life, from research to study habits to embracing your inner-geek, and how the library community might aid you in all of it.

Rising up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances

The time has come. Fall break has come and gone and Halloween is well behind us. It’s proposal time. It’s research time. It’s time for the endless revving and the uphill running to the finish line.

Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet
Just a cat and her will to survive

At this point, you have probably glanced at your syllabi. You know what’s coming. You maybe even have a vague idea and a starting point. Procrastinate no longer—it’s time to craft those vague ideas into actionable research questions.

So many times it happens too fast
You trade your passion for glory

As a colleague of mine at a youth theater camp used to say to hesitant young actors, it’s time to “jump out of the plane.” Gone is the time for hesitation! Leap and fall! In research, just as in acting, half-acted ideas are useless—go big or go home.

“But I don’t want to. I don’t even know where to begin,” you say. That’s because you’re a perfectionist. Do you have a brain? Of course you do! Then you have ideas. If you’re waiting around for your ideas to autonomously reach a point of clarity in your brain, stop. Real thinking comes when you start writing, when you start producing. I’m not a gambling lady, but I would bet that any so-called concrete ideas you start out with will hit the cutting room floor come final editing.

Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

So leave those doubts behind and get to work.


It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival

DRAMATIC BUILD-UP! Sit down in your thinking chair and think, think, think (all you 90s kids better get that reference).BluesClues

EXPLOSIONS! Use some subject guides.Explosions

SLOW MOTION TRAINING MONTAGES! Go see some librarians.Rocky

And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watching us all with the eye…

Tiger with Papers

…of the tiger.

And, uh, hand things in on time, too. Kind of important.

 Now go get ‘em.

Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.

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Familiar Faces in New Places

Photo of Falvey Memorial Library by Michelle Callaghan

Photo of Falvey Memorial Library by Michelle Callaghan

Wondering where your favorite librarian or other Falvey staff member is located? In preparation for the fall semester, Falvey relocated some of its personnel.

Stephen Spatz, assistant Outreach and Research Support librarian, formerly in room 235, moved to room 229. Laura Matthews, the recently hired library events and outreach specialist, has moved to the desk that was Spatz’s. Rebecca (Becky) Whidden, a member of Access Services, is the interim library events and program coordinator while Regina (Gina) Duffy is on maternity leave. Whidden joins other Outreach team members in room 235.

Alexander (Alex) Williams is also covering for a colleague who is on maternity leave. Williams, who had served previously as the interim theology/humanities liaison librarian, now serves as temporary Research Support librarian for social sciences. His new office is room 223, the office normally occupied by Kristyna Carroll who is now on maternity leave. Williams first came to Falvey as an intern for the Academic Integration and Information and Research Assistance teams in 2013 while attending Drexel University’s iSchool.

Darren Poley, Scholarly Outreach team leader and theology librarian, has returned to his office in room 234.

Judith (Judy) Olsen, who retired in 2013, returns to Falvey as the liaison librarian for Education and Psychology. Her new office is room 227. Before retiring, Olsen had been the liaison librarian for the English and Theatre departments and team leader of the Communication and Publications team.

All of the above offices can be found on the second floor.

One additional move, which took place during the summer, relocated University Archivist, The Rev. Dennis J. Gallagher, OSA, PhD, and the University Archives from room 415 to a new suite on the ground floor adjacent to University Communications Creative Services Department.

Confused? Still need help to locate someone? Access Services employees at the first floor front desk will gladly assist you. Or you can consult the online library staff directory.



Social Media Roundup

We know it’s a busy time of year and keeping up with news, events and internet chatter doesn’t always take priority, so we’re giving you a roundup of the latest Falvey Memorial Library posts on social media.

facebook logo




Find the link on Facebook and on the library blog. There’s still time to enter the Research Challenge Quiz!




twitter open access week


Did you see our tweet about Open Access Week, October 20-24? Two events held that week featured Villanova librarians and visiting speakers from a law firm, Griesing Law, and from the Center for Statistics Education.


instagram logo


El Greco doodle










This photo on Instagram links to news of the October 23rd Hispanic Cultural Heritage Month event, co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Sigma Delta Pi and the Hispanic Honor Society, and which featured Agnes Moncy, PhD.

youtube logo


The grand opening of the CAVE automatic virtual environment took place on October 2 and included opening remarks by the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS, Frank Klassner, PhD, associate professor of computing sciences and director of the University’s Center of Excellence in Enterprise Technology (CEET), Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Darren Poley, former interim director of Falvey Memorial Library.

We also have accounts on Pinterest, Goodreads, Google+ and RebelMouse.


Quick Hits: Halloween

This Halloween, as you indulge in the typical horror film, candy eating and apple bobbing, try to think about all of the scary things that surround you daily. You might not even realize how terrifying the Villanova experience actually is, so the following are some of the top scary moments at Villanova that we all experience year-round:

1. Losing Your Wildcard

The two phases you go through when you lose your Wildcard are extreme shock/frustration and depression when you realize the replacement card costs $30.


2. Falvey West

I am pretty sure I see this guy every time I go into the Falvey West Stacks


3. Scary Tunnel

It is scary enough walking underneath a train line, but the fear is compounded by the sound of a million crickets chirping and the flickering lights.


I feel like every time I make it to the other side I just escaped from the cave in The Descent.


4. Running out of points before the end of the semester

Cue the frantic call to Mom detailing how you are on the verge of death from starvation.


5. Tolentine Hall

Frankly, the entire building deserves to be on this list, with the seemingly endless hallways and the 19th century Gothic look. Even the chairs in the basement are meant to scare you


6. Squirrels

The squirrels around campus are vicious and bold. I would not be surprised if I saw this on campus this Halloween:



7. Amtrak Trains

The exact expression on people’s faces when they first experience the Amtrak train careening down the tracks:



8. Getting around on campus at night and just missing the shuttle

The campus is especially eerie at night, and your only escape from loneliness and despair is slowly pulling away from you:


9. Losing a library book


No, we will not steal your soul like in the movie Mortal Kombat, but it is still a scary experience. To avoid this, remember to check your library account online and renew your material.

Browse our collection for Halloween inspired movies and books. Have a fun and safe Halloween.

(Gifs provided by Reactiongifs.com and Giphy.com.)

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


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Dig Deeper: W. Ian Lipkin, MD, Mendel Medal Recipient

LipkinVillanova University has named world-renowned epidemiologist and “microbe hunter” W. Ian Lipkin, MD, as the recipient of its 2014 Mendel Medal, in recognition of his groundbreaking work in the development of genetic methods for microbial surveillance and discovery, as well as his research into infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, SARS, and West Nile Virus.

Named “the world’s most celebrated virus hunter” by Discover Magazine, Professor Lipkin’s scientific contributions include the first use of genetic methods to identify an infectious agent, discovery of the implication of West Nile virus as the cause of encephalitis in North America in 1999, invention of MassTag PCR and the first panmicrobial microarray, first use of deep sequencing in pathogen discovery, and molecular characterization of more than 500 viruses. In 2003, at the height of the SARS outbreak, Professor Lipkin traveled to China at the invitation of the World Health Organization, the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology and the Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Science to co-direct research efforts and train Chinese microbiologists how to test for the virus. More recently, he was the sole external investigator invited by the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia to assist in identifying reservoirs and vectors for transmission of the MERS coronavirus.

First awarded in 1929, Villanova’s Mendel Medal is given to outstanding contemporary scientists in recognition of their scientific accomplishments. The medal honors 19th century Augustinian friar and scientist Gregor Johann Mendel, Abbot of the Augustinian Monastery, Brünn, Austria, (now Brno, the Czech Republic), best known as “the father of modern genetics,” for his discovery of the celebrated laws of heredity that bear his name. Previous medalists have been Nobel Laureates, Lasker and MacArthur awardees, and recipients of the National Medal of Science.

(Copy Source: http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/media/pressreleases/2014/0324.html)

Professor Lipkin will deliver the 2014 Mendel Medal Lecture “Of Microbes and Man: A Delicate Balance” at 2:00 p.m. on October 31 in the Villanova Room of the Connelly Center. The event is free and open to the public.

To learn more about epidemiology, consult the sources below, selected by Robin Bowles, liaison librarian for science, biology, and nursing.

Dig Deeper

Major databases:


Web of Science



Our epidemiology journals:

A selection of the best introductory epidemiology books from our collection:


RS4532_FML164_RobinBowles_019_EDITDig Deeper links selected by Robin Bowles, liaison librarian for science, biology, and nursing.


Throwback Thursday: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Semester

It was Fall 2012, the Sorcerer’s Semester, and we spent the whole semester, every Wednesday, reading all 7 of the Harry Potter books.

“Our readers came away with fond memories, a rekindling of their childhood love of the Potter books, and a few extra ounces (pounds?!) in the form of tasty snacks, including “authentic” butterbeer, contributed and arranged by our fabulous Outreach team.”



Winner of the Sorcerers' Semester marathon reading prize!

Winner of the Sorcerers’ Semester marathon reading prize, Chelsea Peláez!

harry missing



‘Cat in the Stacks: This Is Halloween

Cat Pumpkin Head

 I’m Michelle Callaghan, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is our new column, “‘Cat in the Stacks.” I’m the ‘cat. Falvey Memorial Library is the stacks. I’ll be posting about living that scholarly life, from research to study habits to embracing your inner-geek, and how the library community might aid you in all of it.

One of my favorite holiday movies ever, in a bizarre and subtly terrifying sort of way, is Disney’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s a sort of cute moniker, too, for the weeks before finals. Finals—the nightmare before Christmas.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Instead, let’s talk about the ways in which this oddball stop-motion Tim Burton film mirrors the college experience in a few genuinely poignant and completely uncontrived ways!

The Seven Holiday Doors

Holiday Doors

Kind of like how you set endurance goals during a long run by mile markers, college is often about breaks and holidays and classes off. Halloween is usually the last hurrah before the bear of the stretch toward finals—Thanksgiving is like a feast at a pit stop—and Christmas Town is the finish line.


“And I, Jack – the Pumpkin King – have grown so tired of the same old thing.”

Jack snowflake

The Nightmare Before Christmas is all about a skeleton questioning his major. Or, rather, his career as the Pumpkin King. But he’s so good at what he does! It’s his calling, his purpose! But he needs to kidnap Santa and have a Christmas expedition to figure that out. Look, sometimes you get bored doing the at which things you’re best. Don’t let it discourage you. Ride it out and soon enough you’ll often recall what made you love what you’re doing in the first place.


“Everyone, please now, not so fast – there’s something here that you don’t quite grasp.”

Town Meeting

When Jack tries to explain what Christmas is to the residents of Halloween Town, they can only compare it to Halloween. They just don’t get it. It seems clear as day to Jack, but is a foreign language to the Halloween Town ghouls and monsters. Sounds a lot like the beginning stages of writing a thesis, doesn’t it? Keep at it.


Zero, with your nose so bright…

Zero nightmare

Jack had Zero, his ghost dog (essentially Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer), to light his way for his sleigh.  You have Google, librarians, and professors. Onward!


The Mayor of Halloween Town

Mayor Halloween

I have nothing enlightening to say about this one—only that if you feel like this is you, every day or every hour of the semester, you’re in good company.

Have fun on Halloween! Be safe.

Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.

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Last Modified: October 30, 2014