Skip Navigation
Falvey Library
You are exploring: Home > Blogs

Elections 2018: National Voter Registration Day

Photo courtesy of

It’s National Voter Registration Day!  Use the information below to register to vote and investigate candidates and issues in your state.

Voting policies vary by state so check yours out at Rock The Vote.

Federal Voting Assistance Program – Voting Assistance Guide – a reference guide for everything you need to know about absentee voting in all 55 States, territories and the District of Columbia. – Register to vote, search by state and topic, get a voting guide for your state.

U.S. Election Assistance Commission -Register and vote in your state, key votes and information. – Find your political soulmate, any politician, any issue. – Know the issues, find out about the voices and choices – and

CIRCLE – The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement – 2018 Election Center.

C-SPAN – For the visually minded; access to the live gavel-to-gavel proceedings of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and to other forums where public policy is discussed.

To dig deeper for information about elections, in addition to voting and registration information, see these resources:

CQ Voting & Elections Collection (CQ Press)

American National Election Studies (ANES)

Electoral College (U.S.)

Federal Election Commission (FEC)

America: History and Life (EBSCO)

The Almanac of American politics.

U.S. Census Blog – Voting in America: A Look at the 2016 Presidential Election

Pew Research Center – Elections and Campaigns

Join Falvey Memorial Library for the 2018 Elections Speaker Series! Today at 7:00 p.m., Mark L. Schrad, PhD, Associate Professor, Political Science, will discuss “Russian Meddling in US Elections.” Save the date for these upcoming events in the series:

Thurs., Sept. 27 – Matthew R. Kerbel, PhD, Professor and Chair, Political Science, “Exploring Potential Election Outcomes and their Implications”

Mon., Oct. 1 – Camille D. Burge, PhD, Assistant Professor, Politcal Science and Director, Africana Studies, “An Emotional Rollercoaster: Unpacking the 2018 Midterms”

Discussions will be followed by a Q&A session and will be held from 7-8 p.m. in the Speakers’ Corner of Falvey Library. Stop by the library to register to vote on Mon., Oct. 1 and Thurs., Oct 4 from 4-6 p.m. as Villanova Interfaith Activism will have a table set up on Falvey’s first floor (outside Holy Grounds).

Article by Merrill Stein, Social Sciences Librarian, Falvey Memorial Library.


Peleg Kremer talks about her recent Falvey Library supported Open Access article publication

Recently, Peleg Kremer, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Villanova University Department of Geography & the Environment and her co-authors, Neele Larondelle, Yimin Zhang, Elise Pasles and Dagmar Haase had a Scholarship Open Access Reserve Fund (SOAR)* application approved by Falvey Library. This program is designed to provide financial support to Villanova faculty who are interested in publishing in high quality open access journals. The article, “Within-Class and Neighborhood Effects on the Relationship between Composite Urban Classes and Surface Temperature” appeared in a special issue of the open access, peer-reviewed journal Sustainability (2018), published by MDPI.

Below, Prof. Kremer describes some details of the process leading up to the open access publication.

Why did you choose the open access journal, Sustainability, in which to publish?

I chose Sustainability because it is a high quality open source journal. Sustainability is a multidisciplinary journal and thus draws diverse readership. I think it is crucially important to support cross-disciplinary work and the outlets that publish it. I particularly like publishing in open source journals because I think research should not be put behind a paywall. I want anyone who might find my research useful to be able to read it.

How did the SOAR funding application process go for you?

It was really simple. I had known about this option vaguely, and when our paper was accepted, searched the library website for information, found the award submission form and sent it. I then had quick interaction with library staff, and received the award a few days later.

Can you briefly tell our readers about the significance of your research?

This paper is part of a larger research project trying to develop a nuanced understanding of the relationship between urban structure and ecological and environmental performance in cities. We argue that in order to understand environmental processes in urban settings, we need to be able to account to the heterogeneous and complex nature of urban areas. For that we look at grey, green and blue combinations that occur in cities including the vertical dimension of building elevation. This paper as well as two previous ones, are testing the applicability of the concepts we propose and offer methodology and empirical evidence using publically available data. Much more research is needed but we believe this approach can help urban planners and other decision makers, make better decisions about the effectiveness of urban sustainability interventions.

What brought your geographically separated team of authors together on this unique Structure of Urban Landscape (STURLA) classification project?

I started working on the STURLA project in my Post-Doc at The New School, where we were collaborating with a group of European researchers working on urban ecosystem services through the URBES (Urban Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) project. As a team, we developed case studies in New York City and Berlin. In 2015, I spent the summer as a visiting researcher at Humboldt University in Berlin working with my colleagues on this and other projects. Back home, when we encountered a statistical modeling question we were not quite sure about I felt it would be the perfect time to bring in new colleagues from the Villanova Math department – Yimin Zhang and Elise Pasles. It turned out to be a great collaboration and we are looking forward to working together again (a Philadelphia case study is next).

*Note on Identifying Quality Open Access Journals. The Scholarship Open Access Reserve (SOAR) fund web page lists resources for evaluating open access journals, such as Cabell’s Scholarly Analytics.

Photograph of Merrill SteinArticle by Merrill Stein, Team Leader Assessment/Liaison Team Leader; liaison to the Department of Political Science.



Happy Birthday Canada!

  • Posted by: Merrill Stein
  • Posted Date: July 1, 2017
  • Filed Under: Library News

canada resize

Canada Day, called Dominion Day until 1982, is officially July 1, following National Aboriginal History Month in Canada.  This July 1 is Canada’s 150th anniversary. If you can’t visit in person, what better way than virtually. Check out some informative links to learn more about our neighbor to the north. It’s all found in Canada. Who are they anyway?

Start exploring Canada with Lonely Planet’s video guide to getting around, when to go and the top things to do while you’re there. For more serious information try the BBC report, “Canada 150: Its Contributions to the World” or the CIA World FactBook introduction.

For a light-hearted view of modern Canada try the Wolters World video, “Visit Canada – 5 Things You Will Love & Hate About Canada.”  However, for more detailed information about Canada visit the government’s “History and Heritage” site or one of these selected resources subscribed to by Falvey Library:

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)

Political Handbook of the World

 America: History and Life (EBSCO)

Photograph of Merrill SteinMerrill Stein is the research support librarian for geography, psychology, education, public administration and naval science. His contact information is email <>, telephone 610-519-4272 and office, room 221.




We are committed to accuracy and will make appropriate corrections. We apologize for any errors and always welcome input about news coverage that warrants correction. Messages can be e-mailed to or call (610)519-6997.


1 People Like This Post

Seeking state or local statistics?

Try SAGE Stats, a combination of state stats and local stats collections. A trial subscription of SAGE Stats, from CQ Press/SAGE Publications, is available until April 9.


SAGE Stats was developed as a data visualization and research resource providing extensive social science data, including states, cities, counties, and metropolitan statistical areas and topics “across 21 high-interest research areas” within the United States, such as economy, education, crime, government finance, health, population, religion, social welfare, and transportation. The data series span as far back as 1980 and are updated on a timely basis in accordance with the collection and publication schedules of original sources. Detailed source information, with links where applicable, is provided for every data series.

Browse information by topic and location and retrieve data in an interactive map format. Users can create visual comparisons of state and local data and datasets for visualization, comparison citing, sharing, saving, downloading and exporting. Data tables can be downloaded in XLS or CSV formats and visualizations can be converted to JPG or PNG formats.

Additional information about SAGE Stats is available via a video and online guide. Explore other CQ/SAGE products available through Falvey, in the CQ Press Library (SAGE). Explore another statistical database on trial, Policy Map, at the Business Reference blog.

For more information or comments, contact Falvey subject liaison Merrill Stein.


Human Rights Studies Online and on trial


A trial subscription of Human Rights Studies Online, from Alexander Street Press, is available until March 2. Human Rights Studies Online is a unique database of streaming video and text materials providing comprehensive, comparative documentation, analysis, and interpretation of major human rights violations and atrocity crimes worldwide currently covering the years1900-2010.  The collection includes primary and secondary materials (some publicly available materials) across multiple media formats and content types for each selected event, including Armenia, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Darfur, and more than thirty additional subjects.

Resources for each topic guide users through the full scope of the event, from the historical context that made such violations possible through the international response, prosecution of perpetrators, and steps toward rebuilding. Materials are meant to work together to help explore significant questions and themes, such as how human rights atrocities could have been prevented, common patterns associated with human rights crimes, and the impact that is made by government intervention.  Alexander Street Press reports that “the collection is growing to include 75,000 pages of text and 150 hours of video that give voice to the countless victims of human rights crimes in the 20th and early 21st centuries.”

Additional information is available online and in brochure form. A bibliography of documents currently included in the database is also available. Advanced search capabilities allow for seeking words anywhere, fulltext/transcripts, title/series, date written, date published, language and sorting options. Further search help is accessible.

Explore other Alexander Street Press subscriptions available through Falvey, such as Counseling and Therapy in Video, PBS Video Collection, Digital Karl Barth Library, North American Theatre Online , and search Oxford Bibliographies – Political Science, International Relations, also in trial subscription this semester.

For more information or comments, contact Falvey subject liaison Merrill Stein.


What We Were Reading in 2014

Though we’re not a public library, sometimes we get asked about what types of items were charged out the most. Of course, those may not always be the most popular items. So, taking a look back at the rapidly fading year 2014, finds the New York Times bestseller, Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, charged out as many times as any of our works. This is followed by perennial favorites, such as the The Holy Bible: New International Version-Containing the Old Testament and the New Testament, Oxford Spanish Dictionary, Mckay’s Modern Italian-English and English-Italian Dictionary, The Grammar Book: an ESL/EFL Teacher’s Course, Advanced Engineering Mathematics, The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution (now also online), Phaedo, Catch-22, Ulysses, Lolita, Beloved: a novel and Catcher in the Rye.

Screenshot 2014-12-12 10.51.18

Popular this year too was the New York Times bestseller Flash Boys, followed by titles such as Gone Girl: a novel, the Gabriel García Márquez novel, El Coronel No Tiene Quien le Escriba, All Names Have Been Changed, Organic Chemistry as a Second Language: First Semester Topics (second semester topics not as popular), Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (2014), The Fault in Our Stars, and The Laramie Project.

Screenshot 2014-12-12 10.51.45

Popular leisure reading material this year can be summed up in one sentence (more or less): Good News, for the Best of Me, in America’s Great Game, don’t Blink but Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That since 1345, or do you want a Casual Vacancy because you’ll have No Easy Day if you’re an Alchemist, English German Girl or a Racketeer.

Some of the most selected movies this year include perennial favorites like Citizen Kane; Groundhog Day; 2001, A Space Odyssey; and The Tree of Life. Other movies, The Corporation, Taxi to the Dark Side, Adaptation, Nun’s Story and La Jetée Sans Soleil were also charged out several times.


Very requested subjects and books borrowed through our interlibrary loan and E-ZBorrow services were The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, The Goldfinch: a Novel, and books about counseling, statistics, public speaking and science fiction.

Screenshot 2014-12-12 10.51.56

Happy holidays from all of us to all of you – and we hope Santa puts some of your favorite reading material in your stocking. But if not, you know the first place to visit once you get back on campus! Click here for Christmas and New Year break hours.


Dig Deeper: Everything’s on the line – and online for US Soccer

Nigeria at United States, friendly

There’s no shortage of online reading material for FIFA soccer fans between matches! And despite Thursday’s Best. Loss. Ever, U.S. Men’s Soccer has moved into the Knockout bracket of 16 – sort of like the Sweet 16 for you college hoops fans. Anyway, soccer fever shouldn’t be dissipating anytime soon.

Fortunately, readers of the Library News blog have help to sort though it all – it’s good to know someone in the library business, isn’t it?  Librarian and Liaison Team Leader for Geography and Political Science Merrill Stein has curated a handful of interesting links for background info on the sport of soccer, World Cup 2014 host country Brazil, the best ways to stream the games and lots more to satisfy your inner soccer geek. Got to yellow card you, though: you’ll need a lot of time to get through it all!

Don’t forget: it’s one and done for the U.S. vs. Belgium on Tuesday in Salvador. The loser of that match goes home; the winner heads to the quarterfinals. Game starts at 4 p.m.

Dig Deeper:

Viewing options:

Links to news radio TV services –Full 2014 FIFA World Cup Schedule on ABC, ESPN, Univision, Canadian TV and radio:

On Soccer:


MLS soccer:

At-a-glance Groups & schedule:

Top 5 strikers you can’t miss:

Of course – fantasy runs into reality…

On Brazil:

Brazil in the World Cup spotlight:

Brazilian Federal Government website on the 2014 FIFA World Cup (The latest news, links, photos):

BBC Special reports: Brazil:

BBC News: Latin America/Caribbean:

BBC Travel visits Brazil:

CNN coverage:

South Africa’s World Cup advice to Brazil:

Databases for searchable news/background:

Sports Business Research Network

Lexis Nexis Academic

ProQuest Central

Don’t hesitate to ask us for help with research navigation!


The Physicist Who Can Tell You All About the New World Cup Ball:

Vanishing spray:  a World Cup first

See the 12 World Cup venues in Brazil on a Google Earth tour

Social Media

Stay in the game: Twitter guide for the 2014 World Cup

FIFA on Facebook (33M fans!!)

US Soccer on Facebook


Choose your all-time World Cup XI – and share it with friends.

Movies you can borrow from the library: 

Invictus  Morgan Freeman, as Nelson Mandela, unites apartheid stricken South Africa through World Cup rugby.

Bend it like Beckham Follows two 18 year old girls as they pursue their dream of playing professional soccer.

30 for 30.  Inspirational documentaries from the world of sports produced by ESPN

O ano em que meus pais saíram de férias A boy is left alone in a Jewish neighborhood in the year of 1970, where both World Cup and dictatorship happen in Brazil.

Brazil world cup images via Google 

Classic World Cup moments, Lego Style!

SteinMerrill Stein is team leader of the Assessment team and liaison to the Department of Political Science. Joanne Quinn is the team leader for Communication and Service Promotion. 


Oxford Bibliographies: A Point of Departure


Explore the political science and international relations bibliographies from Oxford University Press now through the 2014 academic year.  The bibliographies have their own editors, are peer-reviewed, annotated by leading scholars and designed to be starting points for research.

You can search one of these bibliographies by visiting the Databases A-Z list on the library homepage.


 The bibliographies can:

* Introduce a research topicSimple and advanced search capabilities are available.  Subject bibliographies are browsable together or individually (political science or international relations) and updated approximately three times per year.

Search results can be exported to citation management tools such as EndNote, RefWorks, and Zotero.

* Provide examples of annotated bibliographiesSearch responses include an introduction and general overview, citations to the best articles, books, and a range of other online sources centered on a topic. 

 Where available, journal citations are linked to full-text via the  link and book citations are linked to Falvey via the  link.

* Direct researchers to multiple types of contentSearch responses can include books, journals, web resources, multimedia, primary documents, forthcoming and related articles.

The My OBO feature allows the user to set up a free account to save and annotate search results. Results are available online.


Oxford Bibliographies was named one of the Top 10 Internet Resources of 2013 by CHOICE Reviews Online

Don’t forget to use other popular Oxford resources, available from Falvey Library,  such as Oxford Islamic Studies Online, select political science Oxford handbooks and history Oxford handbooks.

Find out more about it: from Falvey subject liaison Merrill Stein.


A Not So Final Note on the Other Olympics in Russia: Paralympics


Events in the Ukraine have certainly overshadowed the Paralympics taking place in Sochi, but that didn’t prevent some 45 teams and approximately 550 athletes from competing in the 11th Winter Paralympics. Even though the United States did not send a planned presidential delegation to the Winter Paralympics in Sochi as part of measures drawn up to protest Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, seventy-four U.S. athletes and six guides did have a chance to compete.

BLOG-SKIERIn the Philadelphia Inquirer “supporters say the Paralympics reflect the Games’ original premise of showcasing exceptional warriors by showing how they adapt.” However, U.S. network coverage was limited.

According to our sources, the best national coverage could be found on the TeamUSA website.

Some of the best photos are on the Eurosport website.

As Alison Holt of the BBC implores, “During the warm glow of the Paralympics we had an inspiring glimpse of a world where people are celebrated for what they can do. The challenge now is to build on that.” We must avoid letting the disabled become invisible after the press leaves.

Dig Deeper


ProQuest Central
Lexis Nexis Academic


SteinArticle, sources and links by Merrill Stein, librarian and liaison to the Department of Political Science.

Our new Dig Deeper series features curated links to Falvey Memorial Library resources that allow you to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of seasonal occasions and events held here at the Library. Don’t hesitate to ‘ask us!’ if you’d like to take the excavation even further. And visit our Events listings for more exciting upcoming speakers, lectures and workshops!


Falvey Student Satisfaction Survey: results are in!

MICK-Recently Falvey presented the results of its faculty survey in our blog space. In this post, we are pleased to report the results of the student satisfaction survey.

Since spring 2002, a survey has been administered every 2 to 3 years to a random sample of undergraduate and graduate students to assess their satisfaction with the Falvey Memorial Library services and resources. In February and March, 2013, we again administered the questionnaire to a sample comprised of 2,042 undergraduate students and 1,289 graduate students. The overall response rate for undergraduate students was 22%, ranging from 17% for VSB students to 29% for students majoring in the sciences. Fifteen percent (15%) of the graduate students responded to the survey with rates ranging from 9% for VSB students to 23% for nursing students.

Villanova’s Office of Planning and Institutional Research electronically administered the faculty and student surveys. An invitation email was sent through the survey software and reminders were sent to non-respondents to increase response rates. Chi-square goodness of fit tests were run to determine representativeness of the respondents.

The library display case in front of Falvey Holy Grounds currently holds some of the results of both the faculty and student surveys. Check it out next time you’re in the Library. It will be up for a limited time only, prior to our forthcoming One Book Villanova display.


Academic success
Daily or weekly visits to Falvey were made by 68% of undergraduates, with about 30% visiting monthly or during the semester. Forty-five percent (45%) of undergraduates visited Falvey weekly. Graduate students responded that 35% visit Falvey daily or weekly with about 17% visiting Falvey monthly. Slightly more than three-quarters (76%) of undergraduate respondents feel that Falvey Memorial Library is important to their success. Eighty-four percent (84%) of graduate students agree or strongly agree that Falvey is important to their success. Overall, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences students comprised the majority of nearly 80% of respondents who felt Falvey was important to their success.


Learning Commons
Students are increasingly finding Falvey an attractive place to work alone or in groups, use public computing, and avail themselves of Learning Commons services, as this 2013/2011 survey comparison shows.


For what purposes did students visit the library?
Students, especially the graduate population, still visit Falvey to check out or borrow books and study or work alone. In 2013, 72% of undergraduates and 37% of graduate students sometimes visit to work in groups. Also in 2013, 35% of undergraduate respondents used the Writing Center, 15% of undergraduates respondents used the Math Learning Resource Center, and 7% or undergraduates used Learning Support Services. About 17% of respondents also attend lecture/events (see chart below).


Rating resources used – undergraduates
In 2013, 35% of undergraduates used subject databases daily, weekly and monthly. Twenty-four percent of undergraduate students used electronic journals/electronic periodicals and the online catalog at least daily, weekly and monthly. E-books were used daily, weekly or monthly 28% of the time, and print books were used by the same measure 18% of the time. Undergraduate responses also indicated 31% of students used research librarian services daily, weekly and monthly, and 23% responded as using the Information/Circulation Desk services daily, weekly and monthly. Undergraduates continue to rate many of those resources favorably, as well (see charts below).


Rating resources used – graduate students
In 2013, approximately 60% of graduate students used electronic journals/electronic periodicals and the online catalog at least daily, weekly and monthly, and 65% used subject databases just as frequently. E-books were used daily, weekly or monthly 22% of the time, and print books were used at the same rate 42% of the time. Nearly 40% of graduate students used the Information/Circulation Desk services daily, weekly and monthly. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of graduate students also made use of research librarian services daily, weekly and monthly. Graduate students also continue to rate many of the resources as adequate, approaching very adequate (see charts following).



Assessment of staff and services
Students even more strongly agree, as compared with our 2011 survey, that many of the library staff and services are very good. Librarians remain approachable, courteous, helpful and accessible. In many cases, graduate students agree more so. However, there is always room for some improvement. While satisfaction with tools such as scanners increased, students expressed only moderate satisfaction with the amount of space available for quiet, individual study (see charts following).


Receiving information
Falvey patrons responded that email remains the single best tool for conveying information about the Library although Facebook followers are on the rise.




E-book preferences
Most students still prefer print books for both course-related and leisure reading.

Comments noted
We also appreciate all those students who took time to write responses. Graphs are nice but there’s gold in those comments. Students enjoy the new Learning Commons areas, wishing only that “… it all looked like the 2nd floor (Learning Services floor).” Many graduate students asked, “Graduate Student Quiet Study Area!” and “When is the graduate student lounge coming?!?!” We can now answer this request with a new study lounge for graduate students in the liberal arts and sciences, in Falvey Hall.

However, our work is still not done. Several pages of requests and comments accompanied our survey.

Hours of operation generated a numerous comments: “While the library has many benefits, the area where it needs the most improvement and the aspect that I feel strongly about is the hours of operation.” “24 HOUR LIBRARY, I think this is necessary, at least just keeping the whole first floor (including printers and computers and tables open for students to use 24 hours, rather than just the 24 hour lounge)…”

Many comments involved having more efficient study space. Some freshman and sophomores expressed this sentiment in such comments as, “Sometimes the library is so full of people even if the area is quiet, … the lack of power outlets sometimes prevents me from using my computer when I would like to … There need to be more tables. Better lighting on the 3rd and 4th floors … a little updating would be great! Otherwise, the people are helpful and it is always quiet! … Honestly, during any sort of “crunch” time (finals, midterms, etc.) the library is completely swamped …”

Several comments referred to printing challenges: “We should be able to print to the printers wirelessly from our laptops. … have the print center re-installed in the library instead of having one print center at Bartley … I used Falvey’s iPrint center all of the time and now that it is gone, I use Falvey half as much as I did before.”

Temperature still remains a challenge, commented on by both graduate students and undergraduates. It’s not just the engineering students who noticed that “… it is FREEZING on the upper floors … All the time, both during winter and during summer, library is cold and they set the interior temperature to colder than normal room temperature …”


So, as we enter the heart of a new decade, we thank all of you for caring and sharing. We hope that future efforts will enable Falvey to continue our quest to meet and compete with the best of libraries. Have a great semester and new year!

SteinMerrill Stein is team leader of the Assessment team and liaison to the Department of Political Science. Other members of the Assessment team include Dennis Lambert, Kathleen O’Connor, Susan Ottignon and Barbara Quintiliano. 

Window display design and photograph by Joanne Quinn, team leader for Communication & Service Promotion.


« Previous PageNext Page »


Last Modified: January 6, 2014