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“The audience is half of the poem”: the First Latino Poet Laureate

Library of Congress appoints the 1st Latino Poet Laureate

Connecting to people through performance is crucial for Herrera. “I used to stand on the corner in San Diego with poems sticking out of my hip pocket, asking people if there was a place where I could read poems,” he recalls. “The audience is half of the poem.”

(Retrieved from LA Times, 6/22/15)
Photo: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/juan-felipe-herrera

Photo: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/juan-felipe-herrera

Congratulations to Juan Felipe Herrera, who was appointed the 21st poet laureate on June 10 by the Library of Congress. Herrera will be the first Hispanic-American person to be chosen as poet laureate in the United States in the 79 years since the program’s inception. His tenure will begin in September—national Hispanic heritage month.

Herrera, the son of migrant farmers, spent much of his youth travelling and living in tents in the San Joaquin Valley, California. Though terribly underprivileged, he was presented with the remarkable opportunity to attend UCLA as a young adult. From there, he went on to attend Stanford University and the University of Iowa’s Writing Workshop, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

Through his education and experiences as a young Hispanic-American, Herrera developed a deep passion for writing and performing in both English and Spanish. He penned several pieces, including collections of poetry and children’s books in honor of his heritage and worldview. In addition to his writing and performing, Herrera has been an avid teacher and has also served as the poet laureate of California from 2012-2014.

Villanova University was lucky enough to welcome Juan Felipe Herrera as one of the featured speakers during the 14th annual Villanova Literary Festival, organized by Alan Drew, Assistant Professor of English & Creative Writing. The talk took place on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 in Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner. A jam-packed audience had the opportunity to listen to Herrera as he read and performed selected poems in both Spanish and English. With great enthusiasm and detail, Herrera shared his past experiences and showed poignant images to illustrate his work.

It’s been reported that Herrera’s main focus during his tenure as poet laureate will likely be to connect people of all different cultural backgrounds through poetry and to help highlight the stories of those people who are typically overlooked.

Interested in learning more about Juan Felipe Herrera? Check out Falvey Memorial Library’s holdings by this author.

Also, visit the following sites for additional information on Herrera and the position of Poet Laureate, provided by librarian Susan Ottignon.

Juan Felipe Herrera, Current Poet Laureate

List of works by Juan Felipe Herrera

Past Poets Laureate: 2011-present

About the Position of Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry

Dig Deeper links provided by Sue Ottignon, subject librarian for romance languages and literatures.


New Week: Summer Save the Dates, Tech Bits, New Digital Library Content & More!


If you’re coming to Falvey this summer, here’s all you need to know to get you through the week!

Library Hours:
June 27 – July 27

Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday Noon – 6:00 p.m.


Summer IGR Workshops. Brighid Dwyer, Assistant Director, Diversity Research & Training, Center for Multicultural Affairs, Program on Intergroup Relations, has invited the Villanova University Community to participate in a IGR summer workshop series. There will be 5 weeks (10 sessions) of dialogue about current events, personal identities, and how who we are influences how we see the world and interact within it. The summer workshop series is an educational experience about issues of social justice, preparing faculty and staff to engage dialogues in situations where understandings and listening are needed. The dates of the workshop will be held from June 30–July 30 on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 12:00—1:00 p.m. in Falvey Memorial Library room 205. Because each session will build on the previous one, we ask that you commit to attend 8 of the 10 sessions.  Questions? Contact: Brighid Dwyer.

One Book Villanova Author’s Visit. On Thursday, September 10, Reyna Grande, author of Villanova’s 2015-2016 One Book Villanova selection, The Distance Between Us: A Memoir, will visit campus. The Distance Between Us: A Memoir tells the story of a young girl’s life before and after illegally immigrating from Mexico to the United States. Reyna Grande shares the story of her childhood that is sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking but all the time compelling. Beyond the politics of immigration debates, The Distance Between Us gives us insight into the story of a single family: the decisions made, the risks taken and the personal costs paid. Copies of the book may be purchased from the Center for Multicultural Affairs or the Office of Student Development. Be sure to check back for the schedule of events planned for Reyna’s visit. Questions? Contact the One Book Villanova Committee Co-Chairs: Terry Nance and JJ Brown.


ALA Annual Conference in session!
Billed as the ‘world’s largest library event,’ the American Library Association conference takes place through tomorrow in San Francisco. With attendance of over 25,000 librarians, library staff, educators, authors, publishers and suppliers expected to attend the 500+ programs and discussions and visit the 900+ exhibitors and poster sessions, the event provides a wealth of information and inspiration for those interested in issues concerning libraries. But no need to go to San Fran to keep up on the Conference news and highlights – just follow or search the hashtag #alaac15 on your favorite social media network.

Download your Google search history
Did you know that you could download your entire history of past searches on Google? It is so, according to this. It doesn’t explain why you’d want to do it, just how.

Reddit turns ten

0sdpjdwj63wnkjgleug7Guiltiest pleasure on the internet? For me, it’s Reddit, the social news website. Co-founders Alexis Ohanian (who now manages the travel site Hipmunk) & Steve Huffman describe the site they launched on June 23, 2005, as a lovechild between Slashdot and Delicious – link aggregate sites you may remember from the mid-naughts.  Actually, both still exist, but Reddit clobbers them in popularity. The innovative newsfeed uses a crowdsource-y upvote and downvote system to elevate the most newsworthy or popular comments and posts to the front page. The founders lament that most folks never make it past the front page. Albeit, it is the “front page of the internet,” so if you only have a few minutes, perusing the front page is an efficient way to keep up with the web’s latest memes, trends, gifs, and ofttimes more creepier or scatological offerings. It’s also the home of AMA (Ask Me Anything), TL,DR (Too Long Didn’t Read,) and my favorites, Oddly Satisfying and Mildly Interesting. Most important, be sure to seek out your favorite “subreddit” – feeds that exist for virtually every humanly possible interest. For example r/books, r/bookwriting, or r/collegebasketball. (‘Cause, like, what else is there? :-) ) Caveat, though: learn the lingo as soon as you can – Reddit can often be rated PG-13 or worse – so believe it when they say NSFW!

Always feeling like the oldest person in the room? It’s not your imagination – Millennials have overtaken Baby Boomers

Millennials, or those born from 1982 through 2000, now make up more than one quarter of the U.S. population (83.1 million), exceeding the 75.4 million Baby Boomers who were born from 1946 through 1964, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released Thursday. Additionally, “millennials are more diverse than the generations that preceded them, with 44.2 percent being part of a minority race or ethnic group,” according to the report.

New Main Line history resources and more from the Digital Library
This week we finish the digitization of the last of the available content from the Ardmore Chronicle newspaper including the remainder of 1910 and all of 1911. Also of note: a very early atlas of the Bryn Mawr region circa 1881 including an early view of campus, eleven new sets of Irish Traditional music from the Philadelphia Ceili Group, and several new story paper issues! – See it all at this link!

Don’t surround yourself with yourself…

Some good take away for your week, from the lyrics of prog rock band Yes and their original founding bassist Chris Squire, who passed away this weekend at age 67.


Foto Friday: How to Pierce the Clouds


Stormy skies over the Church on Tuesday night.

Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending.
You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds?
Lay first the foundation of humility.
–  Saint Augustine


Spotlight on Falvey Forums: Engaging the Villanova Community



the Reading Room

Due to the growth in the number of event venues at Falvey and the capacity to have multiple programs going on simultaneously, the number of events in the Library has skyrocketed into hundreds each academic year.

We are often still asked, “Why does the Library have events at all?” The answer is quite simple: If a library has value, it is more than a learning resource center or a conduit for data. The university library retains much of its value as a place where things happen, especially the organized and the unexpected acquisition of knowledge outside the classroom.

It is not just a place where study and research occurs, but also a place where ideas become connected and many discoveries are made by scholars who are living, learning and thriving in the community the library serves. It is an anchor institution for a university education. It is also a place where the many members of the university are enriched by experiences that can help them interpret the world they are trying to explain by means of the academic enterprise.

Final 2

Why so many events?

Because the number of connections and discoveries to be made are innumerable, the ways in which our world can be interpreted and explained are unbounded. And although there are limits to what a library can do, Falvey wants to flourish as a place encouraging  inspiration, consciousness raising and community engagement. 

Final 3
If you are interested in booking an event, or just more information about the intellectual, cultural, and social programming in Falvey, please contact a member of the Scholarly Outreach team, which manages the events for the Library.


Spotlight on Falvey Forums: Room 205

Today’s focus: Room 205
An ideal forum for lectures, panels, workshops and group meetings is Falvey room 205. A much-sought-after space on the Library’s second floor, this multi-faceted room also functions as a social space for receptions and informal gatherings. Although room 205 is quiet and enclosed, it offers a view into the lively activity of the Learning Commons on the second floor.

Room 205

Dina Leytes, practice group chair, Intellectual Property and New Media, at Griesing Law, LLC, and Nikolaus Fogle, PhD, subject librarian for philosophy, discussing in Falvey 205, “Author Rights: When and How Can You Archive, Share and Own Your Published Work?”

Whether discussing issues with an intellectual property lawyer during Open Access Week at an event co-sponsored by the Office of Research and Graduate Programs, or exploring the theme, “The worship of the golden calf has returned” (Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel), faculty and staff prefer the versatility, comfort and location of room 205. Concerning the reason for the one event in Falvey 205, business librarian Linda Hauck says, “Open Access Week is a global event for inspiring the academic community to advance the open-access movement. Open access embraces two key complimentary ideas: scholarship should be freely available on the web, AND it should be free of permission barriers for legitimate uses.”

The other event mentioned was one of a three part series of conversations inspired by Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. A faculty panel in room 205 discussed whether a “throw-away culture” is promoted today because the socioeconomic system is unjust.

Room 205 3

Another significant event that is held in 205 is something on which Falvey Memorial Library, the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, and the Honors Program collaborate: the annual Falvey Scholars awards. This ceremony features presentations by undergraduate students whose scholarly research has earned them this honor, created to recognize outstanding senior theses or capstone projects from across the colleges of Villanova University. In 2015 Falvey Scholars was a part of the campus-wide undergraduate research exposition. These are just a few of the many notable events that have taken place in room 205.

When not in use by the Library as a meeting, reception or program space, Falvey 205 is an open student study area.

Room 205 2

If you are interested in booking an event, or just more information about seminar room 205, please contact a member of Falvey’s Scholarly Outreach team, which manages this event space for the Library.

Check here each day this week for information on each of Falvey’s other event venues: including the Learning Commons Lounge, Speakers’ Corner and Room 204.


The Curious ‘Cat: Would you rather … ?

This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “If you could choose between having the current library and current earning potential when you graduate OR having a library without online electronic databases, an online catalog, or online research help but also having double the earning potential when you graduate, which would you prefer?


1. Danielle FarerDanielle Farer—“The first one … It’s really hard to find what you need in a library without the assistance of people to help you and without the computers to help you and having to do all that work by yourself … I remember when I was younger and you actually had to flip through the card catalog; that’s really time-consuming … I’d much rather make less and have the process be a lot easier.”

2. Sushmita Arjyal



Sushmita Arjyal—“I would definitely go with the second choice: electronic suppliances have helped in past and also will help in future … If we can have more, then it would be nice … it has helped the online catalog and the online sources that we can find books online; we can find the [building] map and find where the books are.”

3. Craig Gilbert




Craig Gilbert—“I’d prefer the first. … The more information you have, the better off you’re going to be. The money comes by itself later; the money doesn’t have to be connected to the information. We’re not in school to make money; we’re in here to learn.”

4. Susheel Bajaj





Susheel Bajaj—“I would prefer the “all” one. It has all the online stuff—online books, online materials—because you don’t need to carry a hardcopy of the book. That would be very easy, and you can read the stuff anywhere you want … on the go, on the mobile device, on the tablet, anywhere on the go. So that would be good if we had more of the online materials instead of hardcopy of the books.”

5. Matthew Zarenkiewicz



Matthew Zarenkiewicz—“[I prefer] the current library. My earning potential … I’m worried about, obviously, but not so much that I would sacrifice the amount of time that I save using the online database and things like that to do research, especially this summer when I’m doing research. So I’m very happy for all of that.”

6. Indu Priya Eedara




Indu Priya Eedara—“The first one: It’s always better to have online catalogs or online stuff, which would be easier to access.”


Spotlight on Falvey Forums: Room 204


Today’s focus: Room 204

One of the seminar rooms in Falvey’s Learning Commons, which is often filled with studying students when not in use for an event, is Falvey room 204. This is an exceptional space for presenting to a group in a setting that can accommodate either rows of chairs or an arrangement of tables and chairs. Its default layout is classroom style.

Room 204

Associate Professor of History Craig Bailey, PhD, (pictured below) discusses, with a group in Falvey room 204, the Ardmore Project, one of the Digital Humanities (DH) projects for which Falvey is a partner. Another DH project unveiled in room 204 was the mapping of ancient sites by students in Valentina DeNardis’s, PhD, “Cities of Ancient Greece” (Classics 2051) course, Travels Through Greco-Roman Antiquity. Digital and Special Collections Curatorial Assistant Laura Bang wrote in Golden Electrode: the Aurelius Digital Scholarship Initiative Blog, “in addition to our continued collaboration with Dr. DeNardis on describing the ancient world, we will be collaborating again with Dr. Craig Bailey of the History department on a reiteration of the Ardmore Project. This time around, we will actually be expanding the project to encompass more of Lower Merion Township.”

Room 204 2

Room 204, which is part of the Learning Commons, is a visible seminar room across from the elevator on Falvey’s second floor. The space, with its large screen and projector, is ideal for the many types of lectures and symposia co-sponsored by the Library.

Library events held in room 204 have included talks on John Paul II’s theology of the body, the intersection of medicine and robotics, the World War I centennial, Remembering the Holocaust in Lithuania, and Spanish Renaissance artist El Greco for Hispanic Cultural Heritage Month.

Room 204 3

If you are interested in booking an event, or just more information about seminar room 204, please contact a member of Falvey’s Scholarly Outreach team, which manages this event space for the Library.

Check here each day this week for information on each of Falvey’s other event venues: including the Learning Commons Lounge, Speakers’ Corner and Room 205.


The Highlighter: How Do I Contact a Librarian?


Need help citing sources, checking style guidelines or answering other questions before turning in that big paper? This video shows the many ways to contact a University librarian. How many ways are available? Watch the video to find out. (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing):

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


Spotlight on Falvey Forums: Learning Commons Lounge


Today’s focus: the Learning Commons Lounge

Learning Commons Lounge

Learning Commons Lounge, Falvey Memorial Library


A secluded forum in the Library is the lounge located on the second floor in the Learning Commons in Falvey, near Learning Support Services, across from Room 202. When this public area opened in 2012, it was described as “the new lounge space with funky furniture and cafe lighting.”

Given its out-of-the-way location on Falvey’s second floor, even though it is a public event space as a part of the Learning Commons, it is “a neat little comfortable back corner where thoughts can brew and be blended.” It is occasionally used as a venue for casual events hosted by the Library.
This past year’s events include the “Coffee Break” series sponsored by the English department and a series of book discussions by the Tolle Lege Literary Society. Some of the Learning Commons Lounge’s best features are its mellow ambiance and morphable layout. Although moderately small, it is also a quieter public event space than Speakers’ Corner on the first floor.

Learning Commons Lounge 2

Photo by John Welsh.

If you are interested in booking an event, or just more information about the Learning Commons Lounge, please contact a member of Falvey’s Scholarly Outreach team, which manages this event space for the Library.

Check here each day this week for information on each of Falvey’s other event venues: including the Speakers’ Corner and Rooms 204 and 205.

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Spotlight on Falvey Forums: Speakers’ Corner


Speakers Corner 1

Senior Class Poet contestant Joey Bagnasco reads his poem “A Sunday” during the Open Mic Poetry Reading 2012 in Speakers’ Corner.

Focus today: Speakers’ Corner

The Library sponsors events, but it also hosts many campus events, and its major forum is affectionately called Speakers’ Corner. Inaugurated as a new space for intellectual, cultural, and social programming in February 2012, Speakers’ Corner is a public area on the first floor of Falvey.

“It serves as a place for our community to congregate both formally and informally in the exchange of ideas,” says Scholarly Outreach / Theology Librarian Darren Poley. This highly visible event space is a popular venue in Falvey, and events in this venue are always open to the public. Poley further says, “Students see and hear what is going on in Speakers’ Corner serendipitously, and we think that is one of its advantages.” It is suitable for the wide range of community gatherings that Falvey supports in the engagement of the minds and spirits of students, faculty, staff and guests.

Programming in Speakers’ Corner has included poetry readings, book signings, musical and orientation events.

Speakers Corner 2

Professor Michael Hollinger, CLAS ’89, associate professor in the Department of Theatre, speaks at the Alumni Authors’ Panel, with Sean Harvey, PhD, CLAS ’00, and novelist Judy Lee Burke, CLAS ’75, Speakers’ Corner, June 2015.

The Library is a crossroads at the heart of campus. Having multi-purpose common areas assists Falvey in providing room for the structured, as well as the anarchic, ongoing conversations which surround the pursuit of knowledge in a residential learning community. The most recent event held in Speakers’ Corner was an alumni authors’ panel discussion as a part of Reunion Weekend 2015. When it is not engaged for events, Speakers’ Corner serves as a study lounge where collaboration is commonplace.

If you are interested in booking an event, or just more information about Speakers’ Corner, please contact a member of Falvey’s Scholarly Outreach team, which manages this event space for the Library.

Check here each day this week for information on each of Falvey’s other event venues: including the Learning Commons Lounge and Rooms 204 and 205.


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Last Modified: June 22, 2015