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BOO! Halloween Costumes for Bibliophiles

Halloween is creeping right upon us, and since it’s on a Saturday, you have very few excuses not to find a costume party or to dress up and hand out candy to little ghouls and gremlins! “But wait,” you say, “I don’t even have a costume!” You’ve come to the right blog post. Read on to see what costumes some of our esteemed librarians and library staff members have in mind for their own haunted eves!

aliceAlice in Wonderland (with a twist) by Sarah Wingo, subject librarian for English, literature and theater

“When I was about 3 years old I was pretty into Alice in Wonderland… I was Alice that year for Halloween and my parents were Tweedledee and Tweedledum — and my mom even made a little “Tweedleda” costume for my sister, who was an infant at the time. As I’ve grown up I’ve always had a place in my heart for Alice, and this year is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland, so I decided that it’s time to revisit the “role,” as it were.

Typically adult Alice costumes look ridiculous and frumpy or overly sexy, plus for the last few years I’ve been really into my costumes being scary or spooky in some way… I’m going as what I’m calling Hell Mouth/Slayer Alice. I’m going to distress the costume and spatter it with blood. I’ve already purchased a zombie flamingo on ebay (yup, that’s a thing) that I’m going to turn into a croquet mallet/weapon, and I’m also going to use makeup and makeup wax to make it look like I’ve got playing cards sticking out of my flesh as if they were thrown at me at me like ninja stars. Plus isn’t a Buffy/Alice crossover something that the world deserves?”

Bonus suggestion: “…about 5 years ago I went as post drowning zombie Ophelia.”

harry potter sorcerer10 Points for Gryffindorable by Gina Duffy, Library Events and Program Coordinator

“I am attempting (key word: attempting) to put together a Harry Potter costume for my daughter Alaina. A family friend is knitting me a scarf in Gryffindor’s colors and I want to draw the famous lightning bolt and round trademark glasses on her face. I still need to gather the rest of the costume, including a wand, black cape and possibly a stuffed owl Hedwig. Harry Potter is a fairly recognizable literary character to most age groups, so I think it is a fun costume choice!”

Jane and Elizabeth Bennett by Luisa Cywinski, Access Services Team Leader

grad party 2012 Luisa Michele (1)

Access Services team leader Luisa Cywinski and her sister as Jane and Elizabeth Bennett.

Bonus suggestion: “The Bride of the Tomb by Mrs. Alex McVeigh Miller. We have a wealth of costume ideas in the Dime Novel collection!”

Madeline! by Reds Dollymore

Madeline Dollymore

The stunning Reds Dollymore, grandfather of 3 Wildcats (Tracey Quinn, LAS ’12, Molly Quinn LAS ’15, Conor Quinn, VSB,) and father of library staff Joanne Quinn (LAS ’15, ’84).

More ideas for the very last minute Halloween revelers…

Put on a pair of ears and claws, draw on a nose, and be The Bear That Pursues from Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.

Make horns, wings, and buy a bag of gold-wrapped chocolate coins and you’ll be Smaug from The Hobbit.

Wear green, paint your face red, and put on antennas to channel your inner Caterpillar from The Very Hungry Caterpillar (a built-in excuse to eat all the candy!)

Grab a friend and be Scylla and Charybdis! If you have lots of friends, get them to be your extra Scylla heads. If you have no friends, carry your own water. Bonus hydration!

Strap on a green LED headlamp, use some marine rope as a belt, and wear something with anchors on it. You are now the Green Light at the end of Daisy’s dock in The Great Gatsby. Congratulations.

And if that’s still not enough for you, check out this list of literary costumes from BuzzFeed!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone via Scholastic
Alice in Wonderland via Wikimedia Commons

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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Reading Villanova Series Panel #1: Why We Should Challenge the Status Quo

A panel of four elite Villanova University scholars participated in a discussion on “The Global and the Interdisciplinary: ‘Education and Privilege’” on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 4:30 p.m. in Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner. The panel, co-sponsored by The Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies and Falvey Memorial Library, determined the reasons why current issues of race and identity exist in society and also explored ways in which we can take action to challenge the status quo.

Panelists included Jerusha Conner, PhD, Department of Education and Counseling; Carol Anthony, MA, Center for Peace and Justice Education; Jill McCorkel, PhD, Department of Sociology and Criminology; and Bryan Crable, PhD, Department of Communication. Each panelist described their perspective on why issues of race and inequality persist and the steps we can take to make a difference.

Maghan Keita 1

Maghan Keita, PhD, professor of History and director of the Institute for Global Interdisciplinary Studies made opening remarks.

To kick-off the panel discussion, Dr. Jerusha Conner discussed her approach the problem of race integration by utilizing her background in the field of education. She stressed the need to educate and empower students to be activists in order to initiate social change. In addition, Conner cited that a group of current Villanova students participate in a service partnership with inner-city schools. By going to the core of the problem, she believes that the students are able to take action and promote change.

Dr. Jill McCorkel, who actively studies the inequalities that exist in the U.S. prison system, emphasized that a vicious cycle exists for students who come from lower-income families; they tend to go from school directly to prison. Dr. McCorkel called it a “school to prison pipeline.” She believes people from certain groups are considered scapegoats and are unfairly treated. The privileged don’t always recognize this inequality. In addition, Dr. McCorkel cited her belief that forms of punishment are connected with our racial history and recommends that we explore the ways that this connection resonates with other countries.

Examining the problem from a social justice perspective, Professor Carol Anthony discussed the need to question the ways we rationalize the morality of conditions in our society. She stressed reasons we should question our justification of violence and inequality as the norm.

Dr. Bryan Crable, an expert in the study of rhetorical theory, talked about race, identity, power and privilege, utilizing his background in the study of communication. He discussed his close examination of the relationship between Kenneth Burke and Ralph Ellison, two influential American writers. Dr. Crable views this relationship as a reflection of the racial divide that still clearly exists in society.

Reading Villanova Panel Presentation1

Jerusha Conner, Jill McCorkle, Carol Anthony and Bryan Crable participated in the panel discussion. (From left to right)

So, what steps can we take to successfully integrate all members of society? How do we avoid reinforcing the ever-present racial divide? The panelists agreed that we do a lot as a community, but that we are capable of doing much, much more. Some solutions include providing prison inmates with education, hiring more diverse students and faculty, and presenting more opportunities to students who come from lower-income families with more attention given to how racial diversity is presented in schools. It is also important to continue to be open to learning and make a conscious effort to self-educate. They believe that with knowledge we are better suited to tackle this problem.

Next up in the Reading Villanova series: Amy Way, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Communication; Chiji Akoma, PhD, associate professor, Department of English; and Catherine Warrick, PhD, associate professor, Department of Political Science will present on “The Global and the Interdisciplinary ‘Gender and Imperialism’” on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 4:30 p.m. in Speakers’ Corner of Falvey Memorial. Be sure to join us!


‘Caturday: On the Move

From the time Becky Whidden arrived on the scene, she has been involved in many library events, worked on many a library project and inspired many library coworkers and students. Falvey Memorial Library, and Access Services in particular, was lucky to have her on the team for the past four years. We sincerely wish her all the best in her new position at the Office of Undergraduate Students. These photos reflect her positive energy, commitment to teamwork and her professional dedication. We will miss you, Becky!

Becky wildcat open house Becky broad street run Becky in the pink Becky acrl confetti Becky buttons Becky color run Becky fine by me Becky xmas elf Becky micro move 2011 Beckys-1st-choice-thumbnail


Booktober Break! Umberto Eco’ s Numero Zero


booktober logo smFall is the season when we all begin to move indoors and even pastimes get a little more ambitious – things like binge watching Game of Thrones, knitting Christmas stockings for the dog and tackling fat serious novels by Authors You Should Read come to mind. 

This fall is loaded with releases of buzzy books from authors Salman Rushdie, Elena Ferrante, John Irving and a host of celebrity authors. Fall break just may afford you time to get through one, or at least at procure it for your night table to enjoy over semester break. Some library staff have perused the fall lists and have picked their favorites. For a Booktober special, we’ll bring you their thoughts each day this week.


Semester deep and head aswirl from a rigorous graduate Strategic Communication theory class, I remember being quite relieved to recognize a familiar writer’s name on our syllabus tucked amongst Saussure and Baudrillard: Umberto Eco, author of the book, The Name of the Rose (and basis for this movie starring Sean Connery and a youthful, pre-Heathers Christian Slater). The film’s opening credits are quick to point out, however, that Eco’s novel about murder in a medieval monastery provides merely the palimpsest for the flick. (I’ll save you the Google – a palimpsest is something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.)

c6affc05706a8817ef302e3b56d1267fEco, aside from being a famed novelist and bibliophile (I’ve read that the man owns 50,000+ volumes) is also a medieval scholar and semiotician. At age 83, he is Italy’s top selling author and one of the world’s top contemporary thinkers on media culture, having written extensively on the subject including scathing critiques on American culture and postmodern hyperreality

His most recent book, a sixth novel entitled Numero Zero, has been translated by Richard Dixon and will be published in English on November 3. The tale revisits Eco’s milieu of dark and murky clerical murder, but this time, it’s Pope John Paul I, 1992 Milan. The book has resided on Italian bestseller lists since March.

Social Science and Business Research support librarian, Kristyna Carroll, has provided the following links if you’d like to learn more.

  • Here are books by Eco.
  • Entry from Encyclopedia of World Biography
  • Variety of sources from Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context
  • Some search results from Social Sciences Full Text RE Eco
  • Similarly, find search results from Humanities Full Text.

And, below, an excerpt about this book lover’s thoughts on libraries.

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 1.34.01 PM

Links curated by Kristyna Carroll, research support librarian for Business and Social Sciences. Article by Joanne Quinn. kristyna-carroll_ed1


Booktober Break! Patti Smith: Take the M Train

booktober logo smFall is the season when we all begin to move indoors and even pastimes get a little more ambitious – things like binge watching Game of Thrones, knitting Christmas stockings for the dog and tackling fat serious novels by Authors You Should Read come to mind. 

This fall is loaded with releases of buzzy books from authors Salman Rushdie, Elena Ferrante, John Irving and a host of celebrity authors. Fall break just may afford you time to get through one, or at least at procure it for your night table to enjoy over semester break. Some library staff have perused the fall lists and have picked their favorites. For a Booktober special, we’ll bring you their thoughts each day this week.

M TrainThis isn’t the first time Patti Smith has published a book. She wrote the award-winning memoir Just Kids in 2010. Just Kids was a book about her childhood, about remembering, whereas her new book, M Train, portrays her solitary thoughts about the present-day as stations, as if they were visual tableaus of her life. The “train” stations seem to be places of meditation as well as places where Smith stopped while traveling through life.

M Train was published last week and precedes the HarperCollins 40th anniversary publication of Patti Smith Collected Lyrics, a 320-page book filled with new songs, new artwork and an updated introduction that comes out October 27.

Her book tour started on October 6 in New York City and will be coming through Philadelphia on November 6.

Will you be waiting for the M Train?


Additional reading:

Patti Smith Reveals Her Solitary Soul in the M Train, NPR, October 7, text & audio

Patti Smith’s ‘M Train’ is a Literary Ride Through Stations of Mourning, Observer, October 9

LuisaCywinski_headshot thumbnailBy Luisa Cywinski, editorial coordinator on the Communication & Service Promotion team and team leader, Access Services.


‘Caturday: Wildcats at War

Vietnam Rev Robert J Walsh VU Pres 1969 photo

Rev. Robert J. Welsh, OSA, STD

The Vietnam War started in 1955 and ended 20 years later in 1975. In the midst of the War, Villanova students and faculty here in the States were not idle. Many issues of The Villanovan contained reports of their activity and responses to the War. Below are two images from the Oct. 8 and Oct. 15, 1969 issues of The Villanovan that highlight the campus response to the moratorium to end the war.

Rev. Robert J. Welsh, OSA, STD, was University president from 1967-1971 and wrote “We must work and pray that the way to a just and lasting peace may soon be found.”

As noted on the Villanova Digital Library search page, issues of The Villanovan “are fully searchable from the Library Catalog and are in PDF format for easy reading, printing and downloading. Search the fulltext in the … Digital Library search box or in the library Search tab.”

Vietnam Rev Robert J Walsh VU Pres 1969

vietnam moratorium events Oct 15 1969


LuisaCywinski_headshot thumbnail‘Caturday blog by Luisa Cywinski, editorial coordinator on the Communication & Service Promotion team and team leader of the Access Services team.


The Curious ‘Cat: “What brings you to the Library today?”

Curious Cat

This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “What brings you to the Library today?

RS9964_DSC_0297-scrJamie Silk—“I usually come to the Library in between classes. I feel like it’s easy to get stuff done when it’s nice and quiet, especially today since it’s raining. Sometimes I’ll sit on a bench outside the Library [because] the atmosphere here is nice … nice place to study, either with friends or by myself.”






Rachel Lavelle—“I’m studying for a quiz that I have in 15 minutes. ”











John DiValerio—“I’m just hanging out: doing some homework, doing some research. It’s a rainy day, and I didn’t want to leave the Library ‘cause I have a class downstairs. So I decided to stay put.”








Chelsey Hanson
—“I’m studying for an exam. And I like that there’s a lot of people in here because that kind of helps me focus, in a weird way. I like being around a lot of people when I study.”








Gaurav Goel—“I don’t often come to the Library, but sometimes I need some stimulation. It’s a good place for stimulation, seeing different people and especially when I have classes on Mondays and Tuesdays … I’m doing a master’s course here. It’s a good time to meet people, meet with my fellow people who are working … it’s that push … towards an accomplishment.”




Nick Schultz—“I like to use the Library for a place to actually get some work done. I live off campus, so doing work a home becomes tough whenever all the roommates are home; it can be loud. Being here—this place urges you to get more work done.”


‘Caturday: Pope Francis Draws Wildcats from Near and Far

Wildcats are traveling from the suburbs and cities to participate in the World Meeting of Families and to see Pope Francis this weekend. Here’s one Wildcat’s-eye view of the train station activity in Paoli, PA, one of two SEPTA regional rail stations on the Paoli Thorndale line that will accept passengers with special passes to Philadelphia today and tomorrow. We hope everyone enjoys the Francis Festival and the address by Pope Francis at Independence Hall!

Read all of our Pope Francis and World Meeting of Families blogs that were published this week.

Pope Paoli train



















The Catholic Church’s World Meeting of Families: a retrospective



There is a palpable buzz about the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) in Philadelphia September 22 to 27. Not just because of the disruption to a typical week at Villanova University and the numbers of anticipated pilgrims from around the world to the region, but because this is truly a historical event with an interesting past.



Vatican Pope Babies

Here is a list of the 8 WMOFs showing the location city, year, theme, and a fun fact:

· World Meeting of the Holy Father with Families (Rome: 1994) “Family: Heart of the Civilization of Love.” Part of the International Year of the Family, and occasion for Letter to Families from St. Pope John Paul II

· World Meeting of the Holy Father with Families (Rio de Janeiro: 1997) “The Family: Gift and Commitment, Hope for Humanity.” Like other WMOFs, it was in conjunction with an international theological-pastoral congress, this time resulting in The Rio Declaration on the Family.

· World Meeting of the Holy Father with Families (Rome: 2000) “Children, springtime of the family and society.” WMOF 2000 was a part of the larger celebration the Jubilee of Families.

· World Meeting of the Families (Manila: 2003) “The Christian Family: good news for the Third Millennium.” St. Pope John Paul II’s speech was streamed live to the event from Rome since the Pope was too ill to attend in person.

· World Meeting of the Families (Valencia: 2006) “The Transmission of Faith in the Family.” WMOFs include preparatory catecheses, reflections meant to teach about the purpose of the meeting.

· World Encounter of Families (Mexico City: 2009) “The family, teacher in human and Christian values.” Each WMOF has a unique logo created with a specific significance in mind.

· World Meeting of Families (Milan: 2012) “The Family: work and celebration.” WMOFs are organized by The Pontifical Council for the Family, instituted by St. Pope John Paul II in 1981, which replaced the Committee for the Family created by Pope Paul VI in 1973.

· World Meeting of Families (Philadelphia: 2015) “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.” The WMOF and Youth Congress 2015, will culminate with a papal visit by Pope Francis to the city of brotherly love as a part of his Apostolic Journey to the United States.


Article by Darren Poley, outreach librarian, theology and humanities subject specialist, and curator for the Augustinian Historical Institute.


Pope Francis: Weekend Library Hours

pope a delphia

Robert Indiana, AMOR, 1998, Polychrome aluminum painted red and blue, 72″x72″x36″, © 2015 Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

For the duration of Pope Francis’ visit to the area, the regular library hours will remain unchanged.

The library will offer basic circulation services. Some processing delays may be experienced by library patrons.

Friday, Sept. 25: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 25: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 26: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.

A librarian will be on-call Friday, Sept. 25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached via the Ask a Librarian chat on our homepage.

We will also have a librarian on call Sunday, Sept. 26, from 1 to 8 p.m., also via the Ask a Librarian chat.

Holy Grounds @ Falvey will maintain the following hours:

Friday, Sept. 25: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 26: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 27: 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.




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Last Modified: September 24, 2015