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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.



Springing Forward Towards a Semester Full of Exciting Events!

SPRINGCALENDAR3As Leo Tolstoy wrote in his classic novel Anna Karenina, “Spring is the time of plans and projects.” This spring semester, Falvey Memorial Library’s Scholarly Outreach Team is bringing Tolstoy’s words to life by feverishly planning a bolstering schedule of events.

Students, faculty and staff can expect a plethora of workshops, lectures, open houses, meetings and even leisurely events to take place in Falvey almost every day of the school week! Some highlights include a book signing by Susan Nussbaum, author of this year’s One Book Villanova selection, Good Kings, Bad Kings; two Literary Festival talks, featuring authors David Gilbert and Adelle Waldman; our annual Black History talk; our three Scholarship@Villanova talks featuring Villanova faculty members James W. Wilson, PhD, C. Nataraj, PhD, and Lynne Hartnett, PhD; the annual Pope John Paul II Legacy Lecture featuring former Villanova professor D.C. Schindler, PhD; an Open Mic Poetry Reading; a celebration in honor of Earth Day;  and our 2014 Falvey Scholars Awards presentation and reception. Also, some of our regularly scheduled events include VSB peer-tutoring sessions in the Learning Commons every Tuesday and Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. and the Villanova Electronic Enthusiasts Club (VEEC) meetings on many Friday afternoons throughout the semester. Make sure to stop by the Library to participate in these events!

In addition to the events that the Library plans, Falvey also serves as a host site for events that are organized by other departments and groups from all across campus. Villanova faculty, staff and representatives from official student groups are able to request a space for their event or meeting by filling out the Events Request Form or by directly contacting Regina Duffy, library events and program coordinator. Event locations include the Speakers’ Corner, Learning Commons Rooms on the second floor (204 and 205) and the first-floor lounge.

Article by Regina Duffy, writer for the Communication & Service Promotion team and Library Events and Program coordinator.


Research Support Center Provides Additional Service for Students

Information specialists Gerald Dierkes and Donna Chadderton

Information specialists Gerald Dierkes and Donna Chadderton

A new service point is coming to The Learning Commons on Falvey Memorial Library’s second floor. Falvey’s Research Support Center, comprised of 12 dedicated librarians whose offices are on the library’s second floor, will soon have a new service desk. Information Services Specialists Donna Chadderton and Gerald Dierkes will be the primary team members staffing the desk and connecting students, faculty and staff with resources necessary to achieve their learning and research goals.  Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 9.44.29 AM

Gerald Dierkes is an information services specialist for the Information and Research Assistance team, senior copyeditor for the Communication and Service Promotion team, and a liaison to the Department of Theater.

Photograph by Alice Bampton; graphic by Gerald Dierkes.


Laura Bang, Ruth Martin and Early 20th C Scrapbook Featured in The Public Domain Review


The History of the Ordinary,” a story featuring Laura Bang, Digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant, and Ruth Martin, an intern in the Digital Library, was published Jan. 7 in The Public Domain Review. The article features a scrapbook created by the New York City Fire Department’s Company 62 in the early 1900s and currently housed in Special Collections. The scrapbook was digitized and is available online through the Digital Library. Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator, says, “This is a nice publicity piece for us by one of the clearinghouses of new ‘cool’ stuff on the Internet … likely to generate much interest across the Internet …”

The Public Domain Review is an online, not-for-profit journal which features works in the public domain: that is, works no longer under copyright. The Journal, founded in 2011, is a project of the Open Knowledge Foundation, which was itself founded in 2004 in Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Falvey Memorial Library 2013 Year in Review

2013 was a busy year for Falvey Memorial Library. We acknowledged successes, celebrated achievements, welcomed new faculty, discussed technology, marveled over dime novels, opened new rooms and even played a little music.  The following is a sample of our year in pictures. Enjoy!


One Book Villanova with Conor Grennan


Emilie Davis Diaries


Celebrating Student Employees


ACRL Award: Joe Lucia accepting the award from Stephen Bell


ACRL Gala Event


Celebrating our Falvey Scholars


VUPop I Organizers and Presenters


Falvey Summer Picnic


Joe Lucia’s Farewell Party


Darren Poley assuming the position of Interim Director


Staff Retreat


Welcoming new faculty


Superfecta: Vuie Award Winners Doreva Belfiore and Katherine Lynch


VUClass with Joanne Quinn


Faculty Forum with Darren Poley and Linda Hauck


Pietro Da Cortona painting restoration


Restoration Crew


Falvey Hall Reading Room reopens


Celebrating Christmas at the Villanova Conference Center with Taras Ortynsky and Barbara Haas

Photographs by Alice Bampton, Luisa Cywinski and Laura Hutelmyer.


Dig Deeper: Nelson Mandela

MandelaBookWith Nelson Mandela’s death and his elevation into the pantheon of historical luminaries, “He no longer belongs to us – he belongs to the ages” (Barack Obama, NPR, 12/5/2013) it is easy to lose sight of the chilling history of the struggle against apartheid. Before Mandela became an icon of world peace and reconciliation – in 1993 he was awarded the Nobel peace prize together with Willem de Klerk -, he fought along with many others against the oppressive white South African regime and he paid for it with twenty-seven years of prison. When Mandela was liberated in 1990, celebrities from all the corner of the world flocked to South Africa for a chance to meet with him. His post-apartheid commitment to reconciliation stands in stark contrast to the violence and injustice of apartheid which shaped Mandela’s life and his country. Falvey Memorial Library has an array of resources that shed light on apartheid, Boer history, the African National Congress (ANC) and Mandela’s life.

Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom , as well as many of his speeches and addresses, are available in the library’s print collection. Find them through an author search for Nelson Mandela in the library’s catalog. A subject search for his name leads the interested reader to a long list of secondary literature about his life and struggle. For a quick introduction to apartheid, consult one of the library’s online subject encyclopedias, such as The New Encyclopedia of Africa, The Human Rights Encyclopedia [or the New Dictionary of the History of Ideas.

RESIZEsouthafricaThe library’s archival collections give the interested reader access to historical news sources, both national and international. Start with the New York Times, America’s newspaper of record, to find the first mention of Nelson Mandela’s name in August 1952 in an article that reports on his arrest: “South Africa seizes non-white leaders.” The Page View option makes it possible to see the front page of the same issue. A quick look at the lead articles of that day, among them “$1,200,000,000 atom plant to be built in Southern Ohio,” puts the article in context. We can also compare coverage in the New York Times with that in the Washington Post. The complete archives of both newspapers are available online.

The Daily Reports of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS, 1974-1996) database makes international opinions of events in South Africa available to U.S. readers in translation. FBIS is a U.S. government foreign news reporting and translation service. Among the South African news sources featured in FBIS are The Star (Johannesburg), UMTATA Capital Radio, South Africa’s first independent radio station, The Sunday Times (Johannesburg), and the Sowetan, one of the liberation struggle newspapers. Reports about the release of Mandela from prison are grouped together in the FBIS database under the Events tab which features pre-selected news stories on important historical events.

To gain a broader picture of events in South Africa, the reader can browse content from individual news sources, such as the Sowetan, by typing the name of the source into the search field. And don’t forget, FBIS also includes transcripts of speeches and interviews.

Last but not least, Mandela, Tambo, and the African National Congress: The Struggle against Apartheid, 1948-1990 : A Documentary Survey includes a wide range of primary sources covering over forty years.  Documents range from Mandela’s 1951 presidential address to the ANC Youth League, to his court room testimony, to interviews with fellow prisoners and the Harare Declaration (1989). Questions? Contact us and we will help you to navigate the library’s print and online collections.

imgresLinks prepared by Jutta Seibert, team leader for Academic Integration and subject librarian for History.


Our Dig Deeper series features links to Falvey Memorial Library resources curated and provided by a librarian specializing in the subject, to allow you to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of seasonal occasions and events held here at the Library. Don’t hesitate to ‘ask us!’ if you’d like to take the excavation even further. And visit our Events listings for more exciting upcoming speakers, lectures and workshops! 




Foto Friday – Honoring Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

2013-12-06 09.40.30“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”
― Nelson Mandela


Villanova University prepares students to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. The life of Nelson Mandela, who passed away yesterday at the age of 95, reminds us of the station and responsibility we have as Villanovans to ignite change.



Library displays rare Mendeliana at University Mendel Medal Awards

mendelAnyone associated with Villanova University knows the special status that 19th century Augustinian friar and scientist Gregor Mendel holds on our campus. Most of us have either walked the shiny corridors of Mendel Science Center, relaxed or eaten a hoagie on Mendel Field during first-year orientation or admired the seven foot bronze statue of the “father of modern genetics” that stands behind the Library. Most notably, the University awards the Mendel Medal each year to outstanding contemporary scientists in recognition of their scientific accomplishments and religious convictions.

This year, Villanova’s Mendel Medal recognizes Sylvester “Jim” Gates, PhD, for his groundbreaking work in supersymmetry, supergravity and string theory, as well as for his advocacy for science and science education. Dr. Gates visited Villanova on Nov. 15 as part of a two-day event culminating in a dinner and lecture by Gates in the Connelly Center. As in years past, the Library played a special role in welcoming the esteemed guest to the event by providing display support and rare Mendeliana for all attendees to view during the celebration.

According to Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator, the items chosen for display were two volumes that represented two of Mendel’s first attempts to explain plant hybridization, which are the basis of modern genetics.

The first of the items is

Mendel, Gregor Johann.  Versuche über Pflanzen-Hybriden. Vorgelegt in den Sitzungen vom 8. Februar und 8. März 1865.  Verhandlungen des naturforschenden Vereines in Brünn, Band IV, Heft 1 (1865): 3-47.  Brünn: Verlag des Vereines, 1866.

Foight explains the volume’s historical significance. Gregor Mendel’s experiments with hybridization of pea plants were conducted in the garden at the Augustinian Monastery in Brünn, Austria. Mendel reported these experiments in two lectures, which he read before the Natural Sciences Society of Brünn on Feb. 8 and March 8, 1865. The manuscript was published in the Society’s Proceedings in 1866. An English translation, “Experiments in Plant Hybridisation”, was first published in the Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society, London, 26, 1901, p.1-32.

The second volume,

Mendel, Gregor Johann.  Über einige aus künstlicher Befruchtung gewonnenen Hieracium-Bastarde. Mitgeteilt in der Sitzung vom 9. Juni 1869. Verhandlungen des naturforschenden Vereines in Brünn, Band VIII, Heft 1 (1869): 26-31.  Brünn: Burkart, 1870.,

is Mendel’s paper on the results of his experiments with hawkweed hybrids as read to the members of the Natural Sciences Society in Brünn on June 9, 1869, and published in the Society’s 1869 Proceedings. An English translation, “On Hieracium-Hybrids Obtained by Artificial Fertilisation,” was first published in William Bateson’s Mendel’s Principles of Heredity,” Cambridge, 1902.

Both volumes were presented to Villanova University by the Augustinians of the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova on January 23, 1999, and have since been displayed regularly at the Mendel Medal event. Lorraine McCorkle, graphic designer for University Communications, prepares the Mendeliana for display each year.

Dig Deeper: If you knew SUSY …

While a primer or even a rudimentary understanding of supersymmetry—aka “SUSY,” the field in which Dr. Gates excels—may be beyond the scope of this article, our Science Librarian Alfred Fry was able to locate a fascinating lineup of videos featuring Dr. Gates, as well as several other links discussing quantum field theory.

Like all our librarians, Fry is available to patrons as a gateway to further resources and help is as close as a click away.

A 10-minute lesson in supersymmetryIn two new videos, Fermilab physicist Don Lincoln explains the what and the why of supersymmetry.

Supersymmetry  From CERN: Supersymmetry predicts a partner particle for each particle in the Standard Model, to help explain why particles have mass.

What is supersymmetry? In less than 100 seconds, Helen Heath explains why SUSY is so beautiful.

Series of lectures on supersymmetry given by Jim Gates at the African Summer Theory Institute in 2004  and other videos featuring the Mendel Medal recipient’s work available on YouTube.

Article by Joanne Quinn, team leader for Communication and Service Promotion.

UnknownLinks prepared by Alfred Fry, Science & Engineering Librarian

Our new Dig Deeper series features links to Falvey Memorial Library resources curated and provided by a librarian specializing in the subject, to allow you to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of seasonal occasions and events held here at the Library. Don’t hesitate to ‘ask us!’ if you’d like to take the excavation even further. And visit our Events listings for more exciting upcoming speakers, lectures and workshops! 




Mannella Distinguished Speaker Leonard Guercio to Screen Two Films on the Italian-American Experience

MANNELLA13-EVITEOn Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 7:00 p.m. filmmaker Leonard Guercio will deliver this year’s Alfred F. Mannella and Rose T. Lauria-Mannella Endowed Distinguished Speaker Series lecture. Guercio has worked as a writer, producer, director and editor in various media—including film, experimental video, television, print, web and music. He currently serves as program and project specialist in the Film and Media Arts department of Temple University’s Center for the Arts.

In addition to the lecture, Guercio will be screening two of his short films. The first is a brief documentary about St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish in South Philadelphia, and the second is an original dramatic short film entitled “Tiramisù” If time permits, a Q&A session with Guercio will follow the talk.

The Mannella Lecture Series began in 1996 and is made possible by the generosity of Villanova University alumnus Alfred S. Mannella, who named the series after his parents. The events in the annual series focus on scholarship and artistic achievement surrounding Italian American history, culture and the immigrant experience.

GUERCIOGuercio shot “Tiramisù” in South Philadelphia almost ten years ago. Privately funded and independently produced, the film has since maintained a long and illustrious screen life that exceeds its humble beginnings. In 2007, Guercio presented the film at the Pesaro International Film Festival in Pesaro, Italy. “Tiramisù” opened a retrospective of New Italian-American Cinema, which included feature films by prominent actors and filmmakers, such as John Turturro, Steve Buscemi and Nancy Savoca. Since then the film has screened in classrooms all over the world, including Beijing and New York.

Shot in an intimate black and white, “Tiramisu” tells a story of love and responsibility through the lives of an Italian-American family and their friends in the community. Remarking on the film’s title, Guercio explains that the Italian word “Tiramisù” translates to English as “lift me up,” a reference to the restorative power of the classic dessert, which is traditionally made with espresso. Guercio’s film, too, enacts a kind of restoration and reframes the Italian-American experience by challenging viewer expectations that may have been shaped by stereotype.

This year’s Mannella Lecture will be held in the Speakers’ Corner of Falvey Memorial Library. The event is free and open to the public and available for ACS credit. Light refreshments will be served.


What Did President Lincoln Have To Do with Thanksgiving?

imageThe 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address—Nov. 19, 2013—has deservedly received a great deal of attention. That indelible speech reveals not only the humble heart of an influential leader but also his vision of what our country was and could become. Yet 2013 also marks another sesquicentennial: President Lincoln’s Oct. 3, 1863 proclamation “to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving,” making Thanksgiving a national holiday.

Americans did celebrate Thanksgiving prior to Lincoln’s proclamation, but each state chose its own date for this day of gratitude. In fact, President Washington had issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation of his own on Oct. 3, 1789—exactly 74 years before Lincoln’s—that “the People of these States … may then all unite in rendering unto [God] our sincere and humble thanks.”

But Lincoln’s proclamation established Thanksgiving as an occasion for the entire nation to give thanks together, on the same day:

“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

Our first Republican president contributed his proclamation two years into the Civil War, three months after the Battle of Gettysburg and just weeks before delivering his Gettysburg Address. President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation serves as an example of his efforts to unite the people of our nation.

Gerald Dierkes is an information services specialist for the Information and Research Assistance team, senior copyeditor for the Communication and Service Promotion team, and a liaison to the Department of Theater.


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Last Modified: November 28, 2013