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Remote Discoveries: Arbor Day

  • Posted by: Nathaniel Haeberle-gosweiler
  • Posted Date: April 23, 2020
  • Filed Under: Library News

By Nate Gosweiler

“Each generation takes the earth as trustees”
J. Sterling Morton, leading advocate for Arbor Day’s creation

Tomorrow, Friday, April 24, Arbor Day for Pennsylvania, although Arbor Day occurs at different times in the year depending on the seasonal weather most conducive for tree growth across the country. The first state-wide arbor day in the US occurred in Nebraska on April 10, 1874, after the insistence and tree-planting advocacy of the journalist J. Sterling Morton.

In celebration of this “greening” holiday, I wanted to post a little more information about tree-planting initiatives and projects that I found particularly interesting.

And now, the American Larch -Photo credit Laura Bang

Starting off with the contributions of Falvey Memorial Library staff, Laura Bang, Distinctive Collections Librarian Archivist, led an initiative to photograph the trees on Villanova’s campus across the four seasons. This collection can be found in the  digital library, here, and includes 60 different trees with multiple photos detailing the foliage, bark, and seeds of each tree. Chris Hallberg, Library Technology Developer, and Bang uploaded the locations of these trees to OpenStreetMap, which you can find here. I know I will be using their resources to learn which tree is what on campus. In addition to Falvey Library staff contributions, Villanova was designated a Tree Campus USA school in 2017 in recognition of its management of unique varieties of trees.

In Philadelphia, the Treephilly project strives to reach 30% tree canopy coverage for every neighborhood in the city, donating 1,000 trees to city residents each year. Although the current pandemic has forced Treephilly to suspend its springtime tree giveaway events, they may resume tree giveaways in the fall. At this point, Treephilly has donated and planted over 21,000 trees in the city of Philadelphia. (Here is the Treephilly website)

The Plant a Billion Trees campaign, run by the Nature Conservancy, is a large-scale forest restoration project. Founded in the US in 1951, the Nature Conservancy has had over a million members, impacting conservation in 79 countries and territories over six continents. You can learn more about the Nature Conservancy and their Plant a Billion Trees project here.

Tree planting is not exclusive to arbor day, as there are many places and people around the world who value the cultivation of forest. One story that I find incredible is the life’s work of Jadav Payeng, who planted untold numbers of trees in his home state of Assam in northeastern India. Over the course of four decades, Payeng reforested an island that was previously a sandbar with scant vegetation. If you would like to learn more about Jadav Payeng’s efforts, click here.

Nate Gosweiler


Nate Gosweiler is a graduate assistant for Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication department. 




Remote Discoveries: Sustainability and Earth Month 2020

Next week, Villanova is hosting a virtual Teach-In to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. This celebration falls within a larger Earth Month event, encouraging people to challenge themselves to live more sustainably. The webpage for the event can be found here, including subpages with specific information on how you can reduce your carbon footprint with small lifestyle changes.

With information broken down into Energy, Waste, Water, and Food concerns, the weekly sustainability challenges could offer a good way to become more mindful of your environmental impact.


Nate's South Philly Backyard

Personally, I will try one of the challenges to line dry my clothes instead of using the dryer. I think that spring’s arrival is the perfect time to try it out.

However, there are many great suggestions provided: reusing old clothing to make tote bags and bathmats, making hand sanitizer with few at-hand ingredients, and opting for biodegradable packaging when possible.

I have certainly become more conscious of my ecological footprint at these times, taking more time out to compost food waste and saving those horrifically bruised and soft vegetables for soup stocks.

I am spending more time in my backyard, preparing numerous buckets to plant herbs and vegetables in, as well as maintaining a compost bucket for personal use in addition to my weekly compost pickup bucket. Although these changes are small, I hope that I can continue them to be a more environmentally conscious person in the future.

Yet, it is important to recognize that these lifestyle changes must extend beyond the lock downs and shelter-in-place orders. In addition, many of the fault for carbon emissions are out of our own hands and backyards, requiring large-scale systemic change spearheaded by responsible governance.


I am sure many of us have seen the photos and videos circulating online that show skylines absent of smog, and oft-discrete wildlife venturing into areas normally dominated by people. However, it is important to recognize that the current emission reductions brought on by Covid-19 lockdowns are not long-term changes. A recent article from the International Energy Agency (linked here) clearly express these concerns.

“We may well see CO2 emissions fall this year as a result of the impact of the coronavirus on economic activity, particularly transport. But it is very important to understand that this would not be the result of governments and companies adopting new policies and strategies. It would most likely be a short-term blip that could well be followed by a rebound in emissions growth as economic activity ramps back up.

Real, sustained reductions in emissions will happen only if governments and companies fulfill the commitments that they have already announced–or that they will hopefully announce very soon.”

–Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director International Energy Agency

Nate GosweilerNate Gosweiler is a graduate assistant for Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication department. This week, he is slogging through some more of Thomas Pynchon’s Against the Day.

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Remote Discoveries: A Synthesis of Advice for Writing at Home


As we all continue to adjust to the “new normal” new difficulties emerge in different facets of our lives. One of the academic challenges I have been struggling with is maintaining my writing output for classes and my thesis.

Although merely a small wave in a sea of much greater challenges many face, writing is, I am sure, a struggle under the present circumstances; however, we still are pressed to do so.

By no means am I suggesting self-help tips that could bear the title “Follow these five steps to make your quarantine a productive one,” or any other nonsense that glosses over the structural failings and inequalities that led to this crisis. Rather, I put these suggestions together with hopes that writing may help some of us cope with the frustration, sadness, and anger that accompanies these times.


Considering that many of us have different comfort zones, I wanted to provide a couple methods, as writing is certainly not a one-size-fits-all affair.

Deborah J. Cohan offers some guiding points to maintain writing output while dealing with numerous responsibilities. Although this piece is geared more towards faculty who must balance numerous pressures, this also applies to students who have multiple responsibilities.

Nue Lee espouses a daily writing schedule, embracing the repetition of a strong structure as a means to reliably get words onto the page. On tip I found particularly helpful was, “Write fast now, edit slow later”. This type helps me avoid getting bogged down in specifics, holding off on deep reading until editing.

Finally, Christine Tully provides alternative suggestions for those who prefer to do all of their writing on a single day of the week. Her suggestions focus around properly planning that single day of writing, in order to not procrastinate or become overwhelmed at the prospect of writing for hours on end.

Most importantly–and this is my own personal thought about writing currently–write for a reason. Whether this be to cope with the situation, working towards your own betterment, or to make our own small contribution to solutions in the future.

Nate GosweilerNate Gosweiler is a graduate assistant for Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication department. He is currently distraught over Bernie Sanders dropping out of the democratic primary.



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The Global (Half) SmackDown: Afghanistan

“This may be the kind of thing we look back on in ten years and wonder, ‘what were we thinking’, but for the time being, this is where we are.”—Dr. Tim Horner

Hello SmackDowners,

The Global(Half)SmackDown for April 6 is available now on Zoom.

This week, Dr. Horner takes on the stalled peace talks between the United States and Taliban in Afghanistan. On March 28, the US declared that they would withhold $1 billion dollars in aid from the Afghan government, citing recent contested Afghani elections. However, the decision to withhold funds may be intended to strong arm the Afghani government into following through with the US-Taliban peace agreement, despite numerous indications of the treaty’s shortcomings and shortsightedness.

Nate Gosweiler

Nate Gosweiler is a graduate assistant for Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication department.





Remote Discoveries: The National Theatre Collection

  • Posted by: Nathaniel Haeberle-gosweiler
  • Posted Date: April 2, 2020
  • Filed Under: Library News

Most of us are probably finding that balance of productivity, mental, and physical well-being, and, of course, Netflix. Yet many of us are probably afflicted by a common ailment known as, can’t-decide-what-to-watch-itis. Sifting through the cornucopia of series, specials, documentaries and movies can sometimes give one the impression of seeing the same things over and over.

However, the newly added National Theatre Collection may provide a much needed variation of content.

“Drawing on 10 years of NT Live broadcasts, alongside high quality recordings never previously seen outside of the NT’s Archive, the National Theatre Collection makes this rich body of work available to students in schools, universities and libraries around the world.”

To access this resource you can click the link here. Alternatively, you can search Drama Online in the Falvey Library resource database and go to the National Theatre Collection.


Nate GosweilerNate Gosweiler is a graduate assistant for Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication department.




The Global(Half)SmackDown: Bolsonaro’s response to Covid-19 in Brazil

Dr. Tim Horner’s Global(Half)SmackDown for Monday, March 30, is available via Zoom (Click Here).

In keeping with the current focus on Covid-19, this week’s G(H)SD tackles Jair Bolsonaro’s response to the Corona virus in Brazil. Dr. Horner’s presentation touches on the “magical thinking” underlying Bolsonaro’s response (or lack there of) to the pandemic.

Nate GosweilerNate Gosweiler is a graduate assistant for Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication department. He is currently watching new Netflix series to avoid the stress of finishing half-watched series.



Remote Discoveries: Catching up on Lit Fest

Hey, Wildcats,

In recent weeks most of us have revisited the uncomfortable FOMO (the fear of missing out), of seeing the taken-for-granted suddenly become absent, realizing the preciousness of “the normal.”

In no way does this downplay the much greater worries and pains that surround this crisis – and these are very real things that will affect millions of human beings in ways we would hope not to imagine. Yet, the small losses, notably those connections between people in lively, real, and present conversations leave a palpable absence in our lives.

Catching up on a Canceled Lit Fest Event

When I looked through library events that had to be canceled this semester, I am reminded that there were numerous small things that we missed out on. On March 24, Bryan Washington’s Literary Festival book reading and discussion on his new novel, Memorial, would have taken place in Speakers’ Corner. Although I was unfamiliar with Washington’s work prior to writing this blog post, a deeper dive through his essays available online as well as his previous book talks, showed me what we are all missing out on.

For this week’s Remote Discoveries blog, I will provide some links to Bryan Washington’s work and talks. To preface these links, Washington’s work does contain explicit content and he does not shy away from the expletive-prone speech of everyday conversation, nor does he shy away from topics that make some uncomfortable.

That being said, I believe that many people would thoroughly enjoy Washington’s work, regardless of whether it was encountered on-campus or discovered remotely.

Some of Bryan Washington’s Work

One of Washington’s first essays, View From the Football Field; or, What Happens When the Game is Over, presents a poignant description of playing football, and all the (un)importance it has on communities, friendships, family, and race. Writing on his personal experience playing football in a Texas suburb, Washington shows how the game harbored various meanings, and what it stood to mean for people in different times of their lives.

In our own library stacks, we have Washington’s first book, Lot, a New York Times Critics’ Top Book of 2019. The book is a coming of age story for a boy in Houston, and his experiences of his neighborhood, family, friends, and own sexuality. I will certainly be getting a copy of this book once some of the strain is taken off Amazon.

Finally, here is a YouTube link to his book talk about “Lot” in 2019 at the coffee shop, Politics and Prose in Washington D.C.. Hearing Washington speak about the influences of his life and work is interesting, and it is wonderful to hear the work read in his own voice with enthralling delivery.

Nate GosweilerNate Gosweiler is a graduate assistant for Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication department. This week he will be catching up on some leisure reading in order to avoid necessary reading. That certainly won’t be regretted later…




Global(Half) SmackDown: Iran, Covid-19, Conspiracy

Global Half Smack Down Title Card

Dr. Tim Horner’s Global(Half)SmackDown for Monday, March 23, is available via Zoom (Click Here).

Today’s topic is part of the ongoing geo-political response to the Covid-19 pandemic, touching on multiple nation’s attempts to blame the pandemic on foreign powers. Some politicians in the U.S., China, and Iran, are beginning to lay responsibility for the virus’s spread on foreign nations as negligence or even intention.

Nate GosweilerNate Gosweiler is a graduate assistant for Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication department. He is currently suffocating under the growing weight of his newly-created twitter feed. It. Never. Stops…!




Remote Discoveries: The Global SmackDown Zooms Forward

Hello, Wildcats,

I hope those reading this are healthy, safe, and have found some sense of relief. I can only imagine the concern and uncertainty you may be feeling at this moment. I myself have been coming to terms with how my daily life will change during these trying times. Moreover, I know many of you are going through the difficult transition of attending college from places you never expected when you “went away to college.”

Yet, there is still much going on through Falvey Memorial Library. This ongoing “Remote Discoveries” blog will highlight some of the ongoing resources and events continuing through this transition. Although the recent closure of Villanova’s campus means the Library is physically closed, remote resources and virtual events are still going on.

Falvey Memorial Library, and the wonderful creators and thinkers that we support, are committed to continuing their efforts as we transition to virtual platforms. Even though we are not at Falvey, we are still connected as a community.

The GlobalSmackdown Zooms Forward

Screenshot of Dr. Horner's Zoom presentation

Tim Horner’s, DPhil, GlobalSmackDown recently made the transition to a virtual format through Zoom, condensing the 23-minute presentation to a fleet 11 and a half minutes. The Smackdown’s move from IRL to online ensures that we can all stay up to date on global issues. For those unfamiliar with Dr. Horner’s work, you can find a collection of his abbreviated presentations on the Falvey Memorial Library YouTube channel.

The new Global(Half)SmackDown will be available each Monday in virtual format. Click here (this will direct your browser to a page) to view the G(H)SD from March 16 regarding the protests in Mexico on International Women’s Day. You can find future G(H)SDs posted here on the Library blog, as well as on our social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The Importance of the GlobalSmackDown

“We are seeing the lines between domestic policy and foreign policy disappearing, I think COVID-19 could be a way showing people how interconnected local ‘American’ issues are with global ones,” Dr. Horner says.

At this time, news may seem overwhelming. Many localities and communities in the US are being affected in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the entire Villanova campus and community. With so much changing so quickly at home, developments across the global may seem inconsequential. Yet it is important to remember that the injustices and conflicts across the globe will not cease because of COVID-19; if anything, they will continue at a higher register.

I spoke with Dr. Horner over the phone to discuss the GlobalSmackDown and what it means during this distressing moment. A portion of his response is quoted below.

“I think it’s important for people to not just live life thinking solely of COVID-19. These things that are happening around the world are still happening. My hope, the silver lining in all of this, is that Americans realize how interconnected we are, that this virus has transgressed all our efforts to make us feel that we are in an American bubble.

“If there is a tipping point in this, and if there is something that it can change in us, COVID-19 may be that one thing that went under the radar and served as a wake-up call to a generation. That we are globalized, and we are not isolated. That could be an amazing turnaround if that happens, that in this distressing moment we realized how connected we are.”


Nate GosweilerNate Gosweiler is a graduate assistant for Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication department. He is currently suffocating under the growing weight of his newly-created twitter feed. It. Never. Stops…!



Curious Cat: Superbowl Snacks

Hey ‘Cats, Superbowl LIV is this Sunday. Whether you are in it for the game, the commercials, or the halftime show, this unofficial holiday will certainly feature its famous chips, dips, and all the other foods that discourage the use of utensils. We asked students and staff what their favorite Superbowl snack is. Here is what they said!


—Isabella Carro ’20 (Sociology)


—Hillary O’Neill ’23 (Undecided)

“Queso Dip”

—Kallie Stahl ’17 (Communication)

This week’s Curious Cat is brought to you by Allie Reczek and Annabelle Humiston, two of our wonderful undergraduate student workers in the Falvey Memorial Library Communication & Marketing Department. Keep an eye out for them every Wednesday, asking students their opinions on a range of subjects and topics.



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Last Modified: January 30, 2020

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