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A Rooftop Solarium and Other Little-Known Facts about Your Library

RS3209_New Falvey(1)

Did you know Falvey Memorial Library existed years before the current building was completed in 1967? May 5, 1963, the Villanova University Library (now called Falvey Hall) was rededicated as Falvey Memorial Library. Planners called the 1967 building an “addition” or “wing” despite its larger size. Learning about the possibilities the planners considered fires the imagination.

A rooftop solarium, for example, was proposed but then declined due to possibility of additional floors being built. The new library had been constructed with “a fortified foundation” that would support additional stories, to be added as needed. Other plans included an outdoor patio and reading area in front of the current 24/7 study lounge. And a second elevator was proposed but declined due to its cost.

An architect had planned a doorway between Falvey Memorial Library (Falvey)’s third floor and Falvey Hall. Those plans changed, but a recess in Falvey’s third-floor wall remains. Falvey Hall’s exterior stonework is visible at the back of this niche. A statue of Mary, the mother of Jesus, now occupies that alcove.

For reasons unknown, the new building lacked a first-floor public restroom. That deficiency remained until the renovation of the library’s first floor in 2004.

View from fourth floor, looking west.

View from fourth floor, looking west.

Looking back from 2014, I think readers would agree that some of Falvey’s features turned out better than planned. For instance, planners did not intend to have windows in the fourth-floor wall adjacent to Falvey Hall because the view would be dominated by Falvey Hall’s roof. But the glass was less expensive than bricks, so windows were installed. Despite the mundane view, those windows do bring a great deal of natural light into the Library.

And the then-futuristic ceilings throughout the building, which conserve space by integrating lighting and HVAC systems with sound-absorbing acoustical panels, were designed by a Villanova University professor of mechanical engineering.

Falvey Memorial Library turns 47 years old in 2014.

(sources—“Library Rededicated by Board of Trustees as Falvey Memorial” The Villanovan, May 5, 1968, pp. 1, 7, “The Library Story” The Villanovan, Sept. 18, 1968, p. 4)


Gerald info deskArticle by Gerald Dierkes, information services specialist for the Information and Research Assistance team, senior copy-editor for the Communication and Service Promotion team and a liaison to the Department of Theater. Bottom photo by Joanne Quinn.

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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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Graduation Doesn’t Mean Goodbye: 8 things you may miss about Villanova

Congratulations, Class of 2014 ! Now comes the hard part!  Before you leave, let’s review a list of some things you might actually miss from Villanova.

 

1. Free Printing

Say goodbye to that $60 in print quota, and hello to notion of buying a home printer.

2. NovaBucks

Remember when you felt like a king with all of the NovaBucks you had…

3. Waking up Late

Picking out your own schedule and avoiding sunlight as if you were a vampire.

4. 3×5 Index Cards

That feeling when the ACS professor lets you use a 3×5 index card for your final.

Doesn’t really work like that in the real world.

 

5. Wearing whatever you want

Deciding between bell-bottoms and Uggs or gym shorts with stilettos was a tough choice. Now comes the realization that 95% of your wardrobe is not business appropriate.

6. Free Gym

Using the gym on campus was convenient and modern. Now you have to resort to more dangerous tactics.

 

7. Living close to your friends

All of those friendships you have built up over the college years are basically cut in half, with friends moving home or to another city for a job.

8. Summer vacations

Say goodbye to those 3 month vacations, unless you are becoming a teacher, of course. If you have the money for a vacation, it will probably be just 2 weeks.

 

But one thing you do not have to miss out on…access to an award-winning library.

Falvey grants courtesy memberships to alumni, making it possible for you to access our entire collection and online databases (while on site). No need to break the computer to find out more information.

Just come to the front desk and we’ll be happy to help! And remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube to keep up with events and information from your Alma Mater.


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

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Internet Explorer isn’t just clunky and slow; it’s now also a danger to your computer!

INFOLEAK

 

The US Department of Homeland Security’s United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team has released a major warning suggesting people stop using the popular Internet Explorer web browser until further notice. Security flaws in the browser allow malicious programs to be installed on a computer without the user’s knowledge simply by opening an email or visiting an infected website. While a fix from Microsoft is expected shortly, this may be the perfect time to upgrade to a safer, more modern browser.

For more about the security problem, check out the following news coverage:

Washington Post: “Internet Explorer bug offers yet another reason to upgrade from Windows XP

USA Today:Homeland Security: Don’t use IE due to bug

National Public Radio: “U.S. Tells Users To Stop Using Internet Explorer For Now

As alternatives, the Library recommends the Mozilla Firefox browser, which is available for free download for all operating systems at http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/

The widely popular Google Chrome browser is also free for all systems athttps://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/

Apple’s Safari browser is free to the public for Windows and Apple Computers from https://www.apple.com/safari/

These three have no known major security flaws and work well with the library’s resources.

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‘Twas the Week Before Finals: When it comes to finals, a sense of humor helps!

With finals rapidly approaching, now is a good time to learn about the library’s hidden gems. The Library offers so much more than books and study spaces (though those things are still pretty cool). Here are the top 10 things you may not have known you could do at the Library:

10. Access current magazines and newspapers

So much information is out there, and we want to help you access anything you need. Stop by Falvey to access current magazines and newspapers that will give any assignment extra flair. We want you to feel happy about your work.

9. Check out an E-Reader

Tired of carrying heavy books around all day for every class? Check out an E-Reader and save yourself the hassle and stress!

 

8. Chat with a librarian

We’re here to help you through those times when you feel like this:

 

7. Griffin Room Access

Tired of waiting for a computer on the first floor? Does it make you feel like a lion scouting out prey? Try the Griffin Room in the back of the first floor, an instructional space that doubles as a computer lab.

 

6.Text a call number from the catalog to your phone

 

 

5. Scan and Send a Document to print/email/Google Docs

We know finals are stressful, so we try to make it as easy as possible for you to get everything done. Falvey’s services allow you to scan and send documents to print, to your email or even to Google Docs! It’s like getting one of these …

4. Print From Your Laptop

There’s no need to stress out about finding an available computer to print. You can print right from your own laptop!

 

 

3. Borrow A DVD

Everything from award winning documentaries to the ever funny Bridesmaids … This could make you feel better than Gale.

 

 

 

2. Attend Scholarly Talks

Need inspiration? Take a break from your work and attend one of this week’s scholarly talks. This walrus certainly agrees:

1. And the number one thing you may not know you can do in the Library … 24-Hour Study Space

Yeah, you knew about the library’s 24-hour lounge (aka “Club 24”), but did you know the Library also has 24-hour study spaces in the Reading Room and lobby of Falvey Hall? And being surrounded by fellow night owls is encouraging: You’re not the only one cramming for a test or finishing that paper.

 

So even though you may feel like this:

 

We know you’ll do great!

Good luck on finals!

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

Images & video researched by Kelly Forst, intern on the Scholarly Outreach & Events team.

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‘Twas the Week Before Finals: Learning Support Services

LSS logoThe Library is a busy place, but during finals Falvey Memorial Library becomes even more of a hub for studying students. In Learning Support Services (located in the Learning Commons), we are keen observers of student study habits. As the campus population prepares for final exams, we want to share our top Do’s and Don’ts:

Do get enough sleep.

Even though Falvey Library’s 24-hour lounge is available, pulling an all-nighter is rarely a good idea. If you are too tired to think, you probably will not do well on your exam. Try using our end of semester calendar (found on our website) to plan out your prep so you don’t leave it all until the night before the big exam.

Don’t let distractions get the best of you.

Without the structure of regular class sessions leading up to and during finals week, it is easy to get swept up in a variety of tempting distractions. Netflix binge? Sure! A day lounging on Sheehan Beach? Why not?! Have fun, but strike a good balance between studying and free time.

Do find a study buddy.

Speaking of distractions, working in pairs or groups can be beneficial as long as you don’t use it as an excuse to procrastinate. Even if you prefer to study alone, consider teaming up with a friend while prepping for exams or working on that term paper. By choosing to study in the same place at the same time, you can support each other in achieving your goals.

Try pausing every hour to either quiz each other on material or read aloud sections from your essays. Have trouble resisting your phone or the pull of social media? If you are working at the same library table, trade phones with your study buddy for brief periods of time and agree to not answer them. That way, you know your phone is within reach, but you are not tempted to look at it every two minutes.

Don’t forget to test yourself.

The way students study is just as important as the time they devote to test prep.  If you are not seeing as much success as you would like on your exams, there is a good chance you need to inject more self-testing into your study plan. Sites like Quizlet and Study Stack can be helpful. Notecards or two-column notes are old standbys. Practice tests and questions from the back of the chapter can also do the trick. The bottom line is: simply looking over your notes is not going to be as effective as self-testing.

We welcome the throngs of students who are about to come join us in the Learning Commons, and we wish you all luck on your final exams and papers! For additional learning strategies and stress management tips, check out the LSS website.

Article by Nicole Subik, learning specialist, Learning Support Services

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You asked & we listened! Library expands 24-hour building access for Finals now through May 9.

BANNER_24-7

If you’re searching for quiet areas where you can study uninterrupted and for unlimited periods of time, Falvey Memorial Library is pleased to announce the extension of areas available for 24/7 study in the building from now until Friday, May 9. The first, second and ground floors will now be available for Villanova students 24/7, in addition to the Holy Grounds lounge, Falvey Hall Lounge and Reading Room.

During this special finals hours period, be aware that from 3 a.m. until staff arrive in the morning, there will be no library services or access to the book collections on the third and fourth floors – but we can promise you plenty of peace and quiet!

A public safety officer will be in the building and making walk-throughs to provide an additional measure of security, in addition to the CCTV surveillance cameras we have in place.

Be sure to bring your Wildcard to gain access to the building.

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‘Twas the Week Before Finals: S.O.S. Robin’s Signs of Spring

pomodoroProcrastination

Have you heard of the Pomodoro technique? It’s a time management technique developed by university student Francesco Cirillo back in the ’80s. The basics are simple:

  • Set a timer for 25 minutes.
  • Work solidly for those 25 minutes.
  • Ignore all distractions—email, your cat, birds chirping, roommates, giant lizard people—until the timer goes off.
  • Set your timer for 5 minutes, get up from your chair and take a break: get a cup of coffee, pet the cat, read Falvey’s blog, check Facebook, etc.
  • When the timer goes off, set it for 25 minutes again and get back to work.
  • Every 2 hours (or 4 work blocks) take a big break of at least 20 minutes off to take a walk, eat a meal, or save the world from lizard people.

This technique takes me from Queen of Procrastination to a work-doing machine.

If you’re into apps, there is a huge variety of Pomodoro timer apps.

On Android we liked Concentrato Pomodoro Timer, Clockwork Tomato and Pomodoro Tasks.

On iOS we liked DropTime, Pomodoro List and Po-Pomodoro.

evernote peek

Forgetfulness

From re-memorizing the vocabulary from the start of the semester to nailing down those last few dozen facts, studying for finals requires some hard-core memorization. The tried and true standby, flashcards, has morphed into a huge variety of study apps for your smartphone or tablet. The three we liked the best were—

Studyblue
has a huge pre-made library of flashcards or make your own and share them with your classmates. Schedule your study time and StudyBlue sends you a text message when it’s time to study from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Evernote Peek
lets you create and study flashcards on your iPad with a twist. Use a magnetic cover to read the question and then Peek to see if your answer was correct.

Anki
is opensource flashcards specifically with scientific or mathematical markup. On your computer, their website,  or on a mobile device, make cards with pictures, video, anything you like.

PANIC!!!

First, take a deep breath.

Okay.

Whatever it is that’s freaking you out right now, chances are good we have something that will help …

at the Library!

The Library isn’t just all heavy books you need for papers; it’s also study guides, helpful videos, thought provoking reading and above all …

helpful people.

The Library is staffed until midnight Sundays-Thursdays and, starting Monday April 28, until 3 a.m. every day except Saturday until finals are over.

See our webpage for detailed hours.

You can also send us your questions from the comfort of … well, anywhere!

You can email, call, text, or chat us (graphics) your questions to be answered by our helpful array of subject specialist librarians.

Senioritis

Seniors, we all know how it is. The weather warms, the last few things on your to-do list are falling away and so is your motivation. Here are a few things you may want to do with your last weeks on campus:

- Remember your past … and your library books:

Now’s a great time to check in on your favorite professors and staff here at Villanova one last time.

Get letters of recommendation, secure contacts for the future,

and remember to return any outstanding library books! Having books on your account can prevent you from getting your diploma on graduation day, so stop in and make sure your account is clear with us.

- Look to your future:

gonova jobsOn Monday, May 19 it will seem like a whole new world. Be sure you know what direction you’re heading by stopping by the Career Center to meet with one of their professional career counselors or peer career assistants who can help you with your resume or show you the GoNova Jobs listings or help you take advantage of any of their other resources.

While you’re at it, look to your future as a Villanova alumni by stopping by the Library to apply for your alumni access card which lets you keep on borrowing library materials and ensures continued access to our electronic resources from within the building.

- Take care of yourself!

raccoon eyesWith all the excitement you’ll be tempted to skip sleep and meals to try to squeeze as much as possible into these last few weeks. Use common sense, however; regular sleep and meals help you keep these important memories for a lifetime and also make sure you won’t be mistaken for a raccoon in your graduation photos with Grandma.

 by Robin Bowles, research librarian on the Academic Integration Team and a liaison librarian to the Villanova University Biology Department.

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‘Twas the Week Before Finals: Chicago-Style

chicago manual of style

Are you working on a final project or paper that requires Chicago Style formatting? Attend this helpful session to brush up before your deadline.

The workshop will be held in Falvey 204 in the second-floor Learning Commons on Tuesday, April 29:  4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

For more information, contact history liaison librarian Jutta Seibert.

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What’s that New Desk for in The Learning Commons?

Second floor service deskThe new Learning Commons Service Desk has opened on Falvey’s second floor. The Library has recognized the need for a service point in the Learning Commons to help library patrons locate resources, people and places. Falvey’s Information and Research Assistance team, whose mission is “to serve the Villanova community by connecting members and visitors with the resources necessary to achieve their learning and research goals while developing their information-seeking skills,” has assigned two of its team members to staff this new desk.

Information Services Specialists Donna Chadderton and Gerald Dierkes will be happy to—

  • Connect you with a research librarian,
  • Direct you to the print and online resources you seek
  • And get you answers for your questions.

Donna and Gerald staff the desk Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stop by and say “Hi.”

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

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Last Modified: April 10, 2014