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Memories of Falvey Memorial Library, by Geraldine M. Wernert Kobak '83 CON

There is a lot of history in Falvey Memorial Library, and not all of it is on the bookshelves! To commemorate Reunion 2013 Weekend, we asked several Villanova alumni to share a treasured memory or two of the campus Library and its resources.

RS6888_Gerry-TRMy introduction to the many facets of Falvey Memorial Library began early in my freshman year. In those ancient times, security guards had not yet heard everything, and I had talked my way into a five minute stop in Mendel lot behind Falvey. I backed out of my parking spot and right into the Datsun of a librarian. My dad was able to convince the librarian to not file an insurance claim and had him obtain an estimate for the small damage to his left front bumper. Dad did not let me forget for four years that I caused one hundred dollars in damages to another car with my carelessness. No damage was incurred to my Mom’s 1972 Pontiac Grand Safari. My walking path to classes took me past this parking spot with the librarian’s car that never had the damage repaired.

The Library and its original building, in my student days referred to as the “Falvey Annex,” are wonderful examples of Villanova University’s traditional architecture. Too bad I did not have the opportunity to sop up its scholarly ambiance. My hours on campus not spent in the classroom or at band practice were spent in what was known as the “Reserve Room.” This was a room in the library’s basement in the right corner facing the train tracks. Its cinderblock walls were painted white and its windows were a fishbowl for any nursing faculty to peer in to double check that you were sitting in the seat that you had signed in.

The purpose of the Reserve Room was to access journal articles that were chosen by the nursing faculty as part of the required curriculum reading. These articles were not part of the $300.00 per semester book purchase, and the articles could not be Xeroxed without a notary stamp from the Pope. There was one copy of said article for the entire nursing class to read, and it was to one’s advantage to employ Lord of the Flies behavior (too bad that wasn’t on the reading list, since I read it in grade school, which is what those cinderblock walls reminded me of, shout out to Saint Joan of Arc in Marlton, N.J.!). My fellow classmates, “C”, “D” and “R,” would team up to try to get one of the many assigned articles and then we would try to outline the article on separate paper before our time was up. If there was something you did not have the chance to read before a test, you would pray it was a red herring and not have twenty questions about it on the one hundred question test.

Outside of the “Reserve Room” was a pay phone with a dial (for a dime) and the pay-to-use typewriters. I will end my recollections here since I have used up my word allotment.



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Last Modified: June 7, 2013

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