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The Curious ‘Cat: Which search engine(s) do you prefer?

Curious Cat

This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks six library professionals, “Which search engine(s) (Google, Baidu, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, DuckDuckGo, etc.) do you prefer?”

JuttaJutta Seibert, team leader – Academic Integration

“I prefer Google mostly out of habit because I am familiar with it. I started using Google in 2000 and back then it performed superior when compared to other search engines. It was refreshingly uncluttered. I have tried other search engines on occasion, but none of them has performed as well as Google for me.”


2014-01-16 12.16.23-3Sarah Wingo, team leader – Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre

“Google, only Google. Partly familiarity, I understand how Google works better than any of the others, which means that I can use that knowledge to produce better results through my searches. I also think Google has the best search metrics.”




2014-01-15 11.08.18-4Robin Bowles, nursing/life science librarian

“I personally use Google as my general-purpose search. It is fully featured with lots of search options (now hidden under the link “Search tools”) and will recommend results from other Google search products like Google Scholar when appropriate.

A few thoughts about the others: Baidu, sometimes called the “Chinese Google”, is Chinese language only so we don’t see much use of it here. Yahoo and Bing are the same search now. Although they are different websites, Yahoo Search has been “powered by” Bing since 2009 so their results will be the same. Bings results are very comparable to Google (so much so they have been accused of digitally “watching” users’ behavior on Google and using that data to adjust Bing rankings) and Bing is wildly with PC users popular due to its integration with Internet Explorer and Windows 8.

DuckDuckGo is a perennial favorite for people who are concerned about Google and Bing’s data retention policies as it promises to retain no data about you and show the same search results for any and all users. The results are generally as good as Google or Bing’s although it only searches webpages and has no image or map search functionality.”

2014-01-17 14.27.13-2Kristyna Carroll, research-support librarian for business and social sciences

“I prefer Google as my search engine. I like the way many tools that I use are integrated together through Google Chrome, and I only have to log in once (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive). I use all of these Google tools every day, and sometimes additional ones.”




dave-uspal white bkg2USPAL

Dave Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications

“Mostly Google.  Its fast and thorough, and it has features (word spellings if searching for a single word, Wikipedia definitions, built-in maps) I actually use. I know other browsers have their strengths (Bing for media browsing, Ask for whole question searching) but for what I need, Google is usually the best answer.”



2014-01-15 11.11.37-2-2Rob LeBlanc—first-year experience/humanities librarian

“I’m a hardcore Google search fan. It is still the most comprehensive, fastest, and most accurate engine. I also prefer its clear and elegant layout and advanced features (like Google maps). Bing is good for hardcore Microsoft users due to its MS Office Online interface options, and DuckDuckGo is the best for privacy (it does not track you at all) but Google works best for both PC and Mac in my opinion.”


The Highlighter: What does it take to become a librarian?


Before earning the position of Falvey librarian, each applicant undergoes a rigorous screening process that includes the following:

1. Spell “Boolean,” “authentication,” “tertiary” and “plagiarism.”

2. Teach a class on college-level academic research while balancing Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged on his/her head (poise counts!).

3. Simultaneously show a first-year student how to find resources for her research project, answer a Live-chat question about citing sources in APA style, and help a caller limit his search results to only peer-reviewed, full-text articles.

4. Exit his/her office; hurdle a laptop computer, a taut power cord, and a studying student; and greet the patron standing at the Information Desk within 20 seconds.


to become a Falvey librarian, a person must be—

– an expert both in scholarly research and in one or more academic disciplines,

– a caring person who possesses a stalwart service ethic, and

– a dedicated professional committed to your success.

Whether you are exploring possible research topics, already have a well-developed research question, need help citing sources, or have other research needs, Falvey librarians look forward to helping you accomplish your goals.


Dig Deeper: Irish Novelist Claire Kilroy Appears Tonight

Claire_KilroyIrish novelist Claire Kilroy, Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. Chair of Irish Studies, will be giving a reading on Tuesday, March 17 at 6:00 p.m. following a reception in the President’s Lounge of the Connelly Center. Each academic year, a distinguished Irish writer is chosen to serve for the spring semester as the Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. Chair of Irish Studies. Inaugurated in 2000, it has become one of the most prestigious Irish studies positions in the United States.

The reading, co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, the Irish Studies Program, the Irish Dance Team and the Irish Cultural Society, is free and open to the public. It is part of a weeklong series of events celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, presented by the Irish Studies Program in conjunction with Falvey Memorial Library. Other events include Nova Feis: Lecture featuring Eoin Mc Evoy, visiting Fulbright Scholar on Thursday, March 19, 5:00 p.m. in Speakers’ Corner, Falvey Memorial Library.

From the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: “Claire Kilroy was born in Dublin, Ireland. She attended Trinity College, Dublin, where she studied English as an undergraduate and where, after a brief time working in television, she also earned her M.Phil in Creative Writing in 2001. Kilroy is the author of four novels—All SummerTenderwireAll Names Have Been Changed, and The Devil I Know—and has been described by Barbara Kingsolver, author of Flight Behaviour, as a writer who “packs a stunning worldly wisdom into her beautiful prose”; and has also been called “a quirky and excitingly original writer” by Anne Fogarty of the Irish Times. Kilroy cites her literary influences as John Banville and Vladimir Nabokov, and Lolita as her favorite book. She currently resides in Dublin with her husband and infant son, to whom she devotes most of her time.” Read more here.

To learn more about Claire Kilroy and her bibliography, check out the resources below selected by Sarah Wingo, liaison librarian for English and Theater.

Dig Deeper

Falvey Holdings:
All Summer


Devil I Know

All Names

Read a Guardian review of Kilroy’s most recent book.

Check out and follow Kilroy’s Goodreads profile.

Read a 2010 interview.

Sarah WingoDig Deeper links selected by Sarah Wingo, team leader – Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.


‘Cat in the Stacks: Traditional Irish Dance Music


 I’m Michelle Callaghan, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is our 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.

abstract-retro-shamrock-design_mkwW9GSt. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and right now you can’t turn on the morning news without hearing that chipper jig jingle introducing the Irish segment between the politics and the weather—not that I’m complaining! I, like many people, am a fan of that traditional Irish dance music. And speaking of morning news features, the subtle jealously I experience while watching a crew of kids step-dancing away is pretty amusing (I so could’ve done that! How hard can it be?). I really don’t claim to know much about Irish culture, my Callaghan-Gallagher bloodline and having completed James Joyce’s Ulysses en totale notwithstanding, but luckily Falvey has enough information to keep me in the know. When thinking about that traditional music, I decided I wanted to know more about the actual instruments involved in making that Irish sound—you know that sound. The sound.

With the help of resources archived in the Philadelphia Ceili Group collection, hosted by Villanova’s Digital Library, I listened a little more closely to the individual instruments that make up that St. Patrick’s Day sound. A little light Google research has led me to believe (and experts, correct me if I’m wrong) that the traditional Irish sound is typically made up of Uilleann pipes, fiddles, tin whistles, and flutes. Click on the names of the instruments to listen to recordings from past Philadelphia Ceili Group events!

Uilleann Pipes
Uilleann pipes are nifty because if, like me, you don’t have a honed ear for those bag instruments, you might have expected something identical to the Scottish bagpipe. They sound similar, but they are indeed different. Check out this Youtube vid to see them battling it out! The bagpipes incorporate blown air; Uilleann pipes are pressed under the arm.

What’s the difference between a fiddle and a violin? Not much. Fiddling is a folk style of playing a violin. Nothing makes me want to get up and dance more than an enthusiastically played fiddle.

Tin Whistle and Flute
I have a cheap tin whistle I found somewhere in my grandfather’s junk cabinet as a kid, and the only thing I can play is Concerning Hobbits from The Lord of the Rings (this isn’t me, and I’m not this good). I know I’m not maximizing its potential or anything, but hey, it sounds pretty.

If you’re interested in learning more about Irish music beyond the instrumentation of traditional dance music, we also have a few text-based resources.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

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


Proquest Maintenance – Feb. 28

Due to scheduled maintenance, the Proquest databases will be unavailable on Saturday, Feb. 28, from approximately 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. (Mar. 1).

Products affected:

  • Research databases
    • ProQuest platform (search.proquest.com)
    • ProQuest Congressional (congressional.proquest.com)
    • ProQuest Dialog (search.proquest.com/professional)
    • Chadwyck-Healey databases (full list available here)
    • CultureGrams
    • eLibrary (all editions)
    • ProQuest Digital Microfilm
    • ProQuest Obituaries
    • ProQuest Research Companion
    • SIRS (all editions)
  • Dissertation publishing
    • ProQuest/UMI ETD Administrator
  • Reference management/Research support tools
    • RefWorks
    • COS Funding Opportunities
    • COS Scholar Universe
  • Bibliographic and catalog enrichment resources
    • Books in Print®
    • LibraryThing for Libraries™
    • ProQuest Syndetic Solutions™

Thank you for your patience while improvements are made.


The Curious ‘Cat: Which Web Browser(s) Provides Optimal Performance for Navigating Falvey’s Site?


This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks six library professionals, “Which browser(s) would you recommend for Villanova students to use when accessing Falvey’s site?”

Robin Bowles, nursing/life science librarian

2014-01-15 11.08.18-4“I always recommend users go directly to http://library.villanova.edu or use the Library link on the University homepage. The Library tab within MyNova is fine for very basic library use. But if you are planning to access one of our databases or more complex tools, the MyNova frame around the page can sometimes interfere with the connection and cause problems. Coming to our website directly will keep your connection to us as direct and uncomplicated as possible.”

Dave Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications

dave-uspal white bkg2USPAL“Our website developers either use Firefox or Chrome as their primary development browser, so either of those is recommended. For a while Firefox was the primary browser used for web page development, but Chrome has recently been taking up market share in this field.  Further, since Chrome is the number one browser in use by a very wide margin (46.22% as of January 2105), web developers will definitely test their pages against Chrome before release.

“I think the above still applies to Mac users as well (you can get Firefox and Chrome for Mac; alternatively, you can get Safari for PC—though I don’t recommend this as Safari’s strengths and best features are its integration with Mac OS)

“The browser I would not recommend is Internet Explorer:

IE has the most security holes, to the point where the Department of Homeland Security has asked Americans not to use IE.

And it tends to interpret web page elements differently than other browsers.”

Sarah Wingo, team leader – Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre

2014-01-16 12.16.23-1-2“I have a Mac at home and a PC at work, and I personally don’t find any major difference between the two, with browsers. As far as browsers go, as I said above, I use Chrome both at home and at work and if for any reason I’m having trouble with Chrome (very rare) I will use Firefox.  For me personally when it comes to choosing between Chrome and Firefox it is really about personal taste, both are good.”


Jutta Seibert, team leader – Academic Integration

2014-02-18 13.37.16-5“Most browsers will do the job, but students should be aware that any browser can fail if an application or website is not optimized for the browser. The fault in this case lies with the application or website and not the browser. Overall it is good to stick with popular browsers as they will run into fewer problems. Chrome and Firefox used to be equally popular, but Chrome is now without a doubt the leading browser in the U.S. (“Browser Statistics and Trends”).

“According to the same statistics Explorer and Opera are marginal and should be avoided overall.”

Rob LeBlanc—first-year experience/humanities librarian

2014-01-15 11.11.37-2-2“I would recommend Firefox or Chrome: we are developing more and more HTML5 and mobile based web interfaces, and both those browsers work very well with the newest version of our website interface, VuFind. As for Mac vs. PC, it shouldn’t make too much of a difference. I am a Mac user both at home and on my mobile devices and a PC person at work (by necessity), and I have no problem accessing Falvey Memorial Library resources on any of my devices.

“As for MyNova, we actively discourage users from accessing the library resources through MyNova; many of our links do not work through that interface and you are much better off accessing our search engine, catalog and databases directly through the library webpage at http://library.villanova.edu.”

Kristyna Carroll, research-support librarian for business and social sciences

2014-01-17 14.27.13-2“For accessing library resources, I often use Mozilla Firefox. My understanding is that the tech team recommends Firefox for the Library website. When a student comes to my office, I know that Firefox will have the library website open, and my more personal windows can stay minimized in Chrome. That differentiation helps.

“I always recommend that students stay away from Falvey’s site through MyNova, unless they are doing something simple, like checking hours.”


Who are our Curious ‘Cats? Interviews by Gerald Dierkes, senior copy-editor for the Communication and Service Promotion team and a liaison to the Department of Theater with photographs by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer. This week’s archival librarian headshots by Joanne Quinn, Safari fangirl and team leader for the Communication and Service Promotion team.

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Student Employees Study Abroad

Two students who work on the Access Services team at Falvey Memorial Library agreed to tell us about their study abroad experiences last semester.

Last semester, Erin Johnson studied abroad in Galway, Ireland with fifteen other Villanova students. During her time at the National University of Ireland, Galway, she studied global economics and Irish history. Despite being hundreds of miles away from campus, Erin was still able to use Falvey’s online resources to help write a few papers!

Erin Johnson at the Cliffs of Moher.

Erin Johnson friends study abroad

(From left to right) Ginny Lee, Marielle Sauvigne, Erin Johnson, Emma Goetzman, and Laura McMahon at Kylemore Abbey.

Molly McGuinness studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark for 4 months. She participated in a neuroscience program and her class had the opportunity to travel to Munich, Germany for one week to tour labs and listen to researchers. In addition to traveling to Germany, Molly also traveled to eight other countries throughout the semester. This experience was her first time in Europe. She loved being able to see and learn so much about other places and cultures.

Molly McGuinness study abroad

Molly took a side trip to Sweden for some abseiling!

Molly McGuinness copenhagen

This was an everyday sight for Molly while she stayed in Copenhagen.

Article by Luisa Cywinski, writer, Communication and Service Promotion team, and team leader, Access Services.


Dig Deeper: Literary Festival Features Bruce Smith

Bruce SmithOn Thursday, Feb. 19 at 7:00 p.m. in Speakers’ Corner of Falvey Memorial Library, Bruce Smith will be giving a poetry reading and talk. Smith is one of the Literary Festival’s featured speakers. Originally from Philadelphia, Bruce Smith is the author of several books of poems, including The Other Lover (2000), a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He will be reading selections from his collection entitled Devotions. Publisher’s Weekly called his poems “alternately sharp, slippery, and tender,” and in them he “finds a way to take in almost everything—’Shooter Protocol,’ Charlie Parker, high school shop class—moving seamlessly between critique and embrace.” A book sale and signing will follow the reading.

This event is co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library and the Department of English. It is free and open to the public.

For more information on Bruce Smith and to check out some of his poetry, visit the resources below, selected by Sarah Wingo, liaison library for English and Theater.

Dig Deeper

Bruce Smith’s bio and some of his poetry can found on The Poetry Foundation. You can find some poems here.

Check out Smith’s National Book Award Foundation page for a video of a reading.

Bruce Smith’s Devotions andThe Other Lover are forthcoming to Falvey’s catalog.

Sarah WingoDig Deeper links selected by Sarah Wingo, team leader – Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.


The Curious ‘Cat: Which Web Browser(s) Do You Prefer?


This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks six library professionals – and searching is their jam you know – “Which Web Browser(s) Do You Prefer?


Kristyna Carroll, research-support librarian for business and social sciences:

2014-01-17 14.27.13-2“I prefer Google Chrome as my browser. I like the way many tools that I use are integrated together through Google Chrome, and I only have to log in once (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive). I use all of these Google tools every day, and sometimes additional ones.”



Rob LeBlanc—first-year experience/humanities librarian:

2014-01-15 11.11.37-2-2“I still prefer Firefox for its flexibility. As a well-established version of the Mozilla browser platform, I find the many add-ons (the Feedly blog reader, TinEye reverse image search, etc.) to be helpful and intuitive.

That being said, I find myself using Chrome more and more for its overall speed and flexibility. As they develop more add-ons, I will probably find myself well within their camp in the near future. I know the University supports it, but Internet Explorer is my least favorite for good reason: It is still one of the least web-standard-compliant browsers, and can be both buggy and slow.”


Jutta Seibert, team leader – Academic Integration:

2014-02-18 13.37.16-5“I’ve used Firefox since about 2001. On occasion I use Explorer, particularly in MyNova or to access the Villanova Gateway as both these applications are not optimized for Firefox. I use Safari on my iPad and personal MacBook and I like this search engine as well. The Firefox browser on my work computer is personalized in many ways, and for this reason I don’t like to switch browsers too often as I have to customize each new browser.”


Sarah Wingo, team leader – Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre:

2014-01-16 12.16.23-3“I prefer Chrome and Firefox in that order. Both have different aspects that I like.  I have Gmail, and Chrome is great because it integrates all of my Google accounts, remembers my favorites/bookmarks and has plugins that I like. Firefox is my backup because it is reliable. Both browsers have their software updated regularly by their developers, which means they are less likely to glitch, be unable to open websites or be unable to play videos, etc. This also should, in theory, make them more secure.”


Dave Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications:

dave-uspal white bkg2USPAL“My preference for browsers is Opera because it has an array of convenient and powerful tools built right into the browser, from Dragonfly (a web developer tool) to a Mobile SDK (Software Development Kit used for prototyping mobile pages on your desktop or laptop), to its Speed Dial tool (a touchscreen-optimized homepage) to a TV emulator to other tools like IRC chatting and Torrent downloading. Further, Opera seems more stable to me than other browsers—fewer browser crashes and slowdowns.

“It’s hard to recommend to others for day to day use, though, as many web developers don’t test for Opera when constructing pages. Banks or other financial institutions, for example, may only allow access to their site from certain browsers and versions for security reasons.”


Robin Bowles, nursing/life science librarian:

2014-01-15 11.08.18-4“We recommend Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer (if you are a Windows user) or Safari (if you are on a Mac).  Personally, I use Google’s Chrome because of its simplicity and great integration with my Android phone, and so far I haven’t found any big problems with using Chrome with our resources.”

Who are our Curious ‘Cats? Interviews by Gerald Dierkes, senior copy-editor for the Communication and Service Promotion team and a liaison to the Department of Theater with photographs by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer. This week’s archival librarian headshots by Joanne Quinn, Safari fangirl and team leader for the Communication and Service Promotion team.


Dig Deeper: Megan Quigley, PhD on Modernist Fiction

Megan QuigleyA Scholarship@Villanova lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 2:30 p.m. in room 205 of Falvey Memorial Library will feature Megan Quigley, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of English. Dr. Quigley will speak about her book, entitled Modernist Fiction and Vagueness: Philosophy, Form, and Language, newly released from Cambridge University Press, which explores the intertwined history of 20th-century British fiction and philosophy. Specifically, it argues that much modernist literary experimentation connects to the linguistic turn in philosophy.

The event is  co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library and the Department of English and is free and open to the public.

For more information on Dr. Quigley and her work in Modernism, check out the resources below, provided by Sarah Wingo, liaison librarian for English and Theater.

Quigley BookDig Deeper

Visit Dr. Quigley’s professional website at http://meganquigley.com/. To view a list of her publications, click here.

Selected Scholarship:
Modern Novels and Vagueness.” Modernism/Modernity, 15.1 (2008) 101-129. Print.
To read the full text, click here.


Sarah WingoDig Deeper links selected by Sarah Wingo, team leader – Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.


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Last Modified: February 18, 2015