Skip Navigation
Falvey Memorial Library
Advanced
You are exploring: Home > Blogs

“Did You Ever Read…?” — Falvey Library Invites New Resource Recommendations From Faculty and Students

Did you know that Falvey Memorial Library has more than one million books, periodicals, and other resources?
book recommendations screen shot

Still, the collection at the Library is always a work-in-progress, adapting to meet the needs of the University’s faculty and students. If you review the Library’s holdings and find there is a useful book or resource missing from the collection, please be sure to submit a request so we can continue to evaluate and tweak our collection.

While checking out the website, we also recommend you browse our “trending” and “newly added.” There are a ton of great books just waiting for a great reader (like you)!


Shawn Proctor

Shawn Proctor, MFA, is communications and marketing program manager at Falvey Memorial Library.


Like

Confronting the Legacy of Slavery: Villanova Students Uncover Fragments of American Family Histories

Tomorrow, July 2, marks the 55th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, enacting landmark legislation that prohibited racial discrimination in employment and education. It also outlawed racial segregation in public spaces. The act laid the groundwork for the country to progress forward toward equality, yet the wounds caused by slavery’s past remain even today.

This past spring, a group of Villanova students in Professor Judith Giesberg’s Slavery in the Modern World course attempted to piece together the separated strands of African-American families torn apart prior to and during the Civil War, when family members were sold away, escaped to the North, or joined the Union army.

After the Civil War and following the abolition of slavery, African-Americans began to look for loved ones with the help of newspaper ads. Although historical evidence tracing the lives of former slaves is limited, there is census evidence that some families reunited with the help of these ads. Based on life records found through Ancestry Library, students crafted digital timelines that narrated the lives of the individuals identified in the ads. Some of these stories have what appear to be happy endings; in other cases, individuals seem to have disappeared from the historical record.

last seen headline image

Dr. Giesberg is the driving force behind the Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery project which collates, publishes, and transcribes this kind of newspaper ad. The digital project website is supported by the Department of History, the Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Villanova University, as well as by Mother Bethel AME Church and the Pennsylvania Abolition Society. Villanova graduate students browsed through countless reels of microfilm in their search for personal ads placed by African-Americans looking for lost family members and friends, scanned the ads, and posted them to the website. Transcription of the ads is crowd-sourced and depends entirely on volunteers. Many of these ads are easy enough to identify by the recurring Information Wanted headline.

spreadsheet of Last Seen entries

Students in Dr. Giesberg’s course used the Last Seen website to find a personal ad that piqued their curiosity. They learned the basics of the Timeline JS software in a library research workshop. Timeline JS is free software created and maintained by Knight Lab at Northwestern University. All story elements for the timeline including images, maps, and text are captured in a Google spreadsheet. This sounds simple enough, but students spent considerable time researching and presenting the histories hidden behind a single short personal ad.

slavery in the modern world 2019 timeline projects

They researched historical context such as geographic locations and regional slave laws and they identified appropriate and copyright free images to make their timelines visually pleasing. In short, they learned a lot about the research and publishing process. Then, two days before their final deadline, Google changed its software and broke every student’s timeline in the process. Everyone held their breath, not sure if functionality would be restored before the projects were due. With only eight hours to spare, the problem was fixed thanks to the advocacy of the folks at Knight Lab.

Links to the student projects have been posted to the Library’s website together with projects from prior years. Library resources used by the students include Ancestry Library, the African-American Studies Center, and African-American Newspapers: The 19th Century. For images students mostly relied on Wikimedia Commons which includes images from the National Archives, the Library of Congress and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Interested readers are invited to explore these at times bittersweet, at times uplifting, and at times devastatingly sad narratives of African American lives in the 19th century.

Learn more about the Last Seen Project.


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.


Like

Welcome to Falvey: John Banionis Joins Resource Management and Description


John Banionis recently joined the Resource Management and Description Department as the Metrics and Assessment Librarian. Part of Collections and Stewardship, the Resource Management and Description Department assists in building healthy and robust library collections through active conversations with campus communities and strong collaborations with internal and external partners.

“My role relates to the business end of the library. I look at the usage of library materials and develop a comprehensive cost-per-use methodology to support data-driven decision making about Falvey’s resources. I gather data and analyze specific interest points in order to help showcase the value of Falvey and its initiatives to the larger community.”

A native of Philadelphia, Banionis earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Penn State University, a Certificate in Copyright Leadership and Management from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from Drexel University. Working in sales for numerous journal publishers before transitioning to Falvey Memorial Library, Banionis always had an interest in scholarly publishing.

“I’m excited to move to the library side of the equation, to develop customized solutions for Falvey and integrate data analysis into the library’s workflow.”

Though Banionis typically works with Falvey Library staff, he encourages Villanova faculty and students to reach out to him if they have any specific questions about resource usage levels (using actual data numbers) for determining what resources might be of most interest to students and faculty in a specific department/college.

He also encourages faculty to converse with him about publishing options: “I can provide metrics for academic journals, including alternate venues in which faculty might want to seek publication.”

Another resource he suggests faculty and students utilize is the Affordable Materials Project (AMP). AMP is a university-wide collaboration between the bookstore, Falvey Library, the Center for Access, Success and Achievement, and the Office of the Provost to provide faculty with resources and options for selecting high quality course materials while reducing the cost for students.

“The data I’ve seen already from AMP shows real value. Some of Falvey’s most highly used resources are coming from AMP,” he says. “The overall cost benefit is great because these resources are continually being used by multiple students year after year.”

In his free time, Banionis enjoys tailgating at Penn State football games, playing strategy board games, and spending time with his black cat, Millie. An avid singer (tenor), he is a member of multiple choirs including the Chester County Choral Society, Daylesford Abbey, and a small ad hoc eight-person choir titled Sine Nomine, which translates from Latin as “without a name.”

As Villanova is an R2: doctoral university, Banionis recognizes the opportunity to continue to globally expand research output.

“There are so many great plans and proposals happening at Villanova and at Falvey Library. There’s a lot more research output and an increased need for research support that the library can assist with. Falvey is the university’s steward of scholarly information–fuel for the academic engine.”

Banionis’ office is located in Collections on the second floor of Falvey. 610-519-4282. Email: john.banionis@villanova.edu.


Kallie Stahl, MA ’17 CLAS, is communication and marketing specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.


Like

How Well Do You Know ’Nova?

When University of Chicago academic librarian Emma Boettcher dethroned James Holzhauer we just had to salute her accomplishment. (Especially when we discovered she attended nearby Conestoga High School!)

Now that Boettcher’s run has concluded after three defenses, we’re honoring her achievement with a category of Villanova-themed Jeopardy! questions.

Think you got the smarts to run our board? See if you can answer them without peeking at the answer sheet at the bottom. The questions were created with the help of the book Villanova University: Ever Ancient, Ever New 1842-1992, by David R. Contosta, PhD, and the Rev. Dennis J. Gallagher, OSA, PhD.

 

 

 

Answer key:

1. What is “Tolle Lege”?
2. Who is Martin Luther King Jr.?
3. What is Austin Hall?
4. Who was William Howard Taft?
5. What is Phi Beta Kappa?

Shawn Proctor

Shawn Proctor, MFA, is communications and marketing program manager at Falvey Memorial Library. When not playing Trivial Pursuit, he enjoys challenging himself with Jeopardy! on Amazon Alexa.


Like

« Previous Page

 


Last Modified: June 10, 2019