FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY



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Catalog Week: How to Add Comments to an Item

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Did you know you can add a comment to an item’s catalog record? This video shows how to add comments to an item right from within the catalog (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing.)

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.

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‘Cat in the Stacks: Healthy Minds

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 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.

“Mens sana in corpore sano” is a Latin aphorism typically translated as “a sound mind in a sound body.”

As we finish off the second week of the semester, your brain might be feeling a little fuzzy. Your feet might be dragging. You might be marking up your fall calendar with all of the projects, due dates, readings and lectures noted within your looming pile of syllabi. You’re thinking, hey, is teleportation a thing yet? Or maybe you’re considering replicating Hermione Granger’s Time-Turner because there just isn’t enough time in a day for all of these commitments in your life.

I feel you. I have been known to madly tailor my daily agenda in desperate search of an hour to breathe, and just for the sake of saving time I sometimes skip that trip to the gym or sacrifice sleep or eat a fast grab-n-go meal instead of a healthy dinner.

Don’t do that.  As you can guess, it’s not a good idea.

When it comes to education, physical and mental health can define your success. Study skills and research tools are fantastic, but they can only go so far when the gray, lumpy organ in your skull is in no mood to cooperate. We all have heard how to stay healthy – eat well, sleep well, get exercise, take mental health breaks – but when our schedules fill up, these goals might be the first to slide down the priority list. We think we’re saving time by skipping these healthy habits to work and work and work some more, but by skipping them, we are in effect making our reading, writing and research hours less efficient, and losing more time overall.

hand draws brain sign

In order to realize our potential as scholars, we have to try to maintain sound minds in sound bodies. Although intense study sessions and long hours in front of a computer can make you feel like an amorphous brain floating around, bodiless, in some unreality far beyond your chair, you are not. All of your knowledge, education and skills are bundled up inside your actual physical head in your actual physical body, and that actual physical body needs to be maintained. Only when the body is healthy can the brain work at full capacity.

hiding face bookI throw down the gauntlet. Move around. Eat some leafy food. Avoid sleep debt. Meditate. Be gentle with yourself. Then, next time you delve into a thick article for class, you might not have to reread the opening sentence twelve times before it sinks into your sleep-deprived mind (been there, done that).

Mens sana in corpore sano.

We can do this.

 


Resources:

Student Health Center, which also houses the University Counseling Center

Fitness Centers on campus

 


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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Catalog Week: How to Tag Items in the Library’s Catalog

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Do you ever think an item should have a search term or category associated with it, but it doesn’t? This video shows how to make items easy to find by adding a tag. (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing.)

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.

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Catalog Week: How to Save Your Search

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Did you know Falvey’s catalog can help you save a whole search-results list? This video shows how to save a whole search-results list right from within the catalog. (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing.)

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.

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VITAL Resources for New & Continuing Faculty!

The Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning (VITAL) sponsored a new-faculty orientation program on August 18 and 19 in several locations across campus. As part of this program, new faculty were welcomed to Falvey Memorial Library on Tuesday, August 19, for a breakfast meet and greet. Interim Director Robert DeVos, PhD, welcomed librarians, and Jutta Seibert, team leader for Academic Integration as well as the coordinator of the liaison team to the departments of history, sociology and criminal justice, eagerly introduced librarians and staff to new faculty. New faculty members also had the opportunity to gather according to disciplines for informal discussions with liaison librarians in their subject areas. The event provided new faculty a strong sense of what services the Library has to offer the Villanova Community!

Gabriele BauerFollowing the event, I (Gina Duffy) interviewed Gabriele Bauer, PhD, director of the Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning (VITAL), to discover more about the new faculty orientation program as well as VITAL’s activities and general campus mission.

RD: How many new faculty members did you welcome to Villanova this year during the new-faculty orientation program?

GB: VITAL, in co-sponsorship with the Office of Academic Affairs, welcomed 33 faculty colleagues at the new faculty program held August 18 and 19. While many colleagues are new to Villanova, some are (also) new to their full-time instructional roles. With over 40 presenters from across Villanova on hand, faculty were offered context for their central role in helping to support, inform, and advance Villanova’s mission, vision, and future direction. Among the program topics addressed were professional development support, students’ expectations, academic support services, instructional policies and resources, and teaching in the inspiration of St. Augustine. Attendees represented 22 departments across colleges: Accountancy, Augustine and Culture Seminar Program, Biology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computing Sciences, Economics, Ethics, Finance, Geography and the Environment, History, Human Resource Development, Marketing and Business Law, Mathematics and Statistics, Naval Science, Nursing, Political Science, Psychology, Romance Languages and Literatures, Sociology, Theatre, and Theology and Religious Studies.

RD: What are the highlights of the new faculty program?

GB: Given the comprehensive program, it’s challenging to identify just a few highlights. Based on feedback, the sessions that provide faculty with personalized insights into their teaching and scholarly roles at Villanova seem to be most appreciated. Among these sessions were the sessions addressing our students, academic support services, and the roundtable discussions with Falvey Memorial Library’s departmental liaisons. A faculty panel discussion on the subject, “What I wished I had known in my first year at Villanova” elicited vital advice for our colleagues.  Key examples included creating a folder of all teaching records–such as unsolicited student emails, peer observations, CATS reports, syllabi, assignments, and advising activities—as a repository of material for the annual and three-year review; the importance of being patient when adjusting to a new professional environment, new courses, and new colleagues; setting realistic goals; accepting that things will not always go as planned; and viewing mistakes as opportunities for learning and growth.

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New faculty orientation

RD: Do you have any insider tips or advice for “newbies” on campus?

GB: Being a “newbie” myself last year, I would suggest taking the time to listen, engage in conversation with colleagues, staff, and students in your department. Don’t be reluctant to ask questions or ask for clarification of procedures and conventions that might differ from those at your former institution (that may be more difficult to do for some of us introverts).

Yes, the Villanova website provides extensive, detailed information, yet how long will it take us to find the one kernel that we are looking for? I have discovered that reaching out to colleagues by phone not only expedites the process but helps me meet new colleagues, learn about their work and deepen my understanding and appreciation for the Villanova culture and context. Plus I have found it most enjoyable to talk with colleagues-such conversations add a human touch to our mainly digital work world.

Try and venture out of your department, participate in campus events that interest you or resonate with your values and passion. Take advantage of the many cultural offerings, such as superb theater performances that are offered free to faculty and staff on Tuesdays, or participate in an exercise class.

RD: Can you describe VITAL’s main role on campus?

GB: VITAL provides and coordinates services and resources for faculty members from all disciplines who are interested in helping their students become more effective learners. We collaborate with departments and University offices to identify and support student learning needs and help advance instructional goals. We offer opportunities to meet and learn from nationally known experts and serve as a clearinghouse for higher education materials.

RD: What services that VITAL offers do you believe are the most valuable to Villanova faculty (both new and continuing)?

GB: We provide a range of services that are designed to support faculty at various stages in their careers. Among the services we offer are confidential instructional consultations with individuals, departments or other groups; confidential classroom observations with constructive feedback; tailored sessions to meet departmental needs; mini-grants to support innovative teaching, learning, e-Learning and assessment of student learning; topical workshop sessions and campus-wide events that provide opportunities to engage with colleagues across the University.

RD: Anything else you would like to mention to new and continuing faculty?

GB: We are delighted to bring to faculty members’ attention three teaching resources: Teaching Professor, monthly online newsletter that offers evidence-based, nuts-and-bolts teaching practices for all disciplines; IF-AT, a multiple-choice tool for group feedback, testing of students’ comprehension and ability to apply, and differentiate concepts; and Faculty Online Café to keep your teaching fresh, discuss current topics, exchange teaching experiences and practices with colleagues. To access the Faculty Café, go to elearning.villanova.edu, select the university seal to sign in, and click “Faculty Online Café.”

We wish all of our faculty colleagues—both new and continuing—a fulfilling and productive new academic year and look forward to supporting them. You will always find a free cup of coffee or tea at the VITAL office, 106 Vasey Hall.

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Catalog Week: How to Create a Personal “Favorites” List

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Did you know Falvey’s catalog can help you create a personal “Favorites” list of library items? This video shows how to save an item to your personal-favorites list right from within the catalog. (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing.)

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.

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Catalog Week: Quickly Find the Article(s) You Need

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Find articles quickly with the following library-catalog features (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing):

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.

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Catalog Week: Interactive Map Shows Locations of Books and More

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Falvey’s interactive map shows you where a book is shelved:

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.

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Catalog Week: Easily Find the Book(s) You Need

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Find books easily with the following library-catalog features (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing):

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.

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‘Cat in the Stacks: I Do Not Know

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 I’m Michelle Callaghan, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the first post of ‘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.

“Teach thy tongue to say ‘I do not know,’ and thou shalt progress.”  -Maimonides

I had some time to kill before the graduate student orientation this past Sunday, and found myself in the Connelly Center. So there I was, stealthily eavesdropping on a first-year student-athlete in Holy Grounds while I bribed my phone to connect to the mobile WiFi on campus for the first time. I couldn’t stop listening to this conversation about what foods to eat before practice and when to do homework between workouts—not because of the oh-so-gripping content of the conversation but because of the bravery of the first-year student. She was unashamed, unabashed. She asked questions and she got answers. She found valuable resources in her upperclassmen teammates and, by taking advantage of that, wasted no time in finding her footing.

Because of her willingness to ask questions, she could focus on more important first-year matters and relax.

As a newbie in the Villanova world, Anonymous Student-Athlete inspired me. She has me thinking, too, about the importance of asking questions. It’s not always easy, but it can be learned, and it is probably the most invaluable tool you can learn in college—for research, especially, but also for life.

I’m no Maimonides, but here are my top three realizations about asking questions:

1) When a fellow human offers their guidance, they typically do want you to take advantage of it.

Helping Hands

… and Falvey Memorial Library is staffed by incredibly kind, incredibly smart librarians who want to help you. 

2) Asking questions in class, or asking questions of your support system, is smart.

Questioning

… and the sillier your question feels, the more important it is. The basics are your base. Make them concrete right away by reaching out with questions, and then you can start building on your real goal. Plus, by formulating a question, you’re bettering your understanding of whatever you’re asking.

3)  Asking questions lets you inhabit other people’s brains, and that’s where magic happens.

Brain

… that magic being mind control. Mua-ha-ha—just kidding. Sharing perspectives, whether it be the best place to get pizza in Ardmore (Jules Thin Crust!) or whether chaos is the natural state of the universe, is the one of the most exciting aspects of being part of a scholarly community like Villanova University.

I didn’t ask anyone how to log into mobile WiFi. I could have asked any one of the hundreds of students I’d been passing all afternoon, but instead I wasted time with a basic question. Lesson learned.

Here’s to you, Anonymous Student-Athlete. Cheers!

 


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: August 28, 2014