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Dig Deeper: About the artist Pietro da Cortona

Ajaccio_Da_Cortona_Autoportrait

Imagine this: Your organization discovers that a painting long displayed in your building could be a valuable work by a major seventeenth-century painter. This rare find gains national attention; it’s worthy of conserving. You want your organization’s communications team to explain this painting’s significance and to provide updates on its conservation. Now, imagine your good fortune that a writer for that team is a librarian who specializes in art history.

We don’t have to imagine.

Alice Bampton, visuals specialist and senior writer for Falvey’s Communication and Service Promotion team, has been an adjunct instructor of art history in Villanova’s Department of History. She has taught art history survey, ancient, medieval, the Renaissance and history of photography courses. Bampton, through words and photos, has been documenting the conservation process and explaining the history of Pietro da Cortona’s “Triumph of David.” In this latest installment, Bampton provides a research librarian’s curated links to the painting’s mysterious artist: Pietro da Cortona.


While Pietro da Cortona (1596 – 1669), the artist to whom Falvey’s “The Triumph of David” is attributed, is an acknowledged major painter and architect of the Baroque, surprisingly few monographs about him exist, even in Italian. What follows is an annotated bibliography of works held in Falvey plus an e-book available through Hathitrust.org. The most accessible information for those who do not read Italian is in the following two works:

Turner, Jane, editor. The Dictionary of Art, 7. New York: Grove Dictionaries, Inc., 1996. “Cortona, Pietro da,” pp. 905-915. N31.D5 1996, Reference – non circulating.

Zirpolo, Lilian H. Historical Dictionary of Baroque Art and Architecture. Lanham, Md., The Scarecrow Press, 2010. “Berretini da Cortona, Pietro,” pp. 93-95. N6415.B3 Z57 2010

Comprehensive works about Cortona (with my translations of the titles) are listed below:

Benocci, Carla. Pietro da Cortona e la Villa di Castel Fusano dai Sacchetti ai Chigi: Architettura, Pittura, Giardini, Paesaggio. [Pietro da Cortona and the Villa of the Sacchetti and Chigi (Families) at Castel Fusano: Architecture, Paintings, Gardens, Views.] Roma: Editoriale Artemide s.r.l., 2012. NA1123.P53 B46 2012 — Provides a comprehensive study of the “birth of the Baroque” in an “original architectural complex by Pietro Berrettini da Cortona.” (Petrucci, p.73). Covers the villa through the nineteenth century. Thoroughly illustrated.

Briganti, Guiliano. Pietro da Cortona: o della pittura barocca. [Pietro da Cortona: Or of Baroque Painting.] Firenze: G. C. Sansoni editore, 1962. ND623.B45 B7 — Includes a chronology of Cortona’s life with references to supporting documents. Also contains a catalogue raisonnè which identifies 152 paintings and a draft for a catalog of drawings. (A catalogue raisonnè is “a descriptive catalog of works of art with explanations and scholarly comments.” oxforddictionaries.com). Falvey’s painting is not listed in the catalogue raisonnè. This is the standard monograph for Cortona.

Campbell, Malcolm. Pietro da Cortona at the Pitti Palace: A Study of the Planetary Rooms and Related Projects. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977. ND623.P56 C35 — Specific to the Pitti Palace frescoes. Black and white illustrations.

Constantine the Great: The Tapestries – The Designs. N.p.: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1964. NK3055.A1 P47 — Exhibition catalogue of the Constantine tapestries from the Barberini Palace, Rome, donated to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Tapestries were designed by Peter Paul Rubens and Pietro da Cortona. Almost no information about Cortona.

Contini, Roberto, editor. Pietro da Cortona per la sua terra: da allievo a maestro. [Pietro da Cortona in his world: from apprentice to master.] Milano: Electa, 1997. ND619.T9 P45 1997 — Exhibition catalog for 1997 exhibit in Cortona. Numerous black and white illustrations, some color illustrations.

Dubon, David. Tapestries from the Samuel H. Kress Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. N.p.: Phaidon Press, 1964. NK3055.A1 P5 — Includes a small amount of information about Cortona’s personal style, designs for five panels of the Constantine tapestries and six sketches reproduced in black and white.

Fabbrini, Narciso. Vite del Cav. Pietro Berrettini da Cortona: Pittore ed Architetto. [Life of the Cavalier Pietro Berrettini da Cortona: Painter and Architect.] Cortona: Tipografia R. Bimbi & F., 1896. — Available as an e-book. Written at the tricentennial of Cortona’s birth. A comprehensive work, but without illustrations. Fabbrini includes a Berrettini family tree and Pietro da Cortona’s first will plus an addition he made near the time of his death. This is still considered an essential reference for Cortona.

Haskell, Francis. Patrons and Painters: A Study in the Relations between Italian Art and Society in the Age of the Baroque. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1980. (1st edition 1963) — Not specific to Cortona, but an excellent overview of the relationships between artists, Cortona among them, and their patrons. N6916.H37 1980

Lo Bianco, Anna, editor. Pietro da Cortona 1597-1669. Milano: Electra, 1997. N6923.P458 A4 1997 — Exhibition catalog for 1997-1998 exhibition in Rome. Well illustrated in color and black and white. Text in Italian.

Lo Bianco, Anna. Translated by Oona Smyth. Pietro da Cortona’s Ceiling. Rome: Gebart s.r.l., 2004 (2006 reprint). ND623.P56 L6313 2004 — This pamphlet focuses on the ceiling fresco painted in the Gran Salone of the Palazzo Barberini, Rome. Color illustrations with numerous details.

Merz, Jörg Martin. Pietro da Cortona and Roman Baroque Architecture. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2008. NA1123.C647 B58 2008 — As title states, the focus is on architecture and the frescoes used to decorate the buildings. Well illustrated.

Prosperi Valenti Rodináo, Simonetta, editor. Pietro da Cortona, il meccanismo della forma: Richerche sulla technical pittorica. (Pietro da Cortona, the Mechanisms of Form: Research on Pictorial Techniques). Milano: Electra, 1997. NC257.P46 A4 1997 — Well illustrated, numerous drawings reproduced.

Tiberia, Vitaliano. Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Pietro da Cortona, Agostino Ciampelli in Santa Bibiana a Roma – I restauri. (Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Pietro da Cortona, Agostino Ciampelli in Santa Bibiana in Rome – The restorations.) Todi: Ediart editrice di Leonilde Dominici, 2000. ND2357.R6 T53 2000 — Covers the works of all three artists. Features a chapter on Pietro da Cortona’s works in the church of Sta. Bibiana. Good illustrations showing before and after the restorations of the frescoes by Cortona and Ciampelli (Bernini was an architect and sculptor who created no paintings in this church).


imagesArticle by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team.

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Dig Deeper: Remembering Maya Angelou

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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.

 

JStor:

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

 

YouTube:


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

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Continuum: Summer is a Chance to Get Things Done

Darren

Darren Poley, Interim Library Director

Of course the academic year is exciting and, at times, intense: librarians aiding students and faculty in their research, patrons accessing Falvey’s collections and borrowing materials, the campus community utilizing the services of the Learning Commons and participating in the many meetings and events held in the Library, and so much more (see student satisfaction survey results). Falvey has worked hard to transform itself into a center for intellectual and cultural engagement while remaining a location for individual study and collaborative learning, and this aim does not stop in the summer.

So what do we do when most students have vacated the campus for the summer months? While cleaning and repairs are ongoing efforts, the summer allows us to make large-scale improvements to the facility. I would just like to highlight a few that are interconnected.

CAVE—Last fall the University received a grant from the National Science Foundation to construct a Cave Automatic Virtual Environment that will foster and promote tele-immersive teaching and research using 3D virtual reality technology. The CAVE will be installed in a large classroom in Falvey Hall, adjacent to the Library. Because this change will displace some academic space, Falvey Memorial Library has been empowered to move forward on its overall improvement plan to accommodate this.

University Archives—The University Archives is moving to its new home on Falvey’s basement level, giving it more space including compact storage.

New Classroom—The University can then revive the room where the University Archives have been for many years. A new classroom will be put into that space on Falvey’s fourth floor.

To minimize disruption, our plan is to complete these projects during the summer when far fewer folks are on campus. We look forward to providing improved facilities to our students when they return for the fall semester.

DARREN SIG2

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35 great summer reading picks from Department of English faculty

Hey blog fans, have you discovered the wonderful feed published by the Villanova Department of English? Not only is it an informative site for events, job leads and people news, it’s also a place for unexpected delights, like poems and photos of bright blue bicycles! Be sure to check it out regularly!

On a recent visit, we discovered a booklovers’s dream – a first-class summer reading list compiled by Department of  English professors, written in their own voices. Ranging from classics to books just under the radar, you can be sure that time spent with these picks will be worthwhile – and if you’re not careful, you just might learn something! We’ve reprinted their recommendations here, including either a link to their Falvey catalog information or to our super speedy E-Z Borrow and ILL services.


MICHAEL BERTHOLD
61S1VCVBqVL._SL1500_One of the first books I plan on reading this summer is Lydia Davis’ new collection of short stories, Can’t and Won’t.  I recently heard Davis read at the Free Library in Philadelphia, and her stories invariably manage to be both oracular and hilarious.  An entire story from Davis is sometimes only one sentence long.  Here’s “Bloomington,” for example: “Now that I have been here for a little while, I can say with confidence that I have never been here before.” EZB/ILL.

CHARLES CHERRY
85386John Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels (Rabbit, RunRabbit Redux; Rabbit Is RichRabbit at Rest)—arguably the finest series of novels in American Literature. EZB/ILL

 

 

 

GAIL CIOCIOLA
life-after-life-e1364310158304Life after Life, Kate Atkinson.  All about the roads that could have been taken or, more to the point, all about the what-if when even the small life junctures might have been different. Title might be “life after life after life . . . ,” as the work reverts to the main character’s beginnings repeatedly and re-imagines different results. EZB/ILL.

The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner.  A very edgy work that merges a woman’s motorcycle escapades with art, romance, cross-country wanderings, and a European trek that flirts with violent politics. (Finalist for 2013 National Book Award.)

 A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozeki.  A lonely young woman bullied by her classmates and faced with dysfunctional behavior from her parents finds acceptance in her great grandmother’s Zen world.

Water by the Spoonful, Quiara Alegria Hudes.  An Iraqi war vet returns home to Philadelphia where he struggles to balance his life against PTSD and the dynamics of change and tragic circumstances within his family. (Winner of 2012 Pulitzer Prize.) EZB/ILL.

The Mountaintop, Katori Hall.  Play imagines the last hours of Martin Luther King at the Lorraine Motel on the night before his assassination. EZB/ILL.

Rapture, Blister, Burn, Gian Gionfriddo.  One woman: committed homemaker. One woman: committed careerist. Each wonders if she made the right choice or if she can have it all. Solution: change places with each other. (Finalist for 2013 Pulitzer Prize.) EZB/ILL.

Other Desert Cities, Jon Robin Baitz.  A writer returns home and announces to her parents that she is about to publish a memoir that reveals compelling family secrets. (Finalist for 2012 Pulitzer Prize.)

Disgraced, Ayad Akhtar.  Work explores attitudes toward religion and, in particular, the conflict between modern life and the way faith challenges cultural mores. (Winner of 2013 Pulitzer Prize.) EZB/ILL.

ALICE DAILEY
TolstoyWar&PeaceGiant1934.bigI recommend War and Peace.  It’s worth every hour (day, week) spent reading it and difficult to find time for once student life ends and summer vacations are no longer.

 

 

TRAVIS FOSTER
Asking me to pick just one is sort of like taking my son to the candy store and allowing him to buy a single jelly bean. Impossible! So how about three?

Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way.  I first read Proust on my Northampton porch in between junior and senior year of college, when a surprisingly well paying busboy position meant hours of daytime leisure.  The easy pace of summer allowed me to linger in Proust’s sentences and that lingering was maybe the most immensely pleasurable reading I’ve ever done.  (For what it’s worth, many people prefer Lydia Davis’s translation published by Penguin, but I’m partial to the earlier Moncrieff, Kilmartin, Howard translation published by Modern Library.)

Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother.  Living in the United States, it seems to me we can do one of two things: think long and hard about race and racism or, like Captain Delano in Melville’s Benito Cereno, work assiduously at making ourselves ignorant in the face of our own reality.  Hartman is one of the most insightful living scholars of slavery, a descendant of slaves, and an enviable writer.  She uses her memoir, Lose Your Mother, to describe her journey along a slave route in Ghana, allowing her personal experience to help her readers better understand our own location within the geography and history of the Atlantic slave trade.  I’d heard people talk before about the “legacies of slavery” and even used the phrase myself, but this book made me realize I can only ever begin to understand the full extent of what these “legacies” entail.

areyoumymother_bechdelAlison Bechdel, Are You My Mother?  A sequel to Fun Home, this graphic memoir describes Bechdel’s relationship with her emotionally distant mother in western Pennsylvania.  I love it for its painfully unflinching look at the relationship between mothers and children.  But I love it just as much for its exploration of the relationship between books and readers.  Bechdel turns to books whenever she reaches an impasse in her life–in this account turning to the psychoanalytic writings of Freud, Jung, Winnicott, and Phillips.  I recognize myself and many of my most avid students in her representation of reading as self-exploration, and I found that, like Bechdel and the reading she describes, I understood myself better once Are You My Mother? had come to a close.

Those three, plus Teju Cole’s glorious Twitter feed.

HEATHER HICKS
cloud-atlas-book-cover1My pick for a summer novel for our students is Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.  It’s a beautifully written book full of interesting characters and ambitious ideas about time and history.

 

 

 

KAMRAN JAVADIZADEH
WORDSINAIRTwo books come to mind. Neither is a book of poems, exactly, but both get pretty close to being poetry by being about it so lovingly.  The first is Words in Air, a book that collects all of the letters written between the poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell . They lived thousands of miles apart for most of their lives, and this book, in some sense, isn’t just about their friendship, it is their friendship.

The other is a book I just picked up for the first time: Madness, Rack, and Honey, which is a collection of quite playful lectures by the poet Mary Ruefle.  I’m already stealing time to read it. Here is a representative moment, from a piece called “Short Lecture on Shakespeare”: “Yet there is one hard cold clear fact about him, a fact that freezes the mind that dares to contemplate it: in the beginning William Shakespeare was a baby, and knew absolutely nothing. He couldn’t even speak.”  Isn’t that wonderful?

JAMES KIRSCHKE
L'EngleTwo-Part Invention, by Madeline L’Engle, is a beautifully written memoir about an in-many-ways-wonderful 40 year marriage.

 

 

JOSEPH LENNON
joelenI’d highly recommend Claire Kilroy’s All Names Have Been Changed (about a group of Dublin creative writing students and their professor at Trinity College in Dublin) or her Tenderwire (an intelligent page-turner about a “reckless young musician’s obsession” with a very old violin).  Claire Kilroy is one of Ireland’s best leading young writers—and she’ll be the 2015 Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies, so you can take a class with her!

CRYSTAL LUCKY
51Fi5RWfOfLMy recommendation is James McBride’s Song Yet Sung.  A brilliant story teller, McBride sets his penultimate novel on the eastern shore of Maryland in the 1850’s.  And while the tale certainly asks readers to consider the concepts of slavery and freedom, it is as much an exploration of the contemporary moment.  One of my absolute faves.

MEGAN QUIGLEY
Wolf_Hall_coverI’m going to read Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, and finish Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch.  I’ve had the Mantel books for a year and I’m desperate to read them and we just read her really witty and biting essay, “Royal Bodies,” in my Contemporary British novel class.  You should read her essay if you want to have a different perspective on Kate Middleton’s, errr, body parts.  Donna Tartt—because The Secret History is just so so good. EZB/ILL.

EVAN RADCLIFFE
tinker-tailorI’m interested in spy novels in part because my father was in intelligence, and I highly recommend the novels of John Le Carré (I’ve recently re-read Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).  Beyond being page-turners (and more complex than simply good guys vs bad guys), I’m told that Le Carré’s novels give an accurate portrayal of the world of spycraft at a particular historical moment.

JODY ROSS
the-round-house_custom-94ab45a1030026be0c3d76c1a9a6449b74be7a44-s6-c30Consider reading The Round House by Louise Erdrich.  I read this book over Christmas break and said to everyone who walked past me, “I just love this book.”  It’s a great work by an important author—it won the National Book Award in 2012—but it’s also an addictive page-turner, a murder mystery, and an escape to a different world with a different culture.  The Lit Fest novels this year were also excellent, especially Lord of Misrule and & Sons.

LAUREN SHOHET
51bho2K3nVLMichael Chabon, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.  Set in a counterfactual future in which after losing the 6-day war, Palestinian Jews settle in Alaska, making a society alongside indigenous Alaskans, the novel explores worlds made of language as much as politics.

Robin McKinley, Sunshine. Not literarily significant, perhaps, but beautiful in its own way. Psychologically nuanced, surprisingly delicate novel of vampires and pastry chefs.  EZB/ILL.

Charles Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created.  Mind-openingly wide-ranging study of the non-human as well as human facets of European-American encounter.


Reprinted with permission of the Villanova University Department of English, with much appreciation. The post originally appeared on their blog Friday, May 9, 2014. Follow their blog here. Introduction and links prepared by Joanne Quinn.

 

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And the winner of our Literary Bracketology contest is…

It was an intense battle last month but Gandalf proved to be too much for the rest of the competition.  This year’s battle proved to be extremely popular with over 300 submissions online and in paper. Thanks to everyone who voted and participated in the contest!

imgresShishav Parajuli was the lucky winner this year out of over 150 entries. As winner of the annual Bracketology showdown, he was awarded a book of his choice from the field of 64.  Shishav, a graduate student majoring in Political Science, decided on the book Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov. (If you’ll recall, Nabokov’s character Lolita lost in the second round!) See you next spring for more literary madness! Hope you play along!


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

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

DARREN-WITH-UPTON

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.

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Three Good Friends Ride the 5 Boro Bike Tour

ward barnes NYC bike ride

Left to right: Bob Wicks, Ralph Bohlin, Ward Barnes. In front of Bob’s apartment building on 90th St. in Manhattan prior to the 45-mile, five-borough tour, on which we were accompanied by 32,000 friends.

Not one to sit around, Ward Barnes keeps moving when he’s not working at the Falvey Memorial Library circulation desk or landscaping at his home nearby. In fact, on May 4, Barnes and two of his friends and fellow septuagenarians rode in a 45-mile Five Boro Bike Tour in New York City.

Barnes recounted his experience saying “I did the whole thing without stopping or resting, and on a breakfast of an English muffin and a bowl of Raisin Bran and a glass of water.  I didn’t eat anything the whole 4 hours, and drank only about about 8 ounces of water (which is really stupid).”

 

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A Familiar Face Is Missing

Chadderton retirementDonna Chadderton, a long-time Falvey employee, retired on April 30 after 26 years. Her most recent (and highly visible) position was staffing, with fellow Information Services specialist Gerald Dierkes, the recently created Learning Commons Service Desk on Falvey’s second floor.

Donna came to Falvey in 1988 as a part-time employee, working in Technical Services where she labeled books and filed catalog records. In 1991 she became a full-time employee, first working in acquisitions and then cataloguing. When an information desk was established as part of the first floor renovation in 2004, she helped staff it, while assisting with interlibrary loan borrowing and circulation tasks.

When asked about changes she has seen during her years at Falvey, Donna replied, “I have worked with three different directors [Mary Ann Griffin, James L. Mullins and Joseph Lucia], each of whom had his or her own style of running the Library. There were several renovations to Falvey during their tenures. Technical Services (now Technology Development) and Resource Management was moved from the main floor to its present ground-floor location. A small coffee shop was installed in the basement [outside what is now the Resource Management Center], then expanded into its present location on the main floor. The Information Desk, Speaker’s Corner and Learning Commons didn’t exist when I came to Falvey. A large reference desk was located on the first floor and librarians’ offices were also on that floor. The campus road was fully open to vehicular traffic, which was heavy all day and sometimes reminded me of a major highway, especially because of the truck traffic that went through. … Mendel, the Law School, Bartley and Driscoll were renovated or rebuilt after I came.”

“What did you find most interesting?” I asked Donna. “Within the Library, I enjoyed working at the Information Desk because every day was different by virtue of the nature of the job. The patrons were different every day, and one never knew what question would come up next. Some questions were mundane, but others were more difficult; and while working at that location, I often learned something new every day myself!” she said.

Donna also served on the Science and Technology liaison team before it was reorganized. In addition, she served for many years on Villanova’s Environmental Task Force, which became the President’s Environmental Sustainability Committee, and served for many years on Villanova’s Earth Day Committee.

Donna’s retirement plans include “reading a large number of books that I’ve collected over the years.” In addition to tackling several long overdue household projects, Donna will also continue participating in online projects with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, volunteer at two local shelters that rescue homeless animals; and become more involved with a local conservation organization. In her spare time she also looks forward to spending more time gardening, traveling to favorite places, and walking her dogs.

Donna is a native of Kingston, Pa., and a graduate of Misericordia University (BS in Biology) and Bucknell University (MS in Biology).

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Taking On the Broad Street Run

broad street run 2014

Congratulations to  Raamaan McBride and Becky Whidden, library staff who entered and finished the Broad Street Run! They both came through with very respectable times (1:35:59 and 1:36:42, respectively). The 10-mile race was held on May 4 and was sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. They each received a medal to recognize their participation. (Of course, they’re both winners every day at Falvey.) Who knows? Maybe we’ll see them in another race this summer!

 

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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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Last Modified: May 9, 2014