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.
Since I’m a cat, I have excellent hearing. Unfortunately, that means I pick up on conversations on the opposite end of the hallway, on the sounds of students playing Frisbee outside, on the snores of my dog, and it makes it so difficult to focus on whatever I’m reading.
Even in a library, ambient noise is often unavoidable (although you’ll find some of the best study spaces on this post!) Instead of building an eight-by-eight cell with soundproofing foam and an Ethernet jack (although hey, if you can pull it off, go for it!), compiling a list of study-friendly music just might save your attention span and your grades.
It’s up to you whether you think you can handle reading words while listening to music with lyrics, but I find it almost impossible. Luckily, I’m an audiophile of all things instrumental. Here are my go-to study/reading/writing jams, all of which can be found on Spotify:
1) The album Tree of Life by Audiomachine
2) Anything composed by Thomas Bergersen and/or Nick Pheonix, and any combination of the two thereof. Together they compose as “Two Steps from Hell,” but don’t let the aggressive name fool you – their music is epic, powerful, instrumental, and often angelic.
3) Film Scores
“How to Train Your Dragon 2,” composed by John Powell, is my current film score obsession (also fantastic for running!). But you can never go wrong with Hans Zimmer or John Williams. “Star Wars,” “Jurassic Park,” “The Lord of the Rings,” and “Gladiator“ are particularly fantastic scores. In the same vein, video game soundtracks—composed specifically to be both invigorating and unobtrusive—are great research buddies.
4) Classical music. Mozart is a prime choice.
5) Christopher Tin’s song cycle “Calling All Dawns”
My obsession with this song cycle is never ending, and I go back on what I said about songs with lyrics for “Calling All Dawns.” If you like world music and melodies that inspire you to run barefoot across the globe embracing every second of living, this album is perfect. And unless you’re impressively multilingual (the album features songs in Swahili, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, French, Lain, Irish, Polish, Hebrew, Farsi, Sanskrit, and Maori—in that order!) the lyrics probably won’t distract you from your studies. Plus, every song flows directly into the next, pulling motifs across the album. It’s my favorite.
So there it is! A little overview of my personal research and writing playlist. In extreme cases, noise-isolating headphones or earbuds that eliminate outside ambient sounds can be a lifesaver, and although they can get a little pricey, they’ve helped me through plenty of those This-Is-Due-Tomorrow-Be-Quiet panic attacks. Still, sometimes all you need is something to help you stay calm when deadlines are making you anxious—and music has your back.
What do you listen to while reading, studying, or writing?
Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.
On Thursday, September 18 at 3:00 p.m. in Speakers’ Corner of Falvey Memorial Library, Mercedes Juliá, PhD, professor of modern and contemporary literature and cultural studies in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures will be presenting a lecture in honor of Hispanic Cultural Heritage Month. Her talk is titled “The Inner Exile of Juan Ramón Jiménez.” Following Dr. Juliá’s talk, a bilingual presentation of Juan Ramón Jiménez’s Platero y Yo will be given. This event is part of the celebration of the Año Platero, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Platero y Yo.
This event, co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Sigma Delta Pi and the Hispanic Honor Society, is free and open to the public.
In preparation for the presentation of Juan Ramón Jiménez’s Platero y Yo and to help commemorate its 100th publication anniversary, check out the following resources provided by Susan Ottignon, the liaison librarian for Romance Languages and Literatures.
Falvey Memorial Library offers resources to assist you in researching and appreciating Juan Ramón Jiménez’s Platero y Yo.
Looking for criticism? Try searching one of these databases to find critical analysis in journal articles about the work. You can search “platero y yo” to pull up results
MLA International Bibliography (ProQuest)
This database consists of bibliographic records pertaining to literature, language, linguistics and folklore. It includes citations to articles from over 4,400 journals and series published internationally, as well as monographs, collections and various types of reference works.
Literature Criticism Online (Gale)
LCO is an extensive compilation of literary commentary reaching back 30 years and covering centuries of critiques on authors and their works that span all time periods, types of literature and regions. The cross-searchable collection brings together the most acclaimed literary series Drama Criticism, Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism, Poetry Criticism and Short Story Criticism providing criticism on the major authors, dramatists and poets.
A searchable and browsable archive of full-text core journals in the humanities, social sciences and mathematics.
Sometimes, a summary or overview may provide insight into the author’s writing. By searching one of these resources, you can pull up a concise article.
MagillOnLiterature Plus (EBSCO)
Provides access to editorially reviewed critical analyses, brief plot summaries, and extended character profiles covering works by more than 8,500 long and short fiction writers, poets, dramatists, essayists and philosophers. Coverage includes sources Cyclopedia of Literary Places, Masterplots and European Fiction Series.
Literature Resource Center (Gale)
Full-text articles from scholarly journals and literary magazines are combined with critical essays, work and topic overviews, full-text works, biographies and more to provide a wealth of information on authors, their works and literary movements.
“Hear straight from the horse’s mouth!”
The Library has a documentary on Juan Ramón Jiménez in which he talks about his book “Platero y Yo”? Just ask for the VHS, “Platero y yo Radio Televisión Española”—PQ6619.I4 P62 2000 (VHS)—at the circulation desk.
Don’t know Spanish? No problem!
Falvey has an English translation, Platero and I, available in the main collection on the 4th Floor with call number PQ6619.I4 P633.
Dig Deeper links selected by Susan Ottignon, Research Support Librarian for Languages and Literatures. Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.
Looking for a place to study away from the dorm rooms and dining halls? The Library has a wide variety of study spaces for quiet individual study, group study and overnight study. The Villanova campus also provides great study areas you might not know about.
In addition to its open seating areas on the first, second, third and fourth floors, Falvey Memorial Library has six group-study rooms on the upper floors. Groups of two or more students can check out group study rooms at the front desk.
The Griffin Room on the first floor and the two large meeting rooms, 204 and 205, on the second floor can also be used for studying when they aren’t booked for events. The lab and meeting rooms require a Wildcard for access.
24/7 study space is available in the first floor Holy Grounds @ Falvey lounge and in the Falvey Hall lobby and reading room. A swipe of your Wildcard will gain you entrance to these late night study areas.
Driscoll Hall has a student study area with tables, chairs, soft seating, and private carrels on its second floor—the room is predominantly for nursing students, but is also open to non-nursing students.
The Center for Engineering Excellence and Research (CEER) has a graduate study lounge on the first floor for the use of graduate engineering students. CEER also has tables and chairs in several corridors, available to all Villanova students.
A study lounge for the exclusive use of graduate students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is on Falvey Hall’s third floor.
Bartley Hall has two quiet study rooms on the 2nd floor; one with a large table and one with a few private carrels.
The Villanova School of Law has quiet study areas available to any Villanova student. Its private study rooms are for Law students only.
Can you add any great study spaces to this list? (Then again, maybe you don’t want everyone to descend on your top secret study space.)
On Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 2:30 p.m. in room 205 of Falvey Memorial Library, Jill A. McCorkel, PhD, associate professor, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, will deliver a Scholarship@Villanova lecture about her recently published book, Breaking Women: Gender, Race and the New Politics of Imprisonment. Dr. McCorkel will discuss how her four years of research in a major U.S. women’s prison helped her to uncover the reasons tougher drug policies have so greatly affected those incarcerated there, and how the very nature of punishment in women’s detention centers has been deeply altered as a result. Lauded as “prison ethnography at its best” (Lorna Rhodes, author of Total Confinement: Madness and Reason in the Maximum Security Prison), her book is published by New York University Press and was a finalist for the 2013 C. Wright Mills Book Award presented by the Society for the Study of Social Problems.
This event—co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, the Department of Sociology & Criminology, the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, and the Center for Peace and Justice Education—is free and open to the public.
Resources by and about Dr. Jill McCorkel
Attending the lecture? Now read Dr. McCorkel’s new book: Breaking Women: Gender, Race and the New Politics of Imprisonment.
Find out more about the professor’s work and research interests by visiting her Villanova webpage
Keep up to date with the professor by following her on Twitter!
Check out Dr. McCorkel’s collaborative photo essay with prisoners from SCI Graterford @ Strongbox Magazine – Vol. 1 2009.
Becker, S. & McCorkel, J. (2011). The gender of criminal opportunity: The impact of male co-offenders on women’s crime.
Building on ethnographic research and feminist labor market analyses, this study explores how gender affects access to criminal opportunities. Using National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data, the authors examine the effect a male co-offender has on women’s offending. They find that the presence of a male co-offender broadens women’s criminal involvement in distinctive ways.
McCorkel, J. (2003). Embodied surveillance and the gendering of punishment.
This ethnography explores the enactment of “get tough” politics in a state prison for women and considers whether the implementation of seemingly gender-neutral programs and policies implies that women’s prisons are no longer operating as “gendered organizations.”
McCorkel, J. (2004). Criminally dependent? Gender, punishment, and the rhetoric of welfare reform.
This study relies on ethnographic data collected from a state prison for women to examine whether and to what extent welfare and criminal justice policies were coordinated during the drug and poverty wars of the past decade. Findings reveal that drug war policies did indeed transform punishment practices on the feminine side of the penal system, but such transformations were ultimately premised on changes to institutional interpretive structures that altered the ways state actors conceptualized gender, crime and women’s needs.
More Resources on Women and Imprisonment
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): Women in Prison
The ACLU “fights to ensure that the criminal justice system treats women and girls fairly, that it protects the health and safety of women in its custody, and that it facilitates their successful reentry into their communities.” Check out this web resource for general information, statistics, videos and its personal testimony series called “Words from Prison.”
Women’s Prisons in the United States
A list of United States federal and state prisons which either currently or once did contain female prisoners.
Female offenders: critical perspectives and effective interventions
This classic text explores a variety of topics on female offenders from the nature of female offending, its patterns and explanations, power-belief theory and relational theory to institutional assessment, classification and programs.
Interrupted life: experiences of incarcerated women in the United States
This is a “gripping collection of writings by and about imprisoned women in the United States, a country that jails a larger percentage of its population than any other nation in the world. This eye-opening work brings together scores of voices from both inside and outside the prison system including incarcerated and previously incarcerated women, their advocates and allies, abolitionists, academics and other analysts” (see the full description at the University of California Press).
Women’s mental health issues across the criminal justice system
An accessible guide to women’s mental health in criminal justice systems, this text touches on meeting the needs of juvenile and adult offenders, measuring traumatic events in the lives of incarcerated girls, crisis intervention teams training, policy implications, and the ethics of justice and mental health systems.
Explore more about corrections in the United States with this comprehensive list of print and online titles.
Article written and links provided by Alexander Williams, research support librarian for the social sciences and the liaison to the communication, criminology and sociology departments. For questions or more information, feel free to contact him by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (ext.8845).
The first article in this series concentrated on content update from Falvey’s reference blogs. From here on out, this blog content roundup will feature ten quick hits from across campus, including highlights from blogs of the library.
1. Find out if that “perfect idea” of yours has some merit.
2. This student played tic-tac-toe against a Supreme Court Justice over the summer break.
3. Wonder if there were any werewolf sightings?
4. Alert to all political science, French major, and study abroad aficionados.
5. The one interview question (directive?) you should be prepared to answer.
6. Pretty cool to be a part of this.
7. At least one new student is enjoying their time here.
8 The Department of Public Administration has two new professors, one who loves to cook beef wellington and the other can weld!
9. The English Department hosted a happy hour at the Library!
10. Speaking of happy hours, Villanova Theatre shows us how to make cocktails as classy as the cast from Fallen Angels.
Blog roundup by Raamaan McBride, writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team and specialist on the Access Services Team.
Michelle Callaghan, a native of Williamstown, N.J., joined Falvey’s Communication and Service Promotion team at the end of August. In 2013, Callaghan graduated from Widener University, Chester, Pa., with a bachelor of arts degree in English. She is currently enrolled in Villanova’s Department of English graduate program.
After receiving her master’s degree, she hopes to teach English but explains, “I am exploring career options that incorporate my passion for digital technologies, multimedia, internet communities and writing. Over the next two years I intend to work on diversifying my skills in a way that may be applicable to many fields, so I’m not planning a future path too concretely – I only plan to approach the creative working world with a sense of play and entrepreneurship.”
Reporting to Joanne Quinn, Communication and Service Promotion team leader, Callaghan writes for the library blog, promoting and reporting campus events; she also edits articles for Falvey’s print newsletter. She says, “I am thrilled to be working at Falvey Memorial Library. I feel like I’m becoming involved in modern library functions at a very pivotal time in library history. I’m excited to explore the implications of the changing information landscape and excited to see how I can contribute.”
Her hobbies include indoor rock climbing, musical theater and video games. “I’m a geek,” she adds, “I’m involved in a few internet fandoms.”
Watch for Michelle’s new column, Cat in the Stacks, which will appear most Thursdays in the Library News.
I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you.
I have run, I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.
Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Service Promotion team and special acquisitions coordinator in Resource Management
Since the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, when many American lives were lost or changed forever, thousands of books and articles have been written on the subject. A small sampling of books, along with special issues of the Villanova magazine and a copy of The Villanovan, are on display on the first floor near the service desk. A basic search of the library catalog for “September 11″ will bring results of more than 5000 books and many more thousands of articles. An advanced search combining September 11 and terms such as terrorism, national security or emergency management will give you more specific results.
Robert DeVos, PhD, associate vice president for instructional analysis, professor, mathematics and statistics, became Falvey Memorial Library’s new interim director this summer. He has accepted this new role in addition to his existing responsibilities with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dr. DeVos agreed to an interview to discuss his new position.
GD (Gerald Dierkes)—Why did you take on the role of interim library director?
RD—I have worked closely with [Rev. Kail C. Ellis, PhD, OSA, vice president for academic affairs, Department of Political Science] since 1997 as associate dean when he was the dean and again for the last 3 years as associate vice president and he as the VPAA. He asked me to take on the additional responsibility and I accepted it.
GD—What do you consider the library director’s role/purpose at Falvey Memorial Library?
RD—I can only give you my perspective. Anyone in an administrative position has the responsibility of dealing with resources. These resources can be people, money, equipment, etcetera. The library director’s position is to administer the resources given to the Library. These involve trying to make good decisions:
GD—What do you find most exciting about this job? Why?
RD—I have had many roles at VU and enjoy the challenge of learning something new. In all of my previous roles, I have found that when I leave a position, I leave with having made some new friends. I look forward to that happening here.
GD—What about the Library surprised you when you started working here?
RD—The many different roles of the librarians—I did not know much about the large educational role that they carry. I also was surprised as to the many events run by the Library.
GD—What do you consider the Library’s role/purpose at VU? What do you think are the major issues facing the Library today?
RD—I will mention a few major issues that I see.
1. Given the changes in administration, the morale is low. This is
…..difficult to change, but I hope by being open and available we
…..can move forward.
2. Structure of the staff: When the new director is appointed, that
…..person will probably reorganize. I am trying to make things work
…..and will avoid a reorganization since we can’t keep changing.
3. Resources: With budgets being cut or not rising at the same level
…..as costs, journals, etc. need to be cut. Space is always a problem.
4. OLE [Open Library Environment]: Many staff want to implement
…..[OLE] next summer, but there are also a large number who are
…..saying let’s wait. I am having difficulty in knowing the best path.
GD—What is an area of improvement you would like to make in the Library?
RD—Ask me this in a few months.
GD—What role does/will the Library have in Villanova University’s Strategic plan, for example, to become a national research university?
RD—One cannot have quality programs without journals, data bases and books. These costs need to be built into the budget as programs are added. Whenever any new degree is proposed, the library director does get to comment. That person should make sure these costs are added.
Although the library staff knows that at some point a new, permanent library director will be hired, it’s been challenging not knowing who or when, or what changes to the Library that person will make. It helps to have an interim library director who recognizes and understands this challenge. The library staff is grateful for Dr. DeVos, his leadership and his support.